Early Review: Ruled by Elle Kennedy

Ruled by Elle Kennedy
Series: Outlaws #3 (full reading order below)
Publication Date: November 1st 2016
Links: EbookPaperbackGoodreads
Source: I received an ARC from the author/publisher in exchange for an honest review

In the latest novel in the series with the “sexiest, baddest, hottest”* outlaws around, one woman must choose between the two men who want to claim her…

…Or does she?

Despite his magnetic personality, Rylan can’t seem to seduce Reese, the deadly leader of their town of outlaws. Winning her over is a welcome challenge, but her indifference isn’t the only thing standing in his way. If he wants Reese, Rylan must also win over Sloan, her stoic protector…

Sloan has always loved Reese, but their painful past has stolen his chances of a future with her. Rylan’s interest in Reese only intensifies the tension—until Sloan begins to wonder if the reckless man might be the one person who can bridge the distance…

The last time Reese fell for the wrong man, she had no choice but to kill him. Now, she desperately wants to take what both Rylan and Sloan are offering. But if she makes the wrong call again, she risks losing them both.

To say I’d been dying to read Ruled ever since finishing the previous Outlaws book would be an understatement. You have no idea how READY I was for Reese, Sloan, and Rylan’s story because hello, THREESOME!!! And SLOAN!!! And now, all I can say is that Sloan is one of my favorite heroes from Elle Kennedy, and Ruled might be the hottest book she’s written yet. If you thought you were ready for the steam thanks to Claimed and Addicted, think again, because Ruled will seriously blow your mind with the chemistry between this threesome.

Reese is the queen of her outlaw community. She is fierce, independent, badass – she will do anything and everything to protect her people. But there’s only one person she allows to protect her and stand by her side: Sloan, her quiet, stoic right hand man. These two are tied to the knot, and there is essentially no Reese without Sloan, and vice versa. But what Reese doesn’t know is that Sloan has been in love with her since forever. Will Sloan ever be able to win his queen? Or will he need the help of a new man to get her to open up to him – to them?

The only thing he didn’t like about the man was this creeping feeling he had that he was losing Reese to him. But was he really losing her? Or was Rylan the key to winning her?

Rylan – the irreverent, perpetually horny Rylan – has also wanted Reese since the moment he met her, but he’s gotten nothing but rejections from her. But when the stress piles up on the outlaw queen, Rylan offers his body as a way to relieve it. But there’s only one catch from Reese – that Sloan has to be there to watch them. So what starts off as an insanely hot exhibition act turns into so much more when the chemistry between Sloan and Reese, Reese and Rylan, and even Rylan and Sloan ignites. This is a threesome with no shortage of lust and raw desire – but can Sloan and Rylan ever get Reese to be vulnerable enough to admit to loving them?

“There is nothing we won’t give you,” Sloan said softly. “Nothing you could want that we can’t deliver.”

The steam in Ruled went above and beyond my expectations. Elle Kennedy knows how to write erotica, and I’m seriously hoping this won’t be the end of the Outlaws series. I’ll admit, I really wasn’t that into the plotline regarding the evil dystopian government – all I cared about were the main characters. It just wasn’t as engaging as the love story, and some details about it were too rushed. So if you’re like me, and just want the sexy hot threesome to set your panties on fire, trust me, you won’t be disappointed with Ruled!

4 hearts
lacey

Quotes are taken from the arc and are subject to change in the final version.


Reading Order: Outlaws series

Claimed by Elle Kennedy  

#1 ~ Claimed: My Review • Ebook • Paperback • AudibleGoodreads
#2 ~ Addicted: My Review • EbookPaperbackAudible • Goodreads
#3 ~ Ruled: EbookPaperbackGoodreads (Nov. 1, 2016)


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Release Day Review: Addicted by Elle Kennedy

Addicted by Elle Kennedy
Series: Outlaws #2 (full reading order below)
Publication Date: June 28th 2016
Links: EbookPaperbackAudible • Goodreads
Source: I received an ARC from the author in exchange for an honest review

From the New York Times bestselling author of Claimed comes the second enticingly erotic novel set in a world on the brink of chaos.

