Friday, June 23, 2017

Review: Fire Study by Maria V. Snyder

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Series: Study Series Book #3
Format: Paperback
Pages: 441
Rating: 5 Stars
How I Got It: Purchased
Genre: Fantasy, New Adult, Young Adult
Publisher: Mira

Synopsis courtesy of Goodreads

When word that Yelena is a Soulfinder—able to capture and release souls—spreads like wildfire, people grow uneasy. Already Yelena's unusual abilities and past have set her apart. As the Council debates Yelena's fate, she receives a disturbing message: a plot is rising against her homeland, led by a murderous sorcerer she has defeated before...

Honor sets Yelena on a path that will test the limits of her skills, and the hope of reuniting with her beloved spurs her onward. Her journey is fraught with allies, enemies, lovers and would-be assassins, each of questionable loyalty. Yelena will have but one chance to prove herself—and save the land she holds dear.


Review

This book was a roller coaster and kept me on the edge of my seat. The stakes were pretty high in this one and I never knew what would happen next.

Yelena goes through so much. She also grows into her magic a lot. She makes some dumb decisions, but I understand why. The story also showed more about other characters like Lief, Moon Man, and the Commander. The characters are very realistic which makes the story unnerving.

Poison Study continues to be my favorite, but this was a great conclusion to the trilogy. It explored all of the themes throughout the series to their fullest. Characters, politics, magic. They were all fully developed. And it was a very realistic finale.

I know I'm being very vague, but I'm trying to avoid spoilers.

I am happy wiht how this ended. I'm excited that there are more books, but I'm also nervous. What if the books aren't as good as the main series? That is always the struggle. And it isn't going to stop me from still reading them.

Thanks for reading!
Holly

Wednesday, June 21, 2017

Summer TBR (2017)

It's that time again. I'm going to try a seasonal TBR of 5 books again. Some of these have been on TBRs before, so hopefully, they'll actually happen this time. But I think this is a great list, especially for the summer season.

Doon by Carey Corp and Laurie Langdon
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The Heir by Kiera Cass
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The Boy Most Likely To by Huntley Fitzpatrick
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Since You've Been Gone by Morgan Matson
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Dragonfly in Amber by Diana Gabaldon
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Monday, June 19, 2017

Review: Say Yes to the Marquess by Tessa Dare

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Series: Castles Ever After Book #2
Format: Ebook
Rating: 3 Stars
How I Got It: Borrowed from the Library (Overdrive)
Genre: Romance, Historical Romance
Publisher: Avon

Synopsis courtesy of Goodreads

After eight years of waiting for Piers Brandon, the wandering Marquess of Granville, to set a wedding date, Clio Whitmore has had enough. She's inherited a castle, scraped together some pride, and made plans to break her engagement.

Not if Rafe Brandon can help it. A ruthless prizefighter and notorious rake, Rafe is determined that Clio will marry his brother—even if he has to plan the dratted wedding himself.


Review

I have to be honest, this was a  little disappointing. The first book was just so magical and beautiful. Don't get me wrong, this is good, but pales in comparison to the other.

Clio is a really strong heroine. She has depth and the right amount of uniqueness. And she feels like a real woman instead of an idealized romance heroine. Rafe should've been the hero for me. He's got some brooding angst while being a sweet puppy dog. I don't dislike him, but sometimes she was a little annoying.

They make a cute couple. Their story has a good amount of tension. Now, there are shades of a cheating story since Clio is engaged to Rafe's brother. I'm not a huge fan of those type of stories. It wasn't a huge distraction, but it was always in the back of my mind.

Sorry, I can't really explain what about this didn't work for me. It's a perfectly enjoyable book and I would read again, but it isn't at the top of my list.

Thanks for reading!
Holly

Friday, June 16, 2017

Review: Inside Out by Maria V. Snyder

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Series: Inside Out Book #1
Format: Ebook
Rating: 3 Stars
How I Got It: Borrowed from Library (Overdrive)
Genre: Young Adult, Dystopian
Publisher: Harlequin

Synopsis courtesy of Goodreads

I'm Trella. I'm a scrub. A nobody. One of thousands who work the lower levels, keeping Inside clean for the Uppers. I've got one friend, do my job and try to avoid the Pop Cops. So what if I occasionally use the pipes to sneak around the Upper levels? The only neck at risk is my own…until I accidentally start a rebellion and become the go-to girl to lead a revolution.

Review

This is a hard one. I still enjoy Maria V Snyder's writing but the story doesn't really work for me. I read it rather fast and it was gripping but didn't fully connect. It isn't something I can explain.

The concept is an interesting me, but a lot of information is withheld. I believe this was a conscious choice, but it's still frustrating. I just wish I knew more about what the "Inside" is and the people. There's also a lot of terminology to wrap your mind around.

This is a duology and maybe I'll read the second book some day. But for now, I'm perfectly content with how this one ended.

Thanks for reading!
Holly

Wednesday, June 14, 2017

Review: Do You Want to Start a Scandal? By Tessa Dare


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Series: Spindle Cove Book #5
Format: Mass Market Paperback
Pages: 376
Rating: 4 Stars
How I Got It: Borrowed from the library
Genre: Historical Romance
Publisher: Avon

Synopsis courtesy of Goodreads

On the night of the Parkhurst ball, someone had a scandalous tryst in the library. Was it Lord Canby, with the maid, on the divan? Or Miss Fairchild, with a rake, against the wall? Perhaps the butler did it.

