The Cruel Prince

The Cruel Prince by Holly Black

5 stars! 

“If I cannot be better than them, I will become so much worse.” 

You ever read a book where you can’t stop reading into the night, then early hours in the morning, and you get to a point where it’s go big or go home and decide to lose sleep and finish the book? That was this book for me. Once I picked it up, I did not put this book back down until I was done. I DEVOURED THIS BOOK.

When Jude is seven, Madoc comes to her home and murders her parents for he is the true father of her older sister Vivi. Madoc takes Jude and her sisters to where the Fae live and assumes responsibility for their upbringing. Ten years later and Jude longs to prove herself among the fae, forever taunted and picked on because she is mortal. Jude wants to become a night for the High King and plans to compete in a tournament to prove herself.

But Jude faces an enemy every day, the youngest Prince Cardan, who has made it his mission to make Jude’s life miserable. So she does her best to defy him, and as a result she becomes entangled in the intricacies of court life.

“No matter how careful I am, eventually I’ll make another misstep. I am weak. I am fragile. I am mortal.
I hate that most of all.” 

I’ve never read Holly Black, she’s a new to me author. But after several recommendations from other readers I decided to get this one from the library and picked it up when I wasn’t sure what to read. From the first page I could tell this is a book I would love. Fae and fairies seem to be the big fad in YA right now and while I love that, there’s a lot of crap being churned out. This book isn’t like that, it’s amazing, terrifying, wonderful and heart pounding.

I loved that despite having a half fae sister the heroine of this book was an ordinary human. This so easily could have been Vivi’s book instead and while I really liked her, I think Jude was such a developed and compelling character. From the beginning I wanted to know what she would do next, how she would overcome her challenges. And while she’s not always making the best decisions or even likable, none of the characters in this book are.

This was a very fast paced and mesmerizing book. I’m already screaming for the next book and I have no clue when it’s going to be here. It’s that good.

“Most of all, I hate you because I think of you. Often. It’s disgusting, and I can’t stop.” 

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Wild

Wild by Cheryl Strayed

5 stars! 

“I’m a free spirit who never had the balls to be free.” 

Have you ever read a book you never expected to like and then end up loving it? I saw the movie Wild when it came out and loved it, but I was a bit apprehensive to read the book. I hate comparisons, but this book is always lumped in with Eat Pray Love and I fucking HATED that book and the woman who wrote it. But after reading lots of reviews of this book I decided to take a chance and I am so glad I did because I LOVED THIS BOOK!

Wild is the story of Cheryl, who after losing her mother at a young age lost her way. Drugs, adultery, she gave up caring what happened to herself. Until one day she got the idea to hike the Pacific Crest Trail. Along the way she remembers her past, comes along interesting people and faces difficult challenges.

“I knew that if I allowed fear to overtake me, my journey was doomed. Fear, to a great extent, is born of a story we tell ourselves, and so I chose to tell myself a different story from the one women are told. I decided I was safe. I was strong. I was brave. Nothing could vanquish me.” 

One of the best things about this book is Strayed’s writing style. I can’t remember the last time I just completely lost myself in a book and wasn’t paying attention to the page count or how far I had gotten. I simply was sucked into the story and her words.

Working for the public library I have patrons recommend me books all the time, a lot of the time saying that I would love it and what I don’t tell them is I already read the book and it wasn’t for me. So when this book came out I avoided it because of all the recommendations from strangers who didn’t know my reading tastes at all. But this is a book thatlives up to the hype. I’m already recommending it to people like my best friend and my mother and her friends.

I loved this story, but you will probably never see me going on a hiking trip like Cheryl because I like food, and plumbing and showers. Plus I’m a bit of a fatty and reject exercise as fun. But I admire her fortitude, but also know I could never do what she did. She obviously could have prepared more and is lucky to be alive in some circumstances, but she knew she needed to heal herself and she set about in her own way to do that and I admire it.

I highly recommend this book no matter what genre you enjoy most. If you don’t feel like reading it I recommend the movie, it’s one of my favorites.

“How wild it was, to let it be.” 

Deal Maker

Deal Maker by Lily Morton

5 stars! 

“My Jude. My best friend, my lover and my heart.” 

This book made me swoon! And I don’t friggin swoon!!!

Jude is a reluctant model, working the career because it pays well. When his apartment gets flooded, he needs a place to stay other than the sex filled apartment of his best friend. A fellow model gives him a tip, leading Jude to actor Asa.

