[670]: The Sunlight Pilgrims by Jenni Fagan

22399997 The Sunlight Pilgrims by Jenni Fagan
Hogarth | March 24th, 2016
Adult Fiction
Rating 4 out of 5 Stars

Set in a Scottish caravan park during a freak winter – it is snowing in Jerusalem, the Thames is overflowing, and an iceberg separated from the Fjords in Norway is expected to arrive off the coast of Scotland – THE SUNLIGHT PILGRIMS tells the story of a small Scottish community living through what people have begun to think is the end of times.

Bodies are found frozen in the street with their eyes open, euthanasia has become an acceptable response to economic collapse, schooling and health care are run primarily on a voluntary basis. But daily life carries on: Dylan, a refugee from panic-stricken London who is grieving for his mother and his grandmother, arrives in the caravan park in the middle of the night – to begin his life anew.

This book is tough to review. On the one hand, I’m somewhat disappointed because I assumed this book to be about panic and hysteria brought on by the coming ice age. On the other, I’m in awe of what Ms Fagan was able to accomplish here. Although there is an unfair balance between the two plot arches in this book, I was able to appreciate the sentiment.

I’ve always been a fan of apocalyptic books. I’m especially fond of reading (or watching) something close to reality like environmental and natural disasters. The Sunlight Pilgrims is about global warming and how it melted the icebergs. Consequently, it brought a cooling of the oceans, which then created  the weather phenomena that would usher in an Ice Age of biblical proportions. But if you’re expecting mayhem and chaos, you’d be disappointed like I was. We don’t see the panic that Hollywood is only too happy to show us in films. We don’t see people hoarding sweaters, food, and firewood. What we see are three people going about their lives not at all worried about the coldest, longest winter they’ll ever have.

In the forefront is Dylan who just lost his mum and gran almost simultaneously. They’d been his life along with a cinema that he’d had to give up because he could no longer afford it. His mum made provisions for him to live in a Scottish caravan community where he would meet Stella and Constance. In Clachan Fells, he hopes to deal with the grief of losing the two people who have been the sum of everything he was. Not knowing anything else but tending to a defunct small theatre would prove to be a struggle.

Constance is a fiercely independent woman who gives zero fucks about the gossips from her neighbours. From a long affair with two men that sometimes overlapped, to her daughter, Stella who once was a boy named, Cael, Constance marched to the beat of her own drum. Stella is transgender on the cusp of puberty. If she ever has any hopes of completing her change, she needs to start taking her hormone pills soon. But the coming ice age might impede the very thing she’d always wished for since she’d become aware of her true self.

These three people are survivors regardless of whether or not they survive what’s coming. Their false fearlessness convinced me that there was nothing to worry about; which is an odd thing to feel considering the scope of the impending doom.  The ice age was always in the periphery but the book spotlights humanity above all else. I am a newbie to Jenni Fagan’s writing (though, I own her other book, Panopticon). Well, let me tell you that this woman can write. The poet in her shines through with every beautiful imagery despite the bleakness of the situation. The ending was the kind of ending that left me scrambling and wishing there was more. Definitely more than the Acknowledgement page, that is.

[669]: The Angels’ Share by JR Ward

26024583 The Angels’ Share by JR Ward
Series: The Bourbon Kings, #2
NAL | July 26th, 2016
Adult Fiction | Contemporary Fiction
Rating: 4 out of 5 Stars

In Charlemont, Kentucky, the Bradford family is the crème de la crème of high society—just like their exclusive brand of bourbon. And their complicated lives and vast estate are run by a discrete staff who inevitably become embroiled in their affairs. This is especially true now, when the apparent suicide of the family patriarch is starting to look more and more like murder…

No one is above suspicion—especially the eldest Bradford son, Edward. The bad blood between him and his father is known far and wide, and he is aware that he could be named a suspect. As the investigation into the death intensifies, he keeps himself busy at the bottom of a bottle—as well as with his former horse trainer’s daughter. Meanwhile, the family’s financial future lies in the perfectly manicured hands of a business rival, a woman who wants Edward all to herself.

Everything has consequences; everybody has secrets. And few can be trusted. Then, at the very brink of the family’s demise, someone thought lost to them forever returns to the fold. Maxwell Bradford has come home. But is he a savior…or the worst of all the sinners?

