Reason to Breathe & Barely Breathing by Rebecca Donovan

Reason to Breathe
(The Breathing Series #1)
by Rebecca Donovan
(Kindle, Young Adult)

Synopsis taken from Goodreads:  "No one tried to get involved with me, and I kept to myself. This was the place where everything was supposed to be safe and easy. How could Evan Mathews unravel my constant universe in just one day?"

He knows there’s something more to the girl sitting in the back of the class the moment he sees her. She’s beautiful, intelligent, and athletic – but she slips quietly through the crowded halls, trying not to exist. Determined to get to know the elusive girl, Evan soon discovers…

Emma Thomas is hiding a terrible secret.

Reason to Breathe is an electrifying page turner from start to finish, a unique tale of life-changing love, unspeakable cruelty, and one girl’s fragile grasp of hope.

Barely Breathing
(The Breathing Series #2)
by Rebecca Donovan
(Kindle, Young Adult)

Synopsis taken from Goodreads:  Emma’s struggle with an abusive home life came to a heart pounding conclusion in the final chapters of Reason to Breathe. Now everyone in Weslyn knows Emma’s secret, but Carol can’t hurt Emma anymore. Some are still haunted by the horror of that night, and some must face the repercussions of their choices. Fans of Rebecca Donovan’s debut novel will discover there’s still much to learn about Emma’s life.

My thoughts:  Have you ever felt so emotionally drained after reading a book?  Reason to Breath and Barley Breathing had me feeling that way.  I found it difficult to stop thinking about Emma and her story while I wasn't reading it, once I did finish both books it took me almost a week to pick up another book because I felt like I was still on that emotional rollercoaster.  Few can really understand the journey of abuse unless you've lived it or witnessed it first hand, Rebecca Donovan makes us part of  Emma's journey and helps us understand her conflicts within.

Nothing I say can accurately portray just how incredible this series is.  I'm just hoping that the third book Out of Breath leaves us with Emma finding happiness and stability that includes Evan.  

Weekends Required (Danver's #1) by Sydney Landon

Weekends Required
(Danver's #1)
by Sydney Landon
(Kindle, Romance)

Synopsis taken from Goodreads:  Claire Walters has worked for Jason Danvers as his assistant at Danvers International for three years, and he has never thought of her as a woman until the day she jumps out of a cake at his friend's bachelor party.

Claire is forced to work a second job at a party planning company to support her ailing mother. She is horrified when Jason not only finds out, but has a front-row seat to the action. With Danvers in the process of merging with another company, Claire is forced to travel with Jason as well as work weekends. Suddenly all the fantasies she has entertained for years about her boss seem to be coming true. Her outspoken best friend Suzy thinks that just getting laid will solve everything. The problem is, Claire sees much more in Jason than just sex.

Jason is determined to know how the beautiful, sexy woman in the cake could also be his Plain Jane assistant who tries her best to blend into the background from 8-5 every day. Now not only does Jason see her as a woman, he fully intends to give her the fairy-tale ending that she deserves!

My thoughts:  Weekends Required was okay... the story itself was enticing and it was a quick light read.  I felt that Claire and Jason fell into love to quickly and the story was too predictable but, it was still entertaining.  I didn't particularly care for the ending, it got to the point rather quickly.

Deadly Obsession (Deadly Vices #1) by Kristine Cayne

Deadly Obsession
(Deadly Vices #1)
by Kristine Cayne
 (Kindle, Mystery/Thillers/Romance )

Synopsis taken from Goodreads:
 When an Oscar-winning movie star meets a department-store photographer…
Movie star Nic Lamoureux appears to have a playboy’s perfect life. But it’s a part he plays, an act designed to conceal a dark secret he carries on his shoulders. His empty days and nights are a meaningless blur until he meets the woman who fulfills all his dreams. She and her son are the family he’s always wanted—if she can forgive a horrible mistake from his past.

A Hollywood dream…

Lauren James, a widowed single mother, earns barely enough money to support herself and her son. When she wins a photography contest and meets Nic, the man who stars in all her fantasies, her dreams, both professional and personal, are on the verge of becoming real. The attraction between Lauren and Nic is instant—and mutual. Their chemistry burns out of control during a photo shoot that could put Lauren on the fast track to a lucrative career.

Becomes a Hollywood nightmare.

