Warcross

Warcross by Marie Lu

4.25 stars! 

“Every locked door has a key. Every problem has a solution.” 

I enjoyed this book so much more than I thought I would! I was attracted by the pretty cover and the recommendation from a friend, so I got this book from the library. When my copy arrived, I read the synopsis and my enthusiasm came to a screeching halt. This book sounds like a total rip off of Ready Player One. And to be honest, it really kind of is. But somehow, knowing this, I still really enjoyed this.

Warcross is about an 18 year old bounty hunter Emika, a girl close to eviction. Out of desperation she takes a risk during the Warcross games and gets caught, resulting in her getting an offer she can’t resist. Now Emika is thrown into a new world where she wants for nothing, with a hot boss too. It’s up to her to discover a new threat and to help stop it.

“Everything’s science fiction until someone makes it science fact.” 

I thought this was a fantastic YA novel, like I said before I was surprised by how much I liked this one. I’ve only ever read The Young Elites and I couldn’t get through that book. So I didn’t really know what to expect. I think Lu did a great job with her main character Emika, she’s a spunky, hacker, bounty hunter with rainbow hair and tattoos. I mean, how cool is that? This book was also really easy to read, I fell into it and the pacing was totally on point. I found myself inching toward the book at times when I couldn’t read it, and that’s the mark of a good book.

Why not 5 stars? I felt the romance was really lackluster and underdeveloped, even the guy said himself “perhaps I’ve been too subtle” <— um, YEAH DUDE. I thought this girl just had a weird one sided fangirl crush on the main guy until he suddenly kissed her. There were also some gaps in the game world building and moments when I was confused about how things worked. I don’t think we need an extensive lesson in it, just maybe not so many conflicting statements about the game and how it worked.

Anyways if you like YA and scifi, this is the book for you! Take it from a girl who didn’t think she would enjoy it, take the leap and give it a chance! And I am so excited for the next book!!!

“Everyone has a different way of escaping the dark stillness of their mind.” 

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Bountiful

Bountiful by Sarina Bowen

4 stars! 

“The truth was that men didn’t date people like me. I was the girl they “hung out with” as Dave had put it last night. The bartender was a good time and fun in bed, but not a forever girl.” 

Sarina Bowen always writes the best romance! Bountiful is about bartender Zara and a sexy ginger named Dave. One summer for an entire month the two had a steamy fling, but then he left and he left something behind. Two years later Zara is a single mother and hasn’t been able to find Dave to tell him he’s the father.

Then one day, Dave shows up and Zara tells him he’s a father. But Dave’s past makes him doubt his parenting abilities and Zara doesn’t trust that he will stick around. The two have to work together to see if they can reach common ground.

“Nobody could make me feel inferior without my permission. I’d made my peace with single motherhood, and it didn’t matter what anyone said behind my back.” 

From the moment I opened up the book I fell in love with Zara and Dave. I love prickly heroines and Zara was awesome. Dave was equally awesome, every barb Zara threw his way he shrugged off and smiled. I wouldn’t say baby romances are my favorite subgenre, but I enjoy them and the angst they deliver all the same. Plus I think Bowen did an amazing job writing the parent/child dynamic and Nicole was just beyond adorable.

This book starts off with a bang, and then slows down in pacing a little bit near the middle. I thoroughly enjoyed this book, I am so glad Zara got her own story and it was worth the wait. I just want to stay forever in the True North world and never leave. I hope we get more books in this world.

Sarina Bowen is an author I always recommend, she never disappoints. This is the book this fall that you want to curl up with a blanket and enjoy a heartwarming story.

“The Milky Way and Zara. My favorite two things about Vermont.”

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. 

Eleanor & Park

Eleanor & Park by Rainbow Rowell

5 stars 

“Holding Eleanor’s hand was like holding a butterfly. Or a heartbeat. Like holding something complete, and completely alive.” 

Can you all believe I had never read this book until now? Yeah, neither can I. Because that is CRAZY! To be fair, I put it off a lot. In a weird way that doesn’t make sense, I didn’t want to ruin Fangirl. And this book didn’t, I still love Fangirl, I just have a different kind of love for Eleanor and Park.

This book is about two outcast teens who become friends when they are forced to sit next to each other on the bus to and from school. At first, they don’t really understand each other, but as time goes by, they want to get to know each other and develop an amazing friendship, and then romance.

