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4.8 out of 5 stars138
4.8 out of 5 stars
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on 9 April 2015
Okay, this isn't easy for me, because I really love the author and I so wanted to love the book. I really tried to love it. But it wasn't until the 70% mark that it started to really grab my attention.

Unfortunately, until then it was drawn out and very repetitive. Maybe I just couldn't relate to the heroine Karissa. I don't do well with weak heroines and this is what Karissa appeared like to me. She had no personality at all and that makes it impossible give a damn about her.

She meets a guy who screams danger, and not the let's smoke some pot and make out in the parking lot kind of danger. She even recognizes that about him. Yet her brain cells seem to have gone on vacation. For the first 70% she either has sex with him, or thinks about having sex with him or misses him because she can't have sex with him. And when she takes a short break from that, she obsesses over how she isn't good enough for him.
I'm sorry, but no, just no. I can't relate or respect a character who suddenly forgets everything around her, who only lives and breathes for the guy. It drove me insane and I couldn't see what Naz saw in her. Not that he was perfect by any means. Besides being a dangerous, bad man, he's also somewhat of a jerk towards her. I personally would have given him a swift kick to the groin and went my merry way. But that's besides the point.
I couldn't get a feel for why they care about each other. There wasn't an explanation why Karissa is so fascinated by him, why she likes him so much, other than the sex and the attention she gets.

Because I couldn't connect with either character, it was impossible to find the sex scenes hot. I didn't feel the passion. He liked it rough, she liked whatever he liked and that was about it.

2 I-really-tried stars.
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on 28 April 2014
Monster In His Eyes (Monster In His Eyes, #1) by JM Darhower
5 amazing stars!!

“Love means seeing the beauty in the ugly, the light in the dark, and accepting that even if the lights are off…turning yourself inside out, handing yourself over to somebody else, and trusting them…trusting them to touch you, to handle you, to bend you, but never, ever break what you give them.”

I absolutely adore this author, after being introduced to Sempre and Sempre Redemption last year, JM Darhower became an auto buy author for me. I couldn’t wait to start this book so as soon as I got it, it was opened…and then time ceased to exist, so did the world, the kids, the husband, the house work, everything. I was totally and utterly captivated until I read the last word on the last page, so engrossing is this book that you feel as if you have only been reading five minutes when in fact it has been hours.

JM Darhowers style of writing is mesmerising, it pulls you in from the first word, perfectly paced, perfectly balanced and full of plot twists and turns that will keep you guessing from start to finish. A book full of suspense and intrigue as well as a broken yet enigmatic man called Ignazio Vitale aka Naz.

“Be careful what you ask,” he says quietly, his hands drifting along my jeans to cup my ass. “The answers aren’t always pretty.”

Naz is a man that you should “hate” yet you cannot help but love him, there is something about this man that sucks you in, the way his persona is conveyed through words draws you into his life, his world and grabs a hold of you and never lets you go. He is very guarded, secretive, possessive, alpha and incredibly hot. So charismatic on one hand yet terrifying on the other. You know there is more to the man, you want to know and yet you are only slowly drip fed his story, but this only makes his character more enthralling, it is like JM Darhower has the bait on a hook and keeps dragging it slowly away, keeping you moving towards the prize and Naz is definitely some prize. At 36 years old, he is experienced, a man of the world yet is so totally and utterly captivating Karissa didn’t stand a chance.

“And I ate you alive, sweetheart. You never had a chance.”

Karissa was a beautiful character on the inside and out, 18 years old, young and naïve, a student and away from home for the first time. Her mum has warned her of the dangers and yet she cannot help but disregard those warnings when it comes to Naz. Intrigued that this man would even be remotely interested in her the power of his seduction is evident in the pages and you cannot help but dance the dance with them. You know that it is so wrong, yet you cannot help but feel it is so right and champion them along. Karissa knows that Naz is dangerous, yet he is like her crack and she cannot help but keep going back for another hit.

“And I know it when I look at him, seeing such serenity in his expression. I want every cell of him in every cell of me, because when he’s inside of me, I feel beautiful. I feel strong. I feel like I know what love means.”

I really cannot spill anymore without giving away too much of the story. All I can say is that this book deserves to be read, devoured and inhaled. The chemistry between these two is seriously off the charts, the words are fluid and powerful and the age gap between the two pales into insignificance. Could this really be a Cinderella style fairytale? With curve balls thrown from all angles you will be left reeling, left like a wanton hussy waiting for the next instalment. I seriously cannot wait, once again JM Darhower has pulled me in and I for one will be the first in line to read the conclusion to this fantastic story. Naz Vitale is already calling, he is like a siren, Fall 2014 cannot come quick enough.

“I fell in love with him, and that’s what destroyed me in the end.
He says he would never hurt me, but he doesn’t realize he already has.
He hurt me by loving me.
By being who he is.
Because I am who I am.”

