I am a 29 year old female, living in Southern California. I love to read. I am open to different genres as long as they are well written. I always try to give a review to books I've purchased/received.
Where to find Leslie Serrano online
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Smashwords book reviews by Leslie Serrano
- The Lady in the Mist (The Western Werewolf Legend #1)
on April 25, 2013
This is one of those books that sounded good, leading me to believe that I will like it. And I wanted to. But close to halfway through the book, the feeling of disappointment was beginning to emerge. I continued on hoping that it will get better. Sadly, by the time I finished the book, I felt let down. The whole concept and story was intriguing and had potential. But I just found myself not getting into the story and felt the story was missing some elements which would have helped me enjoy the book much more than I did.
I found myself being confused and not being completely informed of the context of the story. The book just started off with the attack on Sonja and her meeting with Hortence. It took me by surprise since the action happened so early without any background on Sonja's story (which eventually explained later on in the chapter) or the world that the story is taking place in. Already I felt as if I was dropped down in the middle of the action with no clue what happened before. I felt an underlying feeling of needing to catch up when there's really no story to catch up on.
Furthermore, I was constantly looking for an explanation on what kind of supernatural beings existed and how they fit into the context of Sonja's and Ty's world. I know that werewolves existed, but it wasn't until later on in the book that vampires were mentioned as well. A being known as the Guardian was also a part of the narrative, but like other aspects of the story, I didn't get a clear picture of who/what the Guardian is. I was also confused about Hortence. She's referred to as a witch, but there were moments where I'm not sure if she's a witch in the sense that she's a magical being or if she's considered to be a medicine woman. Overall, I'm left with a big hole of missing information that would have clarified many things which would've helped me understand the story (and in turn possible enjoy the story more).
I also would have liked to seen the romance between Sonja and Ty develop more fully. I just felt their proclamation of love occurred too soon. I understand the feelings of mutual attraction between them and acting on them. But I just thought they haven't spent enough time together to really say they're in love with each other.
I really wanted to like this book. The storyline was interesting when I read the summary, hence why I decided to read it. But when I remember this book, all I can remember is how confused I felt while reading and wanting more information about the extent of the supernatural world and its inhabitants. The story itself was well written, doing a good job of giving a narrative tone that belonged during the Civil War era. But it wasn't enough for me to overcome the holes in the details and lack of depth in the romance of the main couple.
on June 02, 2013
I supposed the fact that our hero, Simon, "rescued" our heroine, Angelica, from a sort of prison could be compared to the tale of Rapunzel. But overall, I don't really see this as a fairy tale retelling. But that doesn't mean Undone is not a great read on its own. This book is very well written with passionate main characters surrounded by love, drama, and action. It's a great, fun read that is easy to get swept up in.
Our main couple, Simon and Angelica, were fabulous. There was great chemistry between them. You can really feel that attraction between them. They each had their own attractive qualities that made it easy for you to like and root for them. I thought Angelica's quiet strength made her a likeable heroine. Simon's sense of honor and responsibility made him a wonderful hero. He was really my favorite part of the book. He really provided the book's energy and passion. For a historical hero, he had quite a mouth on him which made him even more alluring. He encompassed all that you want in a hero, he's handsome, compassionate, brave, and honorable. He made the book for me.
There were some quirks that I didn't like. For instance, there was a little bit repetitiveness regarding the use of certain words, mostly the curse words. It wouldn't have come to my notice if they didn't occur often within a paragraph or two. When they show up in consecutive paragraphs, it tended to grate on me. Also, there times (few and far between) where a term would pop up that you wouldn't expect from a historical fiction, not sure if "balls-deep" was a common term used around Louis XIV's court. Furthermore, I really didn't like Gabrielle, mostly for her crying session towards the first half of the book. It just seemed like every scene she's in, she had to cry. It just annoyed me. Luckily she wasn't in many scenes in the second half of the book, so there wasn't much opportunity for crying.
However, these details I pointed out are just me nit-picking at things. Even though it caught my attention, in no certain terms did they diminish the quality of the book.
This was a very entertaining, enjoyable hot romantic historical fiction. It had so many things in it such as romance, steamy love scenes, dramatic twists, and even some sword-fighting action. I was left feeling very satisfied and looking forward to reading more work from DiPasqua. I would highly recommend this to anyone.
- The Art of D/s Trilogy
on June 10, 2013
I am bound to come across books in which it's blurb will pique my interest, make me want to put it on my TBR list, set my expectations fairly high, but then upon reading discover myself being disappointed in what I am reading. Fortunately, it doesn't happen often. But when it does, it makes me wince knowing the kind of review I will have to post.
