Breaking Her

Breaking Her by RK Lilley

3 stars

“You’re a lioness, not a lamb, and you don’t need to apologize for it. You’re overprotective and fiercely loyal. None of those are bad qualities. They’re your strengths and I’ve always admired you for embracing them.”

So, I’m going to sound a bit like a parent on this one. I’m not angry, I’m just disappointed in this book. Breaking Him was one of my top favorite reads of 2015, I loved it so much and I loved Scarlett and Dante so much. So maybe my expectations of this book were too high, but after the brilliance of the first one, I expected RK to deliver brilliance in the follow up and that didn’t happen.

Breaking Her picks up kind of where we left off. A few days/weeks before I think timeline wise. The first 20% of this book, I was bored. Dante and Scarlett weren’t together much, past or present and they are what I was looking forward to the most. I will say the book did pick up after the first 20-25% and got better from there.

“It is much easier to hate someone who you’re certain has wronged you than it is to hate yourself.”

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What I did like was R.K.’s writing style, she has a beautiful way with words, that’s never going to change. There were also some great moments from the past perspective that were little touches of magic interspersed throughout the book. I liked we got to see more of their past relationship and how special it was. Of the book as a whole, I enjoyed about half of it altogether and wasn’t in love with the other half.

My heart broke for Scarlett in a lot of this book, there was a point at which I started to feel sooooooooo bad for her, wanting it to stop. She’s an admirable character and I loved her, she’s my favorite part of this duet. Strong female characters need to be more present in the romance genre, and no one writes them better than Lilley.

And I will say one more thing, and please note this did not affect my rating at all but it needed to be said. If I am going to pay for a book, I don’t want to see spelling and grammatical errors in it. And especially since this book was a bit more expensive than others. Errors take me out of the reading experience and instead of enjoying it, I am distracted by what’s wrong. Again this doesn’t affect my rating, that was all based on the content of the book.

“Do you love me at least as much as you hate me?”

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Jessica Jones: Alias Vol 1

Jessica Jones: Alias Vol 1 by Brian Michael Bendis

5 stars!

So I recently watched the Netflix show, and loved it so much so I watched it twice in a row. I had never heard of Jessica Jones before viewing, and I wanted to know more. My local library had this series available and I took a chance and I fell in love with it!

Alias is about Jessica, a former superhero named Jewel, who is now a private investigator. On her most recent case she is set up by her client to accidentally discover the secret identity of another superhero, and it puts her life in danger (and that’s all I’ll say).

Normally when I read graphic novels, I am a naughty reader and I skim. Yes it’s awful I know, but I didn’t skim once when reading this book. I was enthralled from beginning until end. I love the grittiness of Jessica’s world and the mix of superhero and normalness.

Plus I love her attitude:
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I will say the show spoiled me on romance with Jessica and Luke Cage because there was none of that in this. We only got a glimpse of Luke and I didn’t like what I met. Onto the next book!

Paper Princess Q&A with Erin Watt (Jen Frederick) and Elle Kennedy!!

Paper Princess Q&A with Erin Watt (Jen Frederick) and Elle Kennedy!!

I got the greatest opportunity to ask Erin Watt (Jen Frederick) and Elle Kennedy questions about their upcoming release (which I LOVED)! For those of you curious about the book this is informative and fun. For those of you suffering from the massive hangover it leaves you with this may help sooth the burn.

1) Where did the idea for the book come from?

Well, we’d been exchanging emails about how much we wanted to write a teen soap opera, one thing led to another, and suddenly we had a whole series plotted out!

2) How did you two meet/when did you decide to start writing together?

Elle: We were pretty much acquaintances through the romance community until one day I asked Jen to beta read a book I’d written for fun. I needed an honest opinion, and I knew she wouldn’t hesitate to give me one. After that, more and more emails were exchanged, our mutual love of football was discovered, and the rest is history. We were joking about writing something together for a while, but it didn’t really come to be until we got into a discussion about cracky, soap opera romances and decided we both wanted to write one.

Jen: I’ve internet-known Elle for a long time. I started reading her back in 2009 and fell in love with her writing as the Out of Uniform series progressed. When she asked me to read The Deal, I was completely honored. After I read it, I couldn’t wait for the world to have the same opportunity. Can you believe she considered not publishing it? What a travesty!

3) How did you divide up the writing between the two of you? 

Being so like-minded, we communicate really well, so we somehow plotted out an entire book without even really trying. Pages started flying back and forth, and we’d suddenly be shooting each other texts to bounce ideas. Usually one of us writes about 2000 words before stopping and passing the torch to the other person. And then during edits, we each take a pass and add/change/tweak so much that eventually we can’t remember who wrote what.

4) What do you admire most about your co-author that you learned from this experience writing together?

Elle: Jen is very business-minded, so she’s amazing at staying on task—and keeping me on task. If there’s a job to do, it’s getting done—Jen’ll make sure of that! She’s incredibly efficient, and half the time I fear she’s going to break up with me because I’m so disorganized and hate business.

