A MONSTER LIKE ME by Pamela Sparkman

Heart of Darkness series #2

HELLO STRANGER by Lisa Kleypas

The Ravenels series #4

THE BUTTERFLY PROJECT by Emma Scott

Companion to the Full Tilt series

PLAYING FOR KEEPS by Jill Shalvis

Heartbreaker Bay series #7

UNWRITTEN by Jen Frederick

Woodlands series #5

Cross My Heart by L.H. Cosway

Hearts series #5.75

MOONSHADOW by Thea Harrison

Moonshadow series #1

Friday, January 18, 2019

Release Day Blast: The Hail Mary by Ginger Scott


We are celebrating the release of The Hail Mary by Ginger Scott! One-Click this amazing series today!



The Hail Mary by Ginger Scott
Adult Contemporary Romance
Release day: January 18, 2019
Goodreads: http://bit.ly/2E0rz80
Amazon: https://www.amazon.com/dp/B07M6B3TW8
iBooks: https://apple.co/2LHwAnU
Nook: http://bit.ly/2R48cT8
Google: http://bit.ly/2s5Q7Fj
Kobo: http://bit.ly/2s31Vsf


Blurb:
The Hail Mary
Waiting Series Book 3
Adult Contemporary Romance, Coming of Age Trilogy

Sixteen years is a long time. In a marriage, it’s a milestone. On the gridiron, it’s a miracle. Reed Johnson wants more time for everything, but time is funny that way.

It can be cruel.

With a body that can’t quite take the hits it used to and a heart tired of being torn in two different directions, Reed is faced with a reality he’s not quite ready for—life without the game. He became a man under Friday night game lights and in college stadium tunnels, and without the grit and the glory that’s earned ten yards at a time, he’s afraid of what kind of man he’ll be.

But there’s more than a game at stake now.

Reed’s wife, Nolan, is afraid too. She’s seen what can happen when the love of her life pushes himself too hard, and she can’t escape the nightmares she relives after almost losing her entire world to one single play on the field.

There is no compromise when it comes to football. Same goes for the heart. You’re either all in, or you get crushed. For Reed and Nolan, the clock is ticking down. Time…it does that. One way or another, they’re going to have to make a choice.

This is their hail Mary.

This is win or lose.

(The Hail Mary is book 3 in The Waiting Series, which follows high school sweethearts Reed Johnson and Nolan Lennox through football, life, love and everything messy that goes along with it. The series begins with Waiting on the Sidelines and Going Long.)





Read the first two books in the series today!

 
Start with Waiting on the Sidelines here-https://amzn.to/2pU4JXy
Going Long is book 2, and find it here -https://amzn.to/2yk3lSC

About the Author:


Ginger Scott is an Amazon-bestselling and Goodreads Choice Award-nominated author of several young and new adult romances, including Waiting on the Sidelines, Going Long, Blindness, How We Deal With Gravity, This Is Falling, You and Everything After, The Girl I Was Before, Wild Reckless, Wicked Restless, In Your Dreams, The Hard Count, Hold My Breath, and A Boy Like You.

A sucker for a good romance, Ginger’s other passion is sports, and she often blends the two in her stories. (She’s also a sucker for a hot quarterback, catcher, pitcher, point guard…the list goes on.) Ginger has been writing and editing for newspapers, magazines and blogs for more than 15 years. She has told the stories of Olympians, politicians, actors, scientists, cowboys, criminals and towns. For more on her and her work, visit her website at http://www.littlemisswrite.com.

When she's not writing, the odds are high that she's somewhere near a baseball diamond, either watching her son field pop flies like Bryce Harper or cheering on her favorite baseball team, the Arizona Diamondbacks. Ginger lives in Arizona and is married to her college sweetheart whom she met at ASU (fork 'em, Devils).

