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

Wednesday, June 7, 2017

Review: When Beauty Tamed the Beast by Eloisa James

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Series: Fairy Tales Book #2
Format: Mass Market Paperback
Pages: 372
Rating: 4 Stars
How I Got It: Purchased (I think)
Genre: Historical Romance
Publisher: Avon

Synopsis courtesy of Goodreads

Miss Linnet Berry Thrynne is a Beauty . . . Naturally, she's betrothed to a Beast.

Piers Yelverton, Earl of Marchant, lives in a castle in Wales where, it is rumored, his bad temper flays everyone he crosses. And rumor also has it that a wound has left the earl immune to the charms of any woman.

Linnet is not just any woman.

She is more than merely lovely: her wit and charm brought a prince to his knees. She estimates the earl will fall madly in love—in just two weeks.

Yet Linnet has no idea of the danger posed to her own heart by a man who may never love her in return.

If she decides to be very wicked indeed . . . what price will she pay for taming his wild heart?


Review

After watching the new Beauty and the Beast movie I had a strong urge to watch this. Then the book made me want to watch House but isn't on Netflix anymore. Now, back to the actual review.

I really enjoyed this book, but I feel like it may not be for everybody. Linnet and Piers have a pretty biting banter. I like reading those kinds of interactions and they were written very well. Piers especially comes across very harsh, but that is his personality he isn't a cruel man. Linnet is very sharp and gives as good as she gets. They compliment each other as a couple.

Piers is scared and has a limp so you know I'm all about that. It is a part of his character but doesn't overwhelm the story or him. Linnet's beauty, however, plays an almost constant role. That isn't a complaint. Within the context of the story, it makes sense. It isn't like oh, it's horrible to be beautiful, but does show different parts of how being beautiful can impact it.

I wouldn't necessarily consider this a Beauty and the Beast retelling. Instead, it's inspired by the concept and works with its basic themes. And it does a good job of that.

Thanks for reading!
Holly

Monday, June 5, 2017

May Wrap-Up (2017)

This was a roller coaster of a reading month. I started wanting to re-read but I also was confused didn't force myself to read.

Then, I picked up Poison Study because I figured it would be an easy re-read. Instead, I was sucked in again and it really kickstarted my reading for the rest of the month.

Here are the books I read and their rating.s

What did you read this month?

The Madness of Lord Ian MacKenzie-5 Stars
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The Academy-2 Stars
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Flowers from the Storm-5 Stars
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An Ember in the Ashes-3 Stars
22529162

Do You Want to Start a Scandal-4 Stars
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Annyoing-3 Stars
10102974

Poison Study-5 Stars
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Assasin Study-3 Stars
4450057

Magic Study-4 Stars
1265703

Wallflower at the Orgy-3 Stars
523071

A Wallflower Christmas-3 Stars
3050104

Friday, June 2, 2017

April Wrap-Up (2017)

April is kind of a blur to me. I don't really remember what happened in my life or reading. I read a decent amount of books and a nice blend of genres. I also read quite a few books I've read before.

Below are the books I read this month along with their ratings.

Just for Now-2 Stars
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The Viscount and the Vixen-5 Stars
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Scandal in Spring-4 Stars
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Darkest Hour-4 Stars
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Good Boy-4 Stars
30747137

The Understatement of the Year-4 Stars
22701480

When Beauty Tamed the Beast-4 Stars
8449698

Every Girl's Dream-3 Stars
15989191

What did you read?

Thanks for reading!
Holly

Wednesday, April 26, 2017

Review: The Viscount and the Vixen by Lorraine Heath

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Series: Hellions of Havisham Book #3
Format: Mass Market Paperback
Pages: 389
Rating: 5 Stars
How I Got It: Purchased
Genre: Historical Romance
Publisher: Avon

Synopsis courtesy of Goodreads

Love begets madness. Viscount Locksley watched it happen to his father after his cherished wife’s death. But when his sire arranges to marry flame-haired fortune hunter Portia Gadstone, Locke is compelled to take drastic measures to stop the stunning beauty from taking advantage of the marquess. A marriage of mutual pleasure could be convenient, indeed... as long as inconvenient feelings don’t interfere.

Desperation forced Portia to agree to marry a madman. The arrangement will offer the protection she needs. Or so she believes until the marquess’s distractingly handsome son peruses the fine print... and takes his father’s place!

Now the sedate—and, more importantly, secure—union Portia planned has been tossed in favor of one simmering with wicked temptation and potential heartbreak. Because as she begins to fall for her devilishly seductive husband, her dark secrets surface and threaten to ruin them both—unless Locke is willing to risk all and open his heart to love.


Review

Seriously, why are Lorraine Heath's books so perfect? She has a truly magical way with words. And I'm always in awe when I finish one of her books.

I was instantly  hooked by the characters and their story. Portia was an intriguing heroine. I don't want to spoil anything, but she's unconventional in the best possible way. And Locke is a truly caring man. His father was a great bonus, too. He is a great father and has so much love in him. There aren't many dad's like that especially especially in a historical.

The romance was executed perfectly. But that's normal for a Lorraine Heath book. It's like a well-choreographed dance. Portia and Locke slowly open their minds and hearts to each other. You can tell how much they value each other as a partner. I'm happy for the opportunity to spend time with all of these characters.

Thanks for reading!
Holly


Review

Seriously, why are Lorraine Heath's books so perfect? She has a truly magical way with words. And I'm always in awe when I finish one of her books.

I was instantly  hooked by the characters and their story. Portia was an intriguing heroine. I don't want to spoil anything, but she's unconventional in the best possible way. And Locke is a truly caring man. His father was a great bonus, too. He is a great father and has so much love in him. There aren't many dad's like that especially especially in a historical.

The romance was executed perfectly. But that's normal for a Lorraine Heath book. It's like a well-choreographed dance. Portia and Locke slowly open their minds and hearts to each other. You can tell how much they value each other as a partner. I'm happy for the opportunity to spend time with all of these characters.

Thanks for reading!
Holly

Monday, April 24, 2017

Review: Romancing the Duke by Tessa Dare

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Series: Castles Ever After Book #1
Format: ebook
Rating: 5 Stars
How I Got It: Borrowed from Library (Overdrive)
Genre: Historical Romance
Publisher: Avon

Synopsis courtesy of Goodreads

As the daughter of a famed author, Isolde Ophelia Goodnight grew up on tales of brave knights and fair maidens. She never doubted romance would be in her future, too. The storybooks offered endless possibilities.

And as she grew older, Izzy crossed them off. One by one by one.

Ugly duckling turned swan?
Abducted by handsome highwayman?
Rescued from drudgery by charming prince?


No, no, and… Heh.

Now Izzy’s given up yearning for romance. She’ll settle for a roof over her head. What fairy tales are left over for an impoverished twenty-six year-old woman who’s never even been kissed?

This one.


Review
 
What a beautiful and fantastical read. It really feels like a fairy tale kind of story. And it was so easy to read. There's a certain magic in Tessa Dare's writing.

Izzy is perfectly craftted. She is this odd but expertly blended personality of believing in love and jaded by fairy tales. She could've easily come across as niave, but she is really just a caring person.

Ransom was equally great. Naturally, I love him because he's physically scarred. His vision issues were handled well and not as a handicap while being historically accurate. He also had a wonderul growth story.

The romance really showed what love can do. Those are some of my favorite stories. Izzy and Ransom had great chemistry but it didn't overpower them a characters.

Originally, I gave this four stars, but I'm changing it to five. I can't think of any reason to give it a lower-rating. I loved the Spindle Cove Series, but I think this is my favorite Tessa Dare book yet.

Thanks for reading!
Holly

Friday, April 21, 2017

Review: The Earl Takes All by Lorraine Heath

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Series: Hellions of Havisham Book #2
Format: Mass Market Paperback
Pages: 376
Rating: 5 Stars
How I Got It: Purchased
Genre: Historical Romance
Publisher: Avon

Synopsis courtesy of Goodreads

One summer night, Edward Alcott gives in to temptation and kisses Lady Julia Kenney in a dark garden. However, the passion she stirs within him is best left in the shadows as she weds his twin, the Earl of Greyling. But when tragedy strikes, to honor the vow he makes to his dying brother, Edward must pretend to be Greyling until the countess delivers her babe.

After her husband returns from a two-month sojourn, Julia finds him changed. Bolder, more daring, and more wicked—even if he does limit their encounters to kisses. With each passing day, she falls more deeply in love.

For Edward the embers of desire sparked on that long-ago night are quickly rekindled. He yearns to be her husband in truth. But if she discovers his ruse, she will despise him—and English law prevents him from marrying his brother’s widow. Yet he must dare to risk everything and reveal his secrets if he is to truly take all.


Review

The whole concept of this book is pretty ridiculous. I kept questioning how this would work out. But of course Ms. Heath did a fantastic job. She's the kind of author who can handle more complex situations like this.

It's no surprise, but I love these characters. Julia is a beautifully complex heroine. She struggles with her grief and conflicting emotions between two bothers. And Edward is one of my favorite heroes ever now. At first he seems like he may be a traditional reformed rake, but he's so much more. He has so much love for the people in his life and htat guides what he does. He is probably the most selfless character I've ever read about.

The romance is quite the roller coaster which is expected based on the premise. And it's nice to read about a couple who really thinks about what it means to be together. So many couples just jump in blind. The ending/resolution was a little rushed, but that doesn't bother me too much.

Then, there's the epilogue. I feel like I'm missing something. But I also feel like the next book might explain away that confusion.

Thanks for reading!
Holly

Wednesday, April 19, 2017

Review: Fire in You by Jennifer L. Armentrout

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Series: Wait For You Book #6
Format: Trade Paperback
Pages: 378
Rating: 4 Stars
How I Got It: Gift for Christmas
Genre: Contemporary Romance
Publisher: Self-Published

Synopsis courtesy of Goodreads

Jillian Lima’s whole world was destroyed in a span of a few hours. The same night her childhood love, Brock ‘the Beast’ Mitchell, broke her heart, her life was irrevocably altered by the hand of a stranger with a gun. It takes six years to slowly glue together the shattered pieces of her life, but Jillian is finally ready to stop existing in a past full of pain and regret. She takes a job at her father’s martial arts Academy and she’s going out on her first date since a failed relationship that was more yuck than yum. Jillian is determined to start living.

She just never expected Brock to be a part of her life again. But he’s firmly back in her life before she knows it, and not only is he older, he’s impossibly more handsome, more teasing and more everything. And when he sees Jillian, he’s no longer capable of thinking of her as the little girl who was his shadow growing up or the daughter of the man who gave him a second chance at life. He sees the woman who’d always been there for him, the one person who believed in him no matter what.

Brock knows she’s the one he should’ve made his, and what begins as a tentative friendship quickly turns to red-hot chemistry that sparks a flame that burns brighter than lust. Falling for Brock again risks more than her heart, because when the past sorrow-filled and guilt-ridden past resurfaces, and a web of lies threatens to rip them apart, the fallout could lay waste to everything they’ve fought to build together, and destroy the dreams of those they care most about.


Review

Starting reviews is like the hardest thing in the world for me. But you gotta start somewhere.

After I started reading this, I realized I never read the synopsis. Going in I knew this was about Brock and Jillian, but that's it. And I'm kind of happy about that. I think that made me enjoy it more.

Now, at it's core, this is an unrequited love story which I'm not a fan of. Overall, I enjoyed their story, but I still don't fully buy it. I don't believe in these kinds of lover stories so it doens't really have to do with the writing. It probably doesn't help that Brock is her boss. He never pressured her, but the potential power-dynamic issues are always in the back of my  mind.

Jillian was a good character and narrator. She's a pretty typically JLA heroine-loves to read, pop culture references, etc. That doesn't bother me at all. And she has a great support-system of family and friends.

Speaking of friends, it was great to see all the couples from the earlier books. A lot of time has passed so things have changed. And Katie. I still want more about her, but after this one I feel like I never will get that.

The first book in this weries is still my favorite, but the rest are enjoyable. This felt a lot like a closing of the series, but I don't know if it is. If you do let me know.

Thanks for reading!
Holly

Monday, April 17, 2017

Review: Cream of the Crop by Alice Clayton

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Series: Hudson Valley Bok #2
Format: Trade Paperback
Pages: 320
Rating: 4 Stars
How I Got It: Gift for Christmas
Genre: Contemporary Romance
Publisher: Gallery Books

Synopsis courtesy of Goodreads

Manhattan’s It Girl, Natalie Grayson, has it all: she’s a hot exec at a leading advertising firm, known industry-wide for her challenging and edgy campaigns. She’s got a large circle of friends, a family that loves her dearly, and her dance card is always full with handsome eligible bachelors. What else could a modern gal-about-town wish for? The answer, of course, is...cheese.

Natalie’s favorite part of each week is spending Saturday morning at the Union Square Farmer’s Market, where she indulges her love of all things triple cream. Her favorite booth also indulges her love of all things handsome. Oscar Mendoza, owner of the Bailey Falls Creamery and purveyor of the finest artisanal cheeses the Hudson Valley has to offer, is tall, dark, mysterious, and a bit oblivious. Or so she thinks. But that doesn’t stop Natalie from fantasizing about the size of his, ahem, milk can.

Romance is churning, passion is burning, and something incredible is rising to the top. Could it be...love?


Review

I read this very quickly-like most Alice Clayton books. It was also funny and pretty light and fluffy.

Natalie was a typical Clayton heroine. She is outgoing, confident, and sexual. So, I don't have a lot in common with her, but can still appreciate her. She's also a bigger girl at size 18. That definitely isn't something you see often especially in a sexually-bold woman.

The romance is a very physical one. Maybe too physical. I like sexual chemistry as much as the next person, but I need emotional connections, too. I actually started to skim the sex scenes because they felt so unnecessary. But it was really nice when Natalie and Oscar would have an actual conversation.

As usual with first-person romance I would've liked a look into Oscar's perspective on things.

This series reminds me  a lot of Sarina Bowen's True North series. It's definitely more fluffy, but similar. I actually was getting the two settings confused. While I enjoyed them both, I like the Sarina Bowen books more.

Thanks for reading!
Holly

Friday, April 14, 2017

Review: Reunion by Meg Cabot

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Series: Mediator Book #3
Format: Paperback
Pages: 289
Rating: 4 Stars
How I Got It: Gift from family
Genre: Young Adult
Publisher: Harper Teen

Synopsis courtesy of Goodreads

The RLS Angels are out for blood, and only Suze can stop them - since she's the only one who can see them. The four ghostly teenagers died in a terrible car accident, for which they blame Suze's classmate Michael... and they'll stop at nothing until he's joined them in the realm of the dead.

As Suze desperately fends off each attempt on Michael's life, she finds she can relate to the Angels' fury. Because their deaths turn out not to have been accidental at all. And their killer is only too willing to strike again.


Review

I remembered exactly nothing about this book. That actually made it kind of suspenseful and let me get in the mystery. That doesn't always happen with a re-read.

Suze still has a good amount of humor, but there was a more serious tone to this book. The stakes were certainly higher and more life or death Suze also had to deal with some moral dilemmas. I love seeing her challenge that way.

Jesse is becoming more of a fully fledged character. He doesn't show up a lot, but when he does he is a presence. And you know I love me some Jesse.

I read most of this in a day. That's one of the reasons I love these books so much. They are fast-paced and really hook you. The plan is to read the fourth book next month.

Thanks for reading!
Holly

Wednesday, April 12, 2017

Review: Devil in Spring by Lisa Kleypas

30166573
Series: The Ravenels Book #3
Format: Mass Market Paper Back
Pages: 366
Rating: 4.5 Stars
How I Got It: Purchased
Genre: Historical Romance
Publisher: Avon

Synopsis courtesy of Goodreads

An eccentric wallflower…

Most debutantes dream of finding a husband. Lady Pandora Ravenel has different plans. The ambitious young beauty would much rather stay at home and plot out her new board game business than take part in the London Season. But one night at a glittering society ball, she’s ensnared in a scandal with a wickedly handsome stranger.

A cynical rake…

After years of evading marital traps with ease, Gabriel, Lord St. Vincent, has finally been caught-by a rebellious girl who couldn’t be less suitable. In fact, she wants nothing to do with him. But Gabriel finds the high-spirited Pandora irresistible. He’ll do whatever it takes to possess her, even if their marriage of convenience turns out to be the devil’s own bargain.

A perilous plot…

After succumbing to Gabriel’s skilled and sensuous persuasion, Pandora agrees to become his bride. But soon she discovers that her entrepreneurial endeavors have accidentally involved her in a dangerous conspiracy—and only her husband can keep her safe. As Gabriel protects her from their unknown adversaries, they realize their devil’s bargain may just turn out to be a match made in heaven...


Review

Yet again Lisa Kleypas proves why she's one of my favorite. Her books are just full of magic that captivates me. The absolutely adorable Evie and Sebastian scenes don't hurt.

Pandora was fantastic. She's quirky, but fully formed character. As someone who can be easily distracted, I get her. She's also a very strong personality who never loses who she is. Gabriel is beautiful. He's sweet and understanding. Although there were hints of "dark" parts of his personality that never really went anywhere. It's actually the only thing that stopped me from giving thsi five stars.

The romance was great. They had really fun chemistry and banter. I personally love reading about characters strengthen each other. It makes them better characters and couple. This was also a nice take on the marriage of convenience story.

Ms. Kleypas included some historical elements that added an extra layer. There were things surrounding women's rights and marriage. Then, the parts about medicine and science. Especially since this brought Dr. Gibson back in. I read her book is next which is great. I want to know more aobut the mysterious doctor and hopefully the mysterious Detective Ransom. There has to be more to that story.

Thanks for reading!
Holly

Monday, April 10, 2017

Review: Ninth Key by Meg Cabot

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Series: Mediator Book #2 
Format: Paperback
Pages: 287
Rating: 4 Stars
How I Got It: Purchased
Genre: Young Adult, paranormal
Publisher: Avon Books

Synopsis courtesy of Goodreads

Everything is going great for Suze. Her new life in California is a whirlwind of parties and excellent hair days. Tad Beaumont, the hottest boy in town, has even asked Suze out on her very first date. Suze is so excited that she's willing to ignore her misgivings about Tad... particularly the fact that he's not Jesse, whose ghostly status - not to mention apparent disinterest in her - make him unattainable.

What Suze can't ignore, however, is the ghost of a murdered woman whose death seems directly connected to dark secrets hidden in none other than Tad Beaumont's past.


Review

It's probably been like a year but I'm back to my re-read of this series. I enjoyed this one just a little bit more than the first one. And I still don't remember a lot of what happened so it's like a first read.

Suze is still a bit impulsive for me, but she does seem a little more mature this time. She is still very funny. I love Jesse. He isn't much of a presence, but I loved every scene he was in. Father Dominic is another scene stealer.

The mystery elements kept me guessing and on my toes. I'm not a big fan of mystery moments in a way that makes me ok with it. And the pacing really works. It's fast but I don't feel like it went so fast that I miss things.

I'm definitely excited to continue on to the third book.

Thanks for reading!
Holly

Friday, April 7, 2017

Review: As Long As You Love Me by Ann Aguirre

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Series: 2B Series Book #2
Format: Ebook
Rating: 3 Stars
How I Got It: Borrowed from the Library (Overdrive)
Genre: New Adult, Contemporary Romance
Publisher: Harlequin

Synopsis courtesy of Goodreads

Most people dream about getting out of Sharon, Nebraska, but after three years away, Lauren Barrett is coming home. She has her reasons—missing her family, losing her college scholarship. But then there's the reason Lauren can't admit to anyone: Rob Conrad, her best friend's older brother.

Football prowess and jaw-dropping good looks made Rob a star in high school. Out in the real world, his job and his relationships are going nowhere. He's the guy who women love and leave, not the one who makes them think of forever—until Lauren comes back to town, bringing old feelings and new dreams with her.

Because the only thing more important than figuring out where you truly belong is finding the person you were meant to be with.


Review

I got this on Overdrive when I was looking for a new adult book to read. It was a fast and easy read, but it isn't the best book ever.

Generally, I liked the characters and the romance was cute. There was the potential for girl on girl hate but it turned into a pretty nice female friendship. Rob-the love interest-was my favorite character. He was so nice and had a vulnerability you don't often see in New Adult books.

Some of the characterization felt forced especially for Lauren. There were parts of her personality that didn't jive. She dealt with social anxiety, but it felt like only when it enhanced the story. That's just sloppy writing. That kind of thing happened several times with different parts of her characters. Stuff like that really pulls me out of a story.

Thanks for reading!
Holly

Wednesday, April 5, 2017

Review: Seven Days & Summer Nights Edited by Stephanie Perkins

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Stand Alone
Format: Hardcover
Pages: 384
Rating: 3 Stars
How I Got It: Borrowed from Library
Genre: Young Adult
Publisher: St. Martin's Griffin

Synopsis courtesy of Goodreads
 
Maybe it's the long, lazy days, or maybe it's the heat making everyone a little bit crazy. Whatever the reason, summer is the perfect time for love to bloom. Summer Days & Summer Nights: Twelve Love Stories, written by twelve bestselling young adult writers and edited by the international bestselling author Stephanie Perkins, will have you dreaming of sunset strolls by the lake. So set out your beach chair and grab your sunglasses. You have twelve reasons this summer to soak up the sun and fall in love.

Review

I picked this up from the library instead of buying it and I'm glad about that. I'm really just not a short story person. Especially with romance because they often feel forced or too fast.

There were three stories I really enjoyed. They were the ones by Stephanie Perkins, Jon Skovron, and Jennifer E Smith. Stephanie Perkins' actually was related to the story she wrote in the Holiday anthology so it was like visiting old friends. I've never even heard of Jon Skovron, but his story was my favorite. The writing style was kind of meta which I like. And he had a ton of characters but still made it believable. Jennifer E Smith's was cute and had characters on the autism spectrum which I'm always a fan of.

For the other stories, they either weren't my style or felt forced. I'm a believer in love, but a lot of them felt like insta-love. That being said, the stories that didn't work for me I can see how it would be for the others. There are a variety of stories in characters, tone, and style. So, it is a well-curated collection if you want it to have broad appeal.

Thanks for reading!
Holly

Monday, April 3, 2017

March Wrap-Up (2017)

This month flew by and I read 12 books. I don't remember the last time I read that much in a month. And the month isn't even over as I write this so I will probably finish at least one more.

I really don't know how it happened. I did make a pretty big monthly TBR and mostly stuck to it. That's another thing to be proud of.

It probably helps that I really enjoyed most of the books I read. And so many romances. I'm in such a romance mood right now. Looking forward to April I don't see this ending anytime soon.

Bring on the love!

Below are the books I read and their ratings.

The Darkest Craving-4 Stars
17251422

Devil in Spring-4.5 Stars
30166573

Long Way Home-4 Stars
30738170

First Star to Fall-3 Stars
17936738

Teaching Roman-3 Stars
18157895

Reunion-4 Stars
199785

Cream of the Crop-4 Stars
25056216

Fire in You-4 Stars
20980797

Happily Ever After-3 Stars
24465724

The Earl Takes All-5 Stars
26029545

Romancing the Dark-5 Stars
18052985

Because of Miss Bridgerton-4 Stars
25657772

Thanks for reading!
Holly