Nude by Stéphanie Desnoyer

I was offered a free copy of this book for an honest review, and I have got to say, this book touches a lot of controversy and sensitive topics which proves the author to be brave and bold with her writing. English is not Mrs. Desnoyer’s first language, but she does an exceptional job at giving us a wondrous story and outstanding job of self-editing, I have a lot of respect for her as an author for her ability to learn a difficult language and create such a risqué tale for us all to enjoy.

The title of this book pretty much says it all, and holds nothing back as it bares all while taking risks. Our protagonist in this story is an orphan in the UK who is a dancer at a local nude bar, but quits in hopes to better herself. There is a lot of drug usage and inappropriate scenes so readers under 18, beware. Then there are the controversial relationships, which I think will be much more shocking to the reader if I leave that tidbit out in the review. Tee finds herself a job as a cleaner for a wealthy gay couple, and tables are turned when love strikes between two unsuspected characters. The story is a great life reminder, about consequences for poor choices, and most importantly to love with all you have because you never know what the future will bring and when, so don’t take anyone for granted.

The ending was one of those shocking moments as a reader when right when you think the story is over, an unexpected event takes place, exciting the reader for more. It hints at a sequel that gets my wheels spinning, trying to predict what could happen next. I am very interested to see where the story takes us next!

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The Girl She Used To Be – David Cristofano

https://www.facebook.com/Thebooknatics This book was given to me by the publisher.

3525895This was the first book that was published before The Exceptions, of which I recieved from the publisher. After falling in love with “The  “Exceptions” I just had to see it from Melody’s point of view. While it is okay to read Johnny’s side first (The Exceptions), which I am actually glad I did, the ending of Melody’s version, was breathlessly beautiful…So very realistic and very emotional. The ending of this book (The Girl She Used to Be) actually makes me wish I had read this one first, seeing how it left off, (SPOILER)SPOILER)SPOILER) where Melody buys a wedding band, because she forever holds her heart for Johnny, even though they may never see eachother again. (SPOILER ENDED)

 
The author did an outstanding job keeping this story very realistic, and the giving the characters so much lifely depths. This is a story of a girl at the age of six, who witnessed a murder while out with her family at their favorite Italian restaurant, ran by Mafia boss Tony Bovaro. Johnny, who was 10 and totally enchanted by the little girl, watched as she fled the scene with her family. When approached by the police at the time of the incident, he was tricked into spilling everything he saw, even  right down to the plates on the car.

 The family  was forced to testify against the Bovaro’s in court but wouldn’t admit to a thing as to not draw attention from the dangerous family and then were immediately put into the Witness Protection Program. The Bovaro’s left them alone afterwards, seeing them as not a threat. Many years later, when the Bovaro’s were ordered to a huge court hearing where many families would be called upon to testify once again for another members failure, they wanted no loose ends, and planned to terminate the families. All of them. By then, Johnny was an adult, and always dreamt of the girl since the day he first saw her. He refused to let the family be killed, and would go behind his family and instead of “putting them down” he would watch over her, and lie to the family that they could not be found. But, having corrupted FBI men on their sides, they knew were to find the family every time they were relocated. Father became suspicious of Johnny’s defiance, and ordered a cousin to do the deed. Johnny still stands tall and protects the girl at all costs. Melody has no idea who this man is that keeps rescuing her, but his presence makes her feel safe. I felt so sad for her and Johnny through out the entire book. I wanted them to be together, I wanted him to run out and hug her everytime he saw her. This book totally had my mind involved.