Now I understand that I can be picky in what I want in the books I read. I have a specific taste in terms of the writing/narrative style. That aspect of a book plays a part in how much I enjoy it. In this trilogy, the writing is not what I like especially certain choices in words and phrasing. Someone once told me that I like my writing to have a "poetic" flow to it. I other words, I like a book's writing/narrative to have a rhythm and natural storytelling flow. In this trilogy, it felt more as if I was being told what was going on. It was very simple, straightforward narrative that just told the surface of the story. I didn't feel it went in depth enough. I was being told what was going on and I didn't feel anything deeper with the story.
I also had problems with the certain word choices and the phrasing of scenes. At times, I felt like I was reading a narrative from a teenager instead of an adult. There were words that felt out of place and didn't belong coming from an adult couple. It really annoyed me Isabel's penchant to use her "Holy..." phrases. It felt childish and it seemingly happens every other paragraph. I found myself rolling my eyes every time she does it and it didn't help when Dylan started doing it too. I understand that maybe the author wanted to add spicy dialogue, dirty talk, but it just felt off. Using the word f*ck and slang terms does not make it good dirty talk. For myself, it left me with the overall impression I had with the main characters, Dylan and Isabel.
I really wished that I felt something with these characters, the way I usually do with the books I really enjoyed. Sadly, I didn't form that connection with either Dylan or Isabel. All I can think of was how juvenile they seemed. I questioned whether they should be together, or be in any kind of relationship. They both have deep issues which constantly interfered in their relationship. Just when I thought they got it together, someone says/does something and the other will immediately take it personally and then act impulsively and then they have a talk and they would decided stick it out. It seemed like they spent the majority of the trilogy, especially the first 2 books, fighting. They also have a tendency to be overly melodramatic, especially Isabel. There were a few lines/dialogue where I found my wincing a little.
As much problems I had with the book, it had its moments. Out of the two, I felt Dylan grew the most in the trilogy. He went from being this very strong minded, confident businessman, to a complete jerk, to an uncommunicative boyfriend, to a deeply loving husband. He has potential to be a wonderful character. I also wished Dylan's right hand man, Sawyer, had more of a part. He takes a more front and center role in the third book. Although when his POV started appearing, it kind of threw me for a loop considering there was never any sign of it in the previous 2 books. However, when they started showing up often, I liked reading his perspective. He's a character I would've liked reading more of.
I also liked the pictures of Isabel's painting, which are done by an actual artist friend of the author. They were beautiful and added a little pop to the book. Helped bring a picture of what Isabel's painting were to have looked like.
This whole trilogy had a flavoring of the 50 SOG trilogy. The more I read, the more that thought came to mind. But, in my opinion, the former was written better with more of a clearer illustration of its main couple. With The Art of D/s trilogy, I wasn't as taken with the writing or the main couple. I feel if the writing was polished a little more and the characters' behavior/attitudes and dramatics were toned down a couple of degrees, the book could have been better.
- Rock the Heart (Black Falcon 1)
on June 13, 2013
This is nice, dramatic short (relatively speaking) story to get to keep you busy for a couple of hours. I look at this as a mini soap opera, with the drama and emotional scenes and dialogue involved. I would've liked to have read a little more depth with the characters, but there was enough where you can feel the tension and emotion between our main couple Lanie and Noel.
I would've liked to read something about Lanie that makes her stand out a little more. I just felt her character was missing a certain, unique spark. She had her moments and as a character I liked her, but overall I continuously felt something was missing. Like a picture that needs a color to make it pop to the viewer.
Noel, on the other hand, is quite a character himself. I actually found his behavior and personality very charming, especially when we first meet him. I was taken with his passion for Lanie. He has a good blend of the hard rocker and sensitive romantic.
This book was good, but there were others that really captured my attention and feelings. I would have liked for the book to have gone a little deeper with our characters. Especially the conflict between Noel and his father. There was real potential for a subplot for Noel and take his character a little further. I was a little disappointed that situation was dealt with more. Hence why I couldn't give this a book a higher rating. However,there was enough romance, hot love scenes, and drama to keep me entertained.
- Skin Deep (An I-Team After Hours Novella)
on June 15, 2013
This is one of those feel good, love story that will leave feeling all warm and fuzzy inside. This may not be a full length book, but there was so much packed in that you didn't feel like you were missing anything. The story was written very well with characters that you can't help but care and root for.
I love how our main couple, Megan and Nathaniel aka Nate, complimented each other so well because they were a reflection of each other. They each bore scars that have become a burden on themselves. The difference is that Megan's scars are internal due to horrible events that occurred in her past which left her unable to form an emotional and physical connection with a man. On the other hand, Nate's scars are literally physical scars that cover his whole right side from an IED explosion during his tour in Afghanistan. I enjoyed reading how they help each other heal the other's scars and finding a deep connection with each other.
