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Kara the Book'aholic

I'm a mother, lifelong-student, avid reader, and reviewer. I'll give pretty much anything a shot, but my guilty pleasure is romance, especially if it's dark and full of suspense.

NEW: Discussion Rooms Formatting Tips

Reblogged from BookLikes:

Discussion Rooms are getting filled with book lovers :) And now we’re giving you extra option to make your discussion posts unique. You can edit your posts with basics HTML tags.


Let’s see what formatting is now available in your Discussion rooms:



The easiest way to add formatting is to copy/paste a given tag and insert your text/link between markers, e.g.: [b]I loved this book![/b] -> I loved this book!


We’re sure that after several posts, you’ll know them by heart :-)


And if you make a mistake or a typo, don’t worry. You can easily Edit your post and make all necessary corrections.


Another new feature is sticking discussions within a group. For the time being this option is available only for Administrators of a Group. If your are Group Admin and you notice that a given discussion receives bigger attention, bring it to the top. Enter the Discussion and click “Stick”. Then it will be first above other discussion in the group with special marker. 





It's Halloween today! Do you have any reading / writing plans for the evening? If not, we'll help you with spooky atmosphere.


Check out 20 horror books recommended by BookLikes book bloggers: Spooky Reads For Halloween - Horror Books That You Loved

  Boo! ;-)

The Darkest Part (Living Heartwood)

The Darkest Part (Living Heartwood) - Trisha Wolfe

What an amazing, emotional, heartfelt read that somehow managed to leave me feeling optimistic even throughout all of the heartache.


At first I was a little weary because loss is a touchy subject for me, but I felt the author handled it respectfully without delving in too deeply; and thankfully, I was able to get through the story without becoming a blubbering mess.


IMO, the epilogue wrapped the story up too perfectly, for two such damaged people, which was made all the more unrealistic because it was done way too quickly. I would have loved to of seen it more developed. Regardless, it was a fantastic read.


Fluff of Assassin Books

Slow Agony (Assassins, #2) - V.J. Chambers

Overall, it was an average, mildly entertaining read about a young, broken, nearly indestructible assassin who was cleaning up the wreckage of his past in order to build a future with his equally damaged girlfriend. 

Love, Carry My Bags - C.R. Everett

This was an extremely slow moving book in which the heroine, Camryn, seemed to be faced with one ordeal or loss after the other. The reader was able to witness the transformation these events had on her and her life. At times, it seemed painfully realistic while during others it seemed farfetched.


It was a second chance, tragic romance that was unlike any I had previously read. Despite this, I struggled on numerous occasions not to DNF it. In the end, I’m glad that I stuck it out, only to know how it ended. I would only recommend this to an extremely patient fan of coming of age stories.


*Copy was kindly provided by the author in exchange for an honest review.

When Ravens Fall - Matilda Wren

Sadly, I think the story had a lot of potential, but the execution was severely lacking. It read as a failed attempt at a dark, twisted adult contemporary. And I walked away feeling like the author was trying to delve too deeply into the psyches of the characters, and there were a lot, but most notably Sean, which really wouldn't have been bad if the reader was able to see more of these behaviors rather than being told about them in tremendous detail, over and over.


There were a lot of info dumps throughout the book as well. For example, we were given the ins and outs of the Essex rave scene back in the 1990's, which added absolutely nothing to the story. Then for some reason, the author found it necessary to offer her version of definitions:


“…negotiator. This is someone who focuses their talents in arbitrating

arrangements between two or more parties. Most negotiators

act for a particular party involved in the deal.”


I should have dnf’ed it, but I kept hoping it would redeem itself, especially after reading all of the great reviews. Needless to say, that didn’t happen.

Thief (Love Me With Lies, #3)

Thief (Love Me With Lies, #3) - Tarryn Fisher

I don't even know what to say. Was it bad? No. Was it on the same level as The Opportunist? Hell, NO!