Social Media Links:
Facebook Page: https://www.facebook.com/GingerScottAuthor
Twitter: @TheGingerScott
Pinterest: http://www.pinterest.com/thegingerscott/
YouTube: https://www.youtube.com/user/GingerScottAuthor
Google: https://plus.google.com/u/0/+GingerScottAuthor/posts
Goodreads: https://www.goodreads.com/GingerScott
Website: http://www.littlemisswrite.com

Tuesday, January 15, 2019

Release Blitz: Caged Collection: Sixth Street Bands Boxed Set by Jayne Frost

  


CAGED COLLECTION: SIXTH STREET BANDS BOX SET Release Date: January 15th
 

 
AVAILABLE NOW!! FREE on Kindle Unlimited 

     

Blurb: Sixth Street Bands Books 1-5 (Caged) Every book in the best selling Sixth Street Bands Series. Over 1200 pages.

***NEW AND ONLY IN THIS COLLECTION*** — GONE FOR YOU re-edited with Lily's POV — DOWN TO YOU extended epilogue — Preview for ANOTHER SKY

GONE FOR YOU Cameron and Lily's story
No relationships. No complications. Leave ‘em smiling when you go, but always go. I never had any problem following the rules.
Until her...

FALL WITH ME Christian and Melody's story.
Love isn’t an emotion—it’s a chemical reaction.
Eventually, the fire burns out.
That's what I've always believed.
When I meet Melody, I’m on board for a little fun.
And since we share the same philosophy on attraction, there’s no chance this will turn into anything more.
Is there?

MISSING FROM ME Sean and Anna's story.
An epic story about second chances, redemption, undying love, and music.
Sean and Anna, had it all. But one mistake took it all away. Four years later, and a chance meeting puts them in the same place.
She's the unfinished symphony that haunts his dreams.
He's the enduring love that she can't forget.
Can they find their way back to each other?

LOST FOR YOU Chase and Taryn's story
Two lives touched by grief, addiction, and loss. When love has brought nothing but pain is it worth the risk?

DOWN TO YOU "A sexy, heartfelt rocker romance that packs an unforgettable emotional punch."— Mary, USA Today
A star on the rise
Logan Cage, lead singer for the hottest band out of Austin, has a dark past. And a secret that he can’t outrun. For years he’s been trying to find redemption in the spotlight. But on the eve of what could be his biggest break, it almost slips away.
Rock music’s shattered princess
Tori Grayson had it all. Money. Fame. And an adoring husband to share the spotlight. But tragedy struck and took it all away. Six years later and she’s reinvented herself, founding a record label to keep the memory of those she lost alive.
Neither of them was looking for love.
But sometimes fate has other plans.
Every story deserves a soundtrack. And theirs is epic.
 
About the Author: I grew up in California with a dream of moving to Seattle to become a rock star.
But when the grunge thing didn’t work out (I never even made it to the Washington border) I set my sights on Austin, Texas.
After quickly becoming immersed in the Sixth Street Music scene…and discovering I couldn’t actually sing, I decided to do the next best thing—write kick ass romances about hot rockstars and the women that steal their hearts.

Monday, January 14, 2019

Review: What the Wind Knows by Amy Harmon


In an unforgettable love story, a woman’s impossible journey through the ages could change everything…




Blurb:

Anne Gallagher grew up enchanted by her grandfather’s stories of Ireland. Heartbroken at his death, she travels to his childhood home to spread his ashes. There, overcome with memories of the man she adored and consumed by a history she never knew, she is pulled into another time.

The Ireland of 1921, teetering on the edge of war, is a dangerous place in which to awaken. But there Anne finds herself, hurt, disoriented, and under the care of Dr. Thomas Smith, guardian to a young boy who is oddly familiar. Mistaken for the boy’s long-missing mother, Anne adopts her identity, convinced the woman’s disappearance is connected to her own.

As tensions rise, Thomas joins the struggle for Ireland’s independence and Anne is drawn into the conflict beside him. Caught between history and her heart, she must decide whether she’s willing to let go of the life she knew for a love she never thought she’d find. But in the end, is the choice actually hers to make?

Purchase links:

➜ Kindle: https://amzn.to/2NyJsQq
➜ Hardcover: https://amzn.to/2QoYmYi
➜ Paperback: https://amzn.to/2CCbA0I
➜ Audio: https://amzn.to/2N2SfuG





About the author:

Amy Harmon is a Wall Street Journal, USA Today, and New York Times Bestselling author. Amy knew at an early age that writing was something she wanted to do, and she divided her time between writing songs and stories as she grew. Having grown up in the middle of wheat fields without a television, with only her books and her siblings to entertain her, she developed a strong sense of what made a good story. Her books are now being published in eighteen different languages, truly a dream come true for a little country girl from Levan, Utah.