The Bourbon Kings ended with the mystery of the patriarch’s death; consequently laying the foundation for this installment. And since this is JR Ward, I didn’t expect that death to be the only story arch in this book. There was the ongoing saga of Gin’s trainwreck of a life; the lingering pest that was Lane’s ex-wife, and the long-lost brother who decided to show up for the funeral. But where has he been? If you’ve read the first book and are dying to know, you won’t get your answer, unfortunately. Not to be outdone, Edward -scarred and battle-worn as he was, struggle with his feelings for two women: one, a long time family adversary, and another, a young ranch helper left in his care.

So the patriarch is dead. And the suspicion fell heavily on one of the Bradfords. Particularly, the eldest son. The long tumultuous history between Edward and his father went as far back as when he was only a child himself. Cumulating to when Edward was abducted for ransom in South America only to find out that his father orchestrated it all. To say the two had bad blood is putting it mildly.

No one is free of guilt and Tulane can also be a suspect if revenge is the name of the game. After all, their father had an affair with his soon-to-be ex-wife, who, by the way, is carrying his father’s child. So his enemy is a mile-long list. The majority of the book was also about the non-existent family fortune. It turns out that millions of millions of dollars have swindled by their father. Close to being destitute, the burden now rests on Tulane’s shoulders since Edward wants nothing to do with the family and Maxwell is still MIA.

The majority of the book was also about the non-existent family fortune. It turns out that millions of millions of dollars have been swindled by their father. Close to being destitute, the burden now rests on Tulane’s shoulders since Edward wants nothing to do with the family.

The plot thickens.

JR Ward has kept up the same pace with The Bourbon Kings. Lots of intrigues and mysteries; excess and gossip. Lane and Lizzie are working hard to keep their heads above the water, but it’s been a constant struggle. In this instalment, we also see a change in Gin’s and Samuel’s attitudes toward the other. I’m glad to see it, as they were exhausting in the first book. They finally realize how destructive they’ve been and that perhaps now was not their time.  We also see a bit more clarity with the Edward/Shelby, Edward/Sutton quasi-love triangle. I’m glad it didn’t go the way I thought it was going to go. But oh, man. Things are not going to end well for dear Edward but I’m keeping fervent hope that it’ll all workout.

Folks, this is the kind of soap opera I could waste my brain on.

I can’t wait to see Lane bring their family fortune from the brink.

I can’t wait to find out where Maxwell has been all this time.

I can’t wait to see what’s going to happen to Edward.

And lastly, I can’t wait to see Gin and Samuel’s song and dance come to an end.

Hoarders, Books Edition: Episode 189


Sleeping Giants by Sylvain Neuvel | Sting by Sandra Brown | Nevernight by Jay Kristoff | All the Ugly and Wonderful Things by Bryn Greenwood | A Storm of Swords by George R.R. Martin | Thief of Lies by Brenda Drake | Vicarious by Paula Stokes | P.S. I Like You by Kasie West | It Ends With Us by Colleen Hoover | The Hating Game by Sally Thorne | The Light Between Oceans by M.L. Stedman

Sorry. Sorry. Sorry.

I’m currently experiencing a funk of sort.  I usually do advance postings during the weekend, but since it’s Summer, they’re pretty much relegated to family barbecues. We seem to be having them on the regular lately. I’ve also decided to put my Fitbit to good use so I’m exhausted when I get home from work. On my lunch hour, I spend my time walking and then when my husband picks me up from work, he drops me off miles from home. So yes. All I want to do when I get home is to sleep. So I’m sorry for not having anything new on the blog.

That being said, can I just say that the books above are all gorgeous? I just want to read them all but I know I can’t because I have so many books for reviews. I need to find the motivation to read them all after I finish all the ones I’ve started. And you’re not seeing doubles; I do, indeed, own two copies of Sting and Nevernight because I’m the stupid one who pre-orders copies then buy them on release days at the bookstore. Idiot.

I’ve already read P.S. I Like You by Kasie West. My daughter saw the book I was reading, scoffed, and said, “Mom, that book looks so cheesy.” I told her I will not tolerate book-shaming in my house. Lol.