Don't get me wrong, it was still a good book, but it just didn't have the same effect... You know the one I'm talking about, that agonizingly sweet wretched torture that left you with an excruciating book hangover. I'm surprisingly able to walk away from Thief without feeling like I've been sucked into some sort of warped relationship mind-fuckery.


I think most people will be pleased with the book, especially the ending. ;)

Ryder (Resisting Love, #2.5) - Chantal Fernando Well, I’m happy to say that RYDER is hands down, the best book of this series so far! Now, the fact that it’s a novella makes it a bit tricky to compare it to the previous two books, but here goes. The writing style, although different because it is a novella, is SO MUCH BETTER. I love how the authors drop little tid-bits of info into the story only to weave them back in later. And there are no glaring inconsistencies or holes in the plotline like in KADE. Now, I do agree with some of the reviewers who say the book is shorter. Of course, it is. It’s a novella! Although, I too would love a full-length book for Ryder and Lexi, I have a feeling we’ll be seeing more of them in the future installments. The banter, while a pure joy to read in the previous two books is still present, just not to the same degree and again, I think this has to do with the fact that it’s a novella. I’m happy that the authors chose to focus more so on the story itself versus filling it with steamy sex scenes and/or witty banter like most novellas out there. It truly is a perfect setup for the last half of the series. Now, I really can’t wait to get my hands on JAMES! No pressure ladies, but I’m expecting it to be the best yet!
دعاء الأنبياء والصالحين - Muhammad Mutawalli Ash-Sha'raawi Well, one thing’s for sure. You definitely get your money’s worth with this book! Boy, was it LONG and it’s only $2.99! And boy, oh boy… did it mess with my friggin head! Seriously, wtf was that and how did the author get me rooting for a complete and utter asshole throughout the whole book? Okay, I lied. There was a short period where I found myself thinking that Dawson Bade, was just what our broken h, Morgan, needed. But, that didn’t last very long! I quickly started questioning what the hell was wrong with him that he actually put up with so much shit for so long! But mostly, this book made me question what was wrong with me, that I actually wanted to see “the misogynistic evil [thank you, India Lee! (: ] that’s Drew Kelley get his HEA. Mind you, I was still rooting for him even after I’d already acknowledged that his reasons for treating Morgan the way that he did, just didn’t cut it! See, it doesn’t make any sense to you either, does it? Yep, every bit of my common sense was screaming for me to hope Morgan ended up with the ‘normal’ guy, but where would the fun be in that? Well, that’s my story and I’m sticking to it, because I still have no idea why I loved that ass Drew! Maybe this can help you somewhat understand what this book was like… towards the beginning I couldn’t help but draw comparisons to the movie SLEEPING WITH THE ENEMY and the CONSEQUENCES Series. Yeah, it was drama filled and just a smidge disturbing. Well, maybe more than a smidge, but for some reason, I enjoy reading that sort of thing. Yeah, you can all psycho analyze me later, back to the book. Morgan went through so many horrific things in her life that I couldn’t help but feel for her. For the longest time, the poor thing couldn’t catch a flipping break. Then all of a sudden, things started falling into place and I truly thought she was afraid to make any decisions because she honestly didn’t know how. She was programmed. Then, I became proud of the strong independent woman she blossomed into, only to once again fall back into the pattern of not being able to make up her freaking mind – it went on for so long that at one point I wanted to scream at my Kindle. Seriously, if there’s one thing I can’t stand, it’s when I have to read chapter after chapter of a heroine not being able to choose between two men. I could understand it more so in Morgan’s case and I truly respected the way that she handled it with Drew, but with Dawson, ehhh… not so much. I found myself either loving or hating the characters, which shows that the author did her job. Without question, I hated Derik the most and absolutely loved the free spirited Starlight. Oh, and I loved the Warning at the beginning of the blurb! It made me want to read this all that much more! ” Warning! This is not your everyday fall in love romance. This book contains disturbing situations, strong language, graphic, sexual content, some forced, some not. If it's your happily ever after love story that you are looking for, you should probably move on. If you are up for the ride, stick around and it may just turn into a love story after all.”Loved it! And I highly recommend it! Just keep in mind, this is not for everyone… Also, plan accordingly, because it’s definitely NOT a quick read. 4.5—MIND-BENDING STARS!

