Friday, March 24, 2017

Review: Hard Hitter by Sarina Bowen

28869598
Series: Brooklyn Bruisers Book #2
Format: Mass Market Paper Back
Pages: 336
Rating: 4 Stars
How I Got It: Purchased
Genre: Contemporary Romance, Sports Romance
Publisher: Berkley Books

Synopsis courtesy of Goodreads
 
As team captain and enforcer, Patrick O'Doul puts the bruise in the Brooklyn Bruisers. But after years of hard hits, O'Doul is feeling the burn, both physically and mentally. He conceals his pain from his coach and trainers, but when his chronic hip injury becomes too obvious to ignore, they send him for sessions with the team’s massage therapist.

After breaking up with her long-term boyfriend, Ari Bettini is in need of peace of mind. For now, she’s decided to focus on her work: rehabilitating the Bruisers’ MVP. O'Doul is easy on the eyes, but his reaction to her touch is ice cold. Ari is determined to help O'Doul heal, but as the tension between them turns red hot, they both learn that a little TLC does the body good...


Review