Everything we Keep (Everything #1)

everything

A luminous debut with unexpected twists, Everything We Keepexplores the devastation of loss, the euphoria of finding love again, and the pulse-racing repercussions of discovering the truth about the ones we hold dear and the lengths they will go to protect us.

Sous chef Aimee Tierney has the perfect recipe for the perfect life: marry her childhood sweetheart, raise a family, and buy out her parents’ restaurant. But when her fiancé, James Donato, vanishes in a boating accident, her well-baked future is swept out to sea. Instead of walking down the aisle on their wedding day, Aimee is at James’s funeral—a funeral that leaves her more unsettled than at peace.

As Aimee struggles to reconstruct her life, she delves deeper into James’s disappearance. What she uncovers is an ocean of secrets that make her question everything about the life they built together. And just below the surface is a truth that may set Aimee free…or shatter her forever.

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This is the second book that I have read by Kerry Lonsdale, and I think that this author has skyrocketed to my top ten authors list.

Her writing is passionate and heartfelt. I could not stop listening to the story because I was so emotionally invested in what would happen to the characters, particularly Aimee.

Everything We Keep starts off at James’ funeral, and is told from his fiance Aimee’s POV. Obviously, the start of this book is extremely sad, but I didn’t feel like the abrupt beginning took anything away from the moment. Lonsdale’s writing is emotionally pure, and not knowing the characters took nothing away from Aimee’s loneliness, sadness and despair.

I don’t know who the original owner of this quote is, but is perfect for Everything We Keep.

“Some books you read Some books you enjoy.

But some books just swallow you up, heart and soul.”

The narrative takes place over the course of a fairly long time period, approximately two years. It also flashes back in time periodically, as Aimee recalls memories from her and James’ shared childhoods.

The story is very driven by character development rather than intricate plot points. Aimee struggles with reinventing herself as an independent women after the death of her fiance, with whom she had been best friends since childhood. The book progressed a little too slowly for me.

I enjoyed the audiobook performance by Amy Landon. She wasn’t great at the male characters’ voices though. I preferred the narration of All the Breaking Waves by Dara Rosenburg.

Overall, I loved this book, will listen to the rest in the series. This book tore my heart out at times, and was definitely accompanied by a box of tissues.

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xx

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The Bonus by AJ Adams – a review

The Bonus is the first book in the “Zetas” series, by AJ Adams. I discovered it through the recommendation of another blog: http://www.romanceandsmut.com/topics/best/all/1/

This is actually the same blog where I discovered the “Twist Me” series by Anna Zaires, which I loved and previously reviewed on here. Another hit, so I guess I’ll keep using Romance and Smut when searching for books for awhile.

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Blurb:

Chloe is a seasoned drug courier who finds herself in the wrong place at the wrong time. Facing a lingering and painful death at the hands of the Zetas, Mexico’s most brutal cartel, she persuades their enforcer to claim her. Has Chloe made a huge mistake, or will her choice prove her salvation – and his?

Warning: This book contains explicit scenes of dubious consent, graphic violence and sex.

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I really liked this one!!!!

If you regularly read my blog, you probably know by now that I favour books with anti-heroes, partially because I like bad boys and partially because the characters tend to be more complicated and twisty, exactly what I am looking for.

Kyle Suarez is definitely that. Former Spec Ops Marine and Gitmo interrogator, he became disenfranchised with life in the United States after as nasty run-in with DEA agents hunting his older brother. So he moved to Mexico and became the number one interrogator and security specialist for his broski’s cartel.

The way that he and Chloe, aka “The Bonus” meet is seriously f***ed up. Like, the brother and his men torture her by making her balance on a melting block of ice, with a noose around her neck until she slowly strangles. But she gets off and runs to him, the late-comer, offering him whatever if he will only take her with him. Since his brother just offered Kyle a bonus gift for a job well done, he takes her home to serve.

What I like most about The Bonus, is the author’s balancing of Kyle’s personality. He is a bad dude. And not like in a cool leather jacket, brawler kind of way.

Hello?!!! He’s the head enforcer for the cartel and specializes in sending … messages.

Like crucifying his victims. To make headlines around the world. Not the kind of guy you expect to be merciful.

But Kyle gets to know Chloe really well and really quickly. She has been through things as bad as anything Kyle could dish out and reading her journal, he gets to know her intimately in a matter of days. Add to that her shaking, night terrors and just generally being one step away from a complete mental breakdown, he is more gentle with her than you ever expect him to be based off of first impressions.

I definitely enjoyed this book and will read the next couple in the series forthwith. Hope you enjoy, my loves.

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xx