Amy Harmon has written thirteen novels - the USA Today Bestsellers The Smallest Part, The Bird and The Sword, Making Faces and Running Barefoot, as well as the #1 Amazon bestselling historical From Sand and Ash, The Queen and The Cure, The Law of Moses, The Song of David, Infinity + One, Slow Dance in Purgatory, Prom Night in Purgatory, and the New York Times Bestseller, A Different Blue. Her novels The Bird and the Sword and From Sand and Ash were Goodreads Best Books of 2016 and 2017 finalists.

Find Amy online:

Website: www.authoramyharmon.com
Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/authoramyharmon
Facebook fan group: https://www.facebook.com/groups/amyharmon
Twitter: https://twitter.com/aharmon_author
Instagram: https://instagram.com/amy.harmon2/
Amazon: http://www.amazon.com/Amy-Harmon/e/B007V3HXUY
Goodreads: https://www.goodreads.com/author/show/5829056.Amy_Harmon
BookBub: https://www.bookbub.com/authors/amy-harmon
Newsletter: http://eepurl.com/P5AJP
Pinterest: https://www.pinterest.com/authoramyharmon/


REVIEW

What the Wind KnowsWhat the Wind Knows by Amy Harmon
My rating: 5 of 5 stars

Series: Standalone
Release date: February 1, 2019
Cliffhanger: No
Genre: historical fiction, time travel, historical romance




Anne Gallagher has longed to visit Ireland with her grandfather, Eoin for her entire life, but for some inexplicable reason he always refused to take the trip with her. After the loss of her parents, he stepped in and raised her from an early age. The relationship that they shared was a close one, but upon his death she learned that there were chunks of his life that he never fully revealed to her. Wishing to give his ashes a final resting place, she decides to go to County Leitrim where he was born and raised. There she will find echoes of history that have been long forgotten. There, she will meet Dr. Thomas Smith and start re-writing her past. Where nothing seemed certain, and her path was mysteriously preordained.

“Tragedy makes for great stories, but I’d much rather your story—the one you live, not the ones you write—be filled with joy. Don’t revel in tragedy, Annie. Rejoice in love. And once you find it, don’t let it go. In the end, it is the one thing you won’t regret.”

This book was in one word, perfection. The exquisite romance inside these pages pulsed with its own heartbeat. Thomas and Anne had a destined soulmates connection between them that's undeniable almost from the start. The feelings they have for each other pierced right through me down to my core. Every breath, sigh, tear, and tender touch was shared and experienced in a way that I know I will want to revisit many times to come.

Amy Harmon has penned a love letter about her ancestors' homeland and the infinite bond of family through the ages. The outer layer is a powerful exploration into the conflict and unrest of early 20th century Ireland. The aftermath of the Easter Rising of 1916, the impact of Michael Collins' guerrilla warfare, and the civil unrest over the Anglo Irish treaty of 1921 are a few of the things explored in What the Wind Knows. Using a mix of fictional characters and real historical figures, the reader is given a gripping glimpse of what it would have been like living in such severe times. The history has been painstakingly researched and voiced in such detail, you're swept into the story effortlessly- returning back to reality is the hard part.

    What you try to take away from a man, he will want all the more. What you tell him he can’t have, he’ll set his heart on. The only rebellion we have is our identity.

The core of the story is Anne Gallagher. A woman who is unexpectedly given a chance to understand where she came from, and where she was meant to be. Anne has found professional success and acclaim as an author, but her career has dominated her life for far too long. She's never been the type to put human connections or romantic entanglements above the job she loves. But suddenly this strong and steady man in front of her is showing her the importance of family. Her eyes are opened to the impact of love, and how fragile the essential things in life really are.

Then we have beautiful, soulful Thomas. He was one of the most amazing characters I've ever had the pleasure of reading about. His deep and abiding love for Anne is so poignant in his journal entries, so utterly passionate. The love and care he gave his friends, his family, and his country was boundless. When he was hurting, it just about breaks your heart into a million little pieces right along with his. And you wish there was a way to shelter him and cushion his fall as he selflessly does for so many others.

