Book Reviews

“Twist Me” by Anna Zaires

You know, since the disastrous read I had last time, I told myself I needed to review a book I had already read, a book that I actually liked – so I could show my blog is not just me ranting on every literary work 😉

Twist Me (from the, aptly named, Twist Me series) is just my go-to book for whenever I’m in a bad mood and I need goodness in my life. Now, by goodness I don’t mean sunshine and rainbows (sadly 🌞) since it’s a bloody dark romance (please notice the emphasis on ‘dark’ 😂), but it’s a pretty good book where you can actually find a proper storyline and appropriate male MC. I personally really liked this series, so I’m hoping you guys will like it to.

Nora (our female MC) is a High-school senior full of plans and dreams about her future when she meets Julian (the male MC) in a club where she was celebrating with her friend. Their first encounter is intense:

He stands next to me, and I have to remember to breathe.

Fast forward some weeks, and she gets kidnapped one evening whilst having a date with her crush that she’s been pining on for ages. #sad #badluck

I mean, I would be gutted: the actual time you manage to go out with him, and that happens! Kidnappers are so inconsiderate 😒

Nora finds herself waking some place she doesn’t recognise… which turns out to be a whole private island. Owned by no other than Julian, of course.

What ensues is Nora trying to escape (which always happens in these captive books…), then getting angry and rebellious when she subsequently realises escaping is impossible… unless you can swim hundreds of miles of open sea 👌🏼

I personally loved Julian: he was such a believable character for a dark romance. His personality wasn’t bipolar like in other romances where they turn pussy-whipped after 2.5 seconds of meeting the female MC. He stayed consistent throughout, and I loved that, because that was more realistic than anything else I’d read.

Still, this would’t be a review of mine without at least something I didn’t like 😛 First and foremost, Beth irritated me to no end. She was just so annoying, I can’t believe she existed as a human character. She wouldn’t feel any empathy at all for Nora, and she idolised Julian like he was a God. Ugh, fair enough, whatever, I just learned to ignore Beth from then on.

Another thing that was a bit of a pet peeve for me… the fact that Nora fell for Julian so fast. Maybe it wasn’t actually that fast, but I personally thought so. At first it was just her body liking him, which is fine, it happens, but… legit, days later she starts talking about actual feelings for him. It made me go “Wait, wut?”

Finally, last (but extremely not least) the bad guys are terrorists. From the Middle East. I found that cliche as fuck, and not needed at all. I understand that usually all the terrorists seem to be from the Middle East, but they are not the only ones. Terrorists can be from any country. Anna Zaires could have brought more uniqueness and awareness by choosing terrorists from… dunno, bloody Alaska, or Australia… or even Sweden. That would have totally made me go, “Ohhh, this is a new one I haven’t seen before!”

Apart from all that though, I still believe this series as a whole is the Bible of all dark romances because of nicely put storyline and character play. All in all, it’s totally a book I’ve read multiple times, and I will continue to do so indefinitely. A truly great achievement for Anna Zaires ;D

See you all for my next blog post this Sunday, where I may or may not get back to ranting 🌝

Peace and love!

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“Stolen” by J. Marie

Another dark romance! Yay!

I love that genre, so I couldn’t wait to start reading it. I was expecting a ruthless but sexy male MC, a clever and strong female MC, and a storyline that left me breathless and hanging on the edge of my seat.

What I actually got was a laughable pile of digested food.

The story starts with Jade (I think her name was that…) waking up in a cell, surrounded by more cells containing other women. She is confused and she can’t remember how she came to be there. A girl next to her informs her they’ve all been kidnapped by a human trafficking organisation.

“Where am I?” I asked, my voice dry and cracking, my irritation evident.

“Hell,” she said nonchalantly.

Now, the thing with Jade is, she is a bitch. Simple as that. I didn’t care for her once in the whole of the bloody book, even when she was being tortured or whatever. That makes me sound evil, but bloody hell, she was just so hate-able I just didn’t give a shit for her.

First of all, she’s a bitch to the fellow girls:

“So, what have you learned about this place?”

“What do you mean?” she asked me curiously.

I rolled my eyes. God, I hoped she wasn’t useless.

Uhm… alright, chill, not everybody is as clever as you 🙄

Then she starts kicking the metal lock (??) to try to break it (yes, good luck with that), and a girl, obviously, tries to stop her hurting herself:

“Won’t do any good. Most of us have already tried that.”

“Most of you probably don’t know how to kick properly,” I growled.

I mean, that was a bitchy comeback, right? It’s not just me, right? But wait, after she says that, this is her brilliant excuse for snapping like that to the poor girl:

I didn’t mean to insult her, but I was pissed to be in this situation, and rightfully so.

Like, come the fuck on! Those girls have been there longer than you, probably been through tortures you never imagined, and you dare say that you were justified to act like that?! Simply because you were kidnapped? Where’s your bloody empathy and humbleness?!

But God, she gets WORSE! How, you may ask? Well, at that moment in the story, some guards (the bad guys that are ‘staff’ in the compound where the girls are in basically) come inside the room, and some girls whimper at the sight of them. As a Psychology student, I understand that completely. But how does Jade-The-Bitch act seeing that?

