Falling Kingdoms

Falling Kingdoms by Morgan Rhodes

4.25 stars!

“Even paradise could become a prison if one had enough time to take notice of the walls.”

So basically this was my face throughout most of this book:

It’s easy to call this book the young adult Game of Thrones. The obvious similarities are the conflicting royal families and unexpected and frequent deaths throughout the book. Except there aren’t as many families in this book and because it’s young adult it’s a bit lighter in its themes.

When the Royal Princess Cleo visits a neighboring country with friends, what was meant to be a lighthearted wine trip turns into a nightmare, and inciting a political disaster and turning allies against each other. Now three countries are preparing for the worst, some for defense and others in offense. Choices are made and many are killed in the fight for power and survival.

“Even in the darkest and most cruel person, there is still a kernel of good. And within the most perfect champion, there is darkness. The question is, will one give in to the dark or the light? It’s something we decide with every choice we make, every day that we exist. What might not be evil to you could be evil to someone else. Knowing this makes us powerful even without magic.”

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There are four main characters in this book: Jonas, Cleo, Magnus and Lucia.

-Jonas thirsts for revenge after watching his brother unjustly murdered. Honestly most of the time I found him a wee bit annoying, but I feel like he will be less so in the upcoming books based on his actions and thoughts near the end of this book.

-Cleo finds herself wound in a political web where she is used as a pawn for more power. Cleo isn’t terribly strong for the majority of the book. In fact she messes up a lot but she does grow as a character and does her best to fight for those she loves while facing many challenges.

-Magnus also known as the book boyfriend to me, Christine and Jasmine (just kidding ladies, I know I have least amount of claim on him). Magnus is the son of the king, and he hates his father. The only person he truly loves is his younger sister, Lucia. Magnus constantly finds himself at odds with what is expected of him, and what is morally right.

-Lucia is a princess with a secret, and it’s a secret that can change everyone’s lives.

“You’re the same as you were yesterday and the day before. Nothing has changed. Not really. Forget what troubles you. Regret nothing, but learn from any mistakes you make. Tomorrow will be a brighter day, I promise.”

So the only character I truly loved in this book was Magnus. That man makes my heart bleed for him in almost every scene. The other characters I like but kind of want to smack them some of the time. Basically I really enjoyed this book for the plot, but to me the characters needed a wee bit more development for my personal reading tastes. I cannot wait to jump into book 2 and see what happens next.

“You must continue to believe with all your heart. Sometimes belief is all if takes to make something real.”

The Wrath and the Dawn

The Wrath and the Dawn by Renee Ahdieh

4 stars!

“What are you doing to me, you plague of a girl?” he whispered.
“If I’m a plague, then you should keep your distance, unless you plan on being destroyed.” The weapons still in her grasp, she shoved against his chest.
“No.” His hands dropped to her waist. “Destroy me.”

A retelling of 1001 arabian nights, The Wrath and the Dawn is the story of Shahrzad. Shahrzad volunteers to be one of the many wives of the king, knowing the risk that by the morning after her wedding she will be dead. But she volunteered as a part of a plan of vengeance, for her best friend was one of the many brides murdered by her King. She survives the first night by enrapturing the king with a story until dawn, and she lives to see another day. As the days pass she begins to learn there is more to this story than she knows, and more dangers afoot.

“You have a beautiful laugh. Like the promise of tomorrow.”

I’ve seen lots of reviews being tossed around for this book, and it was a finalist in the Goodreads choice awards so I decided to give it a chance. What I found was a unique story and a strong heroine, alongside a fresh take on the beloved story of 1001 nights. There were parts that were a bit slow/confusing, hence four stars and not five, but ultimately this book captured my attention and didn’t let go until I was done.

I kept reading because I had to know what came next, ever unsure of where the story would lead me. I hope the wait for the next book isn’t too long so I can read it right away! There were lots of unanswered questions at the end of this book and I need to know what happens next! Bravo to Renee Ahdieh for this story, and for a writing style that captivates and entertains the reader throughout the entire story.

“There is no one I would rather see the sunrise with than you.”

P.S. I Still Love You

P. S. I Still Love You by Jenny Han

3.5 stars!

“People come in and out of your life. For a time they are your world; they are everything. And then one day they’re not. There’s no telling how long you will have them near.”

First things first. Peter!!!

Yeah, I said it. My book boyfriend Peter from the first book became a total dick in the second one!!! I wanted to smack him the majority of this book!