Peer Pressured – Books that I picked up because you told me to.

30114928 29954226 29485840

From the Thrift Shop:


Mr. Mercedes by Stephen King | The Phantom of the Opera by Gaston Leroux | Letting Go by Maya Banks | Giving In by Maya Banks | Taking It All by Maya Banks

Gah. My daughter needs to stop coercing me to go thrift shopping with her. Seriously.

Reading Update:

I am not reading anything at the moment. I know I need to get going on those ARCs, but I just don’t know where to start. I suppose I should pick by chronological release. Sigh.

Happy reading, y’all.

Confessions of An Addict [45]: What My Kids Are Reading


From time to time, I’m able to coerce my kids (and sometimes my husband) for a feature post. I’ve done this particular one before where I talked about my kids’ reading taste at the moment. I thought I’d revisit and actually see what they’ve recently read, or currently reading.

My 15-year-old daughter recently picked up a book about a girl orphaned as a child and whose uncle sold into a prostitution ring afterwards. It’s all kinds of heartbreaking, to be honest. And I’m equally in awe and a little nervous with her choice. But I trust her and since I’ve never been one to censure, we’ll see how it goes. I’m not gonna lie, I actually like the sound of this book. I might just borrow it from her when she’s done.


On my last post, I’ve mentioned that my son has never been one to read a story book. So on his last book order before school ended for the summer, he ordered a Minecraft strategy book. I don’t know why considering he hasn’t played Minecraft in a while. I asked him this question but he only shrugged and said, “it’s interesting”.

I’m always curious to see what other people are reading. Admittedly, my kids don’t read as often as I’d like but I’m trying to get them to read at their own pace. You can’t force these things. Today more than ever, I’m reminded of my failure to expose them to Harry Potter books as soon as they’re able to read at that level. Because I’ve noticed that kids who grew up reading HP books are the kids that grow up as readers right through adulthood. I’m keeping my hopes alive that they’ll inherit my love for the printed word someday soon.

Were you raised, a reader?

What are your kids reading nowadays?

Books mentioned in this post:

1798248 19535135

[669]: Curious Minds by Janet Evanovich and Phoef Sutton

28524313 Series: Knight and Moon, #1
Penguin Random House | August 16th, 2016
Source: Publisher
Adult Fiction | Suspense
Rating: 4 out of 5 Stars

Emerson Knight is introverted, eccentric, and has little to no sense of social etiquette. Good thing he’s also brilliant, rich, and (some people might say) handsome, or he’d probably be homeless. Riley Moon has just graduated from Harvard Business and Harvard Law. Her aggressive Texas spitfire attitude has helped her land her dream job as a junior analyst with mega-bank Blane-Grunwald. At least Riley Moon thought it was her dream job, until she is given her first assignment: babysitting Emerson Knight.

What starts off as an inquiry about missing bank funds in the Knight account leads to inquiries about a missing man, missing gold, and a life-and-death race across the country. Through the streets of Washington, D.C., and down into the underground vault of the Federal Reserve in New York City, an evil plan is exposed. A plan so sinister that only a megalomaniac could think it up, and only the unlikely duo of the irrepressibly charming Emerson Knight and the tenacious Riley Moon can stop it.

Short and sweet today as I’m not feeling well. It’s been a rough day. 

Janet Evanovich is one of those authors who has been around forever. Unfortunately, I’ve yet to get a taste for her books. I was excited to see this one listed on the available for request from Penguin’s email so I thought I might as well take advantage of the opportunity.

There’s always something surreal when you open a book by a well-established author for the very first time. It’s like discovering new words again constructed in a way you’ve never read before. Though this book was written tandemly with another author, the novelty will not wear off anytime soon, I think.

Curious Minds offers a light mystery to those who are looking for a quick, enjoyable read. The narrative was very laid back with quirky characters that you’ll either take to easily or frown upon with quizzical brows. I found myself forgiving the less than realistic antics of an eccentric billionaire for reasons other than he was a hoot. He was stoic and dry at times that he doesn’t realize he was being unintentionally funny. Though, I should include a disclaimer that you’ll have to suspend disbelief more often with this story. Because the authors took liberties with their characterization of Moon and Knight, it was sometimes too unbelievable even for fiction. But I, for one, didn’t mind it too terribly.