Lennox used to live in a paradise on earth with his best friend Jamie, in a place where visitors came and went, allowing their desires to run free. But everything changes when a deadly attack forces them to take up with Connor Mackenzie’s band of Outlaws. Lennox knows Jamie is hung up on someone else, but he’s always believed he’s the man for her—and won’t let her go without a fight.

Even though Jamie is well aware that Lennox is one hot specimen of a man, she refuses to let sex ruin the most important relationship in her life. But when the object of her interest spurns her, she indulges in a little pleasure-filled revenge with her very magnetic, very willing best friend. One thrilling night with Lennox is enough to awaken Jamie’s unexpected desires for him. And now that she’s had a taste, she’s not sure she can ever give him up…

Friends-to-lovers is one of my FAVORITE tropes, though I don’t read it as often as I’d like. I’m picky because there just aren’t very many well-written ones, but Addicted is definitely on the better end of the spectrum. This is book two in the Outlaws series and features Lennox and Jamie, who we met in Claimed. These are two best friends who wholeheartedly believe their relationship is platonic, so I was eager to see how Elle Kennedy would turn that around, and she didn’t disappoint. It takes them a little while to get there, but these two are so meant to be together – their romance is emotional, intense, and surprisingly sweet! Addicted is a fantastic follow-up to this world of Outlaws – if you enjoyed Claimed, you’re more than likely to like Addicted as well.

Jamie and Lennox have been best friends since they were children – there’s no Jamie without Lennox, and vice versa. They’re now shackled up with their friend Connor at his camp, and this change of scenery leads to a change in their relationship. The repressed feelings they’ve had on both sides for years are slowly, finally coming out, especially since Lennox isn’t liking the fact that Rylan, Jamie’s crush, is in close proximity in the camp. Will Lennox finally make his move on the one person he loves in this dangerous, desolate world? Or will he stay cautious to protect their friendship, and miss out on something more?

“You’re my home, Jamie. It doesn’t matter where we go or what happens. As long as you’re with me, I’m home.”

I loved the fact that I got to read a friends-to-lovers romance in a different setting than the usual contemporary world. Not only do Jamie and Lennox have to navigate their way through their newfound and fragile relationship, they also have to keep looking over their shoulders to make sure that Enforcers aren’t out to get them and the people they’re with. The ups and downs of their romance mixed in with the suspense had me on the edge of my seat – the author did a wonderful job balancing those two aspects of the story!

And of course, I can’t write this review without mentioning how damn HOT it is! Tensions have been brewing between Lennox and Jamie for YEARS, so one can only imagine how explosive the chemistry is once they finally get together. And guys, it’s seriously smokin’ in this book. Elle Kennedy know how to write erotica!

One thing that bothered me about Addicted though (even though it’s so dumb), is how all the heroines have masculine names – I honestly couldn’t keep track of who was who. I got Lennox and Jamie mixed up ALL THE TIME, thinking Lennox was the heroine and Jamie the hero. It wouldn’t take me long to realize I’d be reading it wrong, but it was slightly annoying that I had to make the effort to realize who was who.

Overall, Addicted was an addictive read. The dystopian world sucked me in much more than it did in the previous book, and I can only hope it’ll get better throughout the rest of the series. Right now, I’m dying for the next book, Ruled – we’re finally getting Rylan’s story, and it just so happens to be a menage… and I can’t WAIT!

4 hearts
lacey

Quotes are taken from the arc and are subject to change in the final version.


Reading Order: Outlaws series

Claimed by Elle Kennedy  

#1 ~ Claimed: My Review • Ebook • Paperback • AudibleGoodreads
#2 ~ Addicted: EbookPaperbackAudible • Goodreads
#3 ~ Ruled: EbookPaperbackGoodreads (Nov. 1, 2016)


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Review: Claimed by Elle Kennedy

Claimed by Elle Kennedy

Claimed by Elle Kennedy
Series: Outlaws #1 (full reading order below)
Publication Date: October 6th 2015
Links: Ebook • Paperback • AudibleGoodreads

The bestselling author of the Killer Instincts novels “knows how to write scorching sexual tension”*. Now she really sets it on fire in a new series about men and women living on the edge of violence, sex, and life and death.

