Tuesday, April 12, 2022

Kissing Games by Stefanie London (Review)

 

Joining the ranks of contemporary reads I love is Kissing Games by @stefanielondon

This book was a hallmark movie with added SPICE and I was here for it! 

Kissing Creek is a cute quaint little town where Llamas wander (well, one wanders), libraries have active book clubs, and one librarian, Sloane, is trying to create the roots she never had as a child. 

Ryan is an MLB star missing his team’s best season due to an injury and stuck in Kissing Creek out of necessity and not want. 

These two are forced into proximity by the small town forces that be and out comes such a cute rom com with just the right amount of spice. I laughed and cried reading this one and I had so many feelings! 

My chest lurched, at the third act turn and I found myself so invested in Sloan and Ryan’s story that I was glued to it! 

The beginning starts off slow, but ultimately this one was the perfect Spring time light read and I highly recommend to anyone who wants their Hallmark movies to have more life (and did I mention the SPICE?!) 

I loved the book club, the spicy reading choice, the re-enactments, the family time, and ultimately I just loved this book.

Thank you to the publisher and Netgalley for an advanced copy in exchange for an honest review.


Sunday, February 20, 2022

A Brush With Love by Mazey Eddings [Book Review]

 Harper is anxiously awaiting placement into a top oral surgery residency program when she crashes (literally) into Dan. Harper would rather endure a Novocaine-free root canal than face any distractions, even one this adorable. 


A first-year dental student with a family legacy to contend with, Dan doesn’t have the same passion for pulling teeth that Harper does. Though he finds himself falling for her, he is willing to play by Harper’s rules.

So with the greatest of intentions and the poorest of follow-throughs, the two set out to be “just friends.” But as they get to know each other better, Harper fears that trading fillings for feelings may make her lose control and can't risk her carefully ordered life coming undone, no matter how drool-worthy Dan is.

Blood, gore, and extra-long roots? No problem. The idea of falling in love? Torture.
 



REVIEW


I LOVE this book! 

I was not expecting the emotional journey that I went on with Harper and Dan, but now being on the other side I can tell you I feel euphoric that we made it through. 

This one starts out with a meet cute (they literally run into each other) and initially I wasn’t expecting the depth of character and deep emotional pull I felt reading. 

Harper is dedicated to her studies and determined to get into a great Residency. Dan is doing Dentistry because he feels he has to. On paper, these two are polar opposites… but they’re not. 

As a person who has dealt with anxiety disorder for my whole life I loved the attention placed here on Harper and her dealings with her own anxiety. I am very familiar with the battle between wanting to be “me” even if that means being anxious rather than changing myself with medication. I have also dealt with the thoughts of separating myself from my anxiety and I loved the thoughtful focus placed in this book on Harper’s struggle with it. 

There is a stigma to mental illness of any kind and this book truly touches on so many aspects of it that it felt real, and my stomach was in knots as I read. 

Dan was a sweet guy, and he would do anything for Harper. I loved the attention he put towards constantly confirming everything was what Harper wanted and he never forced anything on her which I loved. 

Also, who knew Dentistry could be so hot? 

I recommend this one to anyone who loves some depth to their romance/rom-coms. There are some important things touched on here and the story itself felt real and powerful and I loved it. 

Thank you to Netgalley and St. Martins for the advanced copy in exchange for an honest review!


The Rake Gets Ravished by Sophie Jordan [Book Review]


New York Times
 bestselling author Sophie Jordan returns with an all new sizzling historical romance in her Duke Hunt series about a woman determined to reclaim her family home from the dangerously handsome owner of London’s most popular gaming hell.


The owner of London’s most popular gaming hell, wealthy and powerful Silas Masters is feared by men and desired by women—except Mercy Kittinger. When the blackguard wins her family home in a game of cards, Mercy steals into Silas’s rooms, intent on destroying the proof. But things don’t go to plan... 

She would have her way with him...

Caught in the act, Mercy must be bold to save herself... even if it means seducing the dangerous rogue and then disappearing with the dawn, debt voucher in hand. Safe at home and determined to settle back into her quiet, uneventful life, Mercy burns at the memory of her night spent ravishing the most compelling man she’d ever met. Thank goodness she’ll never see him again! 

He didn't see her coming...

No one trifles with Silas Masters. Even if he could forget the dark-haired seductress who undid him, he can’t allow anyone to steal from him. He will hunt down the sultry woman who haunts his dreams and show her just how sweet payback can be.


REVIEW

 I haven’t read a Sophie Jordan book since she was writing YA… and now I’m thinking that was a definite mistake! 


There is a soft spot in my heart for Regency Romance, it’s the subset of the genre that I first read and as such, reading Regency is almost like coming home. 

I wasn’t sure what to expect from this book, but everything I want in a Regency was here. 

Our heroine Mercy (whose name I love) begins her journey with so much agency I was cheering. It is up to Mercy to rectify the mistakes of her idiot brother and save her family… and she does it by stealing and ruining herself. 

Like… what?! 

