Book Review: The Girl on the Train by Paula Hawkins

The Girl on the Train by Paula Hawkins
Series: Standalone
Published: September 4th 2015 by Noura Books
Language: Terjemahan (Indonesian)
Print Length: 440 pages
Genres: Fiction, Mystery, Thriller
Target Reader: Adult

Rachel menaiki kereta komuter yang sama setiap pagi. Setiap hari dia terguncang-guncang di dalamnya, melintasi sederetan rumah-rumah di pinggiran kota yang nyaman, kemudian berhenti di perlintasan yang memungkinkannya melihat sepasangan suami istri menikmati sarapan mereka di teras setiap harinya. Dia bahkan mulai merasa seolah-olah mengenal mereka secara pribadi. “Jess dan Jason,” begitu dia menyebut mereka. Kehidupan mereka-seperti yang dilihatnya-begitu sempurna. Tak jauh berbeda dengan kehidupannya sendiri yang baru saja hilang.

Namun kemudian, dia menyaksikan sesuatu yang mengejutkan. Hanya semenit sebelum kereta mulai bergerak, tapi itu pun sudah cukup. Kini segalanya berubah. Tak mampu merahasiakannya, Rachel melaporkan yang dia lihat kepada polisi dan menjadi terlibat sepenuhnya dengan kejadian-kejadian selanjutnya, juga dengan semua orang yang terkait

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REVIEW BY ALEXA

Buku ini menjadi begitu populer di sosial media, semua teman memajang fotonya dan memujinya sampai berbusa-busa. Padahal genre buku ini, jelas bukan buku kelas ringan untuk sejuta umat yang bisa dibaca santai. Karena itulah aku jadi penasaran banget buat membuktikan sebagus apa sih buku yang menghebohkan ini.

“Aku tidak pernah mencemburui kebahagiaannya, aku hanya berharap dia bisa berbahagia bersamaku.”

Berjuang mengatasi frustasi pasca perceraiannya, Rachel menghidupi hari demi hari tanpa harapan dan motivasi. Dia bergantung pada alkohol untuk melarikan diri dari sakit hatinya. Di awal narasi buku ini, aku merasa karakter Rachel begitu penuh kegalauan, lemah, ngenes dan tidak menarik. Tapi ada hal unik dari cara Paula bercerita yang membuatku tak bisa meletakan buku ini. Cara Paula memberikan informasi selapis demi selapis di tiap chapter-chapternya membuatku merasakan sensasi berburu harta karus dimana setiap fakta, petunjuk, arah penyelidikan harus kucari, kucermati dan kupilah dari kata-kata narasi detail keseharian.

Paula juga bermain dengan pikiran kita, meletakan petunjuk kecil di sana sini dan memaksa kita untuk terus menebak di sepanjang buku. Tiap chapter adalah perjalanan panjang berliku penuh kejutan. Buku ini beralur maju mundur dengan bantuan tanggal yang akan sedikit menyulitkan pecinta speed reader, karena jujur kau harus menaruh konsentrasi penuh untuk mengikuti ritme buku ini.

Di ceritakan dalam POV 3 heroine utama dan hero-hero figuran, kita akan terombang ambing menebak dan mengejar siapa villain sesungguhnya di buku ini. Kisah ini akan menjadi cobaan besar untuk pembaca yang tak menyukai narasi dominan dan punya ritme yang cukup lambat. Kemudian kalau kau biasa membaca buku thriller dan suspens kau pasti bisa menebak siapa villain utama dibalik semuanya. Ending buku ini memuaskan dan menegangkan, walau aku jadi ingat salah satu film lama yang dibintangi Sharon Stone. Tidak sama persis tapi punya aura dan pesan yang serupa.

Buku thriller yang mengesankan dan aku merekomendasikan kepada semua teman yang menyukai genre ini. Twist psikologi novel ini akan membuatmu kau menikmati novel dengan para grey karakter yang terasa nyata dan betul-betul ada di sekeliling kita. Karena di dunia ini semua manusia punya potensi dan dorongan untuk melakukan kejahatan di dalam diri, dan semua kembali kepada kita akan menyambutnya atau tidak.