After a devastating war decimated most of the world, Hudson Lane has only known the oppressive life under her own father’s tyranny. She finally escapes, branding herself an outlaw and hunted by the Enforcers. Her best chance at survival is Connor Mackenzie, an aggressively sensual fugitive who opens her eyes to the wicked possibilities of a world without rules.

As the leader of a band of outlaw fighters, Connor can’t resist the beautiful stranger who asks for his protection. Despite his reservations, he agrees to introduce her to a whole new way of life. But when Connor discovers Hudson’s connection to the enemies of liberty, he wonders how far he can trust the woman who has abandoned all inhibitions to challenge every forbidden desire.

If you know me, you know that I love love love Elle Kennedy’s new adult books. But I’ve actually never read an adult book by her, until now. When I first heard of Claimed, it went immediately on my TBR because it’s Elle Kennedy, obviously, but also because of the amazing blurb! Dystopian erotica isn’t a genre I normally delve into, so I thought why not give it a try with the Outlaws series? And if there’s one thing I can say about Claimed, it’s that it. is. freaking. HOT! This is without doubt a panty melter of a book – if you’re a fan of steamy books, check this one out!

In this dystopian world Elle Kennedy has created, cities are tightly, rigorously controlled by the government’s Enforcers, and those who go against the government’s tyranny, the Outlaws, are killed on sight. Connor Mackenzie is reluctantly in charge of a group of Outlaw fighters. He’s a natural-born leader against his wishes, but he’s formed a bond with his band of brothers Rylan, Pike, Xander, and Kade. They’re a tight-knit group, so when a mysterious woman shows up and wants to join their gang, they’re obviously suspicious.

Hudson Lane is on the run, and she knows her best bet for survival is to stick with Connor and his deadly, dangerous men. But she has to prove herself trustworthy first – and it’s tough going, but day by day, she proves that she can keep up with the men and be an integral part of the group. Of course, there’s also the insanely hot chemistry between Hudson and Connor. Their sex is raw, intense, and uninhibited – the steam is definitely the best part of the book.

I was intrigued by the dystopian world at first, but I felt like this aspect of the book was highly overshadowed by the sex. There is just sooo much sex that it was little too much for me at times, and I had to skim past it. I wanted the plot to move forward, but it did at a very slow pace, and we get only a shallow understanding of how the world came to be in Claimed. It’s a shame the world-building wasn’t as developed as I hoped, because it had so much potential!

Though I didn’t connect with the plot, I really did enjoy getting to know all the characters. Connor and Hudson are great together – Connor is an alpha to the max, and Hudson gives as good as she gets. If you don’t like menages, though, this probably won’t be the book for you. I’m excited to see where Elle Kennedy will take us next with the Outlaws series – I’m hoping each of Connor’s men get’s his own book!

3.5 hearts
lacey


Reading Order: Outlaws series

Claimed by Elle Kennedy  

#1 ~ Claimed: Ebook • Paperback • AudibleGoodreads
#2 ~ Addicted: My Review • EbookPaperbackAudible • Goodreads
#3 ~ Ruled: EbookPaperbackGoodreads (Nov. 1, 2016)


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Review: Ignite Me by Tahereh Mafi

Ignite Me by Tahereh Mafi

Ignite Me by Tahereh Mafi
Series: Shatter Me #3 (full reading order below)
Publication Date: February 4th 2014
Purchase: Hardcover • Ebook • Paperback

The heart-stopping conclusion to the New York Times bestselling Shatter Me series, which Ransom Riggs, bestselling author of Miss Peregrine’s Home for Peculiar Children, called “a thrilling, high-stakes saga of self-discovery and forbidden love”

Juliette now knows she may be the only one who can stop the Reestablishment. But to take them down, she’ll need the help of the one person she never thought she could trust: Warner. And as they work together, Juliette will discover that everything she thought she knew-about Warner, her abilities, and even Adam-was wrong.