Falling for a Bentley

Falling for a Bentley - Adriana Law

Falling for a Bentley, had a lot of promise; unfortunately, it didn’t quite realize its potential - not even close. There were numerous typos; and it simply, had sloppy editing. I found at times that the author was truly able to portray the subject matter in a raw and realistic way, but for the most part, it was as if I was stuck in either a Narcotics or Alcoholics Anonymous meeting while being subjected to the same old regurgitated rhetoric.


I could definitely be wrong, but I got the impression that the author hadn’t personally struggled with addiction, but may have had a loved one who had. After reading the epilogue, I felt it was necessary to say that there is absolutely no room for cockiness when it comes to recovery and those who let their guard down with such arrogant beliefs as they’ve ”beat addiction” will soon be out there looking for their next fix. There is no beating it. There is no cure. It doesn’t matter how much time one has under their belt, they are just as susceptible to relapse as any newbie.


The religious aspects in this book seriously grated on my nerves, but what I found even worse were the couple instances of blatant gay bashing. The one I found most offensive was during one of Colton Bentley’s inner-dialogues at the beginning of the book.


”I sit forward, wringing my clasped hands, swallowing as hard as a fagot.


Seriously, was that necessary, or was it meant to offer the reader a glimpse into how much of an ass Colton truly was? I really hope it was the latter, because that thought was the only reason I didn’t DNF this book right then and there.


Now, I’m going to be completely honest, even at the risk of leaving myself susceptible to a lot of backlash, in order to explain why I had such a strong response to this quote. In my experience, I’ve found that many people with extreme religious beliefs – mind you, NOT ALL – also tend to be against gay rights and are sometimes even homophobic. The reason this is pertinent, is to explain why I found this quote so offensive within this particular book, whereas I probably wouldn’t have had such a strong response if it were in another book that didn’t contain such strong religious context. Don’t get me wrong, I am all for religious freedoms and such, but what I don’t like is when someone tries to force any personal belief, of any kind, on another, OR what’s even worse, is when someone feels it is okay to talk negatively about or use derogatory comments at the expense of another person or group.


Obviously, this book hit a lot of nerves for me. Even though it might not have been my cup of tea, that doesn’t mean others won’t love it, so give it a try.


I do want to say, the cover is amazing and it caught my attention every time I stumbled upon it, so bravo to the cover designer, especially for finding such a fine specimen to grace the cover.