There’s a lot to look forward to in this series, I think. I enjoyed the light mystery it offers, the humor, and the little insight on how the Federal Reserves works. And I can’t wait to see what this duo will get up to! They’re the perfect pairing personality wise. Moon takes herself way too seriously while Knight has a way of keeping cool under incredible pressure. I do feel like a romance is brewing, but not too much or too fast. Whatever’s in store with these two, rest assured, I’ll be at the bookstore come release day for the second book!

[668]: Lady Midnight by Cassandra Clare

25494343 Lady Midnight by Cassandra Clare
Series: The Dark Artifices, #1
Margaret K. McElderry Books | March 8th, 2016
Young Adult | Fantasy | Romance
Rating: 5 out of 5 Stars

In a kingdom by the sea…

In a secret world where half-angel warriors are sworn to fight demons, parabatai is a sacred word.

A parabatai is your partner in battle. A parabatai is your best friend. Parabatai can be everything to each other—but they can never fall in love.

Emma Carstairs is a warrior, a Shadowhunter, and the best in her generation. She lives for battle. Shoulder to shoulder with her parabatai, Julian Blackthorn, she patrols the streets of Los Angeles, where vampires party on the Sunset Strip, and faeries—the most powerful of supernatural creatures—teeter on the edge of open war with Shadowhunters. When the bodies of humans and faeries turn up murdered in the same way Emma’s parents were when she was a child, an uneasy alliance is formed. This is Emma’s chance for revenge—and Julian’s chance to get back his brother Mark, who is being held prisoner by the faerie Courts. All Emma, Mark, and Julian have to do is solve the murders within two weeks…and before the murderer targets them.

Their search takes Emma from sea caves full of sorcery to a dark lottery where death is dispensed. And each clue she unravels uncovers more secrets. What has Julian been hiding from her all these years? Why does Shadowhunter Law forbid parabatai to fall in love? Who really killed her parents—and can she bear to know the truth?

We first met Julian and Emma as kids in the last book of The Mortal Instruments. Barely escaping death, the kids were shell-shocked by what they witnessed as they fled the Los Angeles Institute. What’s more, a couple of their siblings were taken: one by the hunt, and the other – exiled. These kids grew up pretty fast.  Since the Blackthorns were killed during the Dark Days, Julian has had to play the role of the father figure to the rest of his siblings. On top of that, they had to hide the fact that their uncle barely has the capacity to look after himself, let alone run an institute. So Julian and Emma  hid this fact to the Clave to ensure that the rest of the Blackthorns will never be separated. But now something bigger is at stake

When the bodies of murdered humans and faeries alike turned up in a way Emma’s dead parents were found, Emma and Julian found themselves consorting with the fairies to solve the murders. Part of the agreement was to hide the uneasy alliance from the Clave; because to align themselves with the fairy folk is a direct violation of the Accord. The kids may not have a choice, though. In fact, this may be their only chance to get their brother back. As they piece together the mystery of the murders, they unearth a tragic love story that could very well end in more tragedy.

My Thoughts

Cassandra Clare’s novels always leave me floundering for words. For someone who is infinitely against fantasy, she sure has a way of making me forget this fact. But then again, one could argue that this is not fantasy per se.

The story of Lady Midnight is a tragic one. Even more tragic? The developing love story between Emma and Julian. If there is one thing that I know with all certainty that will drive me up the wall about this new series is how CClare is going to tackle this slowly surging train wreck. I’m equally excited and terrified of it, to be honest. I remember when I first read City of Ashes many years ago and throwing it on the floor soon after finishing. I thought she was cruel when she took Jace and Clary’s relationship right in that shocking direction. But we all know how that turned out, so that gives me a little comfort. One thing’s for sure, the road to HEA will be paved with hapless agony.

Now, the haters out there are convinced that this is yet another attempt of Clare to beat a money-making cash cow. Those people are what I would call, WRONG. This was not an attempt to regurgitate a tired story line. We’re introduced to new adventures, new legends, and characters that will incite feelings of fealty and hatred on some. Hate it or love it, I know many of us will be on tenterhooks for the books to come. This exciting new series is the perfect panacea to those who are missing the TMI characters something fierce. We get glimpses of the characters we’ve adored over the years. And as a bonus Magnus and Alec’s adopted a blue baby. Like, literally blue. Love. Love.

