Review: Preppy: The Life & Death of Samuel Clearwater, Part 3 (King, #7), by T. M. Frazier

Preppy: The Life & Death of Samuel Clearwater, Part Three (King, #7)Preppy: The Life & Death of Samuel Clearwater, Part Three by T.M. Frazier
My rating: 3 of 5 stars

As much as I have enjoyed the ‘King’ series, I have mixed feelings about this book. Preppy is a favorite character of mine, but I was left feeling somewhat underwhelmed with this final book in his story. At the same time, I was glad that everything was tied up and that the series drew to a close. I think it was time. It is kind of bittersweet for me.

Like earlier books in the series, Preppy, Bear and King team up to take on those that would do them harm. This time around, Dre is a target. Picking up right where the last book left off, Dre is in a dire situation and has to fight for her life. That isn’t the last time that they’ll find themselves in a life or death struggle though.

Despite the action and danger that fills the pages, I was left feeling somewhat bored. Maybe I’ve just grown tired of the constant danger and implausibility of this series, but I just wasn’t surprised or even anxious while reading this one. It felt kind of flat for me.

That being said, it was nice to see these characters all “grown up” and settled down. Each of them managed to find their happy place, going on to have children and live out their HEAs. These rough and tumble, drug-dealing guys have become the picture of domestic bliss. It is kind of sweet, in a bizarre way.

Overall, I thought that this ended up being a pretty good book. It didn’t hold my attention like the earlier books in the series, but I was also glad to see everything wind down and come to a close. It was a great ride while it lasted, but it was time.

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Review: Mister Black (In the Shadows, #1), by P. T. Michelle

Mister Black (In the Shadows, #1)Mister Black by P.T. Michelle
My rating: 3 of 5 stars

This short read has been hanging out on my TBR list for awhile. I picked up the Audible version because it was a relatively short audiobook. I don’t like to start long audiobooks at the end of my workweek because I generally don’t listen as much on the weekends. This book was about the right length to occupy my commute time, while still having enough time to finish it off before the weekend.

In any case, this book started off promising for me. Natalia, aka Talia, aka Red, is a young teenage girl at the onset of the story. She is walking alone in the city when she finds herself in a compromising position. Refusing to hand over her necklace, she engages in a dangerous stand-off with her homeless mugger.

Just as Talia is growing to appreciate the precarious situation she is in, a handsome young man comes to her rescue. “Mister Black” fends off her assailant and offers her a ride home. After he leaves she doesn’t see him again, but she thinks of him often.

Years later, Talia is an aspiring reporter looking to land an exclusive interview for her college paper. She knows that there is more to the mysterious death of the wealthy co-ed than the authorities are letting on. She is determined to speak to the victim’s roommate to get to the bottom of it.

Talia’s opportunity presents itself in the form of an exclusive party. Her best friend has an uncanny resemblance to another girl that has been invited. This other girl is not planning on attending, so she plans to assume her identity for the night and take Talia along with her.

Once Talia has gained access to the party, she focuses on finding the elusive roommate. However, before she does, she runs into the handsome stranger from her past. She had dreamed of the mysterious Mister Black for years, but now learns that his real name is Sebastian Quinn.

Sparks fly immediately between Talia and Quinn. Things get real smutty, real quick. Everything happened so quickly that I was kind of like, “what the hell just happened?”.

Then, Talia returns her focus to the story. Sebastian introduces her to the roommate, who happens to be his sister. She uncovers some shocking circumstances surrounding the death of the girl’s roommate. What she finds out resonates with her on a deeper level, as the details are eerily similar to secrets from her own past.

Just as the story is starting to take off, it draws to a close. Apparently, Mister Black/Sebastian is a Navy Seal. He is going to be deployed soon and Talia will have to wait to see him again. Bad timing and all that.

To get answers, I’d have to read the next book. Unfortunately, I just don’t care enough to do that. While this story was “okay”, it didn’t hold much appeal for me. It was too convenient and felt a little reminiscent of ‘Nancy Drew’ or ‘The Babysitter’s Club’ to me. Young, naive girl takes on a huge criminal organization and tackles corruption, exposing the wrong-doers, etc., etc. I just wasn’t feeling it.

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Tattooed and Bow-Tied

Preppy: The Life & Death of Samuel Clearwater, Part One (King, #5)Preppy: The Life & Death of Samuel Clearwater, Part One by T.M. Frazier
My rating: 4 of 5 stars

If you’re like me, you’ve been waiting for Preppy’s story ever since reading the first book in the ‘King’ series. There is something oddly endearing about the tattooed, bow-tie wearing, drug-dealing enigma, that is Preppy. Nothing about him can be described as typical, or even appealing on it’s own. However, it just seems to work. You can’t help but love him.

This book begins years earlier than the other books in the series. It takes you on a trip back in time, to when King was first sent to prison. Preppy, along with Bear, were left to try and hold everything together in his absence. While managing his Granny Growhouse “start-up”, Preppy focused his energy on trying to figure out a way to adopt King’s child.

When one of his growhouses gets robbed, Preppy comes to the rescue of Mirna, one of his “grannies”. Low and behold, it is Mirna’s own granddaughter, Andrea, that unbeknownst to her, set her grandmother up to be robbed. While her junkie friends manage to sneak away, Andrea, aka “Dre”, does not.

Dre is at an all-time low in her life. She’s a junkie. She’s suffered unspeakable acts at the hands of her supposed “friends”. She’s betrayed those that she loves the most, including her own grandmother. With her own actions haunting her every waking moment, she decides to end her life.

When Preppy prevents Dre from taking a dive off the top of the water tower, he is immediately drawn to the pain in her eyes. Her suffering speaks to him and he finds himself wanting to be the cause of her tears. Yet, as time passes and Dre gets clean, his feelings for her grow into much more.

These two were a train wreck right from the start. Both of them were damaged and scarred by their pasts. It was the fact that they were both so broken that actually made them perfect for each other in so many ways.

I’m not going to lie and say that this book was perfect. It definitely isn’t a rainbows and unicorns type of story. It is their imperfections that define these characters and their actions…and their actions are definitely imperfect.

Toward the end, their is one scene that will put off a lot of readers. I was so angry at both Preppy and Dre – but mostly, Preppy – that I had tears in my eyes. You’ll want to scream, “How could you?” At the same time, it is that exact type of emotion-invoking scene that make a book great. Man, will it make you feel!

Overall, I thought it was a great book. I am looking forward to the next part of Preppy and Dre’s story. I can’t wait to see how everything will come together now that the rest of this cast of characters have settled into domestic bliss. It will be interesting to see how Preppy and Dre fit in or if they can work past their issues for the long haul. I’m betting that they can.

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