“What are the chances you’d ever meet someone like that? he wondered. Someone you could love forever, someone who would forever love you back? And what did you do when that person was born half a world away? The math seemed impossible.” 

This is going to be a shorter review because I think everyone has already said all the things about this book. But MY HEART. This book made me wish that men like Park existed in real life, because no man could measure up to this guy. And Eleanor, I bled for that girl. I just wanted to hug her and tell her she was beautiful and that someone cared.

Anyways, if you are stupid like me and haven’t read this book, you need to correct this giant mistake asap. You won’t regret this one!

“I don’t like you, Park,” she said, sounding for a second like she actually meant it. “I…” – her voice nearly disappeared – “think I live for you.”
He closed his eyes and pressed his head back into his pillow.
“I don’t think I even breathe when we’re not together,” she whispered. “Which means, when I see you on Monday morning, it’s been like sixty hours since I’ve taken a breath. That’s probably why I’m so crabby, and why I snap at you. All I do when we’re apart is think about you, and all I do when we’re together is panic. Because every second feels so important. And because I’m so out of control, I can’t help myself. I’m not even mine anymore, I’m yours, and what if you decide that you don’t want me? How could you want me like I want you?”
He was quiet. He wanted everything she’d just said to be the last thing he heard. He wanted to fall asleep with ‘I want you’ in his ears.”

Without Merit

Without Merit by Colleen Hoover

4 stars! 

Right off the bat I just want to say, there’s not much I can tell you about the plot of this book. I really want to, but it’s all just one giant spoiler, and I don’t want to be that person so please don’t put that on me. What I can say, is that from the very beginning of this book Colleen Hoover keeps you on your toes and you have no idea where she will go next with this story.

I also want to make one thing clear, this book is unlike anything else Hoover has written. She’s said so herself, but I think it merited reminding < —- see what I did there? And I love that about Hoover. She never delivers the same thing twice, she continues to evolve and grow as a writer. As a reader, I really appreciate this, because it means I never know what to expect. And in a way, when she brings us something new it’s her way of respecting the reader, knowing that we will grow with her.

Without Merit revolves around the life of a high school senior, and while this does deal with young adult characters, this book read more like an adult contemporary fiction novel. Not that anything was super graphic or inappropriate, but it’s all in the writing style. Honestly, I think if Oprah read this book she would put it in her book club. I really mean that. I think this book is an amazing conversation piece, bringing up and addressing family issues (and more but that’s spoilery) and a great book for book clubs. When this book releases, I foresee A LOT of discussion surrounding it.

Everyone at some point has thought their family was fucked up, believe me as an adult that has become abundantly more clear to me. But what if your family really was fucked up in some way? If I were to compare this novel to anything, it would be the movie August Osage County. By that I don’t mean every little single thing that happens, but more conceptually. I also compared November 9 and the old movie Same Time, Next Year, the concept is similar but the execution is different.

It also at times felt like I was reading a play in terms of how the scenes and dialogue were delivered between the characters. And we are the audience watching this play unfold. This book at its heart is a family trying to work out its issues, and come out the other side hopefully in a good way.

I devoured this book the second I got (giant shout out to Atria for giving me my first ever Colleen Hoover arc, that rocked my world). I stayed up until 3 am reading this baby, and it took me a long time to process my feelings on it. I think there’s going to be a lot of differing opinions on this book. I think the majority of Hoover’s fans will love this book, despite maybe not expecting what it’s about. But what I think is even better is that this specific novel will open up a new reader base to her work and hopefully we will gain a lot of Cohorts with it.

ARC provided by the publisher via Netgalley in exchange for an honest review 

The Learning Hours

THE LEARNING HOURS

How to Date a Douchebag Book 3

By Sara Ney

Release Day: September 26, 2017

Standalone

He’s not a douchebag; but that doesn’t stop his friends from turning him into one.

MY FRIENDS WANT ME TO GET LAID.

So much so that they plastered my ugly mug all over campus, in bold printed letters:

Are you the lucky lady who’s going to break our roommate’s cherry?
Him: socially awkward man with average-sized penis looking for willing sexual partner. You: must have a pulse. He will reciprakate with oral. Text him at: 555-254-5551

The morons can’t even spell. And the texts I’ve been receiving are what wet dreams are made of. But I’m not like these douchebags, no matter how hard they try to turn me into one.

