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Review: Obsession by Jennifer L. Armentrout

Jennifer L. Armentrout
Genre: Adult Paranormal Romance / Science Fiction
Released: May 31 2013
by Entangled
Source: Purchased
Rating: ★★★★

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This is a stand alone novel that is an adult spin-off
of the Lux Series. You do not need to read a Lux book to read Obsession and vice versa.

He’s arrogant, domineering, and... To. Die. For.

Hunter is a ruthless killer. And the Department of Defense has him firmly in their grasp, which usually doesn’t chafe too badly because he gets to kill bad guys. Most of the time he enjoys his job. That is, until he’s saddled with something he’s never had to do before: protect a human from his mortal enemy.

Serena Cross didn’t believe her best friend when she claimed to have seen the son of a powerful senator turn into something... unnatural. Who would? But then she witnesses her friend’s murder at the hands of what can only be an alien, thrusting her into a world that will kill to protect their secret.

Hunter stirs Serena’s temper and her lust despite their differences. Soon he’s doing the unthinkable—breaking the rules he’s lived by, going against the government to keep Serena safe. But are the aliens and the government the biggest threats to Serena’s life… or is it Hunter?
If there’s any genre that I usually tend to shy away from, it’s adult romance. I’m usually a little apprehensive of what content I’m going to get, since adult and erotic aren’t exactly the same thing when it comes to books. However, after reading American Psycho (which is graphically explicit) I’ve gained a backbone and am now not bothered by much so I decided to give Obsession a go. I love Jennifer L. Armentrout’s Lux series, so wanting to read this book was a complete no-brainer for me. More hot aliens!

It’s not required that you read the Lux series before reading Obsession, but I read the book after I’d read Opal, since that is when the book takes place and I’m weirdly OCD about doing things in chronological order. Obsession starts with what is possibly the most exciting opening I’ve read in quite a while. No, really, one chapter in and shit’s already going down. What better way of opening a book that getting to the point? I really liked how even though we have the two alien species that we know from the Lux series, we see them from a different perspective. Since we’re with Hunter, an Arum, most of the time, the Luxen of Obsession feel pretty malevolent most of the time, which I initially felt quite uneasy about. I didn’t want to dislike the Luxen, but I was growing to sort of like the Arum at the same time and ended up being caught in the middle. Moving on to the more romantic aspects of the book, there is not more that I can say that Obsession gets pretty steamy at times, like ‘open the windows I can’t see out of them’ steamy. My one little problem, however, and this is more of a ‘it’s not you, it’s me’ kind of thing is that I got just a little bit impatient at times. I’m not a fan of when the sensuality builds and builds, and then just completely goes away because the characters have decided against it. However, when that stopped happening, I was more than pleased.

I really liked the characters in Obsession and how they jumped from the page. I loved Serena’s personality, which made her an awesome MC. She was snarky and just refused to take crap from anybody, including Hunter. I also loved how feisty she was and never gave in, not once and I just loved how awesome she was. Moving on to Hunter, I have very little to say other than gimme. I want my own Hunter, and I want him yesterday. Even though he is a jerk at first, I did warm up to him because he’s just really one big tease and he really does care about Serena; he’s not just protecting her so that he can kill some Luxen. And one thing that I won’t say much about, is that I really liked how we see three familiar faces later one in the story (one of them isn’t referred to fully but I knew straight away who it was).

Obsession is told from both Serena and Hunter’s point of view, which threw me off guard a little bit at first but it didn’t take long for me to get adjusted.  Out of the two, I think I liked Hunter’s POV the most, but I can’t put my finger on exactly why I liked his more. I think maybe reading from his POV made him seem more likeable, since if the book was in Serena’s POV all the way through, I mightn’t have liked him as much as I did.

Overall, I really enjoyed Obsession and how it showed a more adult side to the world of the Lux series. I found myself coming back time and time again to continue on with the story and it wasn’t put down for long. Even though this is a stand alone novel, I would like to see more adult ventures into the Lux world!