Aku tidak pernah mengerti betapa orang bisa dengan entengnya mengabaikan kerusakan yang mereka timbulkan gara-gara mengikuti kata hati mereka. Siapa bilang mengikuti kata hatimu adalah sesesutu yang baik? Itu egoisme murni, egoisme tertinggi.

VIEW THE MOVIE TRAILER HERE (October 7th 2016):

OVERALL RATING

4starshappyreading

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ARC Review, Blog Tour & Giveaway: Backfire by Keri Lake

Cover Design: Hang Le
Image Credit: Eric Battershell Photography
Cover Model: Johnny Kane

*** WARNING! This book is for ADULTS only or may be unsuitable for people under 21 years of age due to sexual content, graphic violence, and/or mature themes. Reader discretion is highly advised. If you are easily offended, then this book is not for you and please do not continue. ***


Backfire by Keri Lake

Series: Vigilantes #2
Published: July 9th 2016 by Self-published
Language: English
Print Length: 442 pages
Genres: Dark Romance, Suspense, Erotica
Target Reader: Adult

Ebook: Amazon US • Amazon CA • Amazon UK • Amazon AU • B&N • iBooks

No matter how unbreakable he may seem, every man has a weakness.

A year ago, my home became a bloodstained crime scene. That night marked the beginning of my hell—the same night I was tortured by my enemies and tossed into an underground prison to die.

They failed. I survived.

Now that I’m free, only one motive burns in my soul: revenge.

Lucky for me, they think Jase Hawkins is dead. Maybe I am. I’ve got nothing but a cold, merciless rage, and Black Betty, the sharp steel blade that never leaves my side.

Then she drifts into my life.

Lucia wants answers—so much so, she’s willing to fall into the darkness where my enemies lie in wait, to kill her for what she knows.

Or to take her for the depraved fantasies her body alone can rouse in a man’s mind.

Me? I want her for the fire in her touch that feeds my addiction, forces me to feel what has become numb, but my appetite for bloodshed runs deeper than flesh.

For my own sanity, I’ve vowed to stay away from her. Because she’s my only weakness, an obsession that leaves me craving more—one that could make even the most steadfast plan backfire.

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REVIEW BY ALEXA

You know how it feels when a sequel is everything you want and even more? Yes, it was what I’ve felt when reading Backfire. Keri Lake certainly has great talent in this genre and in the future, I wish she would write more dark romance.

I wasn’t able to let go this book from the beginning. Jase Hawkins, a broken shell of a man. Destroyed by the world. A thief. A murderer. A selfish prick with a single motive of survival. But some sweet moment could not cover up the quality of this badass guy. Calm and kinky are forced by circumstances to become criminals since childhood.

Lucia is a brave girl and very attractive. She was poor but not pathetic, smart, creative, feisty, and full of surprises. She challenge Jase in every step, made him out of focus but also the true anchor of his messy life. I liked to sew how their chemistry build together. How conflicts strengthen the bonds between them. Their destiny are already established long before their first meeting.

“Lucia saw beneath Jase’s mask, beneath the bones and flesh, and yanked at his soul like a beam of sunlight fighting its way through murky waters of swamp.”

Backfire is the type of story you want to read slowly. Savoring every words, twist, steamy tension, full action package, intrigue and heart felt romance. Beside the early narrative was intimidating, too many characters name and too detailed informations in this book, Jase and Lucia’s story will make you hold your breath from the first moment.

OVERALL RATING

4stars

SEX-O-METER

3bikinis


What Others Are Saying:

“Backfire is dark, gritty, and unapologetic. You’ll be reading it with your heart in your throat and your stomach twisted up in knots. It’s violent, a touch depraved, darkly erotic, action packed and absolutely, positively unputdownable.” -Dirty Girl Romance Blog

“It’s brilliant. It’s rewarding and it is a mind screw done perfectly. You will hear your heart break for what Jase and Lucy go through. You will love, hate and shatter.” -Kathy Coopmans, USA Today Bestselling Author

“So dark and disturbing you read with one eye open, unable to look away -riveted by what’s playing out before your very eyes as Keri Lake takes you on a twisted rollercoaster flying in different directions at great speed.” -Totally Booked Blog

