Review: Against the Ropes (Redemption #1) by Sarah Castille

An ARC copy provided by SOURCEBOOKS Casablanca via NetGalley


He scared me. He thrilled me. And after one touch, all I could think about was getting more…

Makayla never thought she’d set foot in an underground mixed-martial arts club. But if anyone needs a medic on hand, it’s these guys. Trouble is, at her first sight of the club’s owner she’s the one feeling breathless.

All sleek muscle and restrained power, the man they call Torment plays to win at any cost. Whether it’s in the ring or in the bedroom, he knows exactly when to use a soft touch and when to launch a full-on assault. He always knows just how far he can push. And he’s about to tempt Makayla in ways she never imagined…

Rating: 3 Stars!

MMA heroes has been quite popular in the market lately after all the Crossfire, Real, and Beautiful Disaster's fame. Thus is one of the reasons why Against the Rope has been on my list of 'currently reading'.

This book has some potential to be a great 5 stars book. Castille built great characters that stands out from the crowd and are likeable! Lets not forget the cover candy we have, hot, eye-catching hot!

The book does what it says in the description, MMA meets the medics... and the skeleton starts rattling in the closet. Makayla, the sweet contradiction of a heroine, a realistic and relatable character. Torment, the jacks of all trade (I love it when he talk all food connoisseur). Both need to come clean before they have their Happily Ever After. The bold characters helped a lot on the development of the stories as there are some moments that the sarcasm or funny remarks of the characters brightens the scenario. 

Readers who adores fuzzy warm cute moments would love this book as there are several scenes that's just heart melting and some are borderline Nicolas Sparks sugary-sweet.


There has been some flaws that let this book down which could easily been ignored if the author has done more 'background research'.

I am not too keen on the way BDSM has been infused on this book. Some scenes has been wrongly approach which could misled the readers of BDSM practices. It would be more reasonable for induction and contracts to be introduced before tying an inexperience submissive to a bike.

"The French Attempts":
                Kudos to Castille to attempt infusing a beautiful language to her book. French, like any other non-mother tongue language, is not easy to master. So it is so important to perhaps get the French scenes proofread by somebody who is fluent and/or native French. Google translate is not a reliable translator.

                 Personally, I found these scenes quite humorous (situation-wise and language-wise). In a way, it reminds me of Bridget Jones for some reason - and I love that girl!

Readers, favourite scene to look out for: 
"You are my cheese sandwiches, pizza, and mashed potatoes with a lot of butter"... "You, Makayla Delaney, are a buffet of sensual delights..." - Torment, 61% of the book.

Only in books that wooing a girl with a load of carbohydrates can be so cute!

Hiatus v2.0

"Ooops, I did it again."~ Britney Spears

The only sentence that would fit in the situation which has been going on with this blog.  No, I have not abandoned or decreased my love for y'all. There has been some serious events happening these past months which will affect the whole of my life, therefore I hope I have not hurt your feelings to harshly by going AWOL for almost half the year *eek!*

I will still posts reviews/interviews/general chatter, but I can not promise it will be generated daily. I have a lot of catching up to do and I shall try my best.

p.s. We have gone for a more simple yet fierce look for our layout, courtesy of an awesome graphic designer! What do you guys think?

Emiko x

Review: Beck (Corps Security #3) by Harper Sloan

 **Warning** This book is intended for a mature reading**
I’ve always been good at wearing masks. Not letting anyone see the real me. I’m content being the happy-go-lucky best friend. The strong willed boss. The independent woman who doesn’t need a man.
But the truth is I’m just as broken as the rest of you. I’m terrified that all it will take is one person to make all my carefully constructed walls crumble into fine dust. So I guard my heart with everything I have. Determined to never let anyone get close enough to hurt me again.
All is perfect until HE walks into my life. No… he doesn’t just walk. He struts his good-looking, sex-oozing self-right into my space and demands that I see HIM. Making me want what I know I can’t have.
So I did the only thing I know how to do.
I run.
But he just won’t let me go.
The second I see her, I know she will be mine. I see past the gorgeous smiles and heart-stopping laughter. I see HER. She doesn’t want me to know her secrets or the past that haunts her, but I make it my mission to find out.
To make her mine.
She can run all she wants, but it will never be far enough to stop me from coming after her.
She’s it for me and she knows it.
She’s just too scared to admit it.
**NO cliffhanger, HEA, inter-connected standalones**

Rate: 4 Stars!
Optional: [I suggest you listen to the song "Demons" by Imagine Dragons before reading this.]

Corps Series are getting better and better! We can definitely see developments in the writer’s voice confidence in this book. Sloan has delved deeper in character’s emotion and conflict; it’s the best she has wrote so far. 
In this book, Sloan creatively used flashbacks and manipulating narrative devices to illuminate Beck and Dee's relationship.It explores back from the first book, Axel, yet from Beck & Dee's perspective. And what a different experience it was.
It's scary how sometimes I felt like I was reading a confessional book (in the likes of Anne Sexton with less disturbing graphic metaphors) than I was reading a romance novel. Readers would get a feel to channel the way how the tone of this book is darker and dealing with ‘more serious’ topics (yes, the predecessors dealt with issues, but I believe this was like a real skeleton inside the closet). The ever-so-fabulous Sway and 'sweet loving' will be present of course, though they'll take the back seat presence.
Expect a lot of drama, tears, birth, and the unfortunate deaths (yes, I cried). So, readers please bring some tissue with you whilst reading this, and as for Harper Sloan - kudos chica! I'm looking forward for the next instalment of the series *grins*. Thank you Twinsie Talk for the opportunity!