Amazingly Broken

Amazingly Broken - Jordin Williams


Kade (Resisting Love, #2) - Dawn Martens,  Chantal Fernando I was SO looking forward to this book! But, I have to be completely honest. I was disappointed. I didn’t feel that high entertainment factor that sucked me in until the very end of Chase. Despite its inconsistencies and gahhh, so many typos I still pushed through, because I fell in love with the characters, especially Kade and James, and the dialogue absolutely rocked! So… I was hoping to fall even further in love with these amazing characters and to be entertained, once again, by the hilarious banter and sweet conversations I grew to love and expect from these authors. Unfortunately, I just didn’t feel it in Kade. Even though the story was good, it was lacking in comparison to Chase, it read like a rough draft, and had an amateurish quality to it, which surprised me since I didn’t walk away from Chase with that impression, even with all of its distractions. The most glaring examples of this were when Nikki exclaimed, “That's right, I'm Canadian, bitches!” OR what may be the worst offense of all, was when the author spoke to the reader! I shit you not!”Now, girls, I know you’re probably cussing me out right now, and yes, Kade’s hair is hot. But I think with short hair, he’ll look even sexier.”I mean, seriously. Isn’t that a cardinal rule or something? If not, it should be! DO. NOT. TALK. TO. THE. READER. EVER!The use of repetition was brutal throughout this book. I became quite annoyed while reading numerous chapters that began with some variation of “It’s Sunday and we’re bored…” It was so bad that I stopped reading after the third consecutive chapter because I thought I must have been reading the same thing over again! But nope, I wasn’t. The repeated use of the saidisms; growling, grumbling, yelling, mumbling, and rumbling and their various forms were seriously distracting! And God! The excessive cutting and pasting of dialogue from Chase AND/OR the previous chapter with each change of POV annoyed the ever-living piss out of me! I mean come on! Were they trying to beef up the word count or something? At times, it seriously took up a significant portion of the chapter and it DIDN’T add anything to the story AT ALL. If anything, it detracted from it.The timeline and pacing were off. This was blatantly seen with the length of Kade and Nikki's relationship. In Chapter TWENTY, Nikki stated that she and Kade had been together for “a few months.” Then in Chapter TWENTY-EIGHT, Nikki and Kade went out to celebrate their three-month anniversary. Now we seem to rewind, because at the beginning of Chapter TWENTY-NINE, Nikki stated that she and Kade had been together for “a couple of months.” Finally, in Chapter THIRTY-SEVEN, they’ve “officially been a couple for nine months.” Huh? I don’t really know what to say. I hate writing negative reviews. While the typos and inconsistencies in Chase sucked, the writing style was far superior. However, the editing was hands down better in Kade. But, Kade just didn’t grab me in the same way that Chase did. Now, on to some positives! I thought the prologue was really strong and it got me super excited to dive into this book. I found it refreshing that while the events occurred during the same time-frame as those in Chase it was Kade and Nikki’s backstory—all new information—that I’d been dying to know! Also, James… He’s even more mysterious and appealing than before, which I didn’t think was even possible! I loved how loyal, loving, and kind he was with his family; yet, there’s another side to him that we just got a few glimpses of. Nikki described him perfectly with the quote “still waters run deep.” So, needless to say, I am really looking forward to the rest of this series, especially James! I’m dying to find out his secret(s)! I think it’s safe to say that he’s not a FBI agent, cross dresser, male stripper, spy, underground fighter, or that he has a secret family. Well, unless the authors are REALLY trying to mess with us! Again, this was a good book, I was just hoping for so much more… Regardless, I have really high hopes for Ryder, James, and Derek!
The Truth about Dandelions - Hayley Linfield THE TRUTH ABOUT DANDELIONS, by Hayley Linfield was a unique read that was filled with literary references and religious beliefs. I’m having a hard time coming up with the proper words to convey my feelings. BUT one thing was for sure, Mara could not catch a freaking break! The poor girl suffered one loss after another and yeah, she became a flipping mess, but who could blame her? The religious aspects in this book were a bit heavy at times and at the beginning I was concerned that it would be preachy and I’d be DNF’ing it. However, it took a turn as Mara came to terms with the fact that her father was a ‘scoundrel,’ and let’s be honest, a complete hypocrite - she started questioning the beliefs she was brought up with – those that her father literally preached. “I’m sure there are plenty of religious, church-going people who are Christian in the nicest sense of the word, who love everyone and accept everyone. Such people are rumored to exist. But in my personal experience, the people who talk the biggest game about religion and salvation and redemption, are often the ones most in need of being saved.”This book was about an extremely broken young woman and through flashbacks, we were able to see how she turned into the polar opposite of the girl she was raised to be. I cannot stress enough how horribly I felt for her and even if I may have personally made different choices, I could understand the decisions that she made. We witnessed her struggles with loss, letting go, finding herself, and ultimately, acceptance. It was a powerfully unique read.*Copy was kindly provided by the author in exchange for an honest review.