This story is full of so much raw emotion, plot turns, and unexpected heart wrenching moments. Melody is a fierce woman who has been through so much tragedy. she refuses to go down without a fight. She remains strong and vigilant and thinks for herself even through the backstabbing and deceiving people continuously try to fool her. She turns the pages, and before any one realizes, they have been played by her.  I did not put this book down once, I ate it up in one sitting! I sat there totally thrilled with every turning page, wishing for the best and survival of Melody and melting at Johnny’s loving covertly hero ways. Johnny is a gallant, warm-hearted, undercover hero, and fights to be better and different from his own family. I tried to write this as best as I can without spoiling. But take it from me, if you love a little romance with your crime thrills. It was the perfect dose of love to go with this crime thrilling-page-turner. I could recommend this to both, male and female and I am sure they would enjoy this.

Vixen -Jillian Larkin

the girls on fire

the girls on fire

I am naturally drawn to this genre, as it is something that always sparked curiosity; what would it have been like to be a woman of that decade, where it was risqué to be a lady who defies the cultural standards of proper conservation. Minus the whoring around, I would love to have witnessed such a turn in history for women. To be a part of the underground activities of jazz, dancing, booze and adventure! I know it sounds silly, because such outlandish behavior from a girl who braved the bob and dresses, were often frowned upon by their family. But as a history nut, the turn of events of the worldly tradition, is just too appealing for a wish to observe in the present of that act.

I enjoy the historical accuracy of this book, and how the story takes place in multiple girl’s point of views. You have the girl, Gloria, who is what everyone in school wishes to be; beautiful, intelligent, president of the class, and even has the most handsome guy to herself. She is to wed him at the end of the school year in order of an arranged wedding in attempts to save the family money on both sides. But she yearns to break free of the pressure from peers and family, which is so hard on her, she breaks. She’s desperate to release the fearless flapper within her, to live once in the name of adventure before she marries the, oh-so boring traditional young man.

Then you have Gloria’s 18 year old cousin, Clara, who is just out of a New York prison for her time as a fearless flapper exploits, who is forced by her parents to live with her cousin to relearn the values of being a conservative and bright young lady. She dreads moving there, as she is forced to set an example for young Gloria, feeding her lies how she wishes to be a nun, or a school teacher. Gloria finds this cousin repulsively boring, but has no idea the truth behind Clara’s racy, revolting ways.

Then you have Gloria’s best friend, who is the rebel of the book, and not ashamed of her flapper ways. She is the poster child for the modern-day flapper of the 20’s. Though her love for her best friend is strong, she grows jealous as Gloria makes her transformation to a flapper girl, how easy she makes it look, how beautiful she is, and the guys who drool over her.

This book comes to life with a well painted picture of the dynamic 1920’s; full of risqué escapades, bold interracial relationships, law-breaking exploits, love, music, jealousy, and a first-hand experience of what it is like to release the chains of a customary and old-fashioned world, to becoming an independent young woman on fire.

So L.A. – Bridget Hoida

LOVE IT!

LOVE IT!

Check her page out here! https://www.facebook.com/#!/pages/Bridget-Hoida/321422317872139

I want to start off by mentioning how much I love this cover. By far, the prettiest on my shelf.It’s a racy, realistic, heart wrenching story about a girl from a quiet California town who made it big with her husband in Hollywood’s favorite bottled water industry. Though, with the loss of her brother, the five stages of mourning drives her into foolishness. She realizes she’s tried so hard to be like everyone else in L.A.-plastic and fake with no morals-  and begins to feel as if she’s undeserving of all her success and great new life. She begins to over-think things, causing her to act out in absurd ways.

This is a first point of view into a womans life who yearns to see the light of who she used to be once again, and shed the superficial-mask she’s been hiding behind for so long.

Through insanity, infidelity, and other events, Magdalena finally breaks free of the obstacles of life, getting a grip on her life and finding happiness in the small things.  The ending, ohhh the ending. I won’t dare spoil it, but she definitely reclaimed herself. A true, realistic, bitter sweet happily ever after-of it’s own magical way, that is –  If you ask me, with all the chaos that stirred in this book, the ending is how any story like this should resolve in real life.