But an ill-advised kiss makes front-page news, and the lurid headlines threaten everything Nic and Lauren have hoped for. Before they know what’s happening, their relationship is further rocked by an obsessed and cunning stalker who’ll stop at nothing—not even murder—to have Nic to herself. When Nic falls for Lauren, the stalker zeroes in on her as the competition.

And the competition must be eliminated.

My thoughts:  Deadly Obsession contains the perfect blend of mystery, suspense and naughtiness.  It held my attention from the very beginning and kept me flipping pages... okay, not so much flipping more like pressing the "next page" button on the Kindle.  The stalker storyline was disturbing and kept me just as entertained as the romance between Nic and Lauren and I pretty much figured out early on who the stalker was but, I had no clue on how things would end.  If you enjoy romantic suspense, I'd recommend this book.

The Marriage Bargain (Marriage to a Billionaire #1) by Jennifer Probst

The Marriage Bargain
(Marriage to a Billionaire #1)
by Jennifer Probst
(Kindle, Fiction/Romance)

Synopsis taken from Goodreads:  To save her family home, impulsive bookstore owner, Alexa Maria McKenzie, casts a love spell. But she never planned on conjuring up her best friend's older brother—the powerful man who once shattered her heart.

Billionaire Nicholas Ryan doesn’t believe in marriage, but in order to inherit his father’s corporation, he needs a wife and needs one fast. When he discovers his sister’s childhood friend is in dire financial straits, he’s offers Alexa a bold proposition.

A marriage in name only with certain rules: Avoid entanglement. Keep things all business. Do not fall in love. The arrangement is only for a year so the rules shouldn’t be that hard to follow, right?

Except fate has a way of upsetting the best-laid plans…

My thoughts:  The Marriage Bargain is a quick, fun read that had me laughing out loud and falling in love with the characters... I liked it so much that I read it twice!  I enjoyed that Alexa and Nick weren't two strangers who meet at the right time, they actually know each other since childhood... Alexa had a crush on Nick until he broke her heart.  With their history and hidden attraction for each other, the dialogue and interactions between them was very entertaining. 

This is the first novel by Jennifer Probst that I've read and I'll definitely read more of her novels in the near future.  I would recommend this to anyone who enjoys a light romantic novel with the typical "happily ever after" ending, and let's face it... I'm a sucker for happy endings.

Fifty Shades Trilogy by E.L. James

 After reading the Fifty Shades Trilogy I sort of turned into a romance/smut junkie... I embarrassed to admit that I couldn't get enough of the hot and steamy. I stumbled upon a few recommendations that Amazon thought I would like and I was pleasantly surprised that I did enjoy a couple.

Even though my blog posts of lately have been absent of stamping related projects I do appreciate those of you that have stayed with me and still stop by for the occasional visit. ~ Jovi

Fifty Shades of Grey
Fifty Shades #1
by E.L. James

(Kindle, Adult Fiction)

Synopsis taken from Goodreads: When literature student Anastasia Steele is drafted to interview the successful young entrepreneur Christian Grey for her campus magazine, she finds him attractive, enigmatic and intimidating. Convinced their meeting went badly, she tries to put Grey out of her mind - until he happens to turn up at the out-of-town hardware store where she works part-time.

The unworldly, innocent Ana is shocked to realize she wants this man, and when he warns her to keep her distance it only makes her more desperate to get close to him. Unable to resist Ana’s quiet beauty, wit, and independent spirit, Grey admits he wants her - but on his own terms.

Shocked yet thrilled by Grey's singular erotic tastes, Ana hesitates. For all the trappings of success – his multinational businesses, his vast wealth, his loving adoptive family – Grey is man tormented by demons and consumed by the need to control. When the couple embarks on a passionate, physical and daring affair, Ana learns more about her own dark desires, as well as the Christian Grey hidden away from public scrutiny.

Can their relationship transcend physical passion? Will Ana find it in herself to submit to the self-indulgent Master? And if she does, will she still love what she finds?

Erotic, amusing, and deeply moving, the Fifty Shades Trilogy is a tale that will obsess you, possess you, and stay with you forever.

Fifty Shades Darker
Fifty Shades #2
by E.L. James

(Kindle, Adult Fiction)

Synopsis taken from Goodreads: Daunted by the singular tastes and dark secrets of the beautiful, tormented young entrepreneur Christian Grey, Anastasia Steele has broken off their relationship to start a new career with a Seattle publishing house.