[667]: The House at the Edge of Night by Catherine Banner

27163154 The House at the Edge of Night by Catherine Banner
Double Day Canada | July 12th, 2016
Adult Fiction | Historical
Rating: 5 out of 5 Stars

A sweeping, propulsive family saga set on a romantic and beautiful Italian island, for fans of Captain Corelli’s Mandolin and Beautiful Ruins.

On the tiny, idyllic island of Castellamare, off the coast of Sicily, lies The House at the Edge of Night, an ancient bar run by the Esposito family. There, over the course of three generations–from the eve of World War One to the aftershocks of the 2008 financial crisis–the Esposito women will fight to hold their family together against the threats that break across their shores. As lush and magical as the island at its centre, The House at the Edge of Night is a story of love and secrets, endurance, loss and, ultimately, triumph.

Admittedly, The House at the Edge of Night’s initial attraction was its similarities to Beautiful Ruins; a book that I’ve read recently and have enjoyed immensely. The  small town setting has always inspired a community ideal that’s magical to me. And the townspeople possess a certain magnetism that I fail to describe time and again. Catherine Banner showed the town’s beauty so viscerally at times that I can almost hear the cacophony of the tides lapping the shores and the seagulls circling the open seas for a snack or two.

The House at the Edge of Night is the  kind of book that you take to the beach because it is truly relaxing. The drama is virtually painless and much like Beautiful Ruins, it’s the perfect escape book. You will fall in love with the town and its people; its legends and myths. Castellamare may be fictional but it’s the very idea of such a town surviving in spite of itself, amid natural disasters and global economic collapse that makes it idyllic.

How do I explain the four generations of stories involved in this book? I suppose the story should begin with the patriarch of the Esposito family. So we start off with a foundling who grew up to be a doctor. After serving his time in the military, he found himself in a small town that was to become the root of his family genealogy. After a scandal involving this doctor and the count’s wife, he was shunned and was forced to either leave or do something else. But he loves Castellamare despite the humiliation and shunning he endured. He decided to stay put and opened a bar that  he called, The House at the Edge of Night. Over the years, this establishment will become more than just a watering hole.

Indeed, it wasn’t just a bar; it’s where he would raise his family for generations to come. It’s where he would lose two of his sons and watch another barely survive the aftereffects of war. It’s where he would see his daughter fall in love with an Englishman and watch her fight for her true self – broken heart and all. It’s where he would learn to appreciate the triumph of family and love amid loss; the strength of the townspeople’s faith in the face of troubles and camaraderie and comfort in what was simple and familiar.

This book might not be intellectually challenging but it’s viscerally beautiful. It is full of love and sensuality, superstition and charming candor. The simplicity of the way of life in the small town is its foremost attraction; the heart is its people. I’ve always said reading is the cheapest way to travel and Castellamare is as close as I’m ever going to being in Italy. This book reminded me of how wonderful it is to appreciate the comfortable and easy. Not everything we read has to break our hearts, reduce us to tears or make us think about the uncertainty of the future. Sometimes, we just have to watch the story unfold like a rolling film in black and white.

Shelf Conscious [3]: Jane And Elizabeth


In 2005, I discovered Jane Austen. I know, know. That’s fairly recent considering her books were published a couple of centuries ago. I saw this interview with Keira Knightley about a movie she was promoting at the time. I didn’t know what the movie was and frankly, didn’t really care. In the middle of the interview, they showed this clip:


