Apr 20, 2013

REVIEW: Real (Real, Raw & Ripped, #1) by Katy Evans

“Your name,” he growls, panting, his eyes wild on mine.
“Uh, Brooke.”
“Brooke what?” he snaps out, his nostrils flaring.
His lips curl and he meets my gaze. “Brooke Dumas.” He just fucked my name right in front of me.

― First Meeting, Real

That quote, well I was hooked well before that. This book sizzled but never fizzled. I was so wired after reading this book. Remington freaking Tate! This book was just everything. I needed this. I hadn't had time to read lately and I'm so glad I kicked my rut with this book. Remy and Brooke's story had everything. Possessive hero check. He's a fighter! Sizzling sexual chemistry that was seriously off the charts!! They didn't have to do anything but look at each other. That was it. You felt it like it was some palpable entity in the air. 

I really connected with Brooke. Felt every intense moment with her and Remy. (No not the ermm . . . sexy scenes cuz that'd be creepy). But I mean the feelings, the emotions that ran so high. It was intense you couldn't not feel it.

I loved her reaction when she first saw him in the ring. She totally thought she'd be unaffected. Totally didn't want to be there but damn if she didn't think he was the sexiest and most beautiful man she'd ever seen.

Dark scruffy jaw.
Boyish smile. Man’s body. Killer tan.
― Brooke Dumas, Real

His reaction to her just as palpable. My God! This man knew what he wanted and he went after it. I loved how he introduced himself to her. I'm smiling just remembering reading that. It was a highlight alright.

“Brooke,” he growls softly, meaningfully, against my lips, as he draws back with a smile. “I’m
― Remington Tate, Real

Brooke had never felt anything like what she instantly felt for Remington after their first eye-lock,  after he kissed her. And then taking a job with him that meant putting her hands on his body. I'd take that job any day. I loved how Remy had eyes for no one but her. He was so caring and considerate with her. Getting close but not too close. Their little habit of playing songs to each other that expressed their feelings? Sigh! And "Iris" I adore that song and that was his song to her. She didn't understand at the time but he was trying to tell her he had a dark secret that he wasn't sure she'd understand.

He was vulnerable but never let it show, covering it with his cocky attitude but he had deep-set fears. Fears that came from a disorder that he was so scared would make her leave him. I totally understood that. It was the kind of thing that you couldn't be sure. He suffered black moods where his behaviour was unpredictable, he was pissy and easily angered and destructive. And very possessive and jealous. He worried that in his black moods he could do something he had no control over and hurt her and she'd go. I just wanted to hug him and never leave him but Brooke would probably rip my hair out for that!

“You’ll leave me the second it gets too steep, and you’ll leave me with nothing – when I want you like I've never wanted anything in life. You’re all I think about, dream about. I get high and low and it’s not about you now, it’s not even about me anymore. I can’t sleep, can’t think, can’t concentrate worth shit anymore and it’s all because I want to be the fucking ‘one’ for you.” 
― Remington Tate, Real

But she loved him. She didn't know when it happened but it did. That beautiful man slowly wormed his way into her heart and she knew she'd never be the same again. She'd never survive him. Their connection, their intensity for each other could have been scary but I thought it was beautiful. Two people whose dreams got shattered finding each other. Remy's feelings for her was  . . . I can't explain. It was just so intense. And if I had to sum this book up in one word, it would be  . . .INTENSE.

“Have you ever been anyone's?"
"No. And you?"
"I've never wanted to."
"Neither have I. Until I saw this lovely girl in Seattle, with big gold eyes, and pink, full lips... and I wondered if she could understand me...” 
― Remy & Brooke, Real

He took it slow with her so she'd want him for him. Just him, not "Riptide." He knew when he saw her that first night that she was his and he wanted her to be his, not just a fling. But something real!

 "I’m every woman’s adventure, damn you, and I don’t want to be yours. I want to be your f*cking REAL. You get that? If I f*ck you, I want you to belong to me. To be mine.” 
― Remington Tate, Real

As I said before, their chemistry was off the charts even when they weren't having sex. I mean these two had some really hot moments.