“Once again Keri Lake has given us a wonderfully engaging story which sucks you into a whole other world, making you feel everything and revel in the brutal underworld that she has created. It’s a book you experience,not just read, and if you’re in the mood for this sort of story, it’s going to blow you away with its dark intensity.” -Escapist Book Blog

View the Backfire Book Trailer here:

Backfire Playlist:

Don’t miss out on reading Ricochet! Standalone novel in the series is #AvailableNow

Review • Amazon US • Amazon UK • B&N • Kobo • iBooks

ABOUT THE AUTHOR

Keri Lake is a married mother of two living in Michigan. By day, she tries to make use of the degrees she’s earned in science. By night, she writes dark contemporary and paranormal romance. Though novels tend to be her focus, she also writes short stories and flash fiction on the many occasions when distraction sucks her in to the Land of Shiny Things.

She loves hearing from readers …

Website | Twitter | FB Fan page | Amazon | Newsletter | Pinterest | Goodreads | Instagram

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Book Review: Ricochet by Keri Lake

*** WARNING! This book is for ADULTS only or may be unsuitable for people under 21 years of age due to sexual content, graphic violence, and/or mature themes. Reader discretion is highly advised. If you are easily offended, then this book is not for you and please do not continue. ***


Ricochet by Keri Lake

Series: Vigilantes #1
Published: July 9th 2015 by Self-published
Language: English
Print Length: 530 pages
Genres: Dark Romance, Suspense, Erotica
Target Reader: Adult

Ebook: Amazon US • Amazon UK • B&N • Kobo • iBooks

The only sure way to destroy a man is to take what he cannot live without.

Three years ago, I had everything.

A beautiful wife.
A son.
A reason for living.

Until a ruthless task force, assembled under Mayor Michael Culling, with a brutal strategy to make the streets of Detroit ‘safe’, ripped away everything I loved in a deadly hunt called The Culling.

They tried to kill me, too. I wish they had. Now I’m cursed by the memories of that night, and the words I whispered to my dying wife.

A promise—to avenge the wrong and set it right.

I’m no longer Nick Ryder. I’m a masked vigilante. Faceless. Loveless. Fearless. A man with nothing left to lose—one who’s seen the dark and violent truth behind the city’s flawless veneer.

Michael Culling doesn’t know who I am. Or what I want. All he knows is that I’ve kidnapped his beautiful wife.

An eye for an eye—isn’t that how the saying goes? And Aubree Culling is the perfect pawn to destroy him.

If she doesn’t destroy me first.

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REVIEW BY ALEXA

“Anyone who injures their neighbor is to be injures in the same manner : fracture for fracture, eye for eye, tooth for tooth.” (Leviticus)

Ricochet sudah menarik perhatianku sejak tanggal releasenya. Tapi aku bisa dibilang berulang kali DNF di chapter awal karena prolog yang sangat mendetail, gelap, dan lambat. Intensitas narasinya menuntut konsentrasi penuh untuk bisa memahami dan menyerap tiap detail informasi dan nama-nama yang ditebar sejak di awal buku.

Benang merah storyline kisah ini mengingatkanku pada versi ekstrim perpaduan Fat Tuesday dari Sandra Brown dan retelling kisah klasik Count of Monte Cristo. Tapi tambahan detail romance yang kuat, intrik mafia yang gelap, aksi laga menegangkan, dan narasi emosional yang merontokan organ dalam membawa kisah ini ke tingkatan yang lebih tinggi dan bisa diterima sebagai kisah yang sama sekali berbeda.

Yang aku suka dari kisah ini, Keri ternyata bukan tipe telling, dia lebih suka showing. Dia tidak menceritakan bagaimana Nick si pembunuh kejam yang penuh dengan luka batin dan alpha male kelas 1 tapi dia menunjukan dengan tiap detail tindakan dan sepak terjang Nick dengan bahasa yang lugas, gelap dan indah. Di satu sisi tindakan kejam Nick untuk membalaskan dendamnya sangat sadis dan digambarkan super detail. Tapi saat dia mulai membuka lukanya selapis demi selapis dalam kondisi blackoutnya. Hatiku ikut patah hati atas semua yang sudah dirampas dari hidup Nick.  Sebelumnya dia adalah suami dan ayah yang berdedikasi, seorang pria yang bahagia, tapi untuk menghancurkan monster-monster dia harus bertransformasi menjadi monster juga.