Asa loathes models, everything they stand for. So when he takes Jude in he makes it clear he thinks Jude is dumb and self involved because of his profession. So Jude decides to make it interesting and plays along, fully intending to make Asa’s life hell…..

“Everyone is entitled to love who they want, and people aren’t weird just because of who they love. No one is weird.” 

After really enjoying Rule Breaker last year, I knew I wanted to read Jude’s story. And wow, personally I think Lily Morton outdid herself! While my tastes run toward angsty, I fell in love with this sweet and swoon-worthy story. Jude and Asa were amazing together, I had a constant smile on my face when reading this book.

Lily Morton is an author I will be automatically one clicking in the future. If you love MM romance you need to start reading her books ASAP!

“Being deeply loved by someone gives you strength, while loving someone deeply gives you courage.” 

Down by Contact

Down by Contact by Santino Hassell

4 stars! 

“It was perfect. He was perfect. We were perfect together.” 

Adrian and Simeon are enemies on rival football teams. They snark at each other during games, call each other out on social media and can’t stand the sight of each other. Simeon is a openly gay football player and Adrian seems to be anti-gay. When the two of them get into trouble on the field they are forced to spend time together working for a charity, where they both learn there is more to the other than they originally thought.

“All this time, I’d not only been starving for his body—I’d been deprived of his kisses. Now I couldn’t get enough. 

Santino Hassell became one of my all time favorite authors very quickly this past year. A very talented writer, he never delivers the same story twice and never the same character twice. That’s what I love about his books, they always bring something new to the table. Football isn’t my sports romance genre of choice usually but I that didn’t even cross my mind when reading this book, the game was important but it also didn’t overwhelm the story which I appreciate.

Simeon and Adrian were both such amazing characters, I loved both in different ways and for different reasons. While they may have started out hating each other, I loved being on the journey of understanding and acceptance with them and thought they had a very beautiful love story.

“I need you to tell me I won’t ruin your career by being in your life. Because no matter how hard I try to be discreet, I know somehow . . . I’ll screw it up. ’Cause that’s me, boo. I’m a mess. A loveable mess, but still a goddamn mess.” 

ARC provided by the publisher via netgalley. All/any quotes in this review came from an advance unedited copy and may be subject to change in the final product. 

Man Hands

Man Hands by Sarina Bowen and Tanya Eby

3.5 stars 

Man Hands is about divorcee Brynn, when she divorces from her husband she’s left with a very low self-esteem. Her friends take her to a party and convince her to kiss the first man she sees, and she does exactly that. And she ends up doing more than that with him, then running off when it’s done.

But the hookup returns, and she learns his name is Tom. And Tom has an unusual proposition for her.

Let me start off by saying this book is VERY funny. Sarina and Tanya hit the humor spot really well. And this book was FILLED with sexy times. But I felt the romance wasn’t developed very well and wish we had more of that than sex scenes.

Plus when I thought home renovation tv personality I thought of Chip Gaines from Fixer Upper and sorry not sorry, I don’t find him attractive.

ARC provided by the authors in exchange for an honest review 

The Queen & the Homo Jock King

The Queen & the Homo Jock King by TJ Klune

3.75 stars 

This is TJ Klune at his funniest! This book had me bursting out laughing and then taking snapshots of the kindle screen and sending it to my friends!

A very unconventional love story, I think the only other drag queen romance I’ve ever read was Painted Faces by LH Cosway and that was verrryyy different from this one.

Other than really loving it, I had some issues with it. For one, I was dying for the romance between Sandy and Darren and what we got with this book was a book about Sandy and everyone BUT Darren which was a tad disappointing. I wanted to see more of the two of them together. And sometimes it was a bit over the top with shenanigans that completely wiped out the plot of the book. Hence why I am giving this 3.75 stars and not a higher rating…

But still a very solid and funny book. Klune is an excellent writer and I am excited to read more by him in the near future.

Tell Me It’s Real

Tell Me It’s Real by TJ Klune

This gets 5 stars because it make me LAUGH. Like so hard!!! In places you shouldn’t laugh out loud, like public!!!! That and it’s one of the best books I’ve read in a long time.

TJ Klune is an author I have come to love and reading more of his work just showed me what a talented author he is. He can write funny, he can write serious, he can write steamy. He just never fails to disappoint! Next time I am in a massive book slump again, I am turning to his books for help.