About The Author
Harper lives in small town Georgia just a short drive from her hometown of Peachtree City. She (and her 3 daughters) enjoy ruling the house they dubbed 'Estrogen Ocean', much to her husband’s chagrin. Harper has a borderline unhealthy obsession with books; you can almost ALWAYS find her with her e-reader attached. As an ex-reviewer and blogger, Harper's passion for reading runs deep. It wasn't until 'Axel' decided to take up residence that she realized her true calling. 
She started using writing as a way to unwind when the house went to sleep at night; and with a house full of crazy it was the perfect way to just relax. It didn't take long before a head full of very demanding alphas would stop at nothing to have their story told.
Social Links
Facebook Author Page ¦ Twitter: @harpersloan ¦ Goodreads Author Page
Pinterest ¦ Instagram: @harper_sloan


Author Interview with Harper Sloan!

New Year, a new beginning~
I hope you guys had a fabulous festivities ending the year of 2013 *smiles* 
what a beginning with the line up such as Harper Sloan! She's an upcoming author to watch, especially with her Corps Security series. Twinsie Talk gives me an opportunity to participate for Sloan's third book Beck and I got a chance to interview the lady.  Below are what we have been discussing...

Me: Wine, Spirit, or Cocktail? 
Harper: Cocktail… mainly because I like to say cocktail
Me: Book you most want to see turned into a movie? 
Harper: Real
Me: Favourite day of the week?  
Harper: Saturday

Me: What's your party trick? 
Harper: I can wiggle my ears.  LOL

(I'm so jelly! I wish I could)

Me:Your perfect breakfast consists of –
Harper: A hotpocket and coke.  Yup… pretty healthy, said no one ever.

Me: If you had a super power, which one would it be? 
Harper: I would read minds

Now, let’s talk about you and your book …

1.      Can you tell us three fun facts about you? Go as crazy as you’d like… 
Harper: I’m insanely dorky.  I like stupid ugly sweaters, I sing and talk to myself and sometimes when I’m feeling froggy I talk to my characters.  What?  They are the best brainstormers.  LOL

2.      Can you tell us what a typical Harper Sloan day is like?
Harper: I can’t work during the day so my day is consumed with one crazy as hell, awesome two year old.  Some reading, some cleaning, and then working until 4-ish in the morning.

3.      What made you take a leap and become a writer? 
Harper: I finally grew some balls and stopped being terrified of failing.  I can honestly say I wouldn’t have ever published Axel without the amazing support system urging me to finish.

4.      What got you to write New Adult genre?
Harper: I don’t know if I would consider my books NA… I think Beck could fall into that genre because he isn’t as raw as the other two but honestly I just write how the characters come to me.  If they cuss like idiots, or have too much sex… then so be it.  LOL

5.      How did you feel when you first started to write Corps Security series?
Harper: Nervous, Scared, worried… I still feel like that.  With every book.  I don’t think that feeling will ever go away.

6.      Where did your ideas for the stories come from? Do you include events inspired by your own life events or someone you know? 
Harper: There is something, even if it’s super small like poprocks, in each of my books that is all me.    Most of it is just where my mind and fingers take me.  

7.      What has been your biggest challenge with writing Beck? 
Harper: The EMOTIONS.  Beck almost killed me.  I was gutted and sobbing for most of the book.  I poured my heart into that baby and I couldn’t be more proud of it.

8.      Who is your favourite character? 
Harper: Sway… or maybe Beck.  

9.      Which character is most/least like you and in what way? 
Harper: Melissa.  She is 100% me with a touch of Sway humor.

10.  Is there a message in your novel that you want the readers to grasp? 
Harper: For Beck, absolutely.  It’s hard for people that haven’t even had a touch of depression in their lives to understand Dee.  I know this, and I knew it going in that there would be people that HATE her.  As someone that has suffered myself, I just wanted to put some kind of ‘real’ to it.  There could be someone in your life that is hiding and I’ll tell you, they are good at it.  Know your friends, and be there.. always for whatever they need.

13.  Do you have any funny experience whilst writing the series? 
Harper: If you could see me when I write it would be a ball of laughs.  I write with my music full blast in my bed.  I don’t use a desk, I drag my laptop around and sing at the top of my lungs.  I constantly have to stop what I’m doing to dance around like a major freak.

14.  How has interactions with the fans been?
Harper: I LOVE MY FANS.  I am connected to my iPhone and love the comments and messages I get.  My husband makes fun of my because I’m constantly smiling at my phone.

15.  Have you been surprised at all by how the series has been received by the readers?
Harper: God yes.  I honestly always thought it would just be my mom reading my books.  LOL

16.  What advice can you give to aspiring/ debut authors? 
Harper: Never give up.  Regardless of how scary it can be.  You have a story to tell, tell it.

17.  Name three of your all-time favourite authors.
Harper: Kristen Ashley, JR Ward, Carly Phillips

18.  Do you have anything specific that you want to say to your readers? 
Harper: I LOVE Y’ALL!