Tag Archives: thoughts

Otherwise Occupied by Shay Savage

Otherwise Occupied

My thoughts

After having read Otherwise Alone, I’m intrigued if Evan Arden will be able to meet Lia in book two, Otherwise Occupied. This isn’t the first book I’ve read from this author, Shay Savage. Surviving Raine is my all-time favorite book and its sequel Bastian’s Storm will be always special to me. Seeing Bastian in a happy ending is the best way to conclude his story and knowing a kind of guy like him deserves his second chance.

Otherwise Occupied is about Evan Arden whose life revolves around his job and lives to please his mob boss, Moretti. He’s living in denial and crave for the companionship of a hooker, Brigitte, in return he gave her special attention. He doesn’t normally show care or concern with anyone except for Brigitte.

To avoid nightmares at night, he took Brigitte home to let her give him blowjob and allow her to sleep in his bed. That closeness, her smell and warmth of her body gives him peace of mind and nightmare-free at night. With someone beside him during the night, he could sleep. But then, his thoughts automatically wanders to that woman who unexpectedly arrived in his shack in the middle of the Arizona desert. Lia Antonio. As much as he wants to forget Lia, the thoughts of her and their lovemaking in that one lonely night in his shack kept coming back to him.

Reading about a hit man isn’t my first read. My first hit man was Cain, Killing Game by Felicity Heaton and it’s a novella. I’m not going to compare since they are different books although the heroes are both professional hit man. Both are hired to kill without remorse. My first hit man came from a rich family and isn’t even a broken guy. He isn’t even suffering from any emotional anxiety unlike Evan. He was just compelled to do the job because he ran away from home. He’s broke and needed the money to survive alone in New York. 

What I’m saying is that my experience reading Evan Arden who’s one heck of a damn Marine sniper, suffering from psychosis, tried to pretend that his life is normal and nothing is wrong with him. Just like normal people, we are a master of disguise. We pretend that we are fine but deep inside we are just like Evan.

Evan was having trouble with his PTSD. He’s in denial. He wants to feel nothing and deals with it with flying colours. But then, a person has his limitations. Everyone has their breaking point. He is like a balloon, when he can’t contain his thoughts and emotions he exploded big time, which is imminent for someone who is suffering from PTSD. The last part of the book, Evan frightens me and at the same time my heart weeps for him. I pity him because he has no one to care for him at the time he needed someone to be at his side. Odin was just lucky that at the last part Lia was there. Lia saw Evan broke down and being tugged down by a team of SWAT Team.

Otherwise Occupied isn’t an all-nighter book for me. I could go back to reading it without annoyance and remember the details even if I skipped from reading it in a day or two. If I was stoked with reading Surviving Raine series, Otherwise Occupied is still a book worth-reading but be prepared for some explicit sex scenes and violent killings.

Of course, I’m off to reading the third book, Otherwise Unharmed.

Ratings:       4 Stars

Advertisements

Bastian’s Storm

Bastian's storm

My Summary

Bastian and Raine are now living off in a condo in Miami near the beach. It was a truce they both agreed since Raine didn’t want to be reminded  her life in their own little island. For Raine it was hell, to him it was his heaven. The island is his own salvation; his paradise.

Everything she loved, I hated. Everything that frightened her, I loved.

After being rescued, Bastian has been struggling to control his anger and kept it securely locked somewhere in his control system so that he wouldn’t get into trouble  with Raine. At the same time,  he’s been fighting  to keep himself sober since they were rescued but the call of the alcohol in his body was always there inviting him; teasing him to get at least a sip. He knew he could control the urge but the talk he just had with Landon was weakening his resolve to stay sober. He needed the drink but he knew his relationship with Raine would end the minute he took that drink. He needed it but he couldn’t live without his Raine.

But then being out of the mob doesn’t mean you’re really out. Leaving is not an option once you are part of it. He knew that at the back of his mind but still believe he could get out of their control. Bastian has no choice but to go and fight again this time for Raine and his son, Alex. After learning from Landon that he has a son and the boy’s under Franks custody tightened his resolved to accept the fight leaving him no option. This is the fight he wanted most to win. He knew the cycle  would never end. Landon would always ask for a favor and would always assure him that he will be released after he won the tournament but not really. He knew that his family – the family that he never had – will always be used as pawn against him and to push him to do their bidding.  He knew he must kill Franks including Landon, his father figure.

