Category Archives: 4 star reads

Surviving Passion (The Shattered World #1) – Maia Underwood

Good read – steamy but not graphic

⭐⭐⭐⭐

I’m a big fan of post-apocalyptic fiction and romance, so the joining of the two is one of my favorite sub-genres. And I really like this one.

About nine years ago, the economy crashed, followed by technology, and then civilization as a whole, wiping out most of the population through starvation, disease, and violence. Selena has been on her own, not even talking to another person, since her father died four years ago. She is almost caught by a group of nasty men and ends up hiding in the same building and room as Dan, who is also avoiding the same men. After the group gives up on finding Selena and leaves, Dan forces her to return to his small group with him.

It’s written in close 3rd, always with Selena. I would have liked to have followed Dan some of the time for sure. I didn’t get to know him as well as I hoped, but I liked what I saw. There is no cheating, no OW. There’s a man who wants to be an OM, but Selena has zero interest in him.

It’s a little steamy. There are only two sex scenes in this book, and they aren’t that graphic. The first starts with some nonconsensual touching. I’ve read in other reviews that some readers view this scene as rape. I didn’t see it that way myself, so it’s at least subjective. Dan gave Selena a chance to stop him, and she didn’t take it. We also know that she’s already attracted to him. The reader has had some foreplay. Selena says, “I hate you,” but I took it like “I hate that you have the power to make me feel so strongly because it scares me”. Afterwards, Selena hasn’t been traumatized and is actually regretting not showing that she wanted Dan more, afraid that he might not want her the same way anymore. However, if you are sensitive to things like this, if it’s a trigger for you, then definitely stay away. The second scene is fully consensual and even initiated by Selena.

There are some strange formatting errors. Most of the book is left justified with paragraph indents, but sometimes there are several paragraphs that are fully indented like a block quote. I found very few actual grammar / spelling errors.

I enjoyed the story and really liked the action scenes. They are described and paced very well. I especially liked Selena’s parts in the fights. Selena is strong in that she’s a survivor and has some skills. But she’s been emotionally and socially stunted by her life experience. She acts childishly at times, but I liked that she called herself out on it. Her behavior makes sense for her life experience, and she grows along with the story.

I agree with other reviewers that the story could use some work, but it’s a good read as is. If you have a fascination with post-apocalyptic romance like I do, then I recommend it.

Trucker (The Good Guys) – Jamie Schlosser

So cute!

⭐⭐⭐⭐

Travis picks Angel up when she starts to hitchhike across the country.

This was so frigging cute. It’s a light-hearted, feel-good read. I loved that both the leads are virgins. Travis’ horror date stories were hilarious. I laughed out loud several times while reading this.

The only thing I didn’t like was the OW drama. It was just another woman that wanted Travis, mean girl stuff, no touching at all between H and OW. Very cliche, but at least it was over quickly!

Angel was naive and far too trusting, but she’s very young (17/18). It’s nice to see that life hadn’t beaten that out of her already.

This is written in alternating 1st. I only found a few grammar mistakes in the whole book, just extra words. HEA.

Great quick read that I needed between heavier stuff!

Toils and Snares – Robert L. Slater

Convincing and real family portrait

⭐⭐⭐⭐

In one sentence, this book is about: a family running off to a cabin in the woods as a plague kills most of the population.

This book is pretty clean – no sexual situations and just a bit of swearing.

It is not a YA novel like All Is Silence. The main characters are adults.

I don’t want to write a spoiler, but I think people should know that not every character gets an HEA. You don’t want to read this while depressed. It does have a solid ending, no cliffhanger.

I really liked this. The characters and situations felt very real. The people have strengths and flaws. I saw family dynamics that matched some of my own experience. It’s convincing and real. This isn’t about greater issues of society but rather the microcosm of a single extended family. We don’t get to choose family! Families are messy, but they still care about and are there for each other.

If you like apocalyptic / post-apocalyptic stories, I highly recommend it.

All Is Silence – Robert L. Slater

No zombies! Pretty clean YA

⭐⭐⭐⭐

I love post-apocalyptic fiction and this gave me that. I was predisposed to like it. There are no zombies! Hurray! The story was engaging, fast paced, and seemed realistic. I liked that the characters weren’t flat. They have flaws, but I could still sympathize with them.

The writing was good but not amazing. I would have loved more details about the world. There were very few grammar mistakes.

Sex occurs once in the book, but I would still call it “clean”. That one scene had very little description and was over very quickly. The violence wasn’t described in detail either. There were a few curse words, including the F word, but they were rare.