Branded by Abi Ketner and Missy Kalicicki

Branded Abi&Missy front ebooklgFifty years ago the Commander came into power and murdered all who opposed him. In his warped mind, the seven deadly sins were the downfall of society. He created the Hole where sinners are branded according to their sins and might survive a few years. At best.
Now LUST wraps around my neck like blue fingers strangling me. I’ve been accused of a crime I didn’t commit and now the Hole is my new home.

Darkness. Death. Violence. Pain.

Now every day is a fight for survival. But I won’t die. I won’t let them win.

The Hole can’t keep me. The Hole can’t break me.
I am more than my brand. I’m a fighter.
My name is Lexi Hamilton, and this is my story.

The blurb sounded great and considering it has a four star rating on both Amazon and Goodreads I decided to give it a shot. And at first I believed it was as good as all those reviewers told me it was going to be. The story takes place in a dystopian future where criminals are branded “sinners”, marked with a tattoo (different colors for different sins) and sent to live in a prison/slum like place called the Hole. In the Hole sinners are watched by the guards who regularly abuse and kill them, all with the approval of the Commander who has been running the country as a dictatorship for fifty years. There is no judicial system, no trials, and no ‘innocent until proven guilty’. There is “High Society” where the regular people live and there is the Hole where people accused of the seven deadly sins end up after they are accused.

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The Tied Man by Tabitha McGowan

the tied manLilith Bresson, an independent, successful young artist, is forced to travel from her home in Spain to the wild borderlands of northern England, to repay her feckless father’s latest debt by painting a portrait of the enigmatic Lady Blaine Albermarle.
On her first night at Albermarle Hall she meets Finn Strachan, Blaine’s ‘companion’, a cultured and hauntingly beautiful young man who seems to have it all. But Lilith has an artist’s eye, and a gift for seeing what lies beneath the skin. She soon discovers that Blaine is more gaoler than lover, and if the price is right, depravity has no limits.
As the weeks pass, Lilith finds that she too is drawn into the malign web that her patron has spun, yet against the odds she forges a strong friendship with the damaged, dysfunctional Finn. In a dark, modern twist to an age-old story, Lilith Bresson proves that sometimes it’s the princess who needs to become the rescuer.
Please note that this storyline contains depictions of drug abuse, violence and non-consensual sex.

Grade: A-

I read this book at a time that I was becoming convinced that there were no decent self-published e-books left to read. Lucky for me, Tabitha McGowan not only proved me wrong, she introduced me to a cast of characters so real and vibrant I mourned finishing the story.

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Fallen Too Far by Abbi Glines

fallenShe is his new stepfather’s daughter.

She is still naïve
and innocent due to spending the last three years taking care of her sick

But for twenty-four year old Rush Finlay, she is the only thing
that has ever been off limits. His famous father’s guilt money, his mother’s
desperation to win his love, and his charm are the three reasons he has never
been told no.

Blaire Wynn left her small farmhouse in Alabama, after her
mother passed away, to move in with her father and his new wife in their
sprawling beach house along the Florida gulf coast. She isn’t prepared for the
lifestyle change and she knows she’ll never fit into this world. Then there is
her sexy stepbrother who her father leaves her with for the summer while he runs
off to Paris with his wife. Rush is as spoiled as he is gorgeous. He is also
getting under her skin. She knows he is anything but good for her and that he’ll
never be faithful to anyone. He is jaded and has secrets Blaire knows she may
never uncover but even knowing all of that…

Blaire just may have fallen
too far.

Grade: D

This book was dangerously close to a DNF for me. I wasn’t too angry, I think it only cost 99 cents. But I recall thinking that the writing was so bad that reading it as a kind of joke saved me from wanting to bang my Kindle against my head.

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What A Scoundrel Wants by Carrie Lofty

what_a_scoundrel_wantsWhat A Scoundrel Wants by Carrie Lofty

In this dazzling, original tale, Carrie Lofty imagines a new chapter in the well-loved Robin Hood fable. Meet Robin’s rakish nephew, Will Scarlet, a man whose talents with the sword and the ladies are legendary—until his desire for one woman changes everything.


Grade: B

I first discovered this book while running a search over on Smart Bitches for books that rated an A. When I read the description about a book based on Robin Hood it piqued my interest. After reading on and discovering that the 1991 film Robin Hood: Prince Of Thieves inspired it, or more importantly that Christian Slater’s portrayal of Will Scarlet did, I was sold. Continue reading

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March 2, 2013 · 3:03 am

Proof By Seduction by Courtney Milan

proof by

Proof by Seduction by Courtney Milan

A gifted fortune-teller from a humble background, Jenny can make even the most sophisticated skeptic believe her predictions simply by batting her smoky eyelashes. Until she meets her match in Gareth Carhart, the Marquess of Blakely, a sworn bachelor and scientist. Broodingly handsome, Gareth is scandalized to discover his cousin has fallen under the spell of “Madame Esmerelda,” and vows to prove Jenny a fraud. But his unexpected attraction to her defies logic.

Grade: B+
Okay, real quick like: This is a well written story, the characters are fleshed out, and it is intelligent and FUNNY. I couldn’t help but giggle at how wonderfully written and snarky the dialogue was.


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March 2, 2013 · 2:36 am