As a writer we need to read a lot, too. Profile two great books you’ve read and loved lately. If you review or rate these in some way, tell us how. (It’s always great to provide good reviews for our fellow writers).
I have to admit, that if this was asked of me a few weeks ago, I would have had two completely different books to put up here, but since this is for this week, and I have just read two very different yet strangely similar books that I just LOVED!
The first one is Tragic by J A Huss, that I picked up from Melissa Pearl a couple of months back. Basically, the story is about Rook, who is homeless, and has a troubled past. She is only 19, and just spent her last $10 at Starbucks, where her fortune appears to turn when someone throws a business card away, but it unfortunately hits her. On it is an address and a time.
Taking chance by the hand, she turns up, just to see what is going on, and the camera loves her. She is offered a job and accommodation – rags to riches? Maybe, but the road ahead is rocky, especially when she discovers that she is labelled ‘one of Ronin’s Girls’. The last thing Rook wants is to be controlled and manipulated, and at first it appears that she is, but she can’t help falling for the charismatic Ronin, also a model at the photography studio. Unfortunately, they didn’t really explain that it is an erotic photo studio until the male models start getting hot and heavy with her on the set.
She wins the contract for Tragic, a series of photographs showing the fall from grace of a woman. Dressed up nicely in fancy clothes and pretty make up, but as the shoot progresses, the darkness seeps in, the photos are more edgier, she is wearing less and less until she has nothing on at all, and looking like a crack whore.
The story sucked me in from the moment that Rook ended up at the studio. I don’t know what it is, but I guess Ronin is charismatic to the reader as well, because even though he seemed to be controlling, I couldn’t help but like the guy, but you are also aware that he has problems of his own to deal with. While he finds out that Rook comes from an abusive relationship, he doesn’t really ask her for all the gory details.
Rook is dark, feminine, naive, but wants to be in control of her own destiny. I could relate to the broken Rook, trying to discover her place in the world. She has hopes and dreams and with the money from modelling, could set herself up nicely.
In contrast to Rook is Ronin, who seems like a breath of sunshine compared to Rook. He offers her assistance, guidance, gives her the space she needs to move things at her own pace, with a little prompting.
I have since read Manic, the follow on, story of Rook and Ronin and the Sturgis motorbike Rally, and Panic is due out soon.
The next book I read which blew my mind was Selling Scarlett by Ella James. Where do I begin with this one??? From the moment I read the first page, I couldn’t put it down. Scarlett, aka Elizabeth DeVille has always crushed on Hunter West, ever since he fixed her mother’s Ferrari when she got stuck. It seemed almost like there were three or four stories going on at once as the story unfolds, and just when you think you have the storyline pegged, a twist is thrown in to really curl your toes.
Elizabeth has a fight with her best friend Cross at a party thrown by Hunter. Cross storms off and has a motorbike accident. He is in a coma with some indications of recovery, except his parents have disowned him, and don’t want to pay for the cost of the hospital, so have him shipped off to a nasty sterile hospital, where they have him living basically on a respirator.
Elizabeth wants to help Cross, and get him back to the expensive hospital where he was responding to therapy, but she can’t afford the cost of the hospital, until she stumbles upon a unique way to raise the money… sell her virginity. She is after all 23, and what use is her virginity to her?
Told to expect at least $500,000 she is excited at the prospect and heads to Las Vegas to take up residence in a high end brothel where she is taught how to perform as a prostitute to the highest bidder.
Hunter West has had a thing for Libby since he first fixed her mother’s Ferrari, however he got himself mixed up with an impossible minx, and now his favourite prostitute is missing, and he was the last one with her. He knows he didn’t do anything, but he can’t prove he didn’t either. So playing a game of cat and mouse with the queen of the porn industry, he sets out to find the truth.
When Elizabeth’s auction comes up (her identity is kept anonymous) she is astounded to realise that her virginity was purchased for $10 million by none other than… Hunter West, but now Libby is caught up in his mess, and try as he might, he can’t get her to stay away, but then neither can he stay away from her.
I loved Libby – she had her head screwed on, even when she thought she didn’t, and while selling her v-card – as she calls it – was a long shot, it paid off, and she was able to get Cross’ treatment paid for, and some left over. She is a loyal friend and stuck beside Cross and Hunter during their darkest hours, even to the detriment of her own health.
Hunter is a bad man from years gone by, and he can’t figure out what Libby see’s in him, apart from trying to tame a bad boy, but she gets him to recognise that underneath it all, he isn’t the tyrant he thinks he is, that he has a heart of gold underneath it all.
Both of these books were fantastic, and took me two days to read, because I couldn’t put them down.
There are lots of other books that I have enjoyed immensely by Melissa Pearl, Colin Falconer and T G Ayer, but the above two books are ones that I have read in the last two weeks.