P. S. I Still Love You is the continuation/sequel of the book To All the Boys I’ve Loved before. In this book Peter and Lara Jean decide to have a real relationship instead of a fake one. It’s all fine and dandy until Peter keeps spending time with his ex=girlfriend, and tells Lara Jean they are just friends. Also a boy from Lara Jean’s past comes back into the present, and his interest in her is very clear.

“There’s a Korean word my grandma taught me. It’s called jung. It’s the connection between two people that can’t be severed, even when love turns to hate. You still have those old feelings for them; you can’t ever completely shake them loose of you; you will always have tenderness in your heart for them.”

So despite the author’s destruction of my beloved Peter, I still thoroughly enjoyed this book. I loved getting more of Lara Jean and her family, their fun times and hardships. There was also a lot of angst in this book, which my followers know I gobble up like candy so that was a major plus! I just wish the book had a better resolution, lots of plot holes left open.

I loved the introduction of the new love interest John. He was such a golden boy, and it worked perfectly for Lara Jean. I wasn’t exactly rooting for him, but there was a small part of me that was kind of rooting for him at the same time. I shipped both couples in this book basically.

Overall a very cute book, like the first one. I’m not much for YA contemporary romance but these two companion books exceeded my expectations and were a nice escape from reality for a bit.

I wouldn’t be opposed to a third book Ms. Han!!! Just putting it out there.

“I know now that I don’t want to love or be loved in half measures. I want it all, and to have it all, you have to risk it all.”

Happily Ever Ninja Release Blitz!

HappilyEverNinja
HEN-Available-Now
Synopsis
From the USA Today Best Selling Author of ‘Truth or Beard’
There are three things you need to know about Fiona Archer… I would tell you what they are, but then I’d have to kill you.
But I can tell you that Fiona’s husband—the always irrepressible and often cantankerous Greg Archer—is desperately in love with his wife. He aches for her when they are apart, and is insatiable when they are together. Yet as the years pass, Greg has begun to suspect that Fiona is a ninja. A ninja mom. A ninja wife. A ninja friend. After fourteen years of marriage, Greg is trying not to panic. Because Fiona’s talent for blending in is starting to resemble fading away.
However, when unexpected events mean Fiona must take center stage to keep her family safe, her response stuns everyone—Greg most of all. It seems like Greg’s wish has come true. Except… not.
When all is said and done, can Greg handle this new version of his wife? Will his irrepressible cantankerousness push her away? Or can the couple find a way forward without either being forced to step back into the shadows?
This is a full length, 100k word novel, and is the 5th book in the Knitting in the City Series. All books in the series can be read as a standalone except book #1.5
 
About the Author
 
SEX! It all started with sex, between my parents. Personally I don’t like thinking about it, but whatever works for you is a-ok with me. No judgment. The sex happened in California and much of my life also occurred in that state until I moved from the land of nuts (almonds), wine, silicon… boobs, and heavy traffic to the southeast US. Like most writers I like to write, but let’s get back to sex. Eventually I married and gave birth to 2 small people-children (boy-6, girl-4 as of this writing).
 
By day I’m a biomedical researcher with focus on rare diseases. By night I’m a knitter, sewer, lino block carver, fabric printer, soap maker, and general crafter. By the wee hours of the morning or when I’m intoxicated I love to listen to the voices in my head and let them tell me stories. I hope you enjoy their stories.

To All the Boys I’ve Loved Before

To All the Boys I’ve Loved Before by Jenny Han

4 stars

GUYS! THIS WAS A SUPER CUTE BOOK!!!!

“Life doesn’t have to be so planned. Just roll with it and let it happen.”

Lara Jean has written 5 letters for all of the boys she has “loved”. She keeps them in her room, never intending them to be sent until the day the unthinkable happens, someone sends them. Now Lara Jean finds herself confronted with the boys from her past, namely two boys becoming more present. Josh, her sisters exboyfriend, and Peter the popular boy in school.

In an effort to save face around her sister’s ex, and for Peter to make his own ex jealous, Lara Jean and Peter decide to pretend to date. But as time goes by, the lines become blurred and Lara Jean finds herself confused about the two boys in her life.

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“You’d rather make up a fantasy version of somebody in your head than be with a real person.”