Sayangnya walaupun Aubree ditampilkan sebagai perfect thropy wife, seorang terapis dan punya kekuatan bertahan dibalik siksaan tapi sampai akhir aku kesulitan untuk bonding dengan karakternya yang tidak konsisten. Dia pasif agresif tapi tidak loveable untukku. Romance mereka panas membara tapi terasa instan, klise dan penuh momen magical pussy dengan maraton seksnya yang hampir mendominasi 35 %. Dengan kelamnya masa lalu dan luka batin Nick, seberapa hebatnya trik terapi Aubree agak mengherankan betapa cepatnya Nick jadi luluh, terbuka dan dan jadi hobby curhat setelah “momen kebersamaan mereka”. Aku lebih menyukai sisi suspens kisah ini daripada romancenya. Bagiku timeline 2 minggu, terlalu singkat untuk menghapus trauma parah dan melibatkan sumpah setia dan proklamasi cinta.

“In the end, he saved me, and in return, I saved him. Eye for an eye, heart for a heart.”

Diceritakan dalam tripel POV orang pertama, banyak twist yang terjadi di 30 persen ending. Mengejutkan tapi agak dipaksakan. Alasan kenapa Nick dan keluarganya juga tetap bias sampi akhir. Ricochet tidak sempurna tapi ini adalah bacaan penutup yang sempurna untuk tahun ini.

OVERALL RATING

4stars

SEX-O-METER

4bikinis

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Book Review: Redeeming Rhys by Mary E. Palmerin

*** WARNING! This book is for ADULTS only or may be unsuitable for people under 21 years of age due to sexual content, graphic violence, and/or mature themes. Reader discretion is highly advised. If you are easily offended, then this book is not for you and please do not continue. ***


Redeeming Rhys by Mary E. Palmerin

Series: Standalone
Published: January 19th 2016 by Self-published
Language: English
Print Length: 160 pages
Genres: Dark, Psychological Thriller, Horror
Target Reader: Adult

Ebook: Amazon US • Amazon UK

Are people born pure?

Is evil learned, or is it birthed into one’s soul, like a fallen angel who was previously part of graciousness?

Rhys is decayed, black, and bad. He cut distortion out of his life years before, but he let her live; his only way to gain redemption once more.

As his sinful needs blanket him with dread, he seeks penance from the soul he saw as a second chance.

Is absolution too late for Rhys?

**Warning, dark scenes depicted heavily throughout this novel. Read the Author’s disclaimer carefully before proceeding with this title.**

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REVIEW BY ALEXA

Kalau ada penulis-penulis yang bisa memaksaku baca genre DR-Horror, salah satunya pasti Mary. Ini adalah buku ke-2 yang kubaca dari beliau setelah The Goodbye Man yang fenomenal. Buku ini sudah menjanjikan aura gelap yang intens sejak cover releasenya dan quote-quote kelam di awal tiap chapter.

”One, two, Bad Boy is coming for you.
Three, four, Little Girl it’s too late to lock your door.
Five, six, Bad boy is about to show you sick.
Seven, eight, Bad Boy is gonna filet you like steak.
Nine, ten, never see Momma or Daddy again.”

Kali ini Mary memberikan seorang (anti) hero rupawan yang rusak secara kepribadian, penuh dosa, dan kelakuannya super psikopat. Seorang serial killer. Walaupun jujur Rhys bukan karakter faveku, tapi Mary jelas sudah berhasil membuat karakter yang memorable di antara buku-buku sejenis. Aku tak akan pernah lupa pada Rhys dan kebiasaannya. Terbagi dalam alur maju mundur antara masa kini dan flasback 10 tahun lalu, masa kecil Rhys membuatku patah hati melihat transformasinya. Diantara semua ambang kegilaannya, pria ini cuma punya satu jangkar pada masa lalunya, seorang gadis misterius bernama Wren. Siapa dia? Aku akan membiarkanmu mencari tahu sendiri.