“"Are you mine?" he asks gruffly, as his hand returns between my thighs and briefly enters me. I gasp. Undone. Delirious. "I'm yours." His expression is tense, ravenous, so hot as he scrapes his finger deep into my channel. "Do you want me inside you?" My need clogs my windpipe as pleasure shoots down my legs. "I want you everywhere. All over me. Inside me.” 
― Remy & Brooke, Real

His possessiveness towards her could've been unhealthy but it wasn't totally. I admit though that he went to extremes, letting opponents hit him so he get her hands on his skin afterwards. But I'd want a man who wanted to protect and always keep me safe. Remy always made her feel safe. He knew she was his 'one' and he just needed her. She calmed him. Even his closest friends couldn't believe how different he was with her especially in his dark moods. She made him feel at ease, at home. I loved that.

“Brooke, you can't leave. You're mine” 
― Katy Evans, Real

His little pre-fight ritual of looking ta her in the stand before his fight was so freaking adorable. I wish I could see those dimples. It's like he was saying 'this is for you.' That every fight was for her. That he'd do anything for her. and he did. They were almost lost to each other after he tried to give her something she'd wanted so badly. He always made sure she knew even without the words, though she never saw it clear enough, everyone around her saw his love.

“By the time those electric blue eyes seek me out in the stands, my heart throbs fiercely in my temples, and my insides bubble with emotion when he spots me. He stares straight into my eyes, and his eyes are only mine, and his smile is only mine, and for this fraction of an instant, nothing else matters but us.” 
― Katy Evans, Real

All in all I really loved this book. Best I've read for a while. The author told a great story that unfolds even further in "Mine" book two which I'm super excited for. And then "Remy" which is "Real" from Remy's POV. That should be really good. I love to get the hero's thoughts because they always seem so much more intense and the heroine never truly see everything on the surface. And the Melanie gets her story (Brooke's BFF) that should be terrific, I enjoyed her character  She was so bubbly!

“I'm so fucking in love with you I don't even know what to do with myself anymore. . .“You’ve claimed me, little firecracker. . . . You staked your claim on me, even before you realized I’d staked mine already.” He fists my hair and pulls me close to his lips. “I’m yours now … Even if I screw this up, I’ll still be your screw-up.”  ” 
― Remington Tate, Real

4/5 stars

“ . . .There he is, a woman's living, breathing fantasy, doing his slow, cocky turn, spiky black hair, darkly tanned chest, dimpled smile-killer smile-all in the package of Remington Tate. He's perfection itself, and a new surge of hormones sweeps through me as I do what the rest of the crowd does and take in his visual, so blatantly on display in those low riding boxing shorts and so strikingly sexy, he becomes the center of my attention. The center. Of my. World.” 
― Brooke Dumas, Real

For more from this author follow Katy Evans on Twitter

I wholeheartedly recommend this book! Seriously! Read it! :)

Apr 16, 2013

REVIEW: Lover at Last (BDB, #11) by J.R. Ward

Blay and Qhuinn was the story that has been teasing us since they first kissed a few books back. I don't know about you guys but I've been hooked and very eager for them to finally have their story told. A whole book about them. The Warden did a great job bring these two to their happy ending but I can't say that I was completely satisfied with the book. It was bittersweet finally having these two be the forefront of their own book and I felt that all the other side stories with all these other characters detracted from their story, for me. There was just too much of it and I felt not enough Blay and Qhuinn. 

TEAM QHUAY! These two characters, My heart really ached for these two. Blay who long since realized his feelings for Qhuinn but turned to someone who wanted him rather than the man he loved who didn't. Qhuinn on the other hand who valued Blay like family. They were best friends. Yes I used past tense because when Blay and Saxton got together  there wasn't that bond there between them anymore, but Qhuinn's realization and subsequent confession to Layla of his feelings that just . . . words couldn't explain. So when we finally got a book that was all about them . . . I'll say it again, I was disappointed at the the amount of scenes that were focused on the side characters. I needed more Blay and Qhuinn. It wasn't enough for me.

To the actual story now. As we expected, it wouldn't be a bed of roses for these two. On one hand there was Blay who was reluctant to give into what Qhuinn was offering even though he desperately wanted to because this was the male he loved. And then there's Qhuinn who knows he loves Blaylock with everything but he's having a young with a Chosen and it complicates things. But from the start, Ward showed us that connection of when Qhuinn went through his issues with his family, Blay was there for him. You saw just how close these two were and how far apart they'd grown because of the unresolved issues between them.