The title of this book is a little bit deceiving because while the letters were sent out, they really only affected two of the boys who received them. Hence a small love triangle is formed fill with unrequited love and angst. Which was just perfect for me! I personally am shipping Lara Jean and Peter, Josh had his chance! Plus he dated her sister, not cool to jump between them. My favorite character surprisingly was Kitty, Lara’s youngest sister. She had so much snark and spunk I laughed and chuckled almost every time she came up.

I’d never read Jenny Han before this book and I can honestly say I would read a lot more by her. Her writing is fresh, sweet and fun and perfect for when you want a good book that is light but hits the important emotions at the same time. It’s always fun to discover a new author because then there is a whole new set of books to devour.

Warning, this book doesn’t end on a cliffhanger but there isn’t a resolution. So have the next book ready! I’m glad I do!

“I don’t have to be so afraid of good-bye, because good-bye doesn’t have to be forever.”

You’re Never Weird on the Internet (Almost)

You’re Never Weird on the Internet (Almost) by Felicia Day

4 stars!

Do you know Felicia Day? If so, where do you know her from? Personally, I am a crazy Buffy the Vampire Slayer fan since the age of 11, so I always knew her as that potential slayer in season 7. Other people may know her from the tv shows Eureka and Supernatural, or for her own show The Guild.

So as I have mentioned in other reviews, I made a New Year’s Resolution to read more types of books and genres other than romance this year (as I used to read ALL genres at one point). So while I was watching Supernatural one day I saw this actress and thought, “Hey, didn’t she write a book?” and promptly requested it from the library.

I lost track of the amount of times this book made me laugh. Felicia has a very strong and present voice, and I felt like I could hear her voice talking to me while I was reading. From her childhood being raised in homeschool, to her college experiences, and her efforts to make her show The Guild.

My favorite part of this book was the parts about her childhood and college experience. I found I could relate to some of what she was going through, despite our very different upbringing. Some of the parts about gaming went way over my head, because I’m not a gamer. Wish I was, but I am terrible at video games. They get too hard and I give up, hence I prefer books.

If you’re looking for a fun, quirky, different kind of reading experience, this is the book for you. Now I am off to go and watch The Guild. 😀

All Lined Up

All Lined Up by Cora Carmack

2.75-3 stars

“God, do they make WD-40 for flirting? Because I am rusty.”

All Lined Up is the story of Dallas, a dance major and Carson, a football player. Both meet at a college party, Dallas not knowing Carson is on the team, and Carson not knowing that Dallas is the daughter of his new football coach. They begin to spend time together, forming a friendship but holding romantic feelings for each other at the same time.

“I don’t know that dancing fixes anything. I don’t feel magically happy because of it. My problems don’t disappear when the music ends. But I understand life better when I dance, and understanding is half the fight of surviving.”

Rusk University is a series I’ve been meaning to read, and now that three books are out I decided to dive in. Plus my local library has it, and who can deny a free book? This was more like a YA story than an NA one. Yes it was a little bit more racy than a YA book, but barely. I found I couldn’t really relate to either of the characters in this book and maybe that’s why I didn’t love it. Regardless the story in this fell flat for me. I kind of liked it, but I wasn’t invested in it, or in what would happen to the characters.

Cora’s other series I rated in this order:
Losing It: 3 stars
Faking It: 4 stars
Finding It: 5 stars

So based on the above written I am totally willing to keep reading this series, as this author has proven I can like, really like, and love her work.

“I’ve spent too much time pretending, too much time on the outside, too much time feeling spineless. This time… I’m going after what I want.”

Soundless

Soundless by Richelle Mead

4 stars

“Look what we’ve done so far. We’re pretty good at the impossible.”

I didn’t expect to like this one. The only book I’ve ever read by this author was Vampire Academy, and I wasn’t super impressed by that one (despite loving the movie as a guilty pleasure). So Soundless was a bit of a risk going in, but the premise is what had me intrigued.

Fei lives in a small village in China, up on the mountains where they can only be reached by zip line. Years ago an avalanche blocked all exits from the village leaving the people up there for hundreds of years. The village has worked out a negotiation where they send down materials they mine, and food is sent up. The entire population is deaf and has been for a long time. But recently the people have begun to go blind as well.

One day Fei wakes up suddenly and she can hear. This opens up new possibilities of escape and a life greater for her people than just working in the mines. Fei and a childhood friend decide to make their way down the mountain, and what they find changes their lives.

“I went to the library seeking information on what might bring hearing back, but now I wonder if there’s a way to make it go away again. I can’t see why our ancestors thought hearing was such a great thing, why they mourned its loss so much. It’s jarring and distracting, making it impossible to focus on anything else.”