THIS ISN’T THE KIND OF ATTENTION I WANT.

One text stands out from hundreds. One number I can’t bring myself to block. She seems different. Hotter, even in black and white.

However, after seeing her in person, I know she’s not the girl for me. But my friends won’t let up–they just don’t get it. Douchebags or not, there’s one thing they’ll never understand: GIRLS DON’T WANT ME.

Especially her.

LINKS:

Amazon: http://amzn.to/2eUg3jU
Amazon UK:: http://bit.ly/LearningZonUK
iBooks: http://bit.ly/LearningiBooks
B&NOBLE: http://bit.ly/LearningBN
KOBO: http://bit.ly/LearningKobo

Review:

4.5 stars 

So, we are not allowed to reveal the “douchebag” this book is about, so I am gonna do my best without spoiling everyone (even though it’s pretty difficult). This all starts when a member of the wrestling team is getting hazed by his teammates. As a part of the hazing, they decide to put up posters advertising his need to get laid. Suddenly, this hero is getting hundreds of text messages, but one of them stands out among all the trash.

While I can’t say who the hero was, this is who I pictured the heroine as:

Sarah Ney had delivered one of my favorite new adult romance series! For some reason, the college romances seem to have disappeared from the romance genre recently, and I feel like Ney is the only one keeping it alive. I am so grateful she is, because I love college romances! And the douchebags are some of the best heroes there are!

What I can say, is I really loved the hero and the heroine. Both are flawed and don’t always know what they’re doing, or to articulate how they feel. But together they were perfect. This book was also super hot! Steamy romance fans you will be pleased. There were also some small doses of angst that I appreciated, but being me I wished there was a tad but more.

If you haven’t picked up the douchebag series yet, now is the time! It’s perfect for fall weather and curling up with a coffee/tea and these books.

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. 

ABOUT THE AUTHOR:

Sara Ney is the USA Today Bestselling Author of the How to Date a Douchebag series, and is best known for her sexy, laugh-out-loud New Adult romances. Among her favorite vices, she includes: iced latte’s, historical architecture and well-placed sarcasm. She lives colorfully, collects vintage books, art, loves flea markets, and fancies herself British.

She lives with her husband, children, and her ridiculously large dog.

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Eliza and Her Monsters

Eliza and Her Monsters by Francesca Zappia

3 stars 

As always, first off I want to reiterate that a 3 stars from me does not equate to a negative review. It means I liked/enjoyed the book, but did not really like it or love it. So please, don’t tell me sorry it didn’t work out. Thank you.

Eliza and Her Monsters is a book I was excited about when it came in my owlcrate. After sitting on the bookshelf for too long I finally picked it up. The beginning of this book started out so strong for me, and middle to end it fizzled.

This book is about a teen named Eliza who writes an online graphic novel that has become hugely popular, like millions of readers popular. Only her family knows she writes it, along with 2 trusted online friends. When a new boy at school reveals he is a popular fanfiction writer of her story, Eliza is blown away but still keeps her identity as the author a secret.

“You found me in a constellation.” 

As I said I enjoyed the beginning of this book a lot, it gave me some definite Fangirl by Rainbow Rowell vibes initially. But then something happened with the pacing/plot and it became a battle to try and work my way through this book. Not only did it slow down, the characters made actions and statements that I felt didn’t make sense and didn’t connect to the story. There were a few times where I made WTF noises out loud while reading this book.

I think teens who love fandoms and that whole community will identify and love this book. It’s also one for teens who feel like they are social outcasts. Ultimately I felt the book really could have been stronger and more developed through the entire story instead of just tidbits.

“There is a small monster in my brain that controls my doubt.
The doubt itself is a stupid thing, without sense or feeling, blind and straining at the end of a long chain. The monster though, is smart. It’s always watching, and when I am cmpletely sure of myself, it unchains the doubt and lets it run wild. even when I know it’s coming, I can’t stop it.” 

The Bride

The Bride by S Doyle

4 stars! 

First off I have to say, when my friend Geri recommended this series to me I thought that woman was crazy. A novella series about a 16 year old bride? Everything in it’s marketing, from the cover to the description sounded like a taboo sex novel along the lines of Alexa Riley (not that there’s anything wrong with Alexa Riley and books like theirs, it just ain’t my thing). Honestly, I think the marketing for this book is all wrong, but that’s just me. I never would have picked this up without a recommendation.