All the girls who were awake staggered back into their cages, whimpering and attempting to put as much distance between them and the guards as possible.

Pathetic.

She. Just. Called. Them. Pathetic. For her, victims of human trafficking are pathetic. How in the ever loving God is this girl….?!!! I cannot… I just cannot explain the anger I felt at 3am yesterday night whilst I was reading this book. I swear to God I hate her, I really do. The gall of her to look down on them. She deserves whatever will come at her. And that was the moment I didn’t give a shit about Jade anymore and kept reading the book like I was reading a shopping list.

But as well as being a bitch, she’s also an arrogant bitch. And one of those types that are so insecure and immature that they always rely on violence. Because, ya know, Jade-The-Bitch is above using words like a proper, mature adult 🙄

This is how high she believes she is (and also how much better than other women she is):

No matter what situation I was in, I never showed fear. Never. I was not someone who was easily intimidated. While other girls might cower away in a corner, probably because that’s all they could do, I would stare the threat down, pick it apart piece by piece, analyze its weaknesses, and formulate a strategy to strike.

*YAWN*

And on top of that, we learn she has been driving bikes since she was 10 (???!) because her father made her do so (what kind of father….?) and she’s a martial arts master. Of-fucking-course she is. And oh! On top of that (like we need more) she’s from Law School, graduated in Psychology, had a minor in Political Sciences…. for fuck’s sake, I was dying of boredom on how fucking perfect and clever she was.

Lucky for me, I was big on fitness and worked my body to be strong and dependable, so my confidence was usually pretty fucking fierce.

I had to admit, my four pack was visible from a mile away. My biceps, though small, were rock hard, my shoulders defined, and my legs lean and powerful.

She goes on and on about how good she looks… when is it ending?! Nobody cares about that, this is a dark romance about human trafficking. Where are the emotions? The gloomy metaphors? The dark ambience? The everyday struggles of victims? This book only seems to be a pedestal for Jade-The-Bitch to shine on.

And lets add YET another virtue to her (because she never ceases to be amazing). Stupidness. Yep. Jade is fucking stupid.

Basically, the guards punish you whenever you do something they don’t like, one of them being talking back at them. And guess what Jade does? You guessed correctly! She talks back at them, curses at them, and then she gets all pissy and angry that she gets punished. Uhm… yeah, she’s stupid. Like, shit girl, you don’t really learn, do ya?

Oh, and did I mention already she a violent little bitch? Yeah, just wanted to stress it further:

[…]the very idea of someone thinking I was small made me want to punch them square in the face

You’re short. Big fucking deal. Just get on with life, bloody hell.

She keeps on fucking angering the “Owner” (the male MC) and she also gets pissy with him when she gets punished. She starts singing together with the other girls, and gets pissy for getting punished. She fucking has a chance of running after flooring one of the guards, but stays there to keep on hitting him instead of using that opportunity to escape. Just. Fucking. Stupid.

*ARRRGGGH*

Also, she acts like she’s the only victim, and I have a slight inclination she hates males. Why, you ask?

I didn’t fit the profile, but what the fuck did I know about their slave qualifications? I had tits and a vagina. Good enough.

Can I remind you Jade, that there are male slaves around the world too?

“I swear to God, men were pathetic.”

Oh yeah, because you are so much better as a female 🙄

She describes brown as a masculine colour:

[…]and a dark chocolate brown painted the walls, giving the room a very masculine vibe.

I don’t know in what world she lives, but in my book, brown is a shit colour to paint your walls for both sexes. Pun definitely intended.

“But, Flavia,” you may ask, “what about the storyline? Was that at least to your fancy?”

And I would laugh in your face.

Because. WHAT FUCKING STORYLINE.

It was all about her, her, and more her. Her ranting, her belittling others, her showing off, her doing stupid shit, and her fighting. Yes, more than 10 pages was just her having ONE weird-assed martial arts fight with the Owner. Yes, I did skip that, thanks for asking.

“What about the Owner? Was he as ruthless and dark as you wanted?”

*More laughing in your face.* He sucked. Period.

“…and, the sex? That, at least…!”

Nope, the sex scenes were shit too. Mainly because it was mostly him raping her (*cringe*), but even when she started enjoying it (as you do in dark romances) it was seriously boring.

“But- but, did you even enjoy anything??? Anything at all????”

Why, yes, I did. I really fucking loved it when I reached the end of this sad excuse of a book.

I can’t believe this novel received so many 5 and 4 star reviews. Are we even reading the same thing? So many praises on Jade being strong (*GAG*) clever (*DOUBLE GAG*) and relatable (*UNCONTROLLABLE GAGGING*). To me, she was the only pathetic creature there.

I guess it’s the whole “It’s not you, it’s me” thing…

Well, see you guys on Wednesday for my next blog post, here’s to hoping I’ll read something better, but you can only go higher after this…

Peace and love!

“Released” by Jordan Marie

★★★☆☆

Ok, I gotta admit I read the first book already but not the second (all because the second novel was about Torch and Katie and, I’m sorry, but I started with Skull and Beth, and I WILL end with Skull and Beth first.