My curiosity was pricked by Evan Arden, the guy representing  Moretti in the tournament. He is an ex-Marine sniper and Bastian’s  best contender in the tournament. Bastian knows  little about him; and the more he needed to be cautious.

The twist was a surprise for me. Although I am tempted to give out some spoilers, this time I wouldn’t give in.

My Review

I’ve been putting this off for a while not because I don’t like it. I’m a bit afraid that this book may not outdo its first installment.  Surviving Raine is my all time favorite and being disappointed in book two is like a disaster I would like to avoid as much as possible.

What I love most other than Bastian is his son, Alex. Physically,  Alex was a copy cat of Bastian. He’s cute and adorable. Seeing the boy  is like watching himself in that same age he was. Seeing his mannerisms from the boy melts his warrior heart.

Always the sex scenes are smoking hot. it always makes me wish to be in Raine’s place for once. That It was me humping Bastian. Lol. Nothing has changed. Their love for each other was stronger than before. Raine is always there for him even if he’s grumpy all the time.

I like how Bastian love Raine. His love for Raine is a woman’s dream to have that kind of man beside her. RAINE HERE is extraordinary. How she put up with Bastian’s behavior whenever he is being overly grumpy around her friends has shown her maturity to understand him and keep their relationship strong and intact.

The action scenes are bloody but on a tolerable level.

There are two things that annoyed me. One Lindsay; two, the book cover.

Lindsay is insensitive and childish for bringing in and drinking wine while Sebastian had been struggling for a while to keep himself sober. It’s rude to bring in wine when it’s not even her house; much more inviting someone to ask a toss and drink iced tea instead. If I would be in his shoes, I would be insulted.

Two, I agree with some reviewers. The book cover needs revision. Really. There’s no way I pictured Bastian would look  that way.

Other than these two I find the book worth reading. If like me you’re really into Bastian there’s no way that you shouldn’t pass on this. It’s a must read. Though I love more Surviving Raine, Bastian’s Storm will be always be special to me. Seeing him have his own happy ending this time is a bliss for me.

★★★★ stars


J.J. Graves Mysteries by Liliana Hart

Image

When it rains, it pours. 

I was on a trip with my husband and left my Kindle back home which I normally do. Being captive and unproductive in a place made me uneasy and restless. The place we’ve been to was calling  for a good book. It was green, peaceful and quiet.  I checked my Samsung Note for anything to read since I have installed Amazon Kindle in it. I’ve got a few loan books which I downloaded from Amazon but never read any of it in my smart phone. Having read some of Liliana Hart’s Mackenzie series, I opted to pick Dirty Little Secrets without any idea about the book.

Dirty Little Secrets is one of the four books in the series. I learned this when I got home and checked Goodreads about the book. If I learned  earlier that these are series and that there is a fourth book coming up by Fall of this year I wouldn’t have read it. I honestly have low tolerance for books in installment. I could put up with two up to three series but not with book four on its tow. Reading book series is like shopping on impulse. It makes you buy more things you don’t need and will only add up in my growing list of to-be-read-books. You’ll just learn later on that isn’t worth a dime and end up disappointed or the new series had just destroyed  the earlier installment or vice versa. A new installment could make or break an already phenomenal book.

But in this case, I was so wrong. After I read book one, I was craving to read all the series and ended up buying books two and three.

The book was written in JJ’s POV. JJ Graves is a fourth generation mortician. She used to have a well paying job as a hospital doctor when she was later forced to move back in Bloody Mary, Virginia after her parents died. Moving in in Bloody Mary was a setback in her plans since she needed to pay her  loans and a single woman with a kind of job she has now would not land her a boyfriend in this small town.

She’s broke and lonely. She hated her job but had no choice. She took over her family’s legacy, Graves Funeral Home, even if she despised it. She volunteers as a coroner out of guilt for her parents’ status as undesirable citizens of their town. She works with her hot best friend county sheriff, Jack Lawson.

JJ is a believable character. I could relate myself with her. How she make do with what she have and doesn’t take advantage of Jack’s offer to borrow money from him. She’s smart – ass with a great sense of humor. She could make you laugh with her sarcastic and witty humor.