But I took a chance anyway, because well, TRUST and all that fun stuff. And I am so glad I did! To clarify, this is NOT a taboo sex driven novel, but really a story of a young girl who has lost everything, and the family friend who did what it took to keep her from going into foster care and to remain in her family home until she turned 18 in a little over a year.

I gotta say, I loved Ellie. The author did a good thing and didn’t have her acting her age, like an annoying teenager as younger heroines are so often portrayed. Ellie was dealt the hard hands in life early on, and we see how that makes her transition into early adulthood and no longer being that carefree teen. Jake was a bit harder to read, I definitely want to get to know him better in the other books. He takes care of Ellie, he loves her as a sister. But the progression of that into something more is a bit of a mystery to me.

I cannot wait to read the other books, this is a poignant story about dealing with loss and the evolution of love. KU readers rejoice, it appears this series is currently on KU!

Illuminae

Illuminae by Amie Kaufman and Jay Kristoff

4.5 stars! 

“You have me. Until every last star in the galaxy dies.

You have me.” 

An unconventionally told story that was just so amazing!!! Illuminae is a book that has been sitting on my shelves since it came out, one I kept meaning to read but never made the time. I loved it! But I am still a bit glad I waited because I was able to run to my nearest Barnes and Noble and purchased the second book ASAP!

Told via chats, IM’s, security logs, reports and more, this is the story of two teens Kady and Ezra, who on the day they break up their colony gets invaded. Thrown together and trying to survive, when escaping their planet they end up on two different space ships. Everything seems fine, until the original attackers begin to pursue the fleeing three ships.

On top of that, Kady and Ezra begin to suspect something is wrong due to strange happenings on both of their ships. A race against time begins as Kady and Ezra attempt to save the remaining survivors on the ships from a looming larger threat.

“She is catalyst.
She is chaos.
I can see why he loves her.” 

As I kind of mentioned before, the formatting of this book is everything. You would think a story told in chats and reports would be dry and dull, but that was just not the case. Twenty pages in and I was already laughing so hard and knew I would love this book. Ezra I fell in love with purely on his personality, he brought so many light moments that the book needed without him being a goof.

Being a science fiction novel, this can easily by read by people who don’t love the genre. Yes, it takes place in space and on spaceships, but it felt more contemporary than I would have expected. So if you are on the fence because of the genre, I would recommend overlooking that and trying it anyways.

There’s more I really want to discuss, but cannot do so without SPOILERS, and as you all should know by now, I don’t give away or discuss spoilers. But I will say there was one big unexpected twist that to be completely honest, I really should have seen coming. It was a good one though. And there were aspects of the book that reminded me of Firefly (the show), but more specifically something in it, not as a whole.

Anyways, this is one of the few teen books I’ve read and LOVED in a while. I think everyone should give this book a chance, and I will for sure being reading more from these two authors in the future.

“You deserve every star in the galaxy laid out at your feet and a thousand diamonds in your hair. You deserve someone who’ll run with you as far and as fast as you want to. Holding your hand, not holding you back.” 

Into the Fire

Into the Fire by Jeaniene Frost

3.5-4 stars 

“It appears you’re right — I simply can’t go an entire day without murdering someone.” 

Gosh I wanted to love this book so bad, the first three books in the series were amazing, and while this one was enjoyable…. I merely liked it instead of loved it. I remember getting a newsletter about Frost’s family, I felt so much for this author. Her mom dying then repeated issues with her dad’s health, that’s more than anyone should have to take in. Knowing this, as a true fan would do, I understood and knew she needed to take her time to write this book and I think the wait was worth it. (FYI, this is all mentioned in an introduction of the book as well).

I had to reread the entire series before picking up this final book, as I had picked it up and by page 3 I was terribly lost. Hence an epic reread of some of the best PNR there is. No author has the voice that Frost has. So much witty humor and so much emotion packed into her books. There’s a reason I’ll read anything she publishes.

This fourth novel involves Vlad and Leila working to destroy the link between her and a powerful necromancer. Their bodies and lives are tied together, so if one of them dies, the other does too. But finding the necromancer proves to be more difficult than anticipated.