I really enjoyed the main character, for all her flaws, for her honest opinions, for everything she wanted to be, so many layers to this character. Hoida hits  life lessons on the spot. I really did enjoy this book, the author did a fantastic job with a refreshing and creative approach of telling a story. There were times I was laughing, times I teared up, and times I really just wanted to reach through the pages and slap the main character around and yell ” DON’T! STOP! You’re so much better than that!” Hoida really held on to my attention,  got me so wrapped up that I found myself needing to re-adjust to my surroundings a few times and gather myself! I hope to see more work from this talented beauty in the near future! Thank you for such a mesmerizing story!

Emma Donoghue- Astray

My first advanced copy to review =)

My first advanced copy to review =)

-Facebook Page https://www.facebook.com/Thebooknatics

This was one of my first Advanced pre-edited copy to review =)

The fascinating characters that roam across the pages of Emma Donoghue’s stories have all gone astray: they are emigrants, runaways, drifters, lovers old and new. They are gold miners and counterfeiters, attorneys and slaves. They cross other borders too: those of race, law, sex, and sanity. They travel for love or money, incognito or under duress.

Emma Donoghue has taken real historic stories of people on the run or departed for adventure and love, and turned them into a work of art. Her imagination takes us for a spin on the untold stories of beloved documented events of everyday real life people who left an imprint on our history, the last few centuries. She respectively tells their stories in different mannerisms all the while staying true to the era’s use of language, lifestyle, characters and places.

An example being, a documented, real story of love letters between two lovers, Emma has taken what was documented and already known about these people; where they lived, why the letters were being written, and has taken the scribed words and created a back story of how the lovers must have felt being apart for so long, how they were feeling, from their point of view, as they wrote the letter to their S/O, what was happening between each letter when they weren’t writing.
I haven’t read anything like this before, Donoghue has quite a vision and minds eye for adding a depth to layers that unfold seamlessly in each story. I found myself inspired by many of the tales, and wanting more! Definitely a 5 star for me!

The Exceptions

The Exceptions by David C.-Facebook Page https://www.facebook.com/Thebooknatics

Before I start, I would love to give a little insight on who David Cristofano is: David Cristofano has earned degrees in Government & Politics and Computer Science from the University of Maryland at College Park and has worked for different branches of the Federal Government for over a decade. His short works have been published by Like Water Burning and McSweeneys. He currently works in the Washington, D.C. area where he lives with his wife, son and daughter. This is the 2nd book in the series, but each book is told in his and her’s point of view.

I was captivated by the thrilling first few pages. I couldn’t part from this story at all! With an attempt to not spoil anything, I want to give my very excited review.

This novel is told in first perspective of a son of a powerful mafia boss, Jonathan Bovaro. Enthralled by a little girl who came across his family’s restaurant, shortly watched her and her family flee screaming. Police investigate the scene, and little Johnny-who was then 10 years old- wanted to see if the little girl was ok, so he gave everything he knew about their car to the police. Jonathan later learns that the girl was put in the Witness Protection program after she and her parents were called to testify against the Bovaros. The Bovaros want them dead… No loose ends.

The story is told over the span of 23 years and Melody Grace just won’t leave Jonathan’s mind… He was later recruited by his father to off with her family after a huge case was built against the Bovaros. The Bovaros have connections everywhere…even the corrupted FBI. Jonathan can’t come to bear the thought of killing the beautiful little girl he remembered and struggles to break free of the dangers of the family business. His father is ashamed he isn’t like the rest of the family, Jonathan is confused, and struggles between doing what’s right, or making his father proud. Regardless, he sets off to complete his mission… Feelings overwhelm him when he sees her for the first time in nearly ten years.

Will he protect her, or will he do what his father thinks best?
This isn’t your average, sappy, get-it-over with love story. The characters were well developed, the emotions displayed felt so real. The desires of Jonathon wanting to be different from his family had me rooting for him. This is a powerful, enchanting, and beyond thrilling story of morals, love and family.