Nate was amazing in this story. He's the epitome of the knight in shining underneath his disfigurement. You can sense his strength and the desire to protect those closest to him. He had a rugged to charm to him that you can't help but be pulled by. But you also see his own inner turmoil regarding his appearance. His belief that no female would ever be with him due to his looks. It was great reading how deeply affected he was by Megan's complete acceptance of himself. As much as he was helping Megan with her situation and her issues, Megan helped him just as much. That moment where it clicked for both of them was very moving and touching.
I also liked the supporting characters, Megan's adorable 4 year old Emily and Nate's no nonsense father Jack. They added that extra punch to the story. They were great in their roles, especially Jack. I really loved his bluntness. It was actually pretty charming and funny.
This edition of the book also came with a short story at the end. It mostly focused on the men, specifically Marc, Megan's brother, and his friend Julian from the main story. It was funny to read the interaction between the men and how a simple beer run turns out not to be so simple. It had humor and action. It was a great treat to have after the main story.
I thoroughly enjoyed this heartwarming love story. I enjoyed reading Megan's journey to discovering her ability to be with a man in spite of all the horrible things she's gone through and Nate realizing that a woman can see him as a man past his physical disfigurement. I was touched and left me feeling good in the end. Plus you can't go wrong with a story that has horses and an adorable toddler.
- Killing Matt Cooper
on June 17, 2013
I don't believe creepy is an accurate word to describe this book. It's always fascinating for me to read books who's narrator gives us glimpse of how a serial killer's mind operates. I liken it to a car accident in which you shouldn't look, but you feel compelled to do so.
This book is basically what it says it is: it's an insight into our narrator's inner workings and his thought process in his choosing of victims and what goes on his mind when he kills. It's fascinating because when you read his tale, he speaks as if he were a normal, average guy. As if what he's saying and doing isn't horrible.
As I read through the book, it wasn't exactly his actions per se that horrified me although they were awful. When he talks about how he got to this point and his perspective, he sounds like a man who lost the love of his life. There were certain points in the book in which he sounds like a teenager who's trying to move on from this loss.It illustrated just that fine line between being the average person to crossing a boundary that you never go back from.
And it's jarring how it can make you feel sympathy for him and for a second forget who/what he really is. Especially when he himself even acknowledges himself as a "monster" and how in his own way he's trying to protect other, his friends and family and new people he may meet, from himself. It's those moments when sounds like a sympathetic being that emphasizes his averageness. He doesn't sound like a psychotic serial killer. He's appears to be a guy you would hang out with. It's chilling how you can picture him being this ordinary guy on the street whom you may just pass by and not give a single thought to. There isn't anything that makes him standout. It reminds you of how close to real life it is.
As disturbing as this book was, it was an engrossing read. Even if you feel sickened by what you read, there's just something about the story that grabs you. I knew what I was getting into when I got the book. It was interesting, well written, and it grabs your attention. Fortunately it wasn't a full length novel, but even if it was I would've still kept on reading. The only problem I would see with this is the ending may not be what people would like. But I felt like it was the kind of ending that fit for this book. If there's a second book then I would happily read it to see what happens.
- Memoirs of a Gigolo Volume One
on Aug. 25, 2013
When I started this book I knew I’d be getting. What I didn’t count on was how surprisingly humorous this short story was. The male gigolo in question, Ollie, has a self-deprecating brand of humor which is shown in his narrative of how he came to become a gigolo. It offered a nice change of pace as well as making the book a fun read.
Ollie’s humorous and honest narrative of his situation actually helped in my perception of his character. If told in any other tone of voice, Ollie could’ve easily come off as a lazy, broke, pretty boy. He wouldn’t have been as charming and likeable. But since he was so brutally honest about his financial situation and his failings, you can’t help but feel for him and be charmed by it.
I applaud Ellis for trying something different with writing this story as a serial instead of a full length novel. I would’ve liked to have read this story as full novel, illustrating how much I liked what I’ve read so far and would’ve liked to have more.
This book was a great in between read when I needed something to occupy my time. I really liked the humor infused into the story, making it a fun read. I would be interested to see how his story develops in the next volumes.
- Rock & Roll (Vol. I of the Savannah Rossi Chronicles)
on Sep. 03, 2013
If you are looking for a quick, erotica fix then this book is right up your alley. It provides both the heat and sexiness, packaged within very good writing and showed through the strong personality of the female lead, Savannah.
The shortness is due to the fact, it's just the beginning of the series with subsequent books coming out. This gives you a glimpse of who Savannah is and the kind of writing you will find in these books.
As far as I'm concerned, this first story did its job well. I not only enjoyed it, but it made interested enough to check out the upcoming books to the series.