Mercy’s character agency was truly the highlight for me in this book. She knew what she wanted, and she took charge of it. She was tired of being a spinster, so she took charge of what she wanted. She wanted to protect her family, so she took risks. She was the one doing all the work while her brother put them in ruin and I loved it. 

Silas (whose name I also love) was the typical gaming hell owner who has sworn off marriage… until he runs into Mercy. He was kind, protective, and essentially everything we want in a Regency man. 

The side characters were also fantastic and I’m crossing my fingers for a Grace book!

I’m rating it 5 stars because I literally felt my stomach dropping when the tension got high, and any book that makes me physically react is worth a read! 

Don’t miss this one out on February 22, 2022! 

Huge thanks to Harper Collins/Avon and Netgalley for the Advanced Reader Copy in exchange for an honest review!

⭐️ ⭐️ ⭐️ ⭐️ ⭐️


Castles in Their Bones by Laura Sebastian [Book Review]

 A spellbinding story of three princesses and the destiny they were born for: seduction, conquest, and the crown. Immerse yourself in the first book in a new fantasy trilogy from the author of the New York Times bestselling Ash Princess series.


Empress Margaraux has had plans for her daughters since the day they were born. Princesses Sophronia, Daphne, and Beatriz will be queens. And now, age sixteen, they each must leave their homeland and marry their princes.

Beautiful, smart, and demure, the triplets appear to be the perfect brides—because Margaraux knows there is one common truth: everyone underestimates a girl. Which is a grave mistake. Sophronia, Daphne, and Beatriz are no innocents. They have been trained since birth in the arts of deception, seduction, and violence with a singular goal—to bring down monarchies— and their marriages are merely the first stage of their mother’s grand vision: to one day reign over the entire continent of Vesteria.

The princesses have spent their lives preparing, and now they are ready, each with her own secret skill, and each with a single wish, pulled from the stars. Only, the stars have their own plans—and their mother hasn’t told them all of hers.

Life abroad is a test. Will their loyalties stay true? Or will they learn that they can’t trust anyone—not even each other?
 

REVIEW

I wasn’t sure what to expect from Castles in Their Bones going into it… and ya’ll I have to tell you, I wasn’t ready for it. 


My mind is filled with spinning thoughts, emotions, and an overpowering mix of glee and frustration. This book took me on an incredible journey… and now I have to wait literal years for the next one?!

The premise of this book sounded interesting to say the least, but I wasn’t expecting to be completely OBSESSED at the end of it.

We follow three triplet sisters Daphne, Sophronia and Beatriz as they turn sixteen and are thrust into the life that they have quite literally been trained for since birth. They are sent to marry princes and be kingdom ruiners so their mother can gain more power. It sounds like a set up for some real therapy needs in the future, am I right? WELL JUST YOU WAIT. 

The political intrigue in this one feels like Game of Thrones level and at times it was hard to keep track of. There are three points of view in this one with three stories happening at the same time. It’s a ton of characters, in three different fantasy courts…. but it’s worth it. It’s Tudor England if magic was involved. Everyone has ulterior motives, and no one can be trusted and I was HERE FOR IT. 

The world building was phenomenal. Each kingdom was so entirely different and I loved the attention to detail when describing each one. The magic system was very beautifully built. The concept of star dust was such a nice take that I could picture the use of it and I didn’t have the doubt that some magic systems leave me with. I especially loved that we were able to see the juxtaposition of a court seeing stardust as evil/wicked and that added great tension and and grounded the magic system and made it feel more real to me. 

There is some good LGBTQ rep that I wasn’t anticipating and I am very excited to see how that develops in the coming books. 

The romance plot is a definite side plot in this book, but the relationships that do develop are sweet and I loved watching the real development throughout as it felt genuine. None of the relationships felt rushed or forced, and in a book with three arranged marriages I very much appreciated that. 

The ending left me shocked, in pain, crying, but still so ready for more. 

If you’re a fan of YA fantasy with thoughtful world building, an exciting plot, and a sweet side romance just add this one to your shelf as soon as you possibly can. 

I give it 5/5 stars and I truly cannot wait for more. 

Huge thanks to Netgalley and Random House Childrens for the ARC in exchange for an honest review.


Thursday, February 7, 2019

Authortube Newbie Tag!


Hello lovelies! 
I've embarked on a new journey making YouTube videos for Authortube! 

I'm documenting my writing journey if you're interested in checking it out! 


Don't forget to like and subscribe if you want to keep up with me. 😊

Saturday, January 26, 2019

The Selection by Keira Cass [Book Review]



The Selection 
by Keira Cass 
338 pages 
Release Date: April 24, 2012
Format: Ebook 

Prepare to be swept into a world of breathless fairy-tale romance, swoonworthy characters, glittering gowns, and fierce intrigue perfect for readers who loved Divergent, Delirium, or The Wrath & the Dawn.
For thirty-five girls, the Selection is the chance of a lifetime. The opportunity to escape a rigid caste system, live in a palace, and compete for the heart of gorgeous Prince Maxon. But for America Singer, being Selected is a nightmare. It means turning her back on her secret love with Aspen, who is a caste below her, and competing for a crown she doesn’t want.
Then America meets Prince Maxon—and realizes that the life she’s always dreamed of may not compare to a future she never imagined.