I hadn’t a clue what they were going on about (the dialogue was too English and much too fast) but man, you can cut through the tension between them with a knife. She got my attention. I went on the internet and researched whatever I can about the movie. Since there was no way my husband would agree to see this period piece in the cinema, I knew I had to find another way. Again, this was pre-Goodreads era.  So when I found out about Pride & Prejudice was actually a novel, I knew I had to get it. But mostly, I was biding my time until I can get a copy of the movie. Thankfully, this was not a huge release so it was available just a few months thereafter.
Ever since then, I had to read all of Jane Austen’s books.  As far as literary heroes go, the dashing but recalcitrant Darcy was hard to forget. I thought for sure that it was going to be my all-time favorite. But I was wrong. Captain Wentworth made me forget Fitzwilliam Darcy’s existence almost in an instant.
Persuasion is probably the novel that made me fall in love with second-chance romances. Basically, Anne’s family was once rich who belittled Wentworth when he was a poor boy. Years later, the wheels have turned. He becomes a rich, decorated military man while Anne’s family is struggling to keep up appearances. Admittedly, the revenge wasn’t so sweet. Because for all the snobbery and attempts of hurting Anne, Wentworth suffered two-folds. And that is why Persuasion was my favorite of Austen’s novels.


Ah, but nothing could’ve prepared me for Mr. Thornton and Margaret. Looking back, I don’t remember how I discovered North and South. If Elizabeth Bennett is your homegirl because she’s all, girl-power and whatnot, Margaret Hale is the leader of their girl band. She is fearless as she is kind-hearted; charitable but opinionated. She fought for the rights of the poor people, but she didn’t stand for the violence they incite. This is England on the cusp of  Industrial Revolution when the rich who owned factories were against unionization. She’s a daughter of a pastor who served God and their fellowman. But she’s far from meek, and she wasn’t afraid to tell a man off. Unfortunately, that role was filled by Mr. Thornton on more than one occasion. You can tell he couldn’t decide whether to kiss her or strangle her or both. But I love the romance because, in the end, Margaret saved Mr. Thornton.

How did you discover Jane Austen?

Have you read North & South by Elizabeth Gaskell?

[666]: Dark Matter by Blake Crouch

27833670 Dark Matter by Blake Crouch
Random House Canada | July 26th, 2016
Science Fiction | Suspense
Rating: 5 out of 5 Stars

“Are you happy with your life?” Those are the last words Jason Dessen hears before the masked abductor knocks him unconscious. Before he awakens to find himself strapped to a gurney, surrounded by strangers in hazmat suits. Before a man Jason’s never met smiles down at him and says, “Welcome back, my friend.”

In this world he’s woken up to, Jason’s life is not the one he knows. His wife is not his wife. His son was never born. And Jason is not an ordinary college physics professor but a celebrated genius who has achieved something remarkable–something impossible.

Is it this world or the other that’s the dream? And even if the home he remembers is real, how can Jason possibly make it back to the family he loves? The answers lie in a journey more wondrous and horrifying than anything he could’ve imagined—one that will force him to confront the darkest parts of himself even as he battles a terrifying, seemingly unbeatable foe.

Novels with parallel universe typically confuse me. I spend a lot of time trying to follow the thread of each story lines. It’s a complicated subject that I more often than not, usually stay away from. I don’t know what it was that attracted me to this book. But when Penguin Random House Canada sent me an email, my curiosity won out and I requested a copy.

The story begins with a married couple whom on the surface, looks content. One is a professor teaching college level Physics and his wife, a former artist who is also a teacher. Their lives couldn’t be further from what they imagined them to be. But they could not admit the regrets of the choices they’ve made. See, Jason Dessen was once a brilliant Physicist on the cusp discovering something big; and his wife, Daniella was an artist on the verge of stardom. When she got pregnant with their son, they’ve made a choice to forgo their dreams and focus on the family they’re about to become. During the course of their marriage, Jason couldn’t help but think about how different their lives would’ve been. And like a self-fulfilling prophecy, Jason got his answer when he was abducted, beaten and woke up in a facility he doesn’t know and a life that wasn’t his.

So this was unexpected. I didn’t think it was possible to enjoy a Sci-Fi such as Dark Matter, but it happened. And with all the versions of Jason’s I had to sift through, it was a wonder how I didn’t end up screaming for the hills. It has a very interesting concept. One that involves a lot of Science I’d rather not bore you with. Basically, it’s about a guy who has an evil version of himself that invented this cube that can take him to different worlds – universes that had an infinite number of Jason’s. He had to find his home but each door leads to terrifying versions of his realities. I was terrified for him and had to constantly fight off the urge to skip ahead just to see whether or not he made it home. With every turn of the page, you’ll see every conceivable versions of the worlds dictated by his thoughts before jumping into the “box”. It was a heart stopping torture.