All Charlotte Highwood knows is this: it wasn’t her. But rumors to the contrary are buzzing. Unless she can discover the lovers’ true identity, she’ll be forced to marry Piers Brandon, Lord Granville—the coldest, most arrogantly handsome gentleman she’s ever had the misfortune to embrace. When it comes to emotion, the man hasn’t got a clue.

But as they set about finding the mystery lovers, Piers reveals a few secrets of his own. The oh-so-proper marquess can pick locks, land punches, tease with sly wit . . . and melt a woman’s knees with a single kiss. The only thing he guards more fiercely than Charlotte’s safety is the truth about his dark past.

Their passion is intense. The danger is real. Soon Charlotte’s feeling torn. Will she risk all to prove her innocence? Or surrender it to a man who’s sworn to never love?


Review

This was a super adorable story and might be my favorite Spindle Cove book now. Who would've known the youngest Highwood would be the best?

It's a cute story with a spunky heroine. It actually reminds me of an older Julia Quinn book. Charlotte is a fantastic heroine. I love her. I root for her. I want her to be my friend. There's something about a well written optimistic character I particularly enjoy.

Piers is an awesome hero. He has some darkness that makes him intriguing, but he's a good guy. He's smart and caring even if he tries to hide that part of himself. And it's pretty funny to see them all spun up by Charlotte's high jinx. They complement each other as a couple very well.

I'm already a fan of Tessa Dare, but if she keeps writing like this she's going to be a favorite/must-buy author.

Thanks for reading!
Holly

Monday, June 12, 2017

Review: An Ember in the Ashes by Sabaa Tahir

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Series: An Ember in the Ashes Book #1
Format: Ebook
Rating: 3 Stars
How I Got It: Borrowed from Overdrive
Genre: Young Adult, Fantasy
Publisher: Razorbill

Synopsis courtesy of Goodreads

Under the Martial Empire, defiance is met with death. Those who do not vow their blood and bodies to the Emperor risk the execution of their loved ones and the destruction of all they hold dear.

It is in this brutal world, inspired by ancient Rome, that Laia lives with her grandparents and older brother. The family ekes out an existence in the Empire’s impoverished backstreets. They do not challenge the Empire. They’ve seen what happens to those who do.

But when Laia’s brother is arrested for treason, Laia is forced to make a decision. In exchange for help from rebels who promise to rescue her brother, she will risk her life to spy for them from within the Empire’s greatest military academy.

There, Laia meets Elias, the school’s finest soldier—and secretly, its most unwilling. Elias wants only to be free of the tyranny he’s being trained to enforce. He and Laia will soon realize that their destinies are intertwined—and that their choices will change the fate of the Empire itself.


Review

This probably won't be my best review, but I feel like I need to review this.

Generally, I enjoyed this book. It was interesting and I liked the characters. But I found it a little lacking. A big factor in this is the world-building. I don't understand all of the politics and the mystical elements are even more confusing. Hopefully, this is being done on purpose since the characters don't know everything, but it didn't feel like it.

I'm certainly curious to see what happens to the characters, but I might wait until its complete. This feels like a series that could be drawn out and I don't have the burning need to pick up the next one.

Thanks for reading!
Holly

Friday, June 9, 2017

Review: Good Boy by Sarina Bowen

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Series: WAGS Book #1
Format: Trade Paperback
Pages: 269
Rating: 4 Stars
How I Got It: Purchased
Genre: Contemporary Romance
Publisher: Self-Published

Synopsis courtesy of Goodreads

Hosting her brother’s wedding for an MVP guest list is the challenge of Jess Canning’s life. Already the family screw-up, she can’t afford to fail. And nobody (nobody!) can learn of the colossal mistake she made with the best man during a weak moment last spring. It was wrong, and there will not be a repeat. Absolutely not. Even if he is the sexiest thing on two legs.

Blake Riley sees the wedding as fate’s gift to him. Jess is the maid of honor and he’s the best man? Let the games begin. So what if he’s facing a little (fine, a lot) of resistance? He just needs to convince the stubborn blonde that he’s really a good boy with a bad rap. Luckily, every professional hockey player knows that you’ve got to make an effort if you want to score.

But Jess has more pressing issues to deal with than sexy-times with a giant man-child. Such as: Will the ceremony start on time, even though someone got grandma drunk? Does glitter ever belong at a wedding? And is it wrong to murder the best man?


Review

I'm going to be honest, when I started reading this I thought I wasn't going to like it. Which would've been quite the disappointment since I love Sarina Bowen and Elle Kennedy. But I pushed myself to keep going and I'm so glad I did.

So this book is a lot a bit crazy. Blake especially is so over-the-top. He's like Dean from The Score times 100. And hew was the reason I was initially put off. I like humor in books, but he was so much that he didn't feel real. But as it continued I was able to understand him as a character and why he acts the way he does. Jess was easier to connect with because I've had some of the same feelings as her. It was nice to see Wes and Jamie again. I really need to read their second book.

The romance was well executed. At first, I thought it might be rushed based on how the book started. But it developed very naturally and I really wanted to see them happy and together. There was a lot of sexy times and sexy talk. I didn't think it was too much but wanted to mention it in case that bothers you.

I was a little disappointed by the lack of dogs. The cover has a dog on it! There should be tons of dog action. I will forgive it this one time. The next book better have more dogs.

If you've read it, let me know what you thought.

Thanks for reading!
Holly