There’s a serial killer on the loose killing some of their friends. They are discovering secrets from these deaths that even themselves caught surprised. It’s the usual formula in a suspense romance novel one could read from the same genre. But what made this interesting and worth buying is that, for me, it’s something new and without having read its reviews prior to reading this book, is like finding a gold mine in a barren land.

I love Jack. He has ways of making his feelings known so that  JJ would get used to it. He expressed his feelings even in an awkward situation and yet he comes out so cute. Every time he did that I couldn’t help but giggle and swoon. He’s lovable without being too mushy. His persona as a sheriff is as tough as a rock but when he lets his feelings come out, boy, I envy JJ. She’s so damn lucky. Sigh.

Image

Reading book installment is like an unopened gift you will never know what’s inside it unless you opened one. I was surprised to have read the first book and couldn’t stop from reading it till the end. When I got home, I took out my Kindle and read the second book, A Dirty Shame.

Book two, A Dirty Shame, is much more enjoyable than its previous installment. Here, JJ and Jack’s love story was given a chance. In book one, you could only feel the slight built up of romance between the two but no one dared to open up each other’s feelings. Just oblique hints from gorgeous hunk county sheriff Jack Lawson. In book two, Jack made known his intentions with JJ. If he’s patient in the first book, here he showed who’s in charged. I love how Jack made me feel his love for JJ.The second book started to clear some issues that concerns her roots. Here she learned some of the secrets her parents had kept from her all her life.

Image

In book three, Dirty Little Scoundrel, JJ was surprised to find out a dead body hidden in her parents’ bunker. And to her shock, JJ’s father is alive. She also learned his boyfriend’s past which intrigued her ever since he came home to Bloody Mary. She knew Jack had a great career as a SWAT cop in DC but something came up and he had to leave the job he loved. In this installment, someone is killing off all of the members of Jack’s former SWAT Team. Also, Jack’s old flame showed up in Bloody Mary which somehow complicated their relationship.

The only problem I have right now is I have to wait for the fourth book which will be released by November. I’m frustrated because I want the FOURTH INSTALLMENT NOW!  I hope it would be the last installment. Although the three books are worth buying, and since I’ve read the three books IN RAPID SUCCESSION, I would likely buy the fourth book, and I pray it would be the last. Although all three books are great, I honestly could tolerate another installment.

 4 Stars each for Dirty Little Secrets, A Dirty Shame, and Dirty Little Scoundrel


Always You

Image

What if you knew you’re going to die because of a disease that also killed your father? You knew it’s coming but don’t exactly know when the symptoms will ever appear or not. But you have more time to live it, meaningfully. You have more time to spend it wisely with your love ones. Your family knew it and somehow they have warnings. You will be ready. They, too, will be ready. Would you pick this kind of life for you?

What if you never knew when will your life ends? You’re healthy. You live carefree. You live one day at a time and then in a blink of an eye you’ll die in an accident. Without warning you’re gone.You’re not ready. Your family isn’t ready. They are not prepared. Would you pick this kind of life for you?

Given the chance, which one of the two would you choose?

For me, I honestly don’t want to choose. I’m afraid one day I’ll die because of an incurable disease or in an accident or worst old age. I don’t want to be put in a home care while waiting for my body to wither each day and become helpless.  But if I have no other option I want my life to end without becoming a burden to my family. I don’t want to see them suffering while I’m in pain and struggling for my last breath. I want it peaceful. I want it to happen while I was sleeping and I don’t have to wake up.

Death isn’t an easy subject for me. I don’t know if I would have the same attitude the way Dalton accepted his fate. The way he faced his disease and kept a positive outlook towards life showed a strong character few people could possess.  He’s full of hope. He has the love and support of his family and Wrenn, her girlfriend.

After reading I Am No One You Know by Joyce Carol Oates, I decided to pick this book. Always You is a light read but will make you question how you view your life right now.


The Cat and The Smoker

Image

photo credit The New Yorker

The Smoker by David Schickler

I accidentally came across this short story from a writer I frequently stalked for something I would like to read in her blog. I think she wrote one article for The New Yorker. She said she liked the story and mentioned something about a cat. I have no idea what the story is all about except that there’s a cat in it. So I clicked the link and I was redirected to The New Yorker website. I saw the title and the cover photo first caught my attention. Then, I saw myself reading it. I read it slowly and devoured every line. When I reached page 8, I exclaimed, “Is that it?!” I frantically looked for page 9 hoping I just missed it. But there’s really no page 9.