Anyways, going back to this book…

!!!(And I gotta warn you, I’m pretty biased)!!!

One thing I LOVED in the first book was Beth: she was such a breath of fresh air – the majority of the female protagonists now are these bitches that think they are badass and independent but end up actually behaving like complete irritating midgets…!

Anyways, rant over (for now)… I loved Beth. I loved Skull and his forward flirting, and I especially loved the sex between them (like, OMG-I’m-burning kind of love). It made me blush, and I NEVER blush reading sex scenes, so that’s saying something.)

ON TO THE THIRD BOOK (this one I’m reviewing right now):

After reading the first 5 chapters: WTF happened to her personality?! (She was slowly changing to those irritating midgets that I hate so much!)

Finds out she was tortured. A LOT. By both Matthew and Colin (her step-terrors stepbrothers. ….Well, shite. Ok, that explains it.)

But then… she starts acting like an immature jealous kid – Skull thought she was dead, he even admits that he did think about ending his life repeatedly since Beth ‘died’, and then manages to move on (as much as he could, at least) and sleeps with ONE woman – Dr. Torres – (who looks a bit like Beth…).

Now, in this book, he hasn’t slept with Dr. Torres in over a year. By the way he says it, you can totally tell he didn’t even enjoy much those few times he slept with her.

Beth gets angry and jealous and hurt (understandably), but if I was her, I would make a mature conversation with Skull about it and try to get understand him more (even he tells her repeatedly he thought she was dead, wtf was he meant to do?! Pine over her for the rest of his life?! Don’t we always see people telling those that had lost their boyfriend/girlfriend to move on because they would have wanted them to be happy?!)

No, she acts like he did that on purpose or something. She keeps on saying irritating immature things like:

“The fact that he sleeps with another woman?”

Or

“Don’t let me stop you from getting lucky (with Dr. Torres)”

Can I all remind he you he said MULTIPLE FUCKING TIMES he hasn’t touched that Dr. Torres in over a year?! Why the fuck won’t she get that through her thick skull?! What is she being so fucking petty for?!

I understand she was jealous and hurt, but she was blowing everything out of proportion. I swear the whole book was them trying to solve their relationship issues, but because of her bitchy attitude, those aforementioned issues had to go on and on for chapters on end.

But this is not the worst here! The stupidity of the women in this book is never-ending! It’s like the stupidity rubs on each and every one of these women like a highly infectious disease!

Basically, Beth and Katie put a spy camera on Gabby (Beth and Skull’s baby daughter) so that they can… well, spy on the men having Church. They get all the plans the men made to get rid of Matthew so they can use that plan themselves.

*Please let’s just all get a minute of silence here.*
Wow. Just wow.

And when the girls say they all want to team up and help Beth, she tries to change their mind. A very half-assed try, if I say so myself. Girl, they’re following you. YOU!

“I tried changing their mind!” She says later when Skull manages to save her sorry arse. Yes girl, you did… like shit.

Couldn’t you have just said “Girls, I’m sorry, but if you’re going, then I’m not. I won’t lead you to your deaths.” Just stay fucking put! Don’t follow that crazy plan anymore!

But noooo, she later says:

“But, as I look around at all of these women, I realise I’m surrounded by fighters.”

Gurrrl, you’re surrounded by fucking imbeciles with amoeba brains. (And for your information, amoebas have no brains).

Skull (understandably) gets angry at her and everyone’s stupidity:

“This is not the movies, and it sure ain’t fucking blanks they’ll be shooting at you! What the hell do you think you’re doing? It’s not been two days since you promised me you’d let me handle this. Where is your damn brain?”

Exactly Beth! Where the fuck is your damn brain, uh?! Oh, sorry, I forgot you’re a bloody amoeba now!

And what does she feel on that? Does she feel ashamed? Embarrassed? Angry with herself? In your fucking dreams:

“My head goes back like he slapped me. Which really he did, just verbally. Where’s my brain? Right now, I have to ask the same question, but only because I’m wondering why in the hell I ever thought he and I could work things out.”

W. T. Effing. F.
Girl, did they drop you as a baby?!
How even – how fucking even that is her response?! This made me scream internally so fucking much it became an external scream!

I just didn’t understand her logic. Her fucking sense. She gets angry at the truth, and then acts like a fucking victim.

Just no.

I felt so bad hating her cause I totally loved Beth and Skull in the first book, but in this one they only behave so pissed off at each other but still with this strong chemistry between them.

HOWEVER, I liked the end. The last couple of chapters were my favourite: Beth seemed to slowly go back to her old self and Skull as well got rid of that ‘cold and arsehole-ish’ attitude. My love for them was reborn and they even made me shed some tears (and that is RARE).

I’m just so happy the ending was a HEA, and that salvaged this book from a measly two stars.

IN CONCLUSION, the start and middle of the book was irritating, so many bloody characters just acting plain stupid. However, if like me you loved Beth and Skull from the first book, than yes, read it! The ending is worth it! Just ignore the first 90% of the book LOL

Peace and love!

F. S. Freewel