In Shatter Me, Tahereh Mafi created a captivating and original story that combined the best of dystopian and paranormal and was praised by Publishers Weekly as “a gripping read from an author who’s not afraid to take risks.” The sequel, Unravel Me, blew readers away with heart-racing twists and turns, and New York Times bestselling author Kami Garcia said it was “dangerous, sexy, romantic, and intense.” Now this final book brings the series to a shocking and climactic end.

I have no idea where to even begin with this review for Ignite Me, besides saying that I freaking LOVED this book so, so much, and it was everything I expected and more. I really can’t say anything about the story without giving away spoilers, but I will try my best to make sure you read this book!!!!

Ignite Me continues right where Unravel Me leaves off. Juliette has been shot by Warner’s father and nearly dies, but Warner saves her life. Juliette is very conflicted about Warner–he does save her life, and yet she can’t quite let go of her original hatred of him. But I, of course, have no qualms whatsoever about Warner! I. Love. This. Boy! I’m nearly obsessed with Warner… Aaron… Just swoon! But whether you’re Team Adam or Team Warner, you learn so much more about both of these boys. We see them in a completely different lights, which can be both good and bad. You could stay on whichever team you’re on, or even switch to the other, but either way, you’ll have a heart-pounding, incredible experience reading Ignite Me, because there’s so much more going on than just the love triangle.

I do recommend reading Fracture Me before starting Ignite Me. Adam annoyed the hell out of me in that novella, but we are given some important information regarding Omega Point, the rebels. But even if you don’t read Fracture Me, it doesn’t take away the full reading experience of Ignite Me.

Juliette transforms into a completely different creature in Ignite Me. She was once a scared, timid girl with no idea of her powers, but now, she’s growing into them. She’s learning more about her powers, using her powers more skillfully, and it gives her a confidence she never really had. I loved seeing this new side of Juliette. She becomes someone much more fascinating to read about. We discover more about her powers as she does, and I have to admit that she has a totally badass power. Seriously, with her power of incredible strength, she’s like a freaking Superwoman!

For so many years I lived in constant terror of myself. Doubt had married my fear and moved into my mind, where it built castles and ruled kingdoms and reigned over me, bowing my will to its whispers until I was little more than an acquiescing peon, too terrified to disobey, too terrified to disagree.
I had been shackled, a prisoner in my own mind.
But finally, finally, I have learned to break free.

I literally could not put Ignite Me down. I was hooked from the start. I loved Juliette’s journey into becoming the person she was meant to be, a leader. We never really get to see Juliette shine until now, and I was just SO impressed with this girl!

“Ignite, my love. Ignite.”

This book is gripping, intense, electrifying, and so goooood. My heart was racing at the action scenes, which there are a lot of. My heart was bursting when everyone was working together to defeat The Reestablishment and Warner’s father. It was just so amazing to see everyone together for one final, epic round to fight for their future.

And lord have mercy, the romance. The romance swept me away. I was smiling, laughing, grinning, giggling, swooning so hard because the romance between Juliette and the man she chooses the love and be with forever is breathtakingly beautiful. Juliette really, finally does choose who to be with, and we don’t even have to wait until the very end, which I was so happy about! We get to see so much of Juliette being in love, a beautiful, forever kind of love that has me swooning every time I think about it.

His hands are holding my cheeks, and he pulls back just to look me in the eye and his chest is heaving and he says, “I think,” he says, “my heart is going to explode,” and I wish, more than ever, that I knew how to capture moments like these and revisit them forever.
Because this.
This is everything.

Ignite Me is brilliant. It’s an epic, heart-stopping ending to this incredible series. I love the writing, I love the characters, I love the story–everything. This book just blew me away. If you haven’t read the Shatter Me series yet, you absolutely must. It’s one of my all-time favorite series ever, one I recommend to everyone.

6 hearts!

