Sins and Needles

This review contains spoilers. 

Sins & Needles by Karina Halle

16029994

  • Genre : Contemporary Romance
  • Date Started :  July 10, 2015
  • Date Finished : July 15, 2015

Description: You can read the full description from GoodReads. This is the 1st book in The Artists Trilogy.

This book is about a woman with many names…Okay she is a Con artist hence the many names. In this book she decides to move back to her home town, stop grifting and conning. Ellie wants to start fresh. She thinks everyone she used to know has probably moved away because why would anyone want to stay in a small town? Her Uncle tells her she can’t live with him and she runs into her ex Highschool best friend in a coffee shop her first day back. Starting fresh has not been as easy as she thought and when she hears that Camden, her ex best friend is rich, the con artist in her can’t resist the temptation. Things heat up between the two and we learn that Camden has always loved Ellie, even after she broke his heart back in highschool. Everything turns to shit though when Ellie breaks into Camden’s home and tries to steal his money, because he is well off, it’s ok, right?

In a twist, Camden knew this was coming. He had hoped it would not but knew he couldn’t trust Ellie and set her up to take the bait. In his mind, he wanted to move past the hurt she caused when they were in highschool and hoped that they could, if she would have not attempted to steal from him. Camden gets really angry, holds Ellie hostage and threatens her. He’s willing to let her go though if she agrees to help him. See Camden is in trouble and wants his own fresh start and thinks Ellie can get that for him. They spend a few days planning his new life and making a plan and then Ellie’s past catches up with her.

Ellie panics and convinces Camden they need to leave NOW. So they run and take the money that Camden has. This money isn’t really Camden’s though, it’s his ex-wife’s families money that he has been laundering for them. Now Ellie and Camden are going to casinos to launder money the way Ellie knows how, gambling, so they can escape both their pasts and start fresh. Ellie’s past catches up to them and eventually uses her Uncle to track her down. Camden suspects this to be a trap but Ellie just can’t leave without helping out her Uncle. Sure enough, her uncle sets her up but Camden and Ellie escape, but not for long. Javier, who is Ellie’s past lover and one major reason she has been running all this time, decides to team up with Camden’s ex’s family. Camden’s ex wife and child are then held and threatened until Ellie agrees to go with Javier.

I don’t want to say this was a bad book because it was not. It reads well and while I enjoyed the overall story, I didn’t care much for the characters. The story was going great for me until Ellie attempted to con Camden. The story went down hill from there for me. Part of that has to do with them being flawed characters who make horrible decision and sort of do bad things. I understand characters who are not perfect, who have issues and are effected by them but I’m over the sad and pointless pity parties some characters throw themselves. I was not a fan of Ellie character at all, everything, all of what she was bugged me. As for Camden, I don’t want to say I loved him or disliked him but the abrupt change in his personality multiple times though out the story threw me. I liked to see a character with so many sides and while some of the emotions were natural and flowed, some felt like they came out of left field. I got nice and sweet, confident, playful, then flashes of rage that frightened me, then docile, then more flashes of rage, back to sweet and playful, then suspicion.

I finished the book 5 days after I started it because once they, Ellie and Camden went on the run, I lost interest in the story. This is the first book in the Artist Trilogy and I’m not sure if I want to continue or not. I might push on sometime in the future but right now, I’m done with this series. I might try another series of the author though, just not this one. Overall I’m giving this book a 2.5 stars because I did enjoy the book in the beginning but I will not be reading it again.

Tangled Taurus Book Review Rating 2.5 Stars

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Beautiful Disaster

This review contains spoilers. 

Beautiful Disaster by Jamie McGuire

15749887

  • Genre : New Adult – Romance – Contemporary
  • Date Started :  February 13, 2015
  • Date Finished : March 20, 2015

Description: You can read the full description from the author’s website.

Abby is supposed to be a good girl with a past, Travis is supposed to be a tattoo’d thug.

This story is about a girl who meets a guy, they become friends and fall madly in love. Their love is similar to obsession and can be typical in young love. At first Abby is sassy and doesn’t want to be with Travis. I enjoyed this part of their friendship and liked their bantering back and forth as the book goes along. After spending time with him because of a bet, Abby falls in love with Travis. This happens fairly fast and it’s cute and sort of heartwarming. The problems appear when the obsession becomes possession and tempers rise. At this point in the book, I actually became a little uncomfortable. I don’t like violence in my romance novels and was worried where this was going. Especially after reading some other reviews. While there are a lot of red flags, at no time did I think he would hit Abby or even her friend America. Travis is scary intense though.

I felt a lot of emotions while reading this book, worry, pity, sadness, hope, love and irritation. To me, this is not your typical romance, not what I’ve normally come to expect from contemporary romance books. Now I only recently started reading new adult, so I can’t say if it is typical for this genre. If it is, I should stop reading new adult because I’m pretty sure I growled a few times in frustration. I mean, McGuire writes college age students pretty spot on but they are still annoying.