A Moment (Moments, #1)

A Moment (Moments, #1) - Marie Hall

A Moment by Marie Hall was an emotional read that had so much potential, but unfortunately it just didn’t quite realize it. It had a great storyline, as well as wonderful characters; yet, there were also random subplots thrown in that were never mentioned again or simply didn’t add anything to the story. Ultimately, there were just too many loose ends and questions left unresolved, leaving me feeling unsatisfied and at the end of the book, my first thought was …WHY!?! It could have been so freaking good! Who am I kidding, that’s all I’m still thinking!


Our hero, Ryan was a beautifully tragic soul who couldn’t escape the demons of his past. Upon turning eighteen, he tried to flee by joining the Marines—hoping the distance would set him free. However, once again, the darkness took over and Ryan found himself living back in Austin with his cousin Alex—who btw, I absolutely adored! Each day was a struggle, but Ryan soldiered on. Though, every year on the same date, Ryan would completely surrender to his personal hell while drowning himself in alcohol. It was on this date that he met our beautiful heroine, Liliana who just happened to be harboring secrets of her own. There was an instant attraction between the two, but neither acted on them, well at least not right away… As the story progressed, both Ryan and Lili found it more and more difficult to stay away from one another; and despite the initial delay, their relationship developed rather quickly.


This was a story about the challenges of facing ones demons and the risks that must be taken in order to move forward. It was heart wrenching, but at the same time heartwarming and left you yearning to see these two to get their HEA.


It really was a wonderful story that I’d recommend to anyone. It just had the potential to be so much more…


*Copy was kindly provided by the author in exchange for an honest review.

Dragonfly (Dragonfly, #1)

Dragonfly (Dragonfly, #1) - Leigh Talbert Moore

I still don’t know how I feel about that ending, or really the lack thereof. I mean, there is an ending, it just left SO MUCH to be revealed in the sequel Undertow. To be honest, I don’t even know how I feel about one of Anna’s love interests, or who I’m actually rooting for. I kind of loved them both, but then again… In the end, we’re led to believe who Anna will end up with, but at this point, I believe that’s as solid as the tide. What I do know, is that I need more! I need to know the secrets of this small coastal town and how they’re going to affect not only Anna’s future, but that of all the wonderfully complex, secondary characters we got to know in Dragonfly. If you couldn’t tell already, this book is filled with twists and I love that!


Okay, here’s the scoop. A few years ago, Anna’s family moved from the mid-west down south to her mom’s hometown on the Gulf Coast. Just days before starting her senior year, Anna found herself withdrawn and alone (since her best friend Gabi moved away), sitting on the beach when she met the incredibly hot Jack Kyser and his vivacious twin Lucy. Little did she know, her life from that day forward would never be the same.


On her first day back, Anna learned that Jack and Lucy had transferred to her school. She also found herself receiving A LOT MORE attention than she was used to. She had the two hottest guys in her class vying for her attention—Jack Kyser and Julian LaSalle. At first, Anna thought, Julian was just being a playful flirt. That was, until he made his intentions perfectly clear. And yeah, while he might have been a bit of a player, he truly was a SWEET, LOYAL and PATIENT guy. The attentive Jack was more direct; and therefore, captured Anna’s attention from the get go. However, after a family trip to New Orleans, the mysterious Jack withdrew and pushed Anna away. Yet, Jack couldn’t stay away, well not entirely anyway…


Unbeknownst to most, this small town held A LOT of secrets that were sure to affect several unsuspecting lives. Surprisingly, the most unlikely person handed Anna the answers in the form of journals kept by three old friends. I can’t wait to find out what they reveal in Undertow!


This sweet, yet tragically real YA romance shows how a ripple, caused by the decisions of a few, can rock the boats of so many. How many and to what extent? Only time will tell...


*Free copy was kindly provided by All Night Reads via NetGalley in exchange for an honest review.