    Love isn’t blind, it’s blinding. Glaring. I looked at you, and from the very first day, I knew you.

What the Wind Knows was a captivating, fast-paced book that ended entirely too soon for this greedy reader. If I could have, I would have picked it up immediately after finishing and turned back to page one. Even now, more than a week after finishing, I get a little teary eyed just thinking about this extraordinary, fantastical love story. I really think historical fiction is a genre that this author shines in, and I hope she writes a lot more of them in the future! Don't wait. Don't hesitate. You need to one-click this book and read it for yourself on release day. It's an experience that will stay with you a long time to come.


FOLLOW SMOKIN HOT BOOK BLOG ON: 

TwitterBlogEmailGoodreadsPinterestFacebook




Thursday, January 10, 2019

Review: Playing For Keeps by Jill Shalvis



Title: Playing For Keeps
Series: Heartbreaker Bay
Author: Jill Shalvis
Release date: January 22, 2019 
Cliffhanger: No
Rating: 5 stars


Synopsis:

If you’re planning on falling in love…
When it comes to the confident, charismatic Caleb Parker, Sadie Lane feels the spark—the kind that comes from rubbing each other the wrong way. She’s a tattoo artist, he’s a straight-laced mogul. But after they accidentally co-rescue an abandoned dog from a storm, Sadie sees a vulnerable side to the seemingly invincible hottie.

you’d better be sure…

Caleb doesn’t do emotions. Growing up the underdog, he’s learned the hard way to build up an impenetrable wall. Perfect for business. Disastrous for relationships. He’s never worried about it before—not until he finally gets behind Sadie’s armor and begins to fall.

… someone is there to catch you.

Both guarded and vulnerable, Sadie and Caleb are complete opposites. Or are they? Shocked at their undeniable connection, can they ever admit to wanting more? That all depends on what they’re each willing to risk.

PURCHASE LINKS
Amazon | B&N | BAM |IndieBound 

Apple | Google | Kobo



ABOUT THE AUTHOR



New York Times bestselling author Jill Shalvis lives in a small town in the Sierras with her family and far too many assorted quirky characters. Any resemblance to the quirky characters in her books is, um, mostly coincidental.

Look for Jill's latest, LOST AND FOUND SISTERS on shelves and e-readers now, and get all her bestselling, award-winning books wherever romances are sold.

Visit Jill's website for a complete book list and daily blog detailing her city-girl-living-in-the-mountains adventures.

FOLLOW HER:


REVIEW

Playing for Keeps (Heartbreaker Bay, #7)Playing for Keeps by Jill Shalvis
My rating: 5 of 5 stars
Release date: January 22, 2019
Cliffhanger: no
Genre: contemporary romance





Accidentally on Purpose was my first read in this series, and Elle and Archer have remained my favorite couple since then. I officially have a new leading couple because Caleb and Sadie unexpectedly swept me off my feet. I adore Jill Shalvis' humor in her books. You can always depend on her to deliver belly laughs and chuckles galore. Playing for Keeps didn't skimp on the humor, but there was an added depth of emotion in this book because of Sadie's history. I know some readers said that it took them some time to warm up to her because of her standoffish attitude, but that wasn't the case for me. Even though it took some time to soften her sharp edges, I could always identify with where she was coming from and feel for her.

After the previous book, I was really looking forward to seeing these two characters who've been in the background trading snark finally connect. On the surface they seem to be the epitome of two opposites attracting, but as we got to know them better we discover their similarities as well. Sadie is a tattoo/permanent makeup artist with two jobs, struggling hard to make ends meet. She's tattooed, has brightly dyed hair, and doesn't let very many people get close to her. She has trust issues a mile wide, especially when it comes to men.

    Yes, he was fun, flirty, and charming, but she was highly suspicious of all those things. Her idea of fun, flirty, and charming meant being as sarcastic as possible. It’d done the trick too, scaring men off for years.

