Author: Jennifer L. Armentrout

November 13, 2017

Review | Till Death by Jennifer L. Armentrout

Review | Till Death by Jennifer L. ArmentroutTill Death by Jennifer L. Armentrout
Publisher: William Morrow, February 2017
Pages: 297
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In New York Times bestselling author Jennifer L. Armentrout’s gripping new novel, a young woman comes home to reclaim her life—even as a murderer plots to end it. . .

It’s been ten years since Sasha Keaton left her West Virginia hometown . . . since she escaped the twisted serial killer known as the Groom. Returning to help run her family inn means being whole again, except for one missing piece. The piece that falls into place when Sasha’s threatened—and FBI agent Cole Landis vows to protect her the way he couldn’t a decade ago.
First one woman disappears; then another, and all the while, disturbing calling cards are left for the sole survivor of the Groom’s reign of terror. Cole’s never forgiven himself for not being there when Sasha was taken, but he intends to make up for it now . . . because under the quirky sexiness Cole first fell for is a steely strength that only makes him love Sasha more.
But someone is watching. Waiting. And Sasha’s first mistake could be her last.

Sasha Keaton wasn’t supposed to live.

Kidnapped and brutalized by the serial killer known only as the Groom, Sasha took a chance on escape and fled to a neighboring ranch. Clad in the wedding dress she was meant to die in, Sasha managed to thwart the Groom and save herself.

Ten years later, Sasha returns to the family inn in her hometown, hoping the emotional distance of ten years is enough to heal the trauma. But from the moment she arrives, something is wrong.

Till Death‘s Sasha gave voice to victims, to the struggle to heal and go back to normalcy. I admired the strength, understood (most of) her motives, and yet sometimes dearly wished she would pick up on the signs and stop throwing herself into the path of danger.

The real hook of Armentrout’s work lay in the dueling perspectives. While Sasha’s narration took center stage, the criminal’s occasional POV ratcheted up the tension, especially as the crimes increased. It brought the whodunit factor sky-high, creating this insatiable urge to know just who this psychopath was.

Till Death‘s romance came in a very close second. Cole’s feelings for the girl that disappeared on him ten years ago and the devotion he has for the dark-and-twisty heroine that she’s become is astonishing. It’s real, it’s intense, and it’s one of the few constants in Sasha’s life. My only complaint? I wish it were a little more drawn out – it felt like it happened entirely too easily, but then again, not much has been easy for Sasha.

Cole’s dependability and devotion, combined with his career as a local FBI agent, makes him a crucial character in Till Death and one I’m glad is standing by Sasha’s side, especially as the violence escalates.

Hidden inside this unsuspecting cover are a gripping thriller, heart-stopping romance, and powerful survivor story. Till Death is the reason  Jennifer Armentrout is at the top of my wishlist.

4 Stars

Posted November 13, 2017 by Ellen in reviews / 0 Comments
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June 23, 2016

Review | Forever With You by Jennifer Armentrout

Review | Forever With You by Jennifer ArmentroutForever with You by Jennifer L. Armentrout
Series: Wait for You #5
Publisher: Avon, September 2015
Pages: 370
Format: Paperback
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In the irresistibly sexy series from #1 New York Times bestselling author Jennifer L. Armentrout, two free spirits find their lives changed by a one-night stand…
Some things you just believe in, even if you've never experienced them. For Stephanie, that list includes love. It's out there. Somewhere. Eventually. Meanwhile she's got her job at the mixed martial arts training center and hot flings with gorgeous, temporary guys like Nick. Then a secret brings them closer, opening Steph's eyes to a future she never knew she wanted—until tragedy rips it away.
Nick's self-assured surface shields a past no one needs to know about. His mind-blowing connection with Steph changes all that. As fast as he's knocking down the walls that have kept him commitment-free, she's building them up again, determined to keep the hurt—and Nick—out. But he can't walk away. Not when she's the only one who's ever made him wish for forever . . .

Stephanie’s finally out on her own. Fresh from college graduation, she moves into her first apartment away from home and stumbles into Nick, the cute bartender at the nearby restaurant. Little does she know that the fling she considers a one night stand will bring out a secret that brings them together, possibly for forever.

Like other reviewers, I had some trouble getting into the groove of Forever With You. To be honest, I was stunned that Steph and Nick met so quickly in the book; I expected some character development on her side before Nick appeared and the romance commenced. It made for a bit of an awkward beginning, one that made me consider putting the book back in the library bag and picking up another. In the end, I’m so glad I stuck with it.

It’s the realistic situations and the emotions they evoke that makes Forever With You a contemporary romance winner. Steph’s struggle within herself for independence and Nick’s relationship issues create a push-and-pull within the story that add to the tension. It’s a constant guessing game: will they or won’t they?

I liked how Armentrout slowly reveals more about Nick’s character and his past. Since the story takes place from Steph’s perspective, we get to know her pretty well, but discover Nick as she does. Usually, I prefer when the narration switches between characters in a romance, but Armentrout’s decision to stick with Steph was right on.

The focus on family relationships was wonderful. Her unusual emphasis on both Steph and Nick’s family created a real relationship, using dynamics of everyday life. Adding in these elements made it easy to believe in the characters, motives and emotions that built Forever With You.

I didn’t quite buy into the female friendships Steph developed. They felt a little forced and awkward, a sudden jolt instead of a slow development. While they played a huge role in the end of the novel, their credibility didn’t hold up in the beginning.

In the end, Forever With You was a pretty good read. The play of warring emotions and motives of two independent people united by one secret created an intriguing read.

3 Stars

Posted June 23, 2016 by Ellen in reviews / 0 Comments
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