by Katy Evans
Published by Simon and Schuster on March 24th 2015
Genres: Romance, Contemporary
Buy on Amazon//Barnes & Noble
Book #1 in the sexy new Manwhore series from the New York Times bestselling author of REAL. Is it possible to expose Chicago’s hottest player—without getting played?
This is the story I’ve been waiting for all my life, and its name is Malcolm Kyle Preston Logan Saint. Don’t be fooled by that last name though. There’s nothing holy about the man except the hell his parties raise. The hottest entrepreneur Chicago has ever known, he’s a man’s man with too much money to spend and too many women vying for his attention.
Mysterious. Privileged. Legendary. His entire life he’s been surrounded by the press as they dig for tidbits to see if his fairytale life is for real or all mirrors and social media lies. Since he hit the scene, his secrets have been his and his alone to keep. And that’s where I come in.
Assigned to investigate Saint and reveal his elusive personality, I’m determined to make him the story that will change my career.
But I never imagined he would change my life. Bit by bit, I start to wonder if I’m the one discovering him...or if he’s uncovering me.
What happens when the man they call Saint, makes you want to sin?
Manwhore is the first book in the Manwhore series by New York Times and USA Today bestselling author Katy Evans. The story follows Rachel, a journalist working for a struggling magazine called Edge. To save the magazine, Rachel’s boss asks her to get close to one of Chicago’s popular playboy billionaires- Malcolm Saint- and write an expose on him. Rachel agrees to the assignment (despite questioning the morality behind it) as refusing to do so would mean having another competitor taking over the piece, potentially costing Rachel her position. Thus, Rachel begins her undercover adventure under the pretext of wishing an interview with Malcolm for his latest business ventures. This request is granted, and Rachel begins working to gain Malcolm’s interest and his trust.
There were a lot of things I enjoyed about this novel- and some things that frustrated or confused me. To get into my thoughts and feelings on this novel, I’ll need to reveal some scenes and situations that unfolded. So, be warned- there may be a few spoilers!!
Malcolm Saint is really talked up in Rachel’s mind. He’s described as ruthless, a playboy, manwhore, powerful- a man who won’t stop until he controls the world. I was practically hanging on the edge of my seat when I saw that Rachel was to meet with him. Then she gets summoned to meet with him at an inconvenient time- basically, she’s wearing paint-spattered overalls and is unable to rush home to change so must meet with him while in this outfit. This intrigued me. Sexy, powerful billionaire meets hesitant, determined woman in overalls in said billionaire’s chrome and glass place of employment? Yes please! This is a perfect recipe for a fun and titillating scene…
And then the scene happened. Rachel meets Malcolm and he barely says anything about her appearance. In fact, they barely exchange ANY dialogue at all! Malcolm spends most of the scene on the phone. The most exciting part of the scene was when he gave her one of his extra white shirts to wear. Then he leaves. Where was the heat? Where was the witty, intense exchange? I sort of deflated at that point. Then I pressed onward, ever optimistic. Rachel, despite saying very little to him during the initial meeting, somehow scores another meeting with him. Their next two “interactions” are nearly as short as the first (I seriously wanted to reach into the book, grab Malcolm’s cell phone, and chuck the cock-blocking device out his limo’s freaking window! AH!). Fast forward two stilted conversations filled with phone calls and heated gazes, and you get another potentially great scene. Rachel crashes one of Malcolm’s club parties and is prompted by Malcolm’s friends to join them and Malcolm. Rachel and Malcolm once again barely speak to one another besides Malcolm refusing to allow Rachel to join them at an after party. So, Rachel goes home. Uh…
Despite the less than stimulating interactions between the characters, Malcolm and Rachel eventually grow close. Things begin to pick up between them once she starts joining Malcolm on yacht excursions. They begin exploring their physical attraction and emotional one- by divulging personal thoughts and experiences to one another. Surprise! Malcolm has trust issues! And Rachel is pretty much living a lie with him. Naturally, she waits too long to tell him about her undercover status and all hell breaks loose in a shocking way.