Sarcasm is her weapon of choice in deterring any unwanted attention. A previous boyfriend caused her to slip into old unhealthy habits, and that experience scared her away from romantic relationships. But when she faces off against Caleb, he gives back every bit as good as he gets. In fact, not only was he charming, but he seemed to be charmed by her attempts to scare him off. It wasn't until a three legged dog named Lollipop came into the equation that they actually began getting to know one another better. Jill Shalvis is an animal lover, and it really comes through in her writing. She often includes pets in her stories, but this dog was almost like another main character. When Caleb rescues Lollipop off the street, they decide to share "joint custody" so to speak and become doggy parents together. As much as she tried to keep her distance, she was upfront and bluntly honest with him from the very beginning. Which is one of her personality quirks that probably drew him in even more because he has some trust issues of his own.


    “I’m sorry. For hanging up on you.” “But not for the judging?” Dammit. “Maybe a little for the judging. But I’m not going to lie,” she said. “I’m probably not done judging you. I mean I’ll try to work on it, but it’ll be a process.” His mouth quirked. “Fair enough.”


Sadie has always been the black sheep of the family, out of place and misunderstood by everyone. Because of their huge difference in personalities, her mother failed to understand her, and was completely insensitive to her needs. She didn't listen, she nagged her to find a man, and made her feel as if she was never good enough. I couldn't stand how she treated her from the very beginning. Caleb had his own family issues with his extremely overprotective sisters. While their hearts were in the right place, and their actions came from a place of love, they often crossed boundaries they shouldn't have. This causes some friction between the couple at one point, but Caleb doesn't hesitate to set his family straight and make amends.

I absolutely loved this hero and his sensitivity in giving Sadie time to open up to him. He was wonderfully patient and you could tell that he accepted every part of her, even her broken pieces. She's a complicated woman who doesn't easily let people past her barriers, but somehow they were able to find more common ground than either could have anticipated. Maybe because no one cared to take the time to unravel Sadie and really listen to her before. And when he needed someone to carry his burdens, she stepped right up. Their differences and similarities complimented each other beautifully.

His one flaw was probably being too pushy in trying to help her and not understanding her need to take care of herself. At the same time, when you care about someone, it's understandable that you don't want them to have to struggle when there's something you can do about it. With open communication and honesty between them, any issues they had were resolved pretty quickly.

I thoroughly enjoyed this book. It had everything I look for in a romance novel in one witty, romantic, feel-good package. It's one of those stories that leaves you with a warm glow of happiness after turning the last page. I highly recommend this one to everyone, even new readers to the series. It's a must read!


    “I knew the day I met you,” he said. “Which was just under a year ago now.” “Knew what?” she whispered. “That I was going to fall for you and never recover.”



FOLLOW SMOKIN HOT BOOK BLOG ON: 

TwitterBlogEmailGoodreadsPinterestFacebook



Release Day Blitz: The Fallback by Mariah Dietz

Today we are celebrating the release of THE FALLBACK, a standalone, contemporary romance title by Mariah Dietz! It is the book many readers and bloggers are calling Mariah's best work to date. It's FREE with KindleUnlimited.

------

THE FALLBACK by Mariah Dietz

Available now in KindleUnlimited

Blurb:

Breaking up is hard to do.
It's even harder when you're not expecting it. Brooke Jensen is a planner. Not only in her personal life but also professionally as one of the most sought after event planners in Chicago. But, when the ideal life she built for herself, complete with handsome, long-term boyfriend and perfect apartment crumbles, she realizes there are some things you just can’t plan for. While trying to start anew from her best friend's guest room and discovering the best doughnuts in the city, an idea sparks to life when she meets Levi. He's intriguing, funny, and shockingly good-looking, and what had been a few stray thoughts becomes a new passion for Brooke, a blog detailing learning how to be single. The project introduces Brooke to new people and experiences, and keeps returning her back to Levi. But, Brooke learns kismet may have been wrong when she learns Levi is the last person she should be interested in. Falling for the wrong guy once has Brooke hesitant to start a new relationship, but Levi is quickly proving that The Fallback might be even better.

GET YOUR COPY NOW

Available to read for FREE in KindleUnlimited

 

-----------------

ABOUT THE AUTHOR:   
 
Mariah Dietz lives with her husband and three sons, who are the axis of her crazy and wonderful world in Raleigh, North Carolina.