Undeclared (Woodlands, #1)

Undeclared (Woodlands, #1) - Jen Frederick

I really liked this book! Our two main characters were amazing—which let’s be honest, doesn’t happen all that often—the secondary characters were great, the story was relatively drama free, and the writing was well done. In short, this was an enjoyable read.


Our hero, Marine Noah Jackson, was an honest to goodness, good guy. He was unwavering, persistent, and knew exactly what he wanted and wouldn’t stop until he achieved his goal(s). His main objective? To win back the heart of Grace Sullivan.


During her freshman year in high school, our heroine, Grace Sullivan was given the assignment of writing to a Marine who was stationed in Afghanistan. They wrote for 4-years! Their friendship, eventually developed into so much more…


These two truly got to know one another while sharing their hopes, dreams, and fears through their letters. Both Noah and Grace had troubled pasts. Both had lost one parent. Both remaining parents were addicted to a substance - his father a drunk and her mother an addict. While Grace came from money, Noah did not. Both characters had insecurities. As the story progressed, we were able to see how Noah and Grace dealt with their past demons, let go of their fears, and embraced their futures.


Undeclared was a wonderful story that offered a fresh take on NA, while highlighting common struggles and fears that many young adults face. It also introduced an interesting cast of secondary characters that I can’t wait to get to know better. Book 2, Unspoken, is Bo, Noah’s best friend's story and should definitely be an interesting read!


I highly recommend this series to any NA fan!


*Free copy of this book was provided by the author in exchange for an honest review.

Chase (Resisting Love, #1) - Chantal Fernando,  Dawn Martens

I really enjoyed this book. Chase is a character driven romance with great dialogue, an alpha H, a likable h, and wonderful secondary characters. No exaggerated plot devices were used because they really weren’t needed. That’s how well developed these characters were.


To start, our heroine Layla Crawford was essentially fleeing her family home in order to gain some independence and much needed distance from her overbearing mother. Just a week before classes were to begin, she found herself desperately searching for a place to live. Down to the last ad in the paper, she was stressed, to say the least, until she pulled up in front of a gorgeous house that was surprisingly tidy, despite the fact that her three would-be roommates were all males. Considering it was her last option and she was completely disarmed by the charming James, Layla immediately moved in. She soon found out that not only were her three roommates extremely hot, but also brothers.


Layla was sweet, smart, witty, beautiful, independent, and rolled with the punches - taking life as it came. Yet, she never gave up on her dreams. She was, to put it simply, genuine.


Our hero, Chase Jackson was a sexy as all hell, womanizing alpha who had a dubious past that was filled with one-night stands and open relationships. To be blunt, he was the player that put all other players to shame. But, Layla was the one woman who could change Chase’s ways. She was THE WOMAN.


Kade and James Steele. There’s just so much, I could say about these two… I absolutely loved them!


James was a complete mystery and I really hope he gets his own book. Perhaps with Sasha? A girl can hope! I’m dying to know where he disappears to and what ’shit’ needed to be done that was consistently hidden from Layla. What exactly did he do for work anyway? Hmmm…


Kade. I can’t wait for his book! He’s the epitome of sweet, protective, and hot! Oh yes, and we can’t forget that he’s well...endowed! Nikki is one lucky lady! The banter between Layla and Kade was hilarious. Yet, there were some really sweet moments as well. He was extremely protective and immediately took Layla under his wing and looked after her, as if she were his little sister.


There were so many other great characters, most notably the feisty Nikki and the fiercely overprotective Ryder. Both were great and I can’t wait to see more of them throughout the series.


Okay, so here’s where I talk about the issues I had with this book. I’m not sure what happened to be honest. Maybe it was written quickly? I don’t know. But there were numerous inconsistencies and please don’t get me started on the typos. The thing is, I don’t normally mention this type of thing, but I thought it was necessary in the case of this book. That’s how abundant they were.


Overall, I found the inconsistencies and typos distracting, but I muddled through because I truly loved these characters! I can’t wait for Kade and the rest of the series, so I can see what happens to these lovable characters.