As I said before, I liked this a lot more than I thought I would. This book flowed fairly quickly and was fast paced, despite a lot of it being descriptions of surroundings and characters. I liked Fei as a character, she had hard choices to make and ultimately was a good person and made the right ones.

I am very glad this was a standalone, another book after this would have just stretched the story. It’s refreshing to come across a YA fantasy standalone as most publishers are making things trilogies for the money. The ending of this felt a bit rushed after all of the build up, but was still a great way to end things. Very romance light, with a hint of what is to come in the future.

If you want to try a different kind of YA novel, I recommend this one. It’s a very refreshing and unique read among a genre where similarities and tropes are endless.

“Some things don’t need words. Sometimes it’s enough to just feel. You don’t have to label and articulate all that’s around you.”

My Heart and Other Black Holes

My Heart and Other Black Holes by Jasmine Warga

4 stars!

“Maybe we all have darkness inside of us and some of us are better at dealing with it than others.”

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Sixteen year old Aysel is ready to die. Thrown in the aftermath of her father’s actions, she has been shunned and pulled away from everyone close in her life. An outcast at school and in her own home, Aysel has been spending her time browsing suicide websites where she meets Roman. They make a pact to kill themselves on a specific day, and in order to keep up pretenses for their families, they begin to spend time together.

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“You’re like a grey sky. You’re beautiful, even though you don’t want to be.”

I’m not normally one for the teen suicide genre, I find I cannot relate often times and cannot understand the desire to take one’s own life. Imagine my surprise when my heart just bled for Aysel and Roman and each of their situations. Aysel brought my eyes to tears multiple times in the beginning of this book. She was thrust into a horrible life situation very suddenly, the actions of her father ruining her life and the lives of others. She’s shunned by her classmates at school, and she stays away from those trying to be nice to her because she doesn’t want them hurt by association. Her family doesn’t know how to reach her, and at times it seems like they don’t want to.

Roman had an equally horrific reason for wanting to take his own life, one shrouded in guilt I couldn’t even begin to understand. As a romantic interest, he wasn’t my favorite because while he accepted Aysel and didn’t judge her, he also didn’t seem to have her best interests at heart. In fact he was a lot more invested in the pact than he was in a friendship with Aysel.

“Depression is like a heaviness that you can’t ever escape. It crushes down on you, making even the smallest things like tying your shoes or chewing on toast seem like a twenty-mile hike uphill. Depression is a part of you; it’s in your bones and your blood.”

I picked up this book and couldn’t put it back down. Reading this book you wouldn’t think this was a debut novel by this author. I honestly think her books will only continue to get better based on the great quality of this first book. Aysel was my favorite part of this book, I never at any point felt her feelings were unjustified, even if her turn around was fairly quick. This is a young adult novel that I feel will stand the test of time.

“I will be stronger than my sadness.”

Sebring

Be sure to look below for an excerpt!

Sebring by Kristen Ashley

5 stars!

“Olivia Shade was something of exquisite beauty not allowed to be what she needed to be. Beauty bound. She was not a ghost who could be seen. She was a hostage in a lavish cage.”

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Five years ago, Nick Sebring saw his girlfriend murdered right in front of him and he could do nothing to save her. Now, he’s back for vengeance on the man who ordered the hit but he needs an in. Olivia Shade is the daughter of a notorious criminal and plays her own part in the family business. Years ago she tried to get out and found out the hard way that for the shades, there is nothing else but the family business. A prisoner of her own life, she indulges herself where she can, and this brings her to an elite and private club where she meets Nick.

The two are aware of each other from the world they live in, but when they meet for the first time their chemistry is explosive. But Olivia, knowing what her family is capable of, keeps Nick at a distance. Nick continues to pick away at her walls but finds other ones popping up along the way. As time goes by both of them begin to have deeper feelings for the other, but a huge amount of obstacles stand in their way, the worst being Nick’s ulterior motives.

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“I live in dark. Dawn never comes for me. There will be no new day where I wake up complete. Happy. Loved. There is no other side to make my way to. There is no believe. It just isn’t for me.”

This book completely gutted me. It had everything I look for in a romance novel, not even just a Kristen Ashley one. I love when a heroine is closed off and the man needs to fight for her, it’s one of my favorite romance tropes. Being in the minority and not loving Knight Sebring (I know ladies, put down your pitchforks) I was apprehensive about Nick Sebring as a hero, especially because I didn’t remember him being the best guy when we met him initially. Ashley obliterated these fears because Nick is now one of my favorite Kristen Ashley heroes now. And he doesn’t use the word daddy, thank God.