Mariah grew up in a tiny town outside of Portland, Oregon, where she spent most of her time immersed in the pages of books that she both read and created.

She has a love for all things that include her family, good coffee, books, traveling, and dark chocolate. She’s also obsessed with Christmas ornaments and all things Disney.


AUTHOR LINKS:
InkSlinger PR Blogger Banner - New  

Monday, January 7, 2019

Review: The Binding by Bridget Collins




Title: The Binding
Series: Standalone
Author: Bridget Collins
Genre: historical fiction, fantasy
Rating: 2 stars


Synopsis:

Imagine you could erase grief.
Imagine you could remove pain.
Imagine you could hide the darkest, most horrifying secret.
Forever.

Young Emmett Farmer is working in the fields when a strange letter arrives summoning him away from his family. He is to begin an apprenticeship as a Bookbinder—a vocation that arouses fear, superstition, and prejudice among their small community but one neither he nor his parents can afford to refuse.

For as long as he can recall, Emmett has been drawn to books, even though they are strictly forbidden. Bookbinding is a sacred calling, Seredith informs her new apprentice, and he is a binder born. Under the old woman’s watchful eye, Emmett learns to hand-craft the elegant leather-bound volumes. Within each one they will capture something unique and extraordinary: a memory. If there’s something you want to forget, a binder can help. If there’s something you need to erase, they can assist. Within the pages of the books they create, secrets are concealed and the past is locked away. In a vault under his mentor’s workshop, rows upon rows of books are meticulously stored.

But while Seredith is an artisan, there are others of their kind, avaricious and amoral tradesman who use their talents for dark ends—and just as Emmett begins to settle into his new circumstances, he makes an astonishing discovery: one of the books has his name on it. Soon, everything he thought he understood about his life will be dramatically rewritten.

From Harper Collins:

In the tradition of Sarah Waters, Helene Wecker, and Jessie Burton, an atmospheric and mystery-laden historical novel set within a magical world where books are not stories but the repository of individual lives.

PURCHASE LINKS



REVIEW


The BindingThe Binding by Bridget Collins
My rating: 2 of 5 stars
Series: Standalone
Release date: January 7, 2019
Genre: historical fiction, fantasy

I had such high hopes for this book and I'm so disappointed that I didn't love it. When I read the synopsis it sounded like Eternal Sunshine of the Spotless Mind which is a favorite film of mine. It's about a couple who have broken up and erase each other from their memories to forget the heartbreak they suffer from. The twist on that concept is that the memories being erased are being bound inside books. Books! I loved the concept and I couldn't wait to explore it more. This was quite a bit darker than I expected. A lot more. In fact there could be triggers for readers in this book, and I don't think the synopsis properly conveys what to expect in this one on several levels.

The Binding is set in a world sometime in the late 1700s, early 1800s, 60 years after "The Crusades." There are a lot of references to it, but obviously not the real life holy/political war that ended in the 1200s. This war which persecuted book binders as witches establishes the society as a puritanical one, painted as intolerant and prejudiced against the unknown. Emmett Farmer has always had a curiosity for books, but his parents were scandalized when they saw him reading one as a child. He was sharply struck and forbidden to ever have one in his possession again. However, one day they receive a summons from a local binder who wants him as her apprentice and they ship him off to her remote home out of fear. Emmett has no wish to leave his family, but his mental "illness" has been a burden on his family and he believes it may be for the best.

    I couldn’t remember getting sick; if I tried, all I saw was a mess of nightmare-scorched fragments. Even my memories of my life before that—last spring, last winter—were tinged with the same gangrenous shadow, as if nothing was healthy anymore.

Once at the Binder's, Emmett soon learns that books are not just simple stories recorded for the reader's enjoyment as he previously believed. He never understood the stigma attached to them, but suddenly it's all becoming more clear. The people who arrive in the middle of the night, wracked with mental anguish leave in a calm stupor. Numb ghosts of themselves, they're ushered out as if starting a new chapter in their lives. The previous pages stricken out of existence, like a big red pen crossing through mistakes better left out of the final version.