My favorite part of this book was the crossover of the character Ian. That man no doubt was the best part, bringing endless comic relief and making me laugh my ass off out loud in public. I swear this man needs his own spin off-ASAP!

The flawed aspect of this book is it’s almost information overload and focuses more on action than the romance and relationship between Leila and Vlad. I can understand why fans were let down by this book.

The Night Prince series is one you must read! Look past the god awful covers and you’ll discover one of your favorite romance couples!

Blood Guard

Blood Guard by Megan Erickson

3.5 stars 

I’m really only familiar with Megan Erickson’s co written cyber love series, this was my first book by her as a solo writer. I enjoyed it, but I am not eager to read the rest of the series.

Blood Guard is about a young woman named Tendra who discovers she’s meant to be a king vampire’s bride because of her bloodline. Her blood guard Athan, brother of the king, retrieves her from her normal life and tries to whisk her off to safety, but a rival vampire clan seeks to kill Tendra.

We got ourselves a breakdown review folks! What I liked and didn’t like about this book:

Liked:
-Tendra as a heroine, she was kick ass and was able to handle almost everything thrown her way. She processed things in her own way and was able to survive when most women in her situation wouldn’t be able to handle much of what was going on.

-Worldbuilding: Megan Erickson accomplished the difficult task of creating a believable urban fantasy setting with a hidden world of vampires and other creatures. She stuck to the basics but also made it distinctly her own.

-Brex: I am allergic to cats and I still wanted Brex by my side. Honestly after being tossed around in a duffel bag in this book, he reminded me of the Hurricane Harvey angry cat.

Didn’t like:

-The big one people. I didn’t care for the romance. I wasn’t sold on Tendra and Athan’s love. I don’t feel it was developed well and that it was rushed. It felt like the majority of the book they were just surviving and then BOOM sexy times. And that’s where the book kind of lost me because I wasn’t really rooting for the main couple (at least not at appropriate fangirl levels) so I began to not really care about the story. So the last 25-30% of the book was meh for me.

Anyways, this is a sexy and steamy vampire romance readers will love! While it wasn’t my favorite, I can appreciate that this book is better than a lot of PNR romance out there.

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. 

Temporary

Temporary by Sarina Bowen and Sarah Mayberry

4 stars! 

“He wasn’t looking to strike up a thing with a cash-strapped temp who acted as guardian to her teen sister, and I was not looking to have a fling with a playboy ladies’ man I found way, way too likeable.” 

Grace is raising her teen sister and needs a good job, which is why her new temp gig at a renowned company means she has to do amazing work. Given the task of handling the assests of a deceased family member of the company, Grace is expected to itemized and get the value of a giant art and wine collection.

Callan is the nephew of the deceased, and he encounters Grace in his uncle’s apartment. An agreement is made that Callan will work with Grace but not interfere or hinder her progress. But Callan has an alterior motive, he believes his uncle has a new and updated will, which could potentially end up with Grace losing her position.

The attraction between Callan and Grace is obvious, they both feel it. But Grace needs this job, and she cannot risk losing it all for a hunky Australian.

“Don’t get used to it. This is only temporary.” 

I always know when I read a Sarina Bowen book, I’m going to get something good! I’ve never read Sarah Mayberry before, she’s a new to me author. But I honestly couldn’t tell which author wrote what, so bravo to this writing duo! That’s the mark of an amazing writing team, I cannot wait to read more from these two.

I loved this story, it was so simple and yet it worked really well. Two people working together in close quarters doesn’t mean things will always be easy, but it does lead to some serious sexual tension. This was a really refreshing read, and it pulled me out of a book slump where I had quit 3 books before it! That’s how well done this book is.

Filled with steam, longing, and a little bit of angst, this is the book you need to read to keep you warmed up inside this fall!

“I will not get naked with Callan Walker during business hours. I will not get naked with Callan Walker during business hours. 

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

Secrets of a Summer Night

Secrets of a Summer Night by Lisa Kleypas

4 stars! 

“Having regrets is the only sign that you’ve done anything interesting with your life.” 

The first book in the Wallflower series, Secrets of a Summer Night is about Annabelle, a beautiful woman searching for a husband, but her family’s financial troubles prevent this. No man wants to marry a woman with no dowry, but Annabelle must marry soon to prevent her family from being put out on the streets.