Review: Shark Bait by Jenn Cooksey

Shark Bait
Jenn Cooksey
Series: Grab Your Pole #1
Genre: YA Contemporary Romance
Released: June 15 2012
Source: Purchased
Rating: ★★★★

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Previously homeschooled Camie Ramsey is being shoved into the shark-infested waters of public high school, where even helium filled, penguin bespeckled arm floaties likely won’t help keep her inexperienced, fifteen-year old head above water in that rip current of hormones and emotions.

Camie’s worldly wisdom might be severely lacking (i.e., the closest she’s come to being kissed was sitting too close to the TV whilst Jake Ryan leaned in to give Samantha that fateful 16th birthday kiss), but she does understand her only hope for survival is if she’s thrown some kind of “social” life preserver before she sinks like a freaking rock. However, what will her fate be when she endeavors to flag down the only lifeguard on duty, the enormously popular and ridiculously beautiful Tristan Daniels? The most sought after and virtually most unattainable guy in school who not only makes Camie’s heart flatline on a recurring basis, he’s also the one guy who seemingly doesn’t know she exists.

Feeling like an inept piece of chum that could ultimately be swallowed by Jaws, can Camie get Tristan to rescue her from floundering in the treacherous deep, or is she destined to be Shark Bait?
I made a goal to read more contemporaries this summer, since I am being a little burnt out by all of the sci-fi and dystopians I read (sacrilegious words from my mouth). Shark Bait is a book I'd been meaning to read for a while but didn't get round to purchasing a copy until recently, so I decided to make it the first contemporary of my summer. That was definitely a good decision!

Shark Bait introduces us to Camie, who is starting public school for the first time after being homeschooled for so long and has pretty much been thrown into the deep end. On her first day, she sees the gorgeous Tristan Daniels and becomes determined to make him hers. With the help of her new friends Kate and Melissa, who have known Tristan for an eternity, she plans to get together with Tristan and all kinds of kookiness ensues. While I did enjoy Shark Bait's story, I thought that certain parts of the story happened just a little bit too fast that at the beginning it felt just a little bit like the dreaded insta-love. Thankfully, it sort of wasn't and Camie might have been purposefully exaggerating. I loved how light-hearted and funny the story was, which is what I needed after reading so many dark-ish books with sad endings lately. I found myself smiling while reading and even laughing at times (I very rarely laugh at books), which is a definite plus in my book.

From the first sentence, I knew that I was going to like Camie. I loved how witty she is, how smart she is and also how she didn't become like a little lovesick puppy whenever things didn't go right. Whenever something went wrong, she knew that she had messed up badly and needed to fix it as soon as possible before it started to eat up her insides. I really enjoyed reading her narrate the story, which didn't bore me at any point at all.

I had a little bit of a mixed reaction to Tristan and my attitude towards him changed just a little as the story progressed. At first I liked him, he was a super nice guy who just happened to be hot and he was also witty like Camie and the two of them would fit together like a hand in a glove. However, a little bit into the middle of the book I started to not like him as much as I did before because something that happened made him act completely irrationally and take his anger out on Camie without listening to reason. Not cool, dude. Not cool. There were a few moments where this happened again, but thankfully everything was resolved and I started to like him again. Yay!

I love the way that Shark Bait is written. Even though I might not understand them sometimes, I love pop culture references and there are plenty of them peppered throughout the book. I'm not an expert on 1980's pop culture or Buffy the Vampire Slayer, so there were plenty of things that went over my young head, but that's okay because I still found them fun and, honestly, if a guy asked me out by quoting a line from my favourite TV show (I don't know how that would work, since there isn't much romance in the shows I watch) I would say yes in a heartbeat. I loved how funny the book is, thanks to Camie's witty personality, and I also loved the more tender moments in the story.

Despite a few issues I had with the story, I really enjoyed Shark Bait. I liked its humour, its romance, its characters and its numerous pop culture references. I had a lot of fun reading the book and I will definitely be continuing with the series!