Dark Matter could easily have been confusing especially when the author chose a seemingly omniscient narrator to tell the story. With all the versions of Jason running around, it was tough to make sense of what was happening sometimes. But if you’re fully vested in the story, it wouldn’t be so bad. I like that this Sci-Fi has a heart. You’ll feel for the Jason that was lost and one who was willing to sacrifice himself just so his wife and his son can have a future and a life without having to worry about being hunted all their lives. I also like that no matter how technical Crouch can be at times, it wasn’t all that clinical or sterile like most of the Sci-Fis I’ve read so far. I didn’t have a hard time understanding all the thingamajigs and such. Overall, Dark Matter is easily a 2016 favorite. Multiverse trope isn’t a new thing to Sci-Fi, but for once, I didn’t have to work too hard to understand all its idiosyncrasies.

[665]: Burn Down the Night by Molly O’Keefe

27970260 Burn Down the Night by Molly O’Keefe
Series: Everything I Left Unsaid, #3
Loveswept | August 9, 2016
Adult Fiction | Romance | Suspense
Rating: 1 out of 5 Stars

The only thing that matters to me is rescuing my sister from the drug-cooking cult that once enslaved us both. I’ve run cons my whole life, and I’ll use my body to get whatever I need. Max Daniels is the last connection I have to that world, the one person reckless enough to get involved. Besides, now that his brothers have turned on him, he needs me too.

The deal was supposed to be simple: a place to hide in exchange for rescuing my sister. Now he’s my prisoner. Totally at my mercy. But I’m the one captivated. Enthralled. Doing everything he asks of me until I’m not sure who’s in control.

We both crave the heat. The more it hurts, the better. But what if Max wants a different life now, to leave the game . . . to love me? I thought I knew better than to get burned. Now I’m in too deep to pull away. And the crazy thing is . . . I don’t want to.

It is with my utmost and heartfelt regret that I’m writing this review. If I’m being honest, my real feelings go deeper than dislike. I had so many problems with this installment – mostly centered on the major characters. Frankly, they did some things that I didn’t agree with and the stuff they pulled on each other was despicable. Regardless of how the story went and no matter how satisfying that ending was, I couldn’t get past my initial revulsion. This is why I’m not cut out for angst or anything resembling dark erotic tales. It reminded me of how I felt about Tiffany Reisz’ The Original Sinners novels and A.N. Roquelaure’s Sleeping Beauty series. My curiosity got the better of me on that one.

In case you’re not familiar with this series, the second book ended with Max and Joan/Olivia on the run from the MC gang that Max used to lead. Having barely escaped death, Joan drove to Florida where she knew her aunt would be able to fix  the bloodied and beaten Max. Her plan of rescuing her sister from the hands of a sadistic drug lord was temporarily on hold – at least until Max recovers from his wounds. But Max was bent on revenge so Joan had to literally handcuff him to make sure he doesn’t escape. This did not bode well with Max. Thus begins the agony of watching a twisted foreplay before my eyes. While some would find it erotic, I found it painful to read. They were borderline abusive and toxic; so much so that it made me feel uncomfortable.

There was also a scene that I couldn’t bear to read. I’d rather not say what it was, but I wasn’t a fan. I skimmed that part mostly because I really hated it. At that point, I debated whether or not I should continue. Truth be told, I haven’t DNF’d a book in a couple of years, so I was not about to let this book change that. I persevered but my face had a permanent grimace the whole time I was reading it. Personal feelings aside, Molly O’Keefe captured Max and Joan in all their broken glory. They’re both determined, albeit, self-destructive; guilt-ridden but their hearts are in the right place – at least when it comes to protecting their families. It takes patience to be able to endure them, and unfortunately, they caught me at a time when I was feeling a bit less generous.

Despite my abhorrence to this book, I’m very excited to read the next one which is, hopefully, Tiffany and Blake’s story. From what I’ve read so far, these two are a ticking time bomb. Everything I Left Unsaid is, arguably one of the best NA series out there. I hope this review will not deter you from reading the books because you would be missing out on stories that are true, gritty, and heartbreaking.