Carnal Beginnings, Reily Garret
Genre: Mystery and Thrillers, Erotic Romance.
Review from Jeannie Zelos book reviews
This was a mix for me, parts that I enjoyed and yet a lot that I had difficulty in accepting. The book itself is well written and I liked tha characters. I do like a good Bi tch in a book, so Jackie was a great person for me, I love some one snide and nasty and she was…I wouldn’t have minded seeing more of her. Even with her though there were things that felt not quite right to me. Would she really bully another employee in front f her boss? Surely when she did he would have said something? I’ve found most bullies like to keep their actions away from those above them, they really are cowards at heart.
Adara –I liked her, and she’d certainly gone through the mill. She’s very much in a dream world with her attraction to her boss, and that’s clear to the awful work colleague Jackie who derides her for it. Still, what she doesn’t know is that Julien is really attracted to Adara too….and as he takes steps to get closer to her he learns more about her traumatic background. Things all come to a head at the same time as he’s trying to get to know her, with her cousin and uncle really not liking Julien’s interference. So good so far, and I was enjoying this though with a few reservations. Then as things get more dangerous she stays with Julien, and its like a red rag, the dangers get ever more real, with a close friend going missing, she gets stalkers and sneaking attacks on her, making her ever more afraid. Luckily Julien and his brothers are well placed to deal with things like this.
The main plot was excellent and the dangers felt very real, the office banter very genuine, the sex was pretty hot and sensual. What gave me a problem though was the reality. I need to feel a plot could be real, that unless I’m reading fantasy everything that happens could happen. The events that occurred her were fine in that respect except for the timing. It all happens over a very short timespan, just a couple of weeks it seems, and I just couldn’t see Adara going from the serious trauma and long term abuse, beatings, rapes, mental ignominies to accepting all Julien says and does. His commands to strip for instance, meant to encourage her confidence and engender trust in him I think – just didn’t work for me. Same with visiting the club, its all too much too soon for me. Everything I’ve read about BDSM and abuse leans towards a very long recuperation, a slow desensitisation, and not just a couple of club visits, a couple of nights talking and “playing” and its all systems go. Given what she’s been through, and her declaration of thinking she’d never want sex for pleasure, I found it really hard to believe that she was wanting to make love with Julien just a couple of days later. Oddly I’ve just reviewed another story, different plot but one where the action again covers a couple of weeks, and the mental turnaround of the main characters is so massive that I felt it too needed more time…maybe its just me, that I need a bit more believability before I can be convinced. Clearly not everyone feels this way from the number of high star reviews. It doesn’t mean I didn’t like the book, I did , just that I have reservations. The part toward the end, where Julien gets some bad news – that was just the sort of timescale I want/need, where its weeks, and the drama gets properly (IMO) strung out, time to develop and feels so much more realistic. If the whole book had been that way I’d have rated much higher.
Stars: Three and a half. A mixed review – some parts I really enjoyed, and could go along with, others I had cautions over.
ARC provided by author.
Shadowed Horizons, (Anath 1) , Shyla Wolff
Genre: Fantasy/Paranormal Romance
Review from Jeannie Zelos book reviews
This novel has so much in it and to begin felt a little confusing. Not only was there a world with supernatural elements in it to understand, but three separate groups of people – all with paranormal talents. Two of them work for good but one – well Roth is very evil, very cruel and has no thoughts for anything but his own power. He doesn’t care how he gets it, who he needs to take down and will use anyone to achieve his aims. at times his methods were very grisly and made me feel a bit queasy, and I had to skim read – my bad – I’m a bit of a wimp about anything too gruesome!
The characters in this read are well developed, and I enjoyed seeing them in their day to day roles as well as using their supernatural talents. I get the feeling two of the groups will link up at some point via the two girls, but who knows? Its a guess only …I still don’t really know too much about what’s actually going on, who – if anyone – is behind the two “good” groups, and how they are funded. Those homes, and the weapons and cars don’t come cheap, and they all seem to live very comfortably. Then of course who is it that’s after Carlin and why? First books in a series often fall like this though – setting out many new questions as they answer those posed. Its a tough task being the first book, and this one stands up well. It gives enough info that by the end I was beginning to feel I understood more about the different groups, and am curious to see where the story goes now. Its a fun read, no vampires and shape shifters but what appear to be ( and appearances can be deceiving!) humans with extra supernatural talents. I enjoyed the way the animals were brought in too with the girls being able to link and communicate with them to a degree. I’ve always wanted to do that – I’m jealous….There’s also two clear romances in the story that are developing, and I do like a side helping of romance with my fantasy reads. It’s going to be fun to see how those develop.
It ends at a natural point, no horrible cliff-hangers, but some leads into next episode.
Stars: Four and a half, a fun read with plenty of solid and realistic characters, and a good mystery to puzzle out.
ARC provided by author