I loved the plot, it kept me guessing at every turn. There were some twists near the end that I felt I should have seen coming, but honestly didn’t at all. I also don’t normally like mafia/organized crime romance and it totally worked for this story and didn’t hinder my love of the book at all. I also loved how the characters from previous books in this series fit seamlessly into the story and felt like I was saying hello to old friends. Everything with the plot was so intricately done and yet didn’t feel forced, I loved every moment of it.

Hands down my favorite part of the book was Olivia. I felt for her every page I read, and it only grew as the book went on. I understood her choices, and I completely empathized with her situation. My heart bled for her and her suffering, for her impossible situation and her fruitless efforts to escape the life she had been born into. Her constant efforts to shut Nick out and down I was cheering for her and yet at the same time hoping Nick would break through, because I understood both sides of her dilemma. Let him in and possibly get hurt, or let him go and feel that loss.

Kristen Ashley writes a romance that everyone can love and will capture the hearts of her readers, old and new. I felt this story deep in my gut and even now days later I can still feel it; it’s one that will stay with me a long time. I loved it. It made me cry! (In a good way).

“I woke up from my dream to a living dream. Complete, happy…. And loved.”

ARC kindly provided by author in exchange for an honest review

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BlogTour Graphic

Excerpt

In the hotel room, Nick heard the knock at the door.

He moved to it, looked out the peephole and felt the corners of his mouth hitch up when he saw her.

Fuck, those big green eyes, perfectly arched dark brows, the olive tint to her skin, the expert way she shaded under her cheekbones…

She was a coldhearted criminal but she was one that was very easy to look at.

And even easier to fuck.

He opened the door.

He was going to say something but he didn’t get the chance when her hand darted out and she caught him under his jaw, using it to push him in and around until his back hit wall.

She stared up at him, her hand wrapped around his jaw, her expression holding an emptiness that was so extreme it was almost like a void he could fall into and get lost forever.

He heard the door swish closed and latch.

Then she was up on her toes, her head moving toward his, those green eyes dropping to his mouth.

She didn’t get her lips to his before his tongue was out, as was hers, both of them colliding and tangling before her mouth slammed to his just as her body pushed in, pressing hard, forcing him tighter to the wall.

He shoved out. Gripping her wrist at his jaw, he yanked it down, twisting and slamming her against the wall, slanting his head to deepen an already deep kiss. Their tongues again clashing before he actually took her mouth.

But he took her mouth.

And like she’d done to his, he consumed it.

His fingers still around her wrist, he yanked it around his back, using his body to shove her tight to the wall, pressing his hardening cock against her stomach.

She arched, and moving quickly, whipped him around so his back was to the wall and she took over the kiss. Tearing her wrist from his hold, she curled her fingers around his throat just as she cupped his hardening crotch with her other hand.

Fucking hell, this woman was hot.

But he was done playing.

And he was done kissing.

Her mouth, that was.

He pushed her away. She struggled to regain control.

She lost this struggle when he caught her hand and dragged her down the short hall into the room.

She lost her footing when he gave her hand a strong tug and she fell into him with a soft gasp.

He let her hand go, caught her hips and threw her four feet onto the bed.

That got him another soft gasp which took his cock from hardening to rock-solid and throbbing.

He bent over her, holding her now intense green gaze, spanning her hips with his hands. Shoving backwards, he found the hook of her skirt, released it and pulled down the zipper.

He moved his fingers to curl them into the sides of her skirt’s waistband. With a vicious tug that took her hips and panties with it, he yanked off the skirt.

Chest to the bed, eyes to her cunt, the black curls neatly groomed with a precision that meant her wax technician was a master with possible OCD issues, they were also glistening with wet.

Having the tussle at the door, seeing the utter perfection of her pussy, smelling her, watching her legs part in invitation, her knees shifting up, Nick couldn’t have gone gentle if he’d wanted to.

Luckily he didn’t want to.

He bent his neck and devoured her.

Fuck, she tasted just as perfect as she looked.

As he fed, he felt her excitement ramp. Tasted it. Ate it. Gave her more. Consumed the result. Drove her to the edge.

And when he had her there, he stopped and moved over her.

Not surprisingly, she used both the pump she already had planted into the bed and the calf she had wrapped around him to flip him and then she was straddling him, pushing up, her hands already to his fly.