But desire for Christian still dominates her every waking thought, and when he proposes a new arrangement, Anastasia cannot resist. They rekindle their searing sensual affair, and Anastasia learns more about the harrowing past of her damaged, driven and demanding Fifty Shades.

While Christian wrestles with his inner demons, Anastasia must confront the anger and envy of the women who came before her, and make the most important decision of her life.

Fifty Shades Freed
Fifty Shades #3
by E.L. James

(Kindle, Adult Fiction)

Synopsis taken from Goodreads: When unworldly student Anastasia Steele first encountered the driven and dazzling young entrepreneur Christian Grey it sparked a sensual affair that changed both of their lives irrevocably. Shocked, intrigued, and, ultimately, repelled by Christian’s singular erotic tastes, Ana demands a deeper commitment. Determined to keep her, Christian agrees.

Now, Ana and Christian have it all—love, passion, intimacy, wealth, and a world of possibilities for their future. But Ana knows that loving her Fifty Shades will not be easy, and that being together will pose challenges that neither of them would anticipate. Ana must somehow learn to share Christian’s opulent lifestyle without sacrificing her own identity. And Christian must overcome his compulsion to control as he wrestles with the demons of a tormented past.

Just when it seems that their strength together will eclipse any obstacle, misfortune, malice, and fate conspire to make Ana’s deepest fears turn to reality.

My thoughts: Oh my gosh, where do I begin.

I heard and read so much about the Fifty Shades Trilogy from TV talk shows and magazines that I had to looked it up, read the product description and decided that it didn't seem like my kind of book. Later my two nieces and several friends mentioned it to me again and I decided to read the first one to see what all the hoopla was about, I downloaded it and kept an open mind.

I was a bit intimidated about these books in the beginning because of the intense sex scenes and subject matter (BDSM), I felt so out of my comfort zone. Once I started reading I couldn't put my Kindle down, it kept my interest from page to page and I quickly downloaded book two and three.  I enjoyed these books, all three, each one more than the last, so much so that I read the trilogy twice.

I've read many different reviews about these books and it seems that you would either love it or hate it because of the way it's written or the fact that the author originally published it as a Fan Fiction story. I have to agree with the people who said it was not well written, if you can get pass the writing and go with the story line itself you would find a very sweet love story about two people with a lot to learn, one being more messed up emotionally than the other.. at least that's what I found.

City of Lost Souls (The Mortal Instruments #5) by Cassandra Clare

City of Lost Souls
(The Mortal Instruments #5)
by Cassandra Clare
(Hardcover, 534 pages, Young Adult)

Synopsis taken from Goodreads:  The demon Lilith has been destroyed and Jace freed from captivity. But when the Shadowhunters arrive, they find only blood and broken glass. Not only is the boy Clary loves missing, so is the boy she hates: her brother Sebastian, who is determined to bring the Shadowhunters to their knees.

The Clave's magic cannot locate either boy, but Jace can't stay away from Clary. When they meet again Clary discovers the horror Lilith's magic has wrought - Jace and Sebastian are now bound to each other, and Jace has become a servant of evil. The Clave is determined to destroy Sebastian, but there is no way to harm one boy without destroying the other.

Only a few people believe that Jace can still be saved. Together, Alec, Magnus, Simon, and Isabelle bargain with the sinister Seelie Queen, contemplate deals with demons, and turn at last to the merciless, weapon-making Iron Sisters, who might be able to forge a weapon that can sever the bond between Sebastian and Jace. If the Iron Sisters can't help, their only hope is to challenge Heaven and Hell - a risk that could claim their lives.

And they must do it without Clary. For Clary is playing a dangerous game utterly alone. The price of losing not just her own life, but Jace's soul. She's willing to do anything for Jace, but can she still trust him? Or is he truly lost? What price is too high to pay, even for love?

Love. Blood. Betrayal. Revenge. Darkness threatens to claim the Shadowhunters in the harrowing fifth book of the Mortal Instruments series.

My thoughts:  I have been a fan of Cassandra Clare's Mortal Instrument Series for a few years now and I think it's a safe bet to say that it is my one of my favorite book series, City of Lost Souls is the fifth book of the series. Clare is an author who proves to me time and time again just how brilliant of a writer she is. The story is developing into being centered on a lot more characters other than Jace and Clary, it really gives those secondary characters that we all love a chance to stand out.

I highly recommend this Young Adult series to everyone, Clare has created a fantastic world that has captured my imagination, it's going to be difficult to wait until March 2014... the expected release date of City of Heavenly Fire.