The books Seredith creates are secreted away and protected at all costs, but not all Binders have her integrity. The irony here is that she is virtually the only binder who was shown to the reader who wasn't corrupted by greed and malice. Yet she was the one who was scorned the most by everyone for her old-fashioned, so-called useless practices in binding. Those whom the world should fear the most were the devil sitting next to you at a dinner party.

Collins constructed the Binding process that's mired in darkness, so much so that I wasn't able to detect any benefit from it all. Seredith claimed it was serving people, "doctoring their souls" so they could find peace. But I saw no evidence that there was anything good about this magic bestowed on them. You don't doctor a soul by trying to erase pain from existence. Through our worst mistakes and trials in life we are taught vital lessons that help us grow.

As we see in the book, the people who are bound are tormented by nightmares that creep in. Sleep and wake bring them foggy feelings of disquiet that could be triggered at any time. There's no healing in an artificial erasing of pain. It's bottled up inside, silently trapping you in your subconscious. The problem for me was that though the hero struggled with his conscience over being "called" to binding, in the end he would continue to seek out work in the practice. Even after seeing the dark underbelly of the beast and how it wreaked havoc on his own life.

As the storyline wears on, you discover characters who use binders to hide their sins so they may continue to do harm. And the binders who serve them regularly can't be bothered to care about the consequences of their actions on the victims. They weave through the upper class in the finest silks, garments paid for with the suffering of those not worth a second thought. Classism is a strong theme in the book. The poorer "peasants" are forced to sell their memories out of desperation, and their struggles to survive are far removed from the elite whose money buys silence and respect.

One aspect to The Binding I thought was kind of funny was the author's tongue in cheek shot at fiction books. There were "fakes" (otherwise known as novels) that were mocked as useless and silly. Because after all, who would want to read made up stories about heartbreaking things?

    You can copy them, you see. Use the same story over and over, and as long as you’re careful how you sell them, you can get away with it. It makes one wonder who would write them. People who enjoy imagining misery, I suppose. People who have no scruples about dishonesty. People who can spend days writing a long sad lie without going insane.”

I quite enjoyed the fantasy aspects of the book and the exploration of the morality and dynamics of it all. The writing style of Collins was especially flowery and descriptive. I typically enjoy this style, so it didn't slow down my reading pace at all. But I did find that after a few chapters in I saw patterns in the descriptions that because extremely repetitive. For example, until I read this book I had no idea that there were SO MANY ways to describe light. I'm not exaggerating when I say that every time a scene changed, someone looked out a window, woke up, went to sleep, walked into a room...anything. They observed a patch of light and how it appeared. How it illuminated someone, how it moved, faded, sparkled, consumed shadows.

✒︎A wedge of lamplight was shining through a gap in the kitchen curtains...
✒︎Behind her the light from a lamp crossed the upper window as someone went to bed.
✒︎...red gold blaze of the last sunlight was reflected in the windows.
✒︎The light lay on the floorboards in a silvery lattice.
✒︎...there was a hint of light, a crack between the clouds and the horizon


After a while when you read so many repetitious variations, it just makes you want to skim past it.

Sadly, my biggest grievances with the story was the romance and the ending. The romance was love triangle with the hero's sister as the third party. It was a forbidden romance where feelings were kept quiet in the hopes that they would go away. A major problem for me was that his sister was innocent of veiled intentions and misconceptions, and inevitably she was a victim when truths were revealed. The two main characters snuck around in secret and their actions were a major betrayal of trust. In the second half of the book the love interest became a snobby, cowardly, and unlikable person. I understood that circumstances and home life caused this, but their bitterness and anger made them hard to root for. At one point, they knowingly caused a man's murder by his own careless words and couldn't bring themselves to try to help him. The story sank deeper and deeper into desperation and gloom and I sped on waiting for a resolution to it all.

The ending I give one star. It was pitifully abrupt and so unsatisfying. I wanted the villain of the book to get his comeuppance and instead we saw absolutely nothing happen. It was as if the ending was hacked off right in the middle of a scene leaving you with a feeling of deprivation. I found some things about the story to be compelling, but the execution overall wasn't for me. However, I'm sure many will love the intriguing concept, so I urge you to read it and judge for yourself.


FOLLOW SMOKIN HOT BOOK BLOG ON: 

TwitterBlogEmailGoodreadsPinterestFacebook