Normally, he would not allow this.

Her face flushed with need, her manner urgent, even desperate, all that surged through his blood, his gut, straight to his cock.

So he allowed this.

She tugged his pants down, grabbed his dick, guided it to her and took him home.

At the beauty of her sheathing him, he gritted his teeth against the urge to let go and release way too fucking early. Bucking his hips, he watched how much she liked taking him, her head thrown back, her shining, straight mass of silken black hair swaying.

Then she dropped forward into a hand in the bed by his side, locked eyes with him and rode him violently as he watched until she gave it to herself and she kept doing it until she forced it from him.

Fucking spectacular.

He came down buried inside her, his eyes opening to see her still resting in her hand in the bed, her body moving gently with her still-labored-but-evening breathing, her dark hair framing her oval face, her straight bangs brushing her lashes, her green eyes locked to his trying to brand him, make him hers.

No way in fuck that was happening.

But he’d take more of this.

A lot more.

That said, the woman was going to learn how to give up control.

Not surprisingly, without a word, she swung off his cock, moving immediately toward the side of the mattress.

Nick focused on pulling up his trousers, doing the fly and angling off the bed. By the time he was up and had turned his attention back to her, she was on her feet, facing him, arms twisted behind her to do up the skirt she’d put on.

He held her gaze.

“We got all night, Olivia,” he informed her.

Not even a hint of a response to him calling her the name she hadn’t given him.

Then again, he knew she knew him; she’d make it her business.

She also knew he’d do the same with her, even before he sat next to her the night before.

Her expression might not have changed but his words spurred her to action, this being walking his way.

She stopped. Her eyes still on his, she lifted a hand and touched his chest lightly with just the pad of her middle finger.

It lasted half a second.

Then she dropped her hand, turned and walked away.

He heard the door close behind her and he couldn’t stop his smile.

Fuck yes, a seriously cool customer.

And the hottest fuck he’d had in his life.

 

 

Jane Eyre

Jane Eyre by Charlotte Bronte 

4 stars!

Jane Eyre is a book I’ve been meaning to read for years, literally almost a decade and never have. I remember when I was in middle school my mother showed me the black and white movie and I loved it, and then I saw the 2011 movie and loved the story then as well.

My 2016 new year’s resolution was to read a variety of genres and to read books I owned in paperback/hardcover that have been sitting on my shelves unread. Jane Eyre was next. In high school and college I read a lot of literature, but in the last 3 years became addicted to YA, NA and Contemporary romance, so the idea of reading a classic was a bit daunting and intimidating. I needn’t have worried because after about 30 pages I was completely sucked into this book with its beautiful language and imagery. There’s a reason this book is a famous classic that has withstood the test of time, because there isn’t anything out there like it.

Jane Eyre begins at Jane’s childhood, recounting her harsh life being raised by distant family members who do not want her. She is sent to a boarding school that is harsh and unsettling. She survives and thrives with information, which leads her to obtaining a job as a governess at Mr. Rochester’s estate, educating a young girl who is under his patronage. Here she finds happiness in her job and among the other inhabitants of the house. And soon she develops feelings for Mr. Rochester himself.

I fell in love with the language of the book, it flowed across the page so beautifully. Jane as a heroine is unique, as she is plain and often overlooked, but she observes much and keeps a keen eye on her surroundings and occurrences. I was surprised to constantly read about how plain she was, and how her love interest Mr. Rochester is ugly. But it was refreshing to read about normal people and not beautiful blessed ones. Made the story more believable and authentic.

Very angsty romance, and I thought I would love Rochester more than I did. In the book he seemed a tad bit more selfish considering the time period and what he was asking of Jane, whereas in the movies his actions came across as more romantic. Since I have seen the movies I knew what would happen, but the creep factor was still present in the books and I found myself shivering at all the strange happenings around Jane.

If you are considering trying something new (or in the case of this book, old) I highly recommend this book if you are considering delving into the classics. I do not regret reading this book, and I am glad I finally cracked it open.

Truth or Beard

Truth or Beard by Penny Reid

4.5 stars!!!

“Everything is temporary, Duane. This,” he gestured to our surroundings, “this is temporary. Even mountains fall. Nothing lasts forever. You got a chance at happiness, even for a week, a month, a year? You grab it and you hold on to it for as long as it lasts.”