Overall, Manwhore was a fun read with interesting characters and a mostly compelling plot. I will definitely be picking up the second book in the series as I must know what happens after that cliffhanger…
Three stars for Manwhore! Unhooked
by Lisa Maxwell
Published by Simon and Schuster on February 2nd 2016
Genres: Young Adult Fiction, Fantasy, Dark Fantasy, Action & Adventure, Pirates, Fairy Tales & Folklore, Adaptations, Juvenile Nonfiction, Activity Books
Buy on Amazon//Barnes & Noble
From “talented wordsmith” (Publishers Weekly) Lisa Maxwell comes a lush, atmospheric fantasy novel filled with twists and turns about a girl who is kidnapped and brought to an island inhabited by fairies, a roguish ship captain, and bloodthirsty beasts.
For as long as she can remember, Gwendolyn Allister has never had a place to call home. Her mother believes they are being hunted by brutal monsters, and those delusions have brought them to London, far from the life Gwen had finally started to build for herself. Gwen’s only saving grace is that her best friend, Olivia, is with her for the summer.
But shortly after their arrival, the girls are kidnapped by shadowy creatures and dragged into a world of flesh-eating sea hags and dangerous Fey. And Gwen begins to realize that maybe her mother isn’t so crazy after all…
Gwen discovers that this new world she inhabits is called Neverland, but it’s nothing like the Neverland you’ve heard about in stories. Here, good and evil lose their meaning and memories slip like water through your fingers. As Gwen struggles to remember where she came from and tries to find a way home, she must choose between trusting the charming fairy-tale hero who says all the right things and the captivating pirate who promises to keep her safe.
Caught in the ultimate battle between good and evil, with time running out and her enemies closing in, Gwen is forced to finally face the truths she’s been hiding from all along. But can she save Neverland without losing herself?
Review of Unhooked
Unhooked is a standalone novel by author Lisa Maxwell. I will admit to being intrigued by all the unique and fresh re-imaginings of the more popular fairy tales. Peter Pan has always been a favorite of mine; so, when I saw this book sitting on the shelf of Books-a-Million in Portland, Maine, I just had to check it out. There were quite a few things about this novel that piqued my interest- first, the brooding, seafaring Captain Hook. Unhooked’s captain is nothing like the one in Disney’s animated Peter Pan, or is he anything like Dustin Hoffman’s portrayal in the 1991 film Hook. This Captain doesn’t sport a long, curly wig or sport an obnoxious handlebar mustache- the only thing he sports is a wicked hook, a brooding disposition, and looks that tempt a girl to never want to leave Neverland, despite how dark and ominous this version of the land is.
The second thing that caught my interest was Neverland itself. Lisa Maxwell’s description of this whimsical world is imaginative, that you almost feel like you’re there with the characters. The mermaids in this tale were blood-thirsty and frightening, the fairies weren’t glittery and sweet-they were tricksters whose skills were more aligned with manipulation and deceit. The lost boys weren’t young boys who longed for a mother- Nope. They operate solely on mayhem and violence. They are more apt to terrorize someone’s mother than to ask to be read to and tucked in at night. Even the land itself is dangerous. With it constantly shifting and changing, you could end up being the victim of a harrowing survival tale, rather than the heroine of a dashing adventure. Finally, Peter Pan himself is a character worth noting- This Peter isn’t the fun-loving, brave hero that we were introduced to in “Peter Pan” or “Hook”. This guy might be considered handsome and charming- but he’s as bad as the Fae that I described above.
The heroine of the novel, Gwendolyn “Gwen” Allister describes a strained relationship with her mother because she feels her Mom’s ramblings about monsters is ruining their lives. After all, they have just moved to London in the beginning of the story to escape them. Luckily, Gwen gets to bring her best friend Olivia along to help her get settled in to her new home. We begin detecting something “off” in the beginning of the story by the situation with the lantern Gwen is told to keep on in her room, and Gwen’s strange encounter with a beautiful, albeit ominous, woman (Unhooked’s creepy version of Tinker Bell). My suspicion that this story was heading toward a more dark re-telling was confirmed when Gwen and Olivia are snatched from their room in the night by monstrous creatures and swept away to Neverland, where Gwen nearly drowns.
This retelling of Peter Pan is brilliant! The characters are three dimensional, the imagery and descriptions were extraordinary, the romance was tantalizing, and the story developed perfectly. I found myself chuckling at a few parts, fanning myself after a few encounters with Gwen and Hook, and anxiously gripping the book during the more tense, bone-chilling moments. Unhooked is the perfect blend of adventure, mystery, horror, and romance.
If you’re looking to be swept away into another world, pick up (or download) your copy of Unhooked today!