I liked The Smoker. It’s my second short stories I’ve read two days in a row. The first one is from Lydia Davis entitled, “Story.” I have a copy of her book The Collected Stories of Lydia Davis which I planned to read whenever I feel the need to acquaint myself with literary masterpiece.

I enjoyed reading The Smoker. I really liked it. The story is about Professor Douglas Kerchek and his brainy student Nicole Bonners. Nicole is intelligent, eccentric, well read and a headstrong woman. She knows what she wants even at the age of 19. Professor Douglas enjoys being alone, watching movies and has a boxer’s body with a PhD in his turf. He’s an attractive man, slightly attracted to his dangerously alluring student Nicole. But he never crosses the student – professor line. Until Nicole invited him to a family dinner and he met her parents.

I’ve watched the movie Meet The Parents and I remembered the cat in it. You’ll meet John Stapleton here.

The story is catchy and very entertaining. It immediately caught my attention and my eyes never leave the page until I’ve read everything. I’ve read it twice. No. More than twice until I’m satisfied and ready to let it go and move on to discover new ones to read.

 


Searching For Someday. Jennifer Probst

ImageI decided to read this book, kept an open mind and kicked skepticism behind. My sole purpose in mind is to be entertained, experienced it at my own pace at my own time. I have no high expectation. I picked the book because of its blurb and catchy book cover which I find classy and interesting. Although I have read much of its reviews from Goodreads with opposing reactions, I wanted to know for myself what the book has to offer for me. Kindle ready, I closed my eyes, took a deep breath and delved into the story.

This is the gist. Kate is an entrepreneur and successful in her own way who partly owned and managed Kinnections, a match-making company set up in Verily, with her two other business partners and friends way back in college. After her 100th date gone bad, she swore never to date again and promised herself to focus more in her business.

Slade is the hot shot divorce lawyer. Accomplished everything he had planned and had his eyes of becoming one of the partners in his law firm. He could get any woman he wanted and be gone after getting laid.

It was opposite poles attract thing. Kate believed in love with happily ever after ending. Slade thought there was no such thing. Kate wanted permanent relationship. Slade liked it temporary. She believed in love. He believed in oxytocin. Both were very aware of their attractions to each other like magnet pulling them together even if they fought it.

The plot was believable for me. Really, it was. Kate could determine if the couples were meant for each other or soul mates. Her troubles started when she was accidentally touched by Slade and that ‘spark thing’ like strong volt of electricity jolted both their bodies and knocked up their primal needs. It was like their hormones gone wild even at a slightest touch. They couldn’t keep their hands off of each other.

They had this push and pull relationship thing. Slade wanted Kate but then he wasn’t sure whether to push the relationship forward and pull out immediately if things turned rough. Kate didn’t want to push things further because Slade couldn’t give what she wanted in a relationship.

This book isn’t for skeptics and cynics because of Kate’s ability. It inspired subtle fantasy, a make believed for someone looking for her soul mate and hoping someday for a relationship with a happily ever after ending. This book is suited for individuals who deep in their hearts could still believe in magic, who could still giggle like a teenager who hadn’t touched yet by skepticism and cynicism.

The story didn’t drag me to sleep. I did finish it at the phase I set for myself. I did enjoy reading it although I didn’t feel like re-reading it again. Why? It’s an enjoyable read, predictable, funny at some point and cute. Really, it isn’t bad to give it a try.

Besides, I got what I wanted. I was entertained and it left me smiling until the last page. It made me think about my present relationship with my man. I was always wondering if he was my soul mate. I kept on thinking if I made the right decision of spending my life with him. Sometimes, we disagree or argue a lot. It was always like that especially during our first two years of being together living under one roof. Back then, giving up was the easiest way out than patching things up to make the relationship work. Now, as I see myself after we were able to pull out that disastrous two years we had, I could only laugh at it. At the end of the day, we were able to compromise our differences. We agree to disagree, patch things up and take it one day at a time. This book reminded me that, “love is a funny thing. There are no guarantees, just the day-to-day and the moment. You make vows, hope for the best, and do your damnedest to love the person you’re with.”

3/5

27 January 2014