Jen: Elle is a master at pacing. I’ve learned so much while writing with her. She’s really ruthless at the editing stage and I’m hoping to take that skill with me moving forward. And she’s never getting rid of me!

5) What kind of snacks were necessary when writing this book?

Elle: There was definitely some chocolate involved! While writing this book, I went through all the same feels our readers experience, so yeah…lots of chocolate!

Jen: I always reward myself with a root beer during the editing process.

6) About how long did it take to write the book?

Two weeks. It just poured out of us and before we could blink, it was done LOL

 

Thanks for stopping by!! Be sure to one-click on April 4th! Or you can preorder the paperback here: http://amzn.to/1Rk05qk

Elastic Hearts

Elastic Hearts by Claire Contreras

2 stars

Claire Contreras is one of my favorite authors, really she is. Two of her books are my all-time favorite reads, and I will read anything she writes because I know she will deliver a unique love story that will stand out amongst the sea of generic romance books out there.

That being said, Elastic Hearts wasn’t the book for me. I didn’t really feel the connection between Nicole and Victor and I got a little bit sick of the constant will we or won’t we between them. The biggest issue for me though, was I was bored the entire time I read the book. It took me 4 days to read it, and I am someone who can pretty much read a book a day. It didn’t capture my interest.

Just because I didn’t like it doesn’t mean other people won’t love it. Obviously I am in the minority on this one. I think this love story is something many people would enjoy and love, again it just wasn’t for me.

ARC provided in exchange for an honest review

Paper Princess

Paper Princess by Erin Watt and Elle Kennedy

5 stars

“No one wants to be ruined. We all want to be saved.”

OMG OMG OMG OMG OMG

Where do I even start? Well obviously from my rating I absolutely loved this book. When I saw the blurb I was intrigued and immediately requested the arc. Plus Elle Kennedy is a co-author and she has NEVER let me down. I’ve loved everything I’ve read by her so far. I’m a bit new to Erin Watt (Jen Frederick) and haven’t read any of her books, but I’ll be sure to remedy that very soon.

Paper Princess is about a teenage girl named Ella, who after the passing of her mother has been living on her own. Deceiving her high school and working multiple jobs her only goal is to get a diploma so she can continue on to college. One day a man appears at her school, claiming to be a friend of her recently deceased father (a man she never knew) and saying he is now her legal guardian.

Ella is grudgingly taken to Callum Royal’s home where she is to live. Callum makes a deal with her that she cannot refuse and a part of the agreement was for her to stay in his home with his five sons. Five sons who are not at all happy to see Ella. From rags to riches Ella does her best to catch her bearings and adjust to an entirely new life. But despite wanting to remain overlooked she is constantly hurdled into the attentions of her peers, and she can either take it, or fight back.

“No matter what Callum says or tried to do, I’m never going to be a Royal.”

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When I say I loved this book, it is an understatement. This is a book you stay up until 3am to finish and end up feeling tired but happy the next day because it was so worth it. There was not one moment when I was bored or wanted to skim, I was completely absorbed in it until the very end. I loved being in Ella’s head and sharing her experiences with her. She’s a strong female character who doesn’t need or want saving, but in this book she realizes it doesn’t hurt to accept help from others. Ella also recognizes the value in hard work and doesn’t shirk away from jobs that others see as below themselves. She doesn’t apologize for who she is either. I found her to be a very admirable character, refreshing from all of the weak heroines we see flooding the genre.

All of the Royal boys have me intrigued, I really hope that some get their own book (like Easton and the twins). There’s so much going on and I would have loved the perspective of some of them while reading. Now Ella and Reed: my goodness someone get me a fan because their chemistry was off the charts!!!!

I am shipping these two so hard right now!!!! I loved them together, whether they were fighting or you know, other stuff. Good stuff 😉

“I can’t decide what I like more. The calm Royal household with the voiceless Reed or the one where he’s yelling at me to stay away and threatening me with his penis.”

Anyway if you didn’t get it by now I loved this book. This book has a very Tijan feel to it, and those who loved the Fallen Crest series will love this story. Warning! There is a very large cliffhanger at the end that I may need to join a support group to get over. But, I still think you should read this book despite the cliffhanger because I think it’s totally worth it.

And I do want to clarify, while this book is about high school students/young adults, it is not a young adult book due to language and adult content. So don’t be handing it to a sixteen year old to read. Save it for when they hit college and hand it to them then.

ARC kindly provided by authors in exchange for an honest review

One Day Soon

WARNING!!! THERE BE SPOILERS IN MY REVIEW! To read my review with spoiler tags, go to my  Goodreads page here

One Day Soon by A. Meredith Walters

4 stars!

“A happy story doesn’t always have a happy ending.”