6-hearts

And now for the slightly spoilery part of my review! I wanted to rave a lot more about Warner and Adam, but I couldn’t do that without spoiling anything, because you already know I’m Team Warner, but if you don’t care about knowing who Juliette ends up with, or you already know, then you can continue reading!

I love warner

Warner. Warner Warner Warner Warner Warner Warner Warner. I looooooove Warner. Ignite Me only ignited (hehe) my love for him. I loved that as Juliette spends more time with Warner, she sees another side of him as well. It’s a side no one else ever sees or knows. Isn’t that just a little bit beautiful? We know without a doubt that Warner loves Juliette, and he only ever shows his true self to her. But does Juliette love Warner? Or does she still love Adam?

Juliette’s reservations about Warner are slowly blasted away, because even though Warner was seen as some cold, manipulative, unfeeling, cruel person, we learn that he’s really not. There’s always a reason behind everything he does, and even though it doesn’t make him a better person, it does make him someone we can understand better, someone we can love.

Adam, on the other hand, is just so… different. He’s incredible bitter, something I never thought was possible. He has so much hatred festering inside of him, and it truly changes him. I was so impressed with how Tahereh Mafi handled Adam and Juliette. Juliette is different now–she’s not the same girl Adam loved. Adam is not the same boy Juliette loved, and the changes in both of them affect their relationship. We can clearly see how the two of them just weren’t meant for each other, how they brought each other down instead of up.

So all in all, I was definitely happy with the way the romance ended up, and not just because I’m Team Warner. Even if I wasn’t on any team (or if I was Team Kenji) I would still have seen that Adam wasn’t good for Juliette, and vice versa. Warner brought out the most, the best out of Juliette. And holy crap, can I just say, Warner is hot hot hot!!! Chapters 55-58 anyone? Woooh, I was fanning myself so much here. God, I love Warner.

lacey

Reading Order: Shatter Me series

Shatter Me by Tahereh Mafi Destroy Me by Tahereh Mafi Unravel Me by Tahereh Mafi
Fracture Me by Tahereh Mafi
 Ignite Me by Tahereh Mafi Untie Me by Tahereh Mafi

#1 ~ Shatter Me: Ebook • Hardcover • Paperback • Goodreads
#1.5 ~ Destroy Me: Ebook • Goodreads
#2 ~ Unravel Me: Ebook • Hardcover • Paperback • Goodreads
#2.5 ~ Fracture Me: My Review • Ebook • Goodreads
#3 ~ Ignite Me: Ebook • Hardcover • Paperback • Goodreads
Unite Me (paperback bundle of Destroy Me & Fracture Me): Paperback • Goodreads

Release Day Review: Into the Still Blue by Veronica Rossi

Into the Still Blue by Veronica Rossi

Into the Still Blue by Veronica Rossi
Series: Under the Never Sky #3 (full reading order below)
Publication Date: January 28th 2014
Purchase: Ebook • Hardcover
Source: I received an ARC from the publisher (HarperCollins) in exchange for an honest review

The earth-shattering conclusion to Veronica Rossi’s “masterpiece” Under the Never Sky trilogy and sequel to the New York Times bestselling Through the Ever Night (Examiner.com).

Their love and their leadership have been tested. Now it’s time for Perry and Aria to unite the Dwellers and the Outsiders in one last desperate attempt to bring balance to their world.

The race to the Still Blue has reached a stalemate. Aria and Perry are determined to find this last safe-haven from the Aether storms before Sable and Hess do-and they are just as determined to stay together.

Meanwhile, time is running out to rescue Cinder, who was abducted by Hess and Sable for his unique abilities. And when Roar returns to camp, he is so furious with Perry that he won’t even look at him, and Perry begins to feel like they have already lost.

Out of options, Perry and Aria assemble a team to mount an impossible rescue mission-because Cinder isn’t just the key to unlocking the Still Blue and their only hope for survival, he’s also their friend. And in a dying world, the bonds between people are what matter most.

In this final book in her stunning Under the Never Sky trilogy, Veronica Rossi raises the stakes to their absolute limit and brings her epic love story to an unforgettable close.