Tell Me It’s Real has possibly one of the worst book covers ever, which is why I’ve waited so long to read it. But this is one of those books where you have to look past the awful cover to get to the amazing inside of the book. Paul is a husky guy, insecure and settled in his life. Until he meets the stunningly beautiful Vince who is interested in Paul right away. Except Paul thinks Vince is playing a joke on him, never thinking Vince could be actually interested.

Loved this book, obviously from my 5 star rating. Again, it had me laughing out loud in public, a rare feat for me as I try to remain stoic when reading. I highly recommend this book!

Off Base

Off Base by Annabeth Albert

3.5 stars 

I’ve been seeing lots of goodreads friends reading this series and I wanted to see what the fuss was about. Lots of mixed reviews on this first book, but I am excited to read more in this series, it seems to get better.

Off Base is about closeted Navy Seal Zack and young professor Pike. The two know each other through personal friends and under random circumstances the two become roommates. The attraction has always been there, but Zack doesn’t want to admit he likes men and Pike is not eager to be some man on the down low. But living in close quarters means things are bound to explode.

I really enjoyed this story, it’s one that got better as you kept reading. The beginning was a bit jarring because the characters were kind of thrown at us and together really quickly, a bit too quickly in my opinion. But once they were together the book really worked and I started to like the characters a bit more.

I’m definitely eager to read the other books in the series, this was a cute start but I felt like I needed to have read other books by this author first to understand some of the characters. Like I was missing something.

Lovers Like Us

Lovers Like Us by Krista & Becca Ritchie

3.5 stars 

I always have the hardest time writing 3 star reviews. The book didn’t suck, but it also wasn’t amazing either. Let me put it this way, I started reading this book when it came out on Halloween, and only just now finished it right before Christmas. I liked it enough to finish, but not enough to read in one sitting.

KB Ritchie are among my favorite authors, in fact I think this is the lowest rating I have ever given their books. So while I enjoyed this book to some extent, I am also a bit sad because usually they are 4 or 5 star authors for me.

Lovers Like Us is the second book in the Like Us trilogy, and I really loved the first book but this one dragged on a bit and was very confusing at times. I honestly couldn’t remember everyone’s names in all the extended family and bodyguards, so it was hard for me to assign a look or a personality for each character. There were so many! It felt like work and I read for pleasure, I don’t want it to be work. Opposite of that, I am in love with the Cobalt children and will continue reading this series solely for Jane’s book and for Charlie’s if they come along in the future. Charlie wormed his anti-hero self into my heart and I am dying for that man’s book!

What saved this book for me was the last 40% picked up a lot, whereas the first 60% was slow for me. Lots of banter, staring, not admitting things to each other. It didn’t click with my reading tastes. I wanted a more plot heavy story and got a more dialogue driven one.

As I said I still love the Ritchies and will read anything they read. These are two authors who I wholeheartedly believe need a lot more recognition in the romance and book world. I just won’t be jumping on Alphas Like Us like I normally would a KB Ritchie book.

Scandal in Spring

Scandal in Spring by Lisa Kleypas

3.5 stars 

I’ve been going through a massive reading/reviewing slump lately. I think this book was a massive victim of that slump. I hoped a Wallflower book would pull me out of it, but alas it didn’t. There’s nothing wrong with this book, I just failed to connect to it. My fault and not the author’s.

This book is about the youngest wallflower Daisy, whose father declares a match for her when she doesn’t procure an English husband. Unfortunately, Daisy hates the American businessman her father chose, despises him in fact. But sometimes the person we least suspect is the perfect person for you!

Anyways, I liked parts of this book but wasn’t feeling it. I loved the first 3 books in this series, and I will happily read more by Kleypas in the future.

Fallen Crest High

Fallen Crest High by Tijan

4 stars! 

“People are snakes, you just have to figure out their different colors, but they’re all the same. Everybody wants something.” 

I read Fallen Crest for the first time over four years ago and felt the need for a refresher! I never finished the series and wanted to get back to it, but needed to start from the beginning again. This is about teenager Sam whose mom dumps her dad and gets a newer richer man. The downside of this is Sam moves in with two stepbrothers who hate her, and who dictate all the social rules in their town.

I can’t say much more than that without spoilers, but this is a guilty pleasure soap opera story you don’t want to miss out on! Filled with angsty teens, gossip girls, alpha males and so much family dysfunction you’ll think your own family is normal! And I love every second of it! Seriously though, if you need a reality escape, this is the book for you.

“In that moment, I realized that he always had that effect on me. The ice façade I reigned over myself was plucked away whenever his attention was on me. He reached over and took it away like I was a baby with candy.”