The two main characters drove me nuts. Between their poor communication skills, lack of maturity and disastrous decision making skills, I almost didn’t finish this book. Abby and Travis’s relationship is not a beautiful disaster its a, excuse my language, fucking mess! There were so many times where they could have avoided a fight if they would have talked about things. Honestly this story should have ended at the 75% mark and I would have probably rated it higher. The end basically came screaming fast. I get that the adrenaline and life threatening fire experience probably had a lot to do with it but marriage, come on. I feel like we could have had the last quarter of the book start book 2.

I was not sure how I would feel about this book. While reading it, it had it’s moments. When I started the book I was hooked and loved Travis and thought Abby’s witty remarks were entertaining. As the book went on I started becoming uneasy with Travis but still held out thinking anything bad of him. He was too intense, too obsessive and possessive towards Abby but he treated her well and he was an all around decent guy. Abby on the other hand started to annoy the crap out of me as the book went on. She played with Travis’s feelings and constantly made matters worse. You know how your boyfriend feels about you, why the hell would you just sneak out and leave? Why would you let him tell you he is backing off, when you finally decided to get back together? I’m not condoning she be a doormat or tiptoe around Travis in order to not make him mad but she didn’t have to be so stupid.

My last thought because this is getting long and i’ll probably mess up explaining this but here it goes. I realize that I might be a hypocrite in saying I don’t like violence in my romance. If this was a paranormal romance, I would not feel uneasy and Travis’s behavior would not make me bat an eye. There is some part of my brain that thinks a man with Travis’s obsession with Abby and the possessiveness of them both can not be in a contemporary romance. Contemporary is just too real and I know that Travis would cause red flags to go up with any sane woman. I feel like there is hope for both main characters to mature and change but to me, their characters had very little growth in this book.

I’m giving Beautiful Disaster by Jamie McGuire a 3 star.

Tangled Taurus Book Review Rating 3 Stars

Ugly Love Review *Spoilers*

Ugly Love by Colleen Hoover

17788401

  • Genre : New Adult Contemporary Romance
  • Date Started :  February 8, 2015
  • Date Finished : February 9, 2015

Description: You can read the full description from Simon & Schuster.

Ugly love is about learning to accept the ugly side of love not just the beautiful. Miles has a past that he can’t get over and refuses to even try. Tate is the girl next door, no really, she lives next door with her brother. They meet on one of Miles’s darkest days but the sexual tension between them could fill the entire apartment complex, its a big complex over 18 floors. Once they finally decide to give into their mutual attraction, they plan on a no strings, friends with benefits without the friend part arrangement. As you can guess, Tate can’t really handle that and is constantly breaking the 2 rules Miles has, don’t ask about his past and don’t expect a future. Eventually, Tate finds some self respect and ends the arrangement and moves out of her brothers place and into her own. Of course this makes Miles question why he won’t let himself love anyone and finally confronts his past. Miles is finally ready to start the healing process and let himself love, and Tate is the woman he wants to love and let love him.

I enjoyed this story and the concept of accepting that love is both beautiful and ugly and Miles’s struggle to come to terms with his past. I wish there would have been more character development because Miles and Cap were the only characters I felt were more than just 2 dimensional. I wanted more of a personality out of all of the characters because they had potential and I felt like we were just skimming the surface. Not going to lie, the characters sort of irked me. I understand why Miles is the way he is, we get his back story but why is Tate such a doormat. I feel like if we had a little more back story for her, that it MIGHT have helped because I had no sympathy for her or her situation. I kept thinking, you are a grown ass woman who is a RN and getting her masters, what happened to you that you would let a man treat you like this? I’m just disappointed that we didn’t get a deeper understanding of the characters.

The only other thing that I did not like about the book was Hoover’s constant use of odd and varied format style in the flashback scenes and a few key repeated phrases. The format style in the flashbacks section annoyed the hell out of me. If Hoover was trying to convey some sort of feeling with that, I’m going to assume it was not irritation and hatred but that’s what I got out of it. I know it was supposed to be intense and emotional but it threw me out of the story every time. I dreaded reading the flashbacks but they were so important in learning who Miles was. As for the phrases, when ever Tate was liquid, it made me want to get a bounty paper towel and soak her up! Also over using the word weird. Tate and Miles are not weird, and it bugged me that they kept using that phrase. Maybe that is the way New Adults are supposed to talk but it threw me because I honestly didn’t know this book was a New Adult book before I started it.

Overall I’m giving Ugly Love a 2.5 stars because while I enjoyed the story and think others should read the book for themselves, there was not enough substance for me to give it anymore.

Tangled Taurus Book Review Rating 2.5 Stars