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One Day Soon is the story of Imi and Yoss. When they were teens they loved each other fiercely and would have done anything for the other. Yoss was Imi’s protector as well as her everything. Imi was a bright light in Yoss’s horrible life. But not all young love stories work out and the two were separated for fifteen years.

Imi and Yoss are reunited as adults in their early thirties a horrible incident and coincidence. Despite their mutual hurt, there is still a connection between them and a strong desire to spend time together. But decisions from the past haunt their present, and the two must fight against impossible odds to stay together.

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I have been recommended books by this author by many friends, but haven’t read them yet (my bad, I will be changing this soon!). I loved Walter’s writing style, I couldn’t put the book down, even when confronted with difficult subject matter.

I also loved that this was a unique love story in terms of plot, I haven’t read any others like it and it was refreshing to read something different from the generic romance or new adult novel. I ended up staying up really late just to finish reading this book because I had to know what happened! There were also some possible tears. Maybe. (Okay yeah I cried a little bit).

Can I also just say I have so much cover love for this book? It’s gorgeous!

“You’re not the same. Neither of us are. But I know that I will love the man as much as I loved the boy.”

I found it a little bit hard to understand Imi and her choices. I found her reasons for homelessness were not enough. Her mom ignored her, but at least she wasn’t beating her like other characters. I felt the ending was rushed. The fairy tale way it ended was nice, but I felt there were still unresolved issues between the two main characters:  such as Yoss wanting to support himself and not mooch off of Imi. He was so adamant about it before, yet 3 years later everything is okay? Basically there were still some blanks I felt needed to be filled in.

And I almost never note this, but because my copy was a purchased one and not an ARC I will. There were several editing mistakes that really irked me, because they took me out of the story while I was reading it. It disrupted the flow of the novel for me, and I really hope they get fixed. (This did not affect my rating in any way).

“But if I can’t have that dream with you, will you live it anyway?”

He Will Be My Ruin

He Will Be My Ruin by KA Tucker

2.5 stars

***Unpopular opinion alert!!!***

Whelp it’s safe to say mystery/suspense really ain’t my genre. And in fact I remember being pissed I got denied on the arc for this book (which now I see as a blessing in disguise) because I actually do love KA Tucker. One of her book covers is on my phone! If that’s not author love I don’t know what is. But it looks like I love her contemporary romance books and not her mystery ones.

Anyways, He Will Be My Ruin is the story of Maggie, a wealthy girl who works for nonprofits. When she receives news that her best friend has died, she travels to NYC to go through her things and clear up the estate. While doing this, Maggie becomes more and more convinced her friend was murdered, and she begins investigating her friends final months.

So the first half of this book was a solid 4-5 star rating. But about midway through I had started to lose interest and really just wanted to smack both main characters, dead and alive. Plus every time Maggie went to the cops with her “clues” I imagined this:

Plus the more we found out about Celine’s secret life the more ridiculous it became. I had a hard time believing a lot of it.

The ending was extremely unsatisfying and disappointing. I feel the author could have done a lot better with tying every thing up as it felt very rushed after hundreds of pages of build up. But then again most mystery novels are like that and it’s probably why I don’t care for them.

Wilcard reader out!

Every Last Word

Every Last Word by Tamara Ireland Stone

4 stars!

“If you could read my mind, you wouldn’t be smiling.”

Every Last Word is the story of Sam, a teenage girl with a debilitating case of OCD. Not the kind like you and I think, where it’s like people keeping things nice and neat, but one that messes with her sense of reality. One of the popular girls at school, she is forever in fear of her group of friends finding out her secret and ridiculing her for it.

One day she discovers a new group of people at school she never really noticed before. With some encouragement from a new friend, Sam makes an effort to join this new group who loves poetry and expression. But her past and her friends make it difficult for this new group of people to trust her, and she must prove her worth to them.

“I didn’t go there looking for you. I went looking for me.” My voice is soft, low, and shaky. “But now, here you are, and somehow, in finding you, I think I’ve found myself.”

I liked this book a lot more than I thought I would. This is an author I’ve always been meaning to read, she has another series that looks good but I never got around to it. I love reading stories where the main character becomes disillusioned with their current life style and looks to other ways of spending their time. It’s one of the better ways of promoting character development in a story (and we all know I must have my character development!) so I really enjoyed this book.

I liked the romance aspect because I wasn’t really expecting it. AJ was a little bit too good to be true and I thought he forgave Sam for her past a little bit too quickly, but ultimately it worked for the book as a whole.

I did guess the “surprise” fairly early on, but I loved that part of the story. It’s amazing what the human mind can do and a great added twist to the plot. I also liked the use of words and how they helped Sam get through rough spots. Her OCD was based on words and thoughts, and by joining the poetry group she learned a way to manage and control them in a healthy way.

“Mistakes. Trial and error. Same thing. Mistakes are how we learned to walk and run and that hot things burn when you touch them. You’ve made mistakes all your life and you’re going to keep making them.”

I will say, if I tried to write poetry, this would be me: