Friday, July 14, 2017

Review: Haunted by Meg Cabot

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Series: Mediator Book #5
Format: Mass Market Paperback
Pages: 263
Rating: 4 Stars
How I Got It: Gift from family
Genre: Young Adult, Paranormal
Publisher: Avon

Synopsis courtesy of Goodreads

Suze is used to trouble, but this time she's in deep: Ghostly Jesse has her heart, but Paul Slater, a real flesh-and-blood guy, is warm for her form. And mediator Paul knows how to send Jesse to the Great Beyond. For good.

Paul claims he won't do anything to Jesse as long as Suze will go out with him. Fearing she'll lose Jesse forever, Suze agrees. But even if Suze can get Jesse to admit his true feelings for her, what kind of future can she have with a guy who's already dead?
 
Review

This book stressed me out. That's not a bad thing, just a fact. The whole Paul story line makes me so anxious. And that's a good thing. I know how this series ultimately ends, but still get wrapped up in this story.

And there was finaly some real movement in the Jesse/Suze story line! It's a good thing these are fast-paced books, because the romance is so slow. It's not slow in a bad way, but the anticipation is killing me.

I'm so excited to read the next/final book in this series.

Thanks for reading!
Holly

Wednesday, July 12, 2017

Review: Rule by Jay Crownover

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Series: Marked Men Book #1
Format: Ebook
Rating: 3 Stars
How I Got It: Borrowed from Library (Overdrive)
Genre: New Adult, Romance
Publisher: Harper Collins

Synopsis courtesy of Goodreads

Shaw Landon loved Rule Archer from the moment she laid eyes on him. Rule is everything a straight--A pre-med student like Shaw shouldn't want--and the only person she's never tried to please. She isn't afraid of his scary piercings and tattoos or his wild attitude. Though she knows that Rule is wrong for her, her heart just won't listen.

To a rebel like Rule Archer, Shaw Landon is a stuck-up, perfect princess-and his dead twin brother's girl. She lives by other people's rules; he makes his own. He doesn't have time for a good girl like Shaw-even if she's the only one who can see the person he truly is.

But a short skirt, too many birthday cocktails, and spilled secrets lead to a night neither can forget. Now, Shaw and Rule have to figure out how a girl like her and a guy like him are supposed to be together without destroying their love . . . or each other.


Review

I know I'm not the first one ot bring this up, but why do people in New Adult books have such weird names? Is it like a rule? And I know I'm judging, but it is a little odd.

Moving on to the actual book.

This was OK but had some Beautiful Disaster vibes. But Rule and Shaw aren't nearly as co-dependent and dysfunctional. Rule felt a little one-dimensional. I believe this was Ms. Crownover's first book so it could be growing pains. Shaw was developed slightly better. And their romance was mildly interesting. It got better once Shaw wasn't only talking about how long she's been pining away for Rule. Now, I am not a fan of unrequited love so that could be a part of it.

My feelings on this really come down to personal preference. As I get older I'm less into the alpha males who are hyper-aggressive. It's often off-putting instead of attractive. But there are a lot of people who like it.

I am a little interested in the other guys, but I'm not dying to read them. It's kind of a "if I get to it-good, if I don't-still good" situation.

Thanks for reading!
Holly

Monday, July 10, 2017

Review: Blood Vow by J.R. Ward

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Series: Black Dagger Legacy
Format: Ebook
Rating: 3 Stars
How I Got It: Borrowed from Library (Overdrive)
Genre: Paranormal Romance
Publisher: Ballantine Books

Synopsis courtesy of Goodreads

The Black Dagger Brotherhood continues to train the best of the best to join them in the deadly battle against the Lessening Society. Among the new recruits, Axe proves to be a cunning and vicious fighter—and also a loner isolated because of personal tragedy. When an aristocratic female needs a bodyguard, Axe takes the job, though he’s unprepared for the animal attraction that flares between him and the one he is sworn to protect.

For Elise, who lost her first cousin to a grisly murder, Axe’s dangerous appeal is enticing—and possibly a distraction from her grief. But as they delve deeper into her cousin’s death, and their physical connection grows into so much more, Axe fears that the secrets he keeps and his tortured conscience will tear them apart.

Rhage, the Brother with the biggest heart, knows all about self-punishing, and he wants to help Axe reach his full potential. But when an unexpected arrival threatens Rhage and Mary’s new family, he finds himself back in the trenches again, fighting against a destiny that will destroy all he holds most dear.

As Axe’s past becomes known, and fate seems to be turning against Rhage, both males must reach deep—and pray that love, rather than anger, will be their lantern in the darkness.


Review

This was a good book, but it let me down a little bit. The romance was rushed-which is normal for these books. I liked the characters-especially Elise. My main problem is that I cared more about the Rhage and Mary storyline than the Axe and Elise one. This should be about Axe and Elsie, in my opinion. The problem is that I've been wrapped up in Rhage and Mary's story for like 10+ books so it isn't hard to feel that way. I wasn't as emotionally invested in the romance between Elise and Axe. I'm glad they're happy and everything but it just didn't quite grip me.

Thanks for reading!
Holly

Friday, July 7, 2017

Review: Irresistibly Yours by Lauren Layne

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Series: Oxford Book #1
Format: Ebook
Rating: 4 Stars
How I Got It: Borrowed from the Library (Overdrive)
Genre: Contemporary Romance
Publisher: Loveswept

Synopsis courtesy of Goodreads

Hotshot sports editor Cole Sharpe has been freelancing for Oxford for years, so when he hears about a staff position opening up, he figures he’s got the inside track. Then his boss drops a bombshell: Cole has competition. Female competition, in the form of a fresh-faced tomboy who can hang with the dudes—and write circles around them, too. Cole usually likes his women flirty and curvy, but he takes a special interest in his skinny, sassy rival, if only to keep an eye on her. And soon, he can’t take his eyes off her.

Penelope Pope knows all too well that she comes off as just one of the guys. Since she’s learned that wanting more usually leads to disappointment, Penelope’s resigned to sitting on the sidelines when it comes to love. So why does Cole make her want to get back in the game? The man is as arrogant as he is handsome. He probably sees her as nothing more than a barrier to his dream job. But when an unexpected kiss turns into a night of irresistible passion, Penelope has to figure out whether they’re just fooling around—or starting something real.


Review

I think this is my fourth Lauren Layne book and it might be my favorite. There's something in her books that are my catnip. And she has so many books which makes me happy. This one, in particular, reminds me of Julie James' FBI/US Attorney books, but without the suspense elements.

Penelope is a fantastic character. Authors often try to write an easy-going girl-next-door character, but they usually feel false or fall flat. She actually reminded me a lot of myself. She has these "woe is me" moments, but also knows she's doing it. She's actually very self-aware instead of self-deprecating like this type of character can be. And Penelope Pope is a badass name. My name is also alliterative so I may be a little biased.

Then, there's Cole. I really like Cole. He gives me that school-girl crush feeling. Now, he isn't as well-developed as Penelope but he is deeper than I initially thought he would be. And I really enjoyed his relationship with his brother. It would've been nice to spend more time with his brother. The author's note also made me feel like I have to get on reading the Stiletto books so I can see him before all this.

I loved the whole group of friends/couples. They are such great friends (men and women alike). And it made me want to read all their books whether they are before or after this one. So much sequel bait here.

The characters are stars, but we've gotta talk romance. There is an attraction/chemistry between Cole and Penelope, but this really feels more like a friends-to-lover story. I'm not always a fan of that trope, but it worked here. It made me really buy into them as a couple-probably because they talked instead of just banging like rabbits all the time.

I'm really happy to have read this and look forward to reading the other related books. Lauren Layne is a great writer.

Thanks for reading!
Holly

Wednesday, July 5, 2017

Review: Written in Red by Anne Bishop

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Series: The Others Book #1
Format: Ebook
Rating: 4 Stars
How I Got It: Borrowed from the Library (Overdrive)
Genre: Fantasy, Sci-Fi
Publisher: Roc

Synopsis courtesy of Goodreads

As a cassandra sangue, or blood prophet, Meg Corbyn can see the future when her skin is cut—a gift that feels more like a curse. Meg’s Controller keeps her enslaved so he can have full access to her visions. But when she escapes, the only safe place Meg can hide is at the Lakeside Courtyard—a business district operated by the Others.

Shape-shifter Simon Wolfgard is reluctant to hire the stranger who inquires about the Human Liaison job. First, he senses she’s keeping a secret, and second, she doesn’t smell like human prey. Yet a stronger instinct propels him to give Meg the job. And when he learns the truth about Meg and that she’s wanted by the government, he’ll have to decide if she’s worth the fight between humans and the Others that will surely follow.


Review

That was a book! I have no idea how to review this but feel like I need to write something. This is often the issue for me when it comes to sci-fi and fantasy.

This book slowly and methodically made its way under my skin. I don't think that's ever happened before. But I got really invested in all these characters. I think it's because I was often confused. Ms. Bishop would slowly let out information so I just wanted to get more and more answers.

I'm still wrapping my head around the world, characters, and creatures. But I like that. Done well-like here-it creates a three-dimensional and realistic world.

I do want to talk about the "creatures." So many of them I've seen before, but they are just different enough. The Wolves are a perfect example of this. Oftentimes, they are romanticized. That's even made fun of in the story. But they are actually very animalistic and just because they can look like people doesn't mean they are humans. I appreciate this twist.

This "review" needs to end because it makes me want to read the next one and I'm on a waitlist for it!

Thanks for reading!
Holly

Monday, July 3, 2017

June Wrap-Up (2017)

June was quite the month. It was really slow at work, but my personal life was busier than normal. I also was dealing with a wrist injury and my migraines are back with a vengeance

. The weather in upstate New York has been crazy and I think that's why the migraines have been so bad. 

I also got a New York Public Library card. If you are a resident of New York state you can get a card for the NYC public library system. This means I now have access to their digital collection via Overdrive. And they have a bunch of books my county library system doesn't have. So, I've read a lot this month, but most books have been from Overdrive not my physical TBR. But I'm OK with that.

Here's a list of the books I read and their ratings: 

Say Yes to the Marquess-4 Stars
Say Yes to the Marquess by Tessa Dare

Fire Study-5 Stars
Fire Study by Maria V. Snyder

Power Study-4 Stars
Power Study by Maria V. Snyder

Ice Study-4 Stars
Ice Study by Maria V. Snyder

When a Scot Ties the Knot-4 Stars
When a Scot Ties the Knot by Tessa Dare

Sweet Filthy Boy-4 Stars
Sweet Filthy Boy by Christina Lauren

Everything Everything-4 Stars
Everything, Everything by Nicola Yoon

Written in Red-4 Stars
Written in Red by Anne Bishop

Irresistibly Yours-4 Stars
Irresistibly Yours by Lauren Layne

Blood Vow-3 Stars
Blood Vow by J.R. Ward

Rule-3 Stars
Rule by Jay Crownover

Addicted to You-4 Stars
Addicted to You by Krista Ritchie

Thank you for reading!
Holly

Friday, June 30, 2017

Review: Everything Everything by Nicola Yoon

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Stand Alone
Format: Ebook
Rating: 4 Stars
How I Got It: Borrowed from the Library (Overdrive)
Genre: Young Adult, Contemporary
Publisher: Delacorte Books

Synopsis courtesy of Goodreads

My disease is as rare as it is famous. Basically, I’m allergic to the world. I don’t leave my house, have not left my house in seventeen years. The only people I ever see are my mom and my nurse, Carla.

But then one day, a moving truck arrives next door. I look out my window, and I see him. He’s tall, lean and wearing all black—black T-shirt, black jeans, black sneakers, and a black knit cap that covers his hair completely. He catches me looking and stares at me. I stare right back. His name is Olly.

Maybe we can’t predict the future, but we can predict some things. For example, I am certainly going to fall in love with Olly. It’s almost certainly going to be a disaster.


Review

I waited about two months on a library hold before I could read this book. That may have played a roll in my rating, but I don't think it did Maybe this has been so built up in my mind, but I found it a little lacking. It's a good book that explores some difficult situations in a beautiful way. The story-telling was different and had a nice pacing. But it didn't feel as deep as I was expecting.

Maddy is a great character full of real emotions. Even though I'm not even close to being in the same situation as her I could understand her and even relate to her. It's also great to see a lot of diversity-racial, physical health, mental health, etc. And I definitely liked the female relationships. There's Maddy and her mom and Maddy and Carla-her nurse. Olly was also interesting but I don't have a lot of thoughts on him.

Before I go into spoilers here are some more vague comments. The romance was cute but a little rushed. Maddy's personal/internal struggles were the more gripping parts of the story to me. The ending felt abrupt, but I think my thoughts on that could change upon a re-read.

Spoiler Time!!!

The reveal about Maddy's illness shocked me and initially felt cheap. I was wondering the whole time I was reading how this book would be "resolved." But that plot choice is starting to grow on me. Although, it did feel hurried. I actually love that her mom is so protective of her daughter that she's able to convince herself that she's sick. It is awesome to have a book look at what grief and mental illness can do to anyone even if they are highly intelligent.

That's it.

What do you think of this book?

Thanks for reading!
Holly