Go 1click, you won’t be disappointed!
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on 29 April 2014
I was super excited about this book, I love J.M. Darhower & the Sempre Series is one of my all time faves, but how many times has a synopsis reeled us in for us to be left disappointed so I was wary to say the least & proceeded with caution ~ but can I just say WHOA I was NOT disappointed, not even a teensy bit, this book does exactly what it says on the tin and some……………..

This story has you at hello, the questions start mounting up almost immediately and your greedy for more, needing to know what’s making everybody tick, the professor? Karissa’s mum? The roommates boyfriend? Somethings amiss but you just can’t put your finger on it, the author has a knack at this I’m sure because I was completely reeled in & I just knew this would be a could not put down read.

Karissa has led a sheltered life but a difficult one, never having really settled anywhere and a mum so neurotic it’s exhausting, she’s trying desperately hard to carve out her own life and be independent. I think she’s incredibly naive for the most part but who could resist the charismatic, walking sex that is Ignazio (Naz) Vitale, a man twice her age, he completely blindsides her and she is powerless to resist.
Naz is a total enigma, even after finishing the book I’m not sure if he’s good or evil! Did I like him ~ yes, he oozed confidence, sensuality and raw emotion but he’s a man haunted by his past and it lurks there for all to see but Karrissa isn’t looking………..until it’s too late!!

There are some moments that warrant the warning this book carries but in the main for me, a lot of it was hinted at and not too in your face gratuitous, the sex is hot and passionately rough but well written and fit with the feel of the story well, I didn’t think it tipped the scales into too much! If you like your men dark, commanding and intense, stories of power, intrigue & menace with a dose of romance then this book is for you.

This is book one of two but is in no way a cliff hanger, I cannot wait to find out what happens next on this roller coaster journey………….

4.5 stars!!!

*Complimentary copy received from the author*
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on 4 May 2014
Interesting story. It's not badly written in terms of grammar and stuff,'s half written almost like poetry or a mythical dream. I like a books that are written as people would speak and think otherwise I find it hard to connect with the characters. I didn't think there was much.....depth or development to the characters in this book and there could have been a lot more depth. I'm not sure I'll read the same book if it's just more of the same. In summary; good plot, some interesting ideas not fully exploited.
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on 18 February 2016
First I must say that I love the writing style of J.M. Darhower. Her books ‘Made’ and ‘Sempre’ for me were exceptional. But I think the author tried a new direction with Monster in his Eyes and ability to draw you into the characters got slightly lost in this book.

I enjoyed the story and plot very much when things actually started to get going, which was about 50% into the book. The first half was a chore to read. The book is written from Karissa’s point of view, but for me, had too much internal dialogue. There should have been more dialogue and interaction with Karissa and Naz as I couldn't form any kind of connection with either of them to begin with. I could see Karissa’s attraction in Naz, but couldn’t see why he fell for Karissa. She wasn’t exceptional looking, had no talent, and wasn’t academically smart. She came across as rather dull. I understand she is young and naive but there was nothing really endearing about her. I also wasn’t keen on the rough sex scene! It’s not passionate and defiantly not romantic to read about.

Having said that, after the initial slow start I slowly began to be sucked into the story and enjoyed the rest of the book very much. The good points of the book are the suspense and intrigue. Everyone is connected somehow! The author has an excellent way of dropping the right amount of breadcrumbs to make you want to read more. She leaves you wondering what direction the books going to take and you can’t stop reading. I thought the ending was brilliant and I will definitely be reading the follow on. I would recommend this book, although you may find yourself skim reading the first half to get to the good bits!
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on 30 October 2014
Firstly I'd like to thank this author for saving me from a massive reading slump. I've read so much dross of late that I have to admit that I read the 5 star reviews thinking, "whatever!". I was desperate to find a book with shiny 5 star reviews that was actually worthy of them. So like I said, thanks for taking away the pessimism, even if only for a little while!
This book was really well executed. Yes there were a few editing/grammatical errors, and yes it's in a series, which I have to say is a bit of an irritant for me, so 4.5 stars instead of 5...however, the quality of writing, the gripping plot, engaging characters and overall writing style swung the balance to the higher end. It was so refreshing to read a well thought out story that is an actual story, not just a an excuse for pointless, mindless, constant sex scenes. The raunchy scenes are there, and they are definitely steamy, but they couldn't be further removed from some of the unrealistic rubbish I've had the misfortune to read of late. They are so well written and for me served a purpose, other than just being there as soft porn, which seems to have become the norm in this genre. The scenes served to add to the development of the main protagonists' relationship, complementing and adding to the book as a whole, rather than overwhelming and ruining it. The Mafia inspired plot was believable, well thought out, and with not a low budget afternoon film scene in sight. Really well balanced...will definitely be reading the sequel and if the standard remains, many more from this author.
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on 4 May 2014
Monster in his Eyes by J. M. Darhower