Annabelle’s only luck seems to be with Simon Hunt, a man not of the nobility, but one who mad a great deal of money is business. He’s unrefined, blunt and even worse, he does not want Annabelle for his wife but as his mistress.

Befriending three other wallflowers at a ball, they make a pact to help get every single one of them married, and first up is Annabelle as this is her last season to find a husband. They concoct a plan, and hopefully they’re mischievous ways will work!

“I spent most of my youth hauling sides of beef and pork to my father’s shop. Carrying you is far more enjoyable.”

“How sweet,” Annabelle mumbled sickly, her eyes closed. “Every woman dreams of being told that she’s preferable to a dead cow.” 

Historical romance is not my go to genre, but it’s so fun to dabble in from time to time. Lisa Kleypas is an author I really click with because I don’t end up rolling my eyes at the language or actions of the characters. She does her research really well, and is able to make a smooth transition into whatever time period she places her books in.

I also normally don’t like Cinderella stories, and the rags to riches trope. But I loved Annabelle as a character, she was strong but had morals and pride. Her relationship with Hunt was a hate to love kind of story where over time the two get to know each other and fall in love, rather than love at first sight and it worked for me.

Beautifully written, I cannot wait to read the rest of the Wallflower books (disclaimer I’ve read Devil in Winter and Again the Magic, but I still really want to read the other two books). This book was exactly what I needed to read at exactly the right time.

“I’m coming to believe that there are two kinds of people… those who choose to be masters of their own fate and those who wait in chairs while other dance. I would rather be one of the former than the latter.” 

Axios

Axios by Jaclyn Osborn

5 stars! 

“Our lives may take us to unexpected places and it might alter many a things, but I will forever be yours.” 

I’ve been needing an epic romance, and who knew I’d get it from an author I’d never read or heard of before? High five to Arabella for the spot on book recommendation. Axios is the story of two Spartan soldiers (Eryx and Axios), who from a very young age they were trained to kill, always knowing they would live their lives fighting wars.

Eryx is loyal to the Spartan lifestyle because of the sins of his father, while Axios has a harder time adjusting. From childhood to adulthood the two are inseparable, best friends and then lovers, finding comfort in each other’s arms. In a land where feelings are viewed as weak, the two develop a strong relationship. But as war approaches, fear infiltrates them, for one cannot live without the other

“Know what I see? I see someone who is kind and who stops to see the beauty of the world. Someone who likes to watch the birds fly in the sky, wondering where they go… wondering what it’s like to soar amongst the clouds. I see an intelligent mind who ponders what makes the sky blue and where the sun goes at night. But mostly… I see my truest companion.” 

I really loved this book, I felt it was exactly the epic romance I needed to break me out of my book funk. Seriously, this is going under one of the best books of 2017! This book reminds me a lot of The Song of Achilles by Madeline Miller, in fact I think super fans of that book may have a hard time with this one because they are so similar. But this was filled with romance, longing, and angst and was just completely perfect for me.

I loved both of the main characters, Axios is a gentle soul thrown into a harsh world. The only thing that gets him through it is Eryx and his desire to be strong for him. Through harsh conditioning Axios becomes harder, but still has the soft and kind soul beneath. Eryx on the outside doesn’t show his emotions as much, we really only see them when he’s with Axios. But he loves Axios with all his heart and will do anything for him, even when it goes against what he truly believes in.

This book is a historical romance and I think the author did really well. There was never really a moment where I was reading and thought “that would never happen” and I was amazed by this. She stayed true to the story and the setting and backdrop only accentuated the love story and made it that much better.

If you’re a fan of epic romance this is the book for you! It flowed across my mind so smoothly and gave me so many feels. I’m going to be dreaming of this couple, I just know it!

PS: sorry to all the friends I’ll be badgering to read the book. It’s a condition of my friendship 😛

“I will kill any man and turn the whole world to ash for you, my warrior. I fear neither battle nor death, but I fear the day you are not by my side. Never question where my heart lies, because it is forever yours. In this life and the next.” 

The Time in Between

The Time in Between by Kristen Ashley

4.75 stars! 

“Promise, Cady. Stick with me, no matter what.” 

Kristen Ashley is BACK! This book is just like her old ones, full of magic and romance that digs its way into your heart!