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Jessica has always known that she would leave her small town life and travel the world. After graduating from college, she has taken a detour back home for a while where she teaches to save up money and pay off her student loans. She’s also always had a crush on a Winston boy, Beau to be exact. When she runs into him at a town get together, the two end up hitting off and getting steamy. Except for one problem, it isn’t Beau but his twin brother Duane who Jessica hates, or at least she thought she did.

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I have yet to read a Penny Reid book I didn’t like. The majority of them I tend to love. Mostly because of Ms. Reid’s sense of humor, and the fact that she assumes the reader is smart (which I appreciate). She’s an author I can honestly say that I would read any book, no plot description required. In fact, Ms. Reid could hand me an essay on a description of paint drying and I would happily read it.

Truth or Beard doesn’t disappoint, and I loved getting to know Duane and Jessica. The two of them bantering was my favorite part of this book. Fighting or friendly conversation, spoken out loud or inner monologue, I had a smile on my face the entire time.

For example, my two favorite quotes from the book:

“Have you ever seen someone and thought to yourself, Whoa, he’s hot! I’d like to screw his brains out. And then, you talk to the guy and realize someone already has?”

“There will be no bananas!” “There will be entire tropical rainforests of bananas! And coconuts!” I gestured to my breasts. “And, hopefully, bananas rubbing against coconuts.”

I myself have thought that first quote many a time.^^^

I like the idea that the surly brother got a chance at the girl. Beau and Duane are similar as twins, but Jessica very obviously saw the differences in both. I also like that Penny Reid has the heroes of her books fall for the girl off screen. That way going into the story, they begin with pursuit straight away instead of the fumbling process of how to pursue a girl upon discovering their feelings. That make any sense? I also like the idea of a man liking a girl without her knowing it. It gives me warm and fuzzy feelings.

Jess and Duane didn’t have an easy love story, but they had one that I felt deep in my bones. I got a little frustrated of the yes or no aspect of their relationship, but only a little! (I may or may not have mentally been yelling at them to get their shit together, and then get with each other).

The Winston brothers as a group I also loved about this book. I cannot wait until each of them gets their story. Cletus is a crowd favorite and I want to pinch his cheeks. I also desperately want to read Billy’s book (which is last, sobs).

Basically I highly recommend reading anything Penny Reid writes, including this book. I am a stickler for reading things in order so I recommend doing it that way, but this book can also be enjoyed as a standalone novel. Happy reading!

“Is this place home?”
“No, Duane .. You are.”

Built Release Blitz!!

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Built by Jay Crownover-Release Week Blitz!

About BUILT:

From the New York Times and USA Today bestselling author of the Marked Men books comes an electrifying new spin-off series, Saints of Denver, featuring all the characters fans have been dying to read about.

Sayer Cole and Zeb Fuller couldn’t be more different. She’s country club and fine-dining, he’s cell-block and sawdust. Sayer spends her days in litigation, while Zeb spends his working with his hands. She’s French silk, he’s all denim and flannel.

Zeb’s wanted the stunning blonde since the moment he laid eyes on her. It doesn’t matter how many smooth moves he makes, the reserved lawyer seems determinedly oblivious to his interest—either that or she doesn’t return it. Sayer is certain the rough, hard, hot-as-hell Zeb could never want someone as closed off and restrained as she is, which is a shame because something tells her he might be the guy to finally melt her icy exterior.

But just as things start to heat up, Zeb is blindsided by a life altering moment from his past. He needs Sayer’s professional help to right a wrong and to save more than himself. He can’t risk what’s at stake just because his attraction to Sayer feels all consuming. But as these opposites dig in for the fight of their lives, battling together to save a family, the steam created when fire and ice collide can no longer be ignored.

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My 4.5 star review of Built–> Click me!!

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Excerpt

He took a step closer to me and put his finger under my chin so that I had no choice but to look at that darkening green gaze. “You know what is a big deal?”

Without thinking I put my wet hand on the center of his chest and watched as my handprint covered the place where his heart was thudding heavy and strong. He felt so vital and real, like everything I had had my hands on before him was just make-believe.

“What?” My voice came out more of a whisper than anything else.

“We hung out, I bought you dinner, we talked about our families and shit. We shared. This was a date, Sayer. Maybe not the best first date ever but it was still a date, so you know what that means.”

I did? I was still trying to get my head around the fact that it really had been kind of a date when his head lowered toward mine and my lips tickled as his beard got close enough to brush against them.