Into the Still Blue is the EPIC conclusion to the fantastic Under the Never Sky series by Veronica Rossi, and  wow, it didn’t disappoint! I had high hopes for this book, and it was nearly perfect. Perry and Aria are so dear to me, after reading their journey that was filled with action, romance, and thrills. I had a wonderful time reading Into the Still Blue, but I have to admit, I’m incredibly sad to be leaving Perry, Aria, and their world.

It had been a while since I last read Through the Ever Night (which is my favorite of the series), so I couldn’t remember much about what happened before Into the Still Blue, but luckily, Veronica Rossi is a brilliant storyteller. She managed to have me catching up quite quickly and effortlessly. It’s so easy to get sucked into this dystopian world, to get hooked onto Aria and Perry’s journey toward the Still Blue. There’s action in every scene, and the book kept me at the edge of my seat the whole time while reading. I just couldn’t put the book down! I was hooked on every word, every page, and I just can’t get over the storytelling! The writing is phenomenal–Veronica Rossi writes in dual third-person POV, and she works it. She’s probably one of the few authors I actually really like and am impressed with who write in this style.

Perry and Aria are put to the final test–they have to unite the Outsiders and Dwellers and get everyone to the Still Blue, all the while trying to get back Cinder from Sable, the evil Blood Lord who killed Perry’s sister and who wants total control of all Outsiders and Dwellers. Sable kidnapped Cinder, who is the only known person who can combat the deadly aether that ravages their world. There is just so much that goes on in this book, but it’s also so easy to keep up. All of the characters go through hell and back all to find a better future–friendships are put to the test, there are betrayals that shock the hell out of you, revelations that you never see coming, and SO MUCH MORE! I can’t even describe how heart-pounding and exhilarating it was to read this book.

I LOVE the characters! Perry, Aria, ROAR(!!), and even Soren are the ones who make this book, this series, special. You feel all the emotions that they feel as well, and you cheer for them over and over again. Each character is unique and complex and so real. They come alive off the pages–Veronica Rossi has created the most incredible cast of characters that I will miss dearly! And one of the top things that I will miss too? The BROMANCE between Perry and Roar. 😉

And have I mentioned how much I love Aria and Perry? They were wonderful in the first two books, and it’s no different in this final one. I loved them even more in Into the Still Blue, where they’re actions really show how much they’ve grown. As I was reading, it all came back to me how much I really cared for these two characters. They’ve endeared themselves to me, through their actions, words, and love. God, I just love the romance between Perry and Aria. The love they have for each other is rock-solid, something that strengthens them and gives them hope for a brighter future, and it’s just beautiful. And yet at the same time, Aria and Perry are brilliant as individuals as well. But still, who doesn’t love a good romance? And this one is sooo good!

“What I was trying to say,” he whispered, “is that I see you in everything. There isn’t a word for you that means enough, because you’re everything to me.”

Perry makes me swoon so. freaking. hard.

I never wanted the book to end–but when it did, I was smiling so hard. I LOVED the ending! It was so beautiful and heartwarming and believable. Fans of the series won’t be disappointed with this brilliant final book. And if you haven’t read this series yet, you must! The Under the Never Sky series stands out in the dystopian genre, and is a must read.

4 hearts–loved it, but I can’t give a 5 because it didn’t have the same oomph as the second book!

4 hearts
lacey

Reading Order: Under the Never Sky series

Roar and Liv by Veronica Rossi Under the Never Sky by Veronica Rossi
Through the Ever Night by Veronica Rossi Brooke by Veronica Rossi Into the Still Blue by Veronica Rossi

#0.5 ~ Roar and Liv: Ebook • Goodreads
#1 ~ Under the Never Sky: Ebook • Hardcover • Paperback • Goodreads
#2 ~ Through the Ever Night: Ebook • Hardcover • Paperback • Goodreads
#2.5 ~ Brooke: Ebook • Goodreads
#3 ~ Into the Still Blue: Ebook • Hardcover • Goodreads