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This is a series is one that has been on my TBR pile seriously for six years. I saw it everywhere in the book world and it had been suggested to me countless times. 
For whatever reason, i avoided reading it and getting invested in the series. At least for me, when there is too much hype I get turned off. However, that being said... I wish I'd read this so much sooner! 
The Selection begins with America Singer (she sings. No, really...) and as ridiculous as her name is, I did come to find myself rooting for America and overlooking these things rather quickly. 
While this book has the typical love triangle and parts of it are a tad bit unbelievable (like Aspen ending up at the castle as well AND you would think Royalty would have better security...) I did enjoy it and find it a very enveloping read.

I love when a book hooks me, and ultimately the "hook" factor is what really sets books apart for me. I was hooked while reading The Selection and proceeded to read the next two in the series within three days.

I loved the "Bachelor-esque" aspect of this book and really enjoyed the relationships created between the contestants. I felt Cass did a wonderful job at highlighting both sides of these relationships, on the one hand they are all each other has -- but they're also competing.

I felt at times like Maxon was a bit too forgiving to America, but this was the only occassion I had issues suspending belief.

I listened to these via Audiobook thanks to my beloved Scribd subscription (Scribd is a total game changer).

While these are not life altering books, I do find them to be very cute and engrossing. Definitely worth a read!



Have you read The Selection series? What did you think? Comment below and let me know! :) 


Tuesday, January 1, 2019

THE CRUEL PRINCE (The Folk of the Air) by Holly Black [Book Review]



Title:The Cruel Prince
Author: Holly Black
Genre: Fantasy, Young Adult
Publisher: Little Brown Books for Young Readers
Publication date: January 2018
Paperback: 384
Of course I want to be like them. They're beautiful as blades forged in some divine fire. They will live forever.
And Cardan is even more beautiful than the rest. I hate him more than all the others. I hate him so much that sometimes when I look at him, I can hardly breathe.

Jude was seven years old when her parents were murdered and she and her two sisters were stolen away to live in the treacherous High Court of Faerie. Ten years later, Jude wants nothing more than to belong there, despite her mortality. But many of the fey despise humans. Especially Prince Cardan, the youngest and wickedest son of the High King.

To win a place at the Court, she must defy him--and face the consequences.

In doing so, she becomes embroiled in palace intrigues and deceptions, discovering her own capacity for bloodshed. But as civil war threatens to drown the Courts of Faerie in violence, Jude will need to risk her life in a dangerous alliance to save her sisters, and Faerie itself.

Source: Scribd 
Format Read: Audio Book

Review: 

I once wrote an entire post regarding how I was just not into fairy's back in 2010. You can find that here. 

Now, in 2019 I can officially say that I enjoyed THE CRUEL PRINCE. I heard so much about this book I had to put aside my preconceived notions regarding Fae tales and give it a chance. Ultimately, I'm happy I did. 

Our main character, Jude lives in an in between world of sorts. She was raised in the real world, our world, and then was taken to the High Court of Faerie and was forced to fit in. Her parents were dead and she had only their killer to see as a father figure. Just that alone would lead to some wicked issues, but add faeries on top of that and you have a story filled with deception paired with disadvantage. 


Things I liked: 

The world building in this novel is masterful. I LOVED the details and the darkness felt palpable even through the page. Holly Black made every minute detail related to the world of Fae. Something as small as a tea cup would be described and bring you further into the world of fae. Acorns abound and I loved it! 

I love Vivi and found her character to be very believable. She was in many ways the most likeable character in the book for me and I am excited to have more of her story in book two. 

I loved the slow build of this novel. The pacing was very well done with a slow reveal and build up that left me needing to continue to discover what was going to happen. 

I enjoyed the twisty family dynamics and the very real relationship they all had. Jude is fully aware she should be upset about her parents and even being in the Court. However, it's all she's ever really known. 

Things I didn't like: 

The first half of the novel felt different than the last half. It felt to some degree like the beginning had one set of goals and the second half had another. There was so much great build up that it kept building and building, but then everything changed. I was still ferociously reading to discover what was going to happen, but it felt... different. 

I did not like the love interest at all. I like bad boys and hate to love storylines. What I do not like is when a person is so incredibly hateful but yet somehow the protagonist likes him anyway. I get that Carden has his own things going on, but he isn't a nice guy. Towards the end I didn't feel that sense of understanding that others seemed to feel. He was still the guy who allowed others to be incredibly mean and cruel so... not a fan. 

I wanted to see more training. There was such a great intrigue subplot where Jude joins other Fae to truly prover herself and I wish we'd seen more of the development for it. I wanted to see what set her apart and made her great. Things were alluded to but we didn't see enough of it. 
Ultimately... 
I enjoyed the Cruel Prince and will be reading The Wicked King when it is released on January 8, 2019! Some of my observations may be due to a lack of reading when it comes to Fae stories, but I did enjoy The Cruel Prince and am eagerly awaiting the next one. 
I'm very hopeful for more understanding from Carden and very excited to delve back into the twisty world of the Fae High Court. 


 
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