Reviewed by Sharon Thérèse Nuttall for Kindle Friends Forever

This is a thriller, love story with a difference! It's consuming, unputdownable and it'll make you lose sleep! What I found so refreshing is the author's style of writing. It's jerky in places, many dialogues are short, and it abso-frigging-lutely works to a tee. Descriptive to the point that you can easily relate to the author's main character, Karissa. However hard she's had to struggle to scrape by with just enough money to survive uni life, this eighteen year old student thinks that the one particularly difficult subject taught by an austere professor is under control. She's more than conscious of the fact that without a good grade, the scholarship she relies on will be put in jeopardy. I was concerned about Karissa's gullibility which was most certainly caused by her mother always being on tenterhooks. But all said and done, at the time it made sense to me since a mother's concern for her daughter's welfare is the most natural thing in the world.

There was something about Ignazio Vitale that had me wondering about his intentions from the very start of the story. This man of many facets is just wow, double and triple wow! It didn't bother me in the slightest that he is quite a bit older than Karissa because it simply felt right! Horrendously sexy, impeccably attired, charming, captivating, secretive and if I'm not careful, I'm going to run out of adjectives to describe this beast of man. Hot, hot, hot! He's not in the slightest bit forthcoming regarding his profession which adds a hell of a lot of intrigue to a complex plot you wouldn't expect in a book of this genre. Whether he was in the right place at the right time remains to be seen. Whether she was in the wrong place or not unfolds at a fast, gritty pace which had me spellbound not only because their erotic encounters are on the verge of brutal and extremely explicit, but also because it's twist and turns entail issues of manipulation, obsessive love and vendetta. Will this monster of a man convert into a hero and save his heroine? Does she want to be saved by someone she is so blindly captivated by, who hides behind a wall of destruction?

This flawlessly written read made me agitated, made me smile, made me want to scream out aloud. The ending left me hungry for more, more, more! Thank you Ms Darhower for sharing your talent. I am so looking forward to the follow up of Monster in his Eyes.
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on 4 May 2014
J.M. Darhower, the talented author of the spell-bounding novel Sempre, warns that Monster In His Eyes is intended for a mature audience only, due to some dark and erotic content. And, that’s exactly what you get in this powerfully written, suspense-filled, intense story featuring an unlikely couple, which comes close to crossing the line into something grittier.

Karissa is a sheltered 18-year-old student away from home for the first time. As a reader, it’s easy to both empathise with her while feeling and experiencing her excitement and desires, as she displays the openness of the typical girl-next-door type.

On the other hand, 36-year-old Naz is an enigma from the very first glimpse. The man in black with the fire in his eyes lights the spark in this story. His commanding aura of mystery and power fan the flames, which his sexual confidence serves to feed into an inferno. For some, undoubtedly, he’s the man of a million fantasies; one who Karissa hopes won’t turn in to a nightmare for her. Yet, even when she realises he has the power to turn her to ash, she’s helpless against morphing into a moth drawn to his flame.

If you like a strong, possessive man, one with a hint of menace, who’s mysterious and dark, haunted by his past, …then Naz is the man for you. Don’t expect Karissa to give him up easily!
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on 8 May 2014
***Thank you to J. M. Darhower for providing me with an ARC in exchange for an honest review***

I've read a few, if not all, of Darhower's books and usually fall in love with them within the first few pages. That didn't happen with
Monster in his Eyes. I don't know why, but it took me a while to feel comfortable with the story.

I think the main issue I had was Karissa. She's 18 and has led a very sheltered life due to her mother moving them from town to town for reasons unknown to both Karissa and the reader. This makes it understandable, when she meets Naz who is twice her age, she is drawn into his web.

Throughout the story I was yelling at her to get away from him, to not trust him, and to run back to her mother, but she didn't. While he spoils her, he belittles her in the bedroom, or so it appeared to me.

I may not have liked the idea of their relationship, both characters intrigued me and it was them who made me continue reading the book, needing to know what was going to happen.

After the events at the end of the book, it will be interesting to see how things progress in the next book, and I will definitely be reading it.
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on 11 May 2014
I have read some of JM Darhowers other books and loved them, so dived right into this and was not dissapointed.

The story was a little slow to get started, but maybe that was just me wanting it all up front, but the build up to Naz being introduced was worth the wait. He is dark, very dark and I LOVED him for it

There is an age difference between the two main characters, Karissa and Ignazio (Naz) but the way the story is written makes your forget that, you see that she has fallen in love with him despite knowing that there is something to fear about this man. Naz plays his cards so very close to his chest you just want to know what secrets he is hiding deep inside.

The story kept me up late at night, chanting that familiar mantra 'just one more chapter' and when I woke early on a morning I went straight to read instead of trying to get back to sleep.

There were points where I actually shouted out while reading it, yup I kid you not, that is how invested in these characters I became.

Now there is a huge hole while I wait for the next installment, and it cannot come quick enough for me.
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