“It means we went on a date, so now you should absolutely put your hands on my dick…a lot. My gentlemanly tendencies only reach so far and with you they have about reached the end of the line.”

I gulped a little. “Oh.” That sounded like so many different kinds of dangerous and delicious. I had never asked him to be a gentleman, and frankly one of the reasons I was so attracted to him was because he seemed so rugged and untamed by the conventions I was used to and bored to death by.

“Yeah, oh…which I fully intend to make you say over and over again while I’m as deep inside of you as I can get.”

When his mouth settled over mine, it was an entirely different mess I was suddenly worried about. There was going to be no cleaning up the wreckage that was going to be left of my heart and body when this man was done with me and that felt entirely like a great big deal even though I was helpless to stop it. It was one mess I intended to embrace and not apologize for even if that went against everything I had ingrained deep down within the very core of me.

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About Jay Crownover:

Jay Crownover is the New York Times and USA Today bestselling author of the Marked Men and The Point series. Like her characters, she is a big fan of tattoos. She loves music and wishes she could be a rock star, but since she has no aptitude for singing or instrument playing, she’ll settle for writing stories with interesting characters that make the reader feel something. She lives in Colorado with her three dogs. 

Website ** Blog ** Facebook ** Twitter

BUILT Goodreads ** Jay Crownover Goodreads

Giveaway

Link:  http://www.rafflecopter.com/rafl/share-code/OTE3MmMxYTA5NWI0YjhkMjZkNWU0YzM1M2E1YzU2OjI5NQ==/?

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Queen of Shadows

Queen of Shadows (#4) by Sarah J Maas

ALL THE STARS!!!

“She was fire, and light, and ash, and embers. She was Aelin Fireheart, and she bowed for no one and nothing, save the crown that was hers by blood and survival and triumph.”

OMG THE FEELS!!! Fuck. I need the next book like right now.

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***So this is my warning, if you haven’t read the series yet, DO NOT READ THIS REVIEW! I will not be spoiling anything from this book, but I will be discussing points from previous books in the series. ***

Our players:
Aelin returns to the city she fled in book 2, looking to reclaim her throne. Many obstacles stand in the way, such as The King, the leader of all assassins and even someone she once considered friend. Aelin hatches a plan to deal with all of these things, and it unfolds elegantly as you read through the book.

Rowan follows his queen to her new city once he discovers a threat is coming for Aelin. Without magic and in a new city, he does his best to protect Aelin, even from himself.

Chaol is still filled with regret for leaving Dorian behind, it haunts him every single day. Working with a secret army he does his best to fight off the ever growing demon possessed army that the king raises. His self-loathing grows stronger and he takes it out on those around him.

Aedion awaits his execution, hoping to die beforehand. (I won’t say more because spoilers!)

Dorian is possessed by a demon, not sure of who he is anymore. He tried to remember but is constantly beat down by the creature controlling him.

Lysandra is a new player. Once an enemy of Celeana, she is now an ally of Aelin. Together they work towards a common goal and maintain a tentative friendship in the meantime.

Aelin and Lysandra
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“Sometimes there won’t be a right choice, just the best of several bad options.”

This is the book hitting me with feels:

This book actually started out slow for me and I put it down at one point in September. I wanted to be in the right mood to read it so I waited a bit before picking up where I left off and I am glad I did this. I can honestly say that this is one of my all-time favorite series, its epicness is unrivaled by other books. As I discussed with one of my book friends Jasmine, Aelin is a freaking badass and just gets even more badass the more you read.

There are so many wonderful things I want to say about this book, it has it all. Amazing plot with unexpected twists, characters that feel like real people and who I want to be friends with, beautiful writing, fantastic scenery and vision. This book and series has it all!!!

“If you’re a monster, I’m a monster.”

Not to mention all of the relationships and potential ones. I am constantly shipping every potential relationship, new and old. And all 4 prominent men I want to be my book boyfriends, husbands, lovers, I don’t care. I just want them. It’s as simple as that. But let’s just say I have a THEORY that one of them will be killed and I will be furious if my theory comes true. FURIOUS. So Sarah, take pity on me and do not kill this character!!

Seriously Sarah J Maas, don’t do this to me —->

I have to say this is a series that will stand the test of time. It’s rereadable, it’s beautiful, it’s emotional and it’s perfect. I don’t care what your preferred genres to read are, I honestly think everyone can read this series and love it. So friends and followers, PICK UP THIS SERIES!!!

“You make me want to live, Rowan. Not survive; not exist. Live.”