The Time in Between is the story of Cady and Coert, two people who were in love eighteen years before, but lies and bad circumstances came between them and broke them apart. Now, years later, Cady’s husband has died, and he stipulated when he died that Cady had to move to Maine in order to reconnect with two men in her life, her brother, and Coert. Once there she buys a lighthouse and renovates it, biding her time to approach Coert, who is the local sheriff. Except Coert is angry and wants nothing to do with her.

“With him right there, nothing else mattered, nothing else even existed. This was simply where I was supposed to be. No matter what.” 

I have to admit, I was a bit nervous going into this one, mostly because some of the newer releases by Kristen Ashley just really weren’t my thing. BUT this is the Magdalene series, and I adored the first two books in this series, so I went in with an open mind. And what I got was a beautiful second chance romance story that by the end, brought that little bit of sappy mist to my eyes.

Second chance romance is sort of my Achilles heel of subgenres, I just love the idea of two people who lost their way get another chance to make things right between them. Cady and Coert have a lot of issues that bled over from their past, and while it was a rocky start when the two of them reunited, it got smoother as time went by. In fact, once they made up their minds, they did the adult thing and didn’t bring the past into their current relationship to haunt them. They moved on, and moved to something special.

My one small criticism and why I cannot give this a full 5 stars, is this book is SO LONG. Like I was reading it for four days! It took me four days to read the first Game of Thrones novel and that thing is enormous!!! I wish it had been a tad bit shorter because sometimes when reading it, it felt like I was tackling a mountain! But don’t let the length avert you from this gem, by the end I had happy tears in my eyes and was declaring my love for this magnificent book.

This story will stay with you a long time, and you will fall in love with Cady and Coert!

“Love you.”
“Love you most.” 

ARC provided by the author in exchange for an honest review 

Fallen Heir

Fallen Heir by Erin Watt

3 stars 

“You are charming, Royal. That’s the problem.” 

First things first: do NOT come at me asking for spoilers or posting about them in the comments of this review. I will not answer any spoiler questions, and I will delete any comments giving away spoilers or asking for them. You’ve been warned!

Secondly: People, please do not hate me. I wanted to love this book, I did.

Erin Watt books are like a drug, you get a hit of that first amazing one, and you keep on reading them hoping for that same high you got the first time. I loved Paper Princess and Broken Prince, but I haven’t really clicked with any of their books since. I was hoping Fallen Heir would be different, since I loved Easton in the first three Royal books, I was so excited to read his story. I kept reading this series because I know Erin Watt is capable of amazing stories and characters, and because of their first two books they published I will pretty much always read their books.

Fallen Prince is the story of Easton and Hartley. Easton is the brother that’s a mess, in fights, sleeping around, getting into trouble. Now that his brother Reed is off at college and his twins are tied up in their girlfriend, there’s really no one around to keep Easton in check. The first week of school he meets Hartley, a girl who isn’t his type but one that he’s intrigued by. Hartley wants nothing to do with Easton, she’s just trying to get by without any problems. But the more Hartley resists Easton, the more he wants her.

This book is a strong 3 stars for me, I enjoyed the story and was able to keep my attention on it, but the more I thought about the book, the more issues I had with it. But first, the way Erin Watt wrote Easton’s POV was amazing, it never not once felt like women trying to write from the perspective of a man, it just flowed and felt like Easton on his own. Not many authors are good at accomplishing the male POV in a way that’s believable, but Erin Watt does it flawlessly. The pacing was also really great, at no point was I bored or wanted to put the book down.

I did like Hartley, but I never understood why she liked Easton. Maybe because we only get his POV most of the book (and the downward spiral he was on it would have been nice to maybe have a break from his POV) but I felt like we didn’t get to know Hartley. Especially since everything Easton did in regards to her seemed like a colossal mess up or a mistake. So I really wish we had gotten to know the girl a lot more, instead all we have is Easton’s slightly skewed perspective of her to go on.

The ending was a bit too much for me, it felt like a parody of a soap opera with all of these bombs being dropped. It actually made me not want to read the next book, instead of wanting to read it right away. It felt like the authors were trying to top themselves with the shock value and it was just a step too far.

Anyways, for the most part I enjoyed this book, just some issues I couldn’t look past dragged the rating down. Lots of people are going to love this, so if you are on the fence, read it anyway. Erin Watt is a talented duo and I am sure they will bring us some amazing books in the future.

ARC provided by the authors in exchange for an honest review