“I’m here for you. And I’m so damned sorry….I’m here
for you…."
― Blaylock, Lover At Last

The way Qhuinn just needed Blay. Sigh . . . I just loved these two. he knew that Blay was skittish but he just wanted anything he could get from Blay. He was tender and loving but cautious of Blay's feelings and he just wanted him any way he could have him. When everything went on with Layla, Blay was the first one he turned to. The only one he wanted to be with when things got tough.

“Let me kiss you.” Qhuinn groaned as he leaned in. “I know I don't deserve it, but please ... it's what you can do for me. Let me feel you....”
Qhuinn's mouth brushed his own. Came back for more. Lingered.
“I'll beg for it.” More with the caress of those devastating lips. “If that’s what it takes. I don't give a f**k, I'll beg...” 
― Qhuinn, Lover At Last

When they were together physically even without talking you just knew how much they needed each other. There wasn't the need for crude prolonged loved scenes. What was there told enough about how much these two belonged together. The intensity of their physical yearnings were scorching. I mean Qhuinn totally frazzled Blay on more than one occasion.

“Shit. With Qhuinn looking at him like that, he couldn’t remember his own name. Blaysox? Blacklock? Blabberfox? Who the fuck knew…” 
― Blaylock, Lover At Last

I loved how accepting Blaylock's family was after his confession and even about Qhuinn. What was even more amazing was the Brotherhood making Qhuinn a Brother. Loved that scene.

Zsadist spoke up in the Old Language. “I, Zsadist, son of Ahgony, inducted in the two hundred
forty-second year of the reign of Wrath, son of Wrath, hereby nominate Qhuinn, an orphan in the
world, for membership unto the Black Dagger Brotherhood.”
― Zsadist, Lover At Last

I was kind of disappointed that the story got wrapped up so fast in the end. I'm sure we'll hear more from these two in side stories; Layla's pregnancy, Layla and Xcor. Blay and Qhuinn made up really quickly at the end. In a couple of pages. Thought that could ahve been drawn out a little bit, it was a bit rushed. But all in all it was a good book. I just wished for more moments with Blay and Qhuinn when weren't at odds. There were many scenes like those.

But my third fav couple in this series got their happy ending so I'm happy!

“You are perfect the way you are." Blay's voice was strong. "There is nothing wrong with who and what you have always been. I'm proud of you. And I love you. Now ... and always."
Qhuinn's vision got wavy. Hard-core.
"I'm proud of you. And I love you," Blay repeated. "Always. Forget about your old family ... you have me now. I am your family.” 
― Blaylock, Lover At Last

“You've always had me ... and my heart. My soul. Everything. I wish it hasn't taken this long for me to man up.” 
― Qhuinn, Lover At Last

I need to give special mention to Saxton. He totally earned my respect. He had hope but always knew that Blay would never feel for him what he felt for Qhuinn and he backed down. He let him go. I admired him for that and sympathized as well because he genuinely loved Blaylock.

Sidenote, this was the first of this series and for this author with a novel of an MM romance persuasion and I thought it was great. She didn't make it too sexual. The physical scenes between them weren't about the satisfying of physical urges but the connection between them and the need to be with each other.

4/5 stars

If you're wondering who my No. 1& 2 are:

1. Zsadist and Bella
2. Rhage and Mary

Also in the Black Dagger Brotherhood Series:

Dark Lover (BDB, #1) - Wrath
Lover Eternal (BDB, #2) - Rhage
Lover Awakened (BDB, #3) - Zsadist
Lover Revealed (BDB, #4) - Butch
Lover Unbound (BDB, #5) - Vishous
Lover Enshrined (BDB, #6) - Phury
Black Dagger Brotherhood: An Insider's Guide
Lover Avenged (BDB, #7) - Rehvenge
Lover Mine   (BDB, #8) - John Matthew
Lover Unleashed  (BDB, #9) - Payne
Lover Reborn  (BDB, #10) - Tohrment

Spoiler from J.R. Ward's Facebook from her Cincinatti Event
Apparently I'm not tech savvy enough because I can't figure out how to hide the spoiler of the next book from you so check J.R. Ward's Facebook for that news and even more to look forward to from this amazing series.

For the latest on this series and 
J.R. Ward's other novels:



quotes Candy likes

"I am obsessed with you, angel. Addicted to you. You're everything i've ever wanted or needed, everything i've dreamed of. You're everything. I live and breathe you. For you."— Sylvia Day