Diceritakan dengan narasi deskriptif yang puitis, aku menyukai pilihan POV orang ke-3 yang Mary pakai. Selain tidak mainstream, POV ini tetap berhasil menggambarkan sisi terdalam dan sepak terjang Rhys secara lebih obyektif. Walau timeline buku ini pendek, tapi dia akan konstan memberimu banyak rahasia, misteri dan kejutan bertubi-tubi yang harus kau temukan sendiri di tiap chapternya. Buku ini mengaduk-aduk dan menampar semua prediksi-prediksiku.

Beberapa adegan gore ekstrim akan menantang kekuatan mata, perut dan jantungmu. Walaupun panas, buku ini juga tidak menawarkan romantisme kisah cinta, karena karakter-karakter di sini tak mengenal hal itu semenjak mereka kecil. Pastikan kau menyetujui warning dari penulis sebelum kau siap membaca banyak tema tabu yang akan mendorongmu sampai ke batasan terkuatmu.

“The angel tried so hard to find peace, but deep down, every time she saw the face of her lover, all she saw was him. Nightmares surged through her veins, for she would never change. He had a piece of her soul.”

OVERALL RATING

4stars

SEX-O-METER

3bikinis

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Release Blitz + ARC Review & Giveaway: This is War, Baby by K Webster

*** WARNING! This is War, Baby is a dark romance. A really dark one. So dark you’re going to wish you had a flashlight to see yourself to the end and someone to hold your hand. Human trafficking, dubious consent, and strong sexual themes that could trigger emotional distress are found in this story. This story is NOT for everyone.***


This is War, Baby by K Webster

Series: War and Peace #3
Published: February 29th 2016 by Self-published
Language: English
Print Length: 251 pages
Genres: Dark Romance, Erotica
Target Reader: Adult

Ebook: Amazon USAmazon UK • B&N • Kobo • iBooks

My life had a plan. Until he invaded it and stole it all away. My captor took me and I became a pawn.

His strategy changed and he sent me away to WAR, because money is everything in this world.

In my WAR, though, I found peace.

I couldn’t help but find love where I least expected it, with a man who lived a battle every day of his life
…all inside his head.

But then my captor came back for me.
Yet, this time, battle lines had been drawn and I was protected.

So we thought.
Even though my WAR was raging,
my captor would fight to the death.

The good guys always win, right?
Not always.

All’s fair in love and WAR, right?
Not this time.

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REVIEW BY ALEXA

Baylee (17) never realize her darkest fantasy about her neighbour became real nightmare. Gabe (41) kidnapped her. He gave her the most unforgettable moment for two weeks. This sexy, sadistic, and dominant bastard trained her so she could confront the sexual predators in outside world. He was train Baylee to be a perfect sexual slave for auction.

Well, this is my first read from K Webster and I was so amazed with her skill to play with my mind. Her twisted plot and complexity from the characters is suprised. This is War, Baby give something more than just an ordinary dark romance. She also offer multi-layer conflict that appears simple at first and then turns into something deeper and complicated.

The timeline divided by two parts. Preparing Baylee before meet War and the present time she meet War. First 30% is really match with the label; erotica dark romance. But the 50% in War’s part really surprised me also very touching scene. This is a very unpredictable twist. You need to go blind to read this so didn’t ruin the surprises.

There is a thing that slightly bothers me that Baylee is kinda unfocused and less consistent. She could fantasize random things in unusual moment and then giggling. It becomes weireder because it is happened when she was tortured and have oral sex. Sometimes she appears too naive and short-sighted as teenager but also could act and think too mature for her age. Some Baylee’s training activities hot and intriguing but there are some parts with disturbing content. Please be aware to the author’s warning.

This War, Baby is a dark romance sociology problem with exceptional characters, multi layer conflicts, hot villain, and heart warming romance. So, be patient with ending contains cliffhangers until This is Love, Baby (end of March).

OVERALL RATING

4stars

SEX-O-METER

4bikinis

happyreading


ABOUT THE AUTHOR

K Webster2
K Webster is the author of dozens romance books in many different genres including contemporary romance, historical romance, paranormal romance, and erotic romance. When not spending time with her husband of twelve years and two adorable children, she’s active on social media connecting with her readers.

Her other passions besides writing include reading and graphic design. K can always be found in front of her computer chasing her next idea and taking action. She looks forward to the day when she will see one of her titles on the big screen.

You can easily find K Webster on Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, Pinterest, and Goodreads!