- Slow Jam (Vol. 2 of the Savannah Rossi Chronicles)
on Sep. 04, 2013
This second installment in The Savannah Rossi Chronicles provided the same qualities we enjoyed from the first book, but also managed to add to the story itself. You still got the heat, sexiness and of course the hot sex, but what I really liked about this second book was how you also got more story, more characters, more knowledge of who Savannah is as a person. You get all this wrapped up in a pretty moving storyline.
In Slow Jam, you get to see Savannah beyond what was shown in the first book. Yes, she’s a talented and smoking hot musician with an unapologetic zest for sex. But through the crisis that has befallen her childhood best friend and writing partner, Leif Jensen, you see the hidden layer of Savannah. It’s that hidden side that cares about her best friend and who is willing to cancel a gig in consideration for him. It was great seeing some depth to her character. Considering this is a series, you would hope that through subsequent books, you’ll get to know her more which will enable you to care about her as a person.
Not only do you get to know more about Savannah, but you also get introduced to her fellow band mates. Eric, lead guitarist, stands out prominently since he and Leif are Savannah’s closest friends. Eric brings some of the humor with him. I really enjoyed him in his supporting role. He’s a nice compliment to Savannah.
Now with all that said and done, this is still an erotica story, so don’t think that Rafferty is skimping on the sex. There is plenty of sexual tension to go around, especially with a male counterpart such as Logan Holloway. He’s a perfect blend of Southern charm and rock star sexiness. The chemistry between him and Savannah is palpable and hot. Rafferty did a good job of balancing the sexual tension of these two with the emotional plot of the book without feeling as if one aspect was sacrificed for the other.
I really enjoyed how this book added to what the first one gave. I appreciated the story of the book and giving us more of who Savannah is while still bringing the heat. The writing is still well done and I liked the introduction of Eric and Leif into the story. Overall, it was a great continuation of the series and has me looking forward to more from the series.
- Little Drummer Boy (Vol. 3 of the Savannah Rossi Chronicles)
on Sep. 04, 2013
The third installment in the series is basically a short hot Christmas themed erotica. Just as with the previous books, Rafferty brings both the sexiness and hot sex in this book. The story doesn’t move forward much in this book. There is mention of Leif and his ordeal from Slow Jams, but it isn’t necessary to have read that book (although I do recommend it for background story and plus it’s just a really great read). Information is also given out to what happened between Savannah and Logan, the temporary hot bass player from the second story. Not to give any spoilers, but if you’ve read the previous books, you’d know how Savannah is and the aftermath involving Logan wouldn’t really be a big surprise.
You can basically look at this as a break from the main storyline. There isn’t much added, although Eric (from Slow Jams) does make a quick appearance to provide some comic relief. If you want a quick erotica with some Christmas spirit thrown in, you’ll highly enjoy this book.
- Hound Dog (Vol. 4 of the Savannah Rossi Chronicles)
on Sep. 04, 2013
If you’ve followed The Savannah Chronicles from the beginning, you’ll be familiar with the tone that Rafferty’s books carry. It’s an erotica serial with some wit and humor thrown in. It basically has an overall fun and sexy feel to the story. With Hound Dog, the story takes a little darker, angrier tone. That’s mostly due to the storyline involved in this fourth installment.
Savannah is known to be very sexually aggressive, open and noncommittal. There have been small references to the origin of her approach to sex and relationships (or more accurately, lack there of). This book reveals exactly what happened in Savannah’s past and the man at the heart of it all, Jax. And needless to say, that part of her life has left an imprint on her, leaving her with unresolved anger and resentment, hence the tone of the book.
Like in Slow Jams, this book provides insight to what makes Savannah tick. You finally get to find out what happened in her early years to not want to be in any type of long-term relationships with men. It may not be something new, but you truly feel how her relationship with Jax has left her broken. Kudos goes to Rafferty for writing so well the extent of Savannah’s pain and anger. She did a great job of incorporating those same emotions into the sex scenes. It retained its intensity, but you’re also aware of the anger that’s put into the actions of both Savannah and Jax. I would describe it as erotically violent.
I’m a little ambivalent regarding Jax. On the one hand, the way he handled his relationship with Savannah was very much cowardly. And frankly, I don’t really blame Savannah for the way she feels. However, there’s a part that feels Savannah should try to see some things from Jax’s perspective. If things were to have gone a different way, the consequences for Jax would be a lot more serious and long lasting. I just felt that both people played a part in how things went down with neither of them being completely at fault.
I really appreciated how well this book was written. To blend together many different emotions and feelings without skimping out on the eroticism makes Rafferty a very good writer (in my opinion). You get another layer to Savannah, adding to this picture you have of this interesting female character. The darker tone of the book doesn’t deter me from wanting to read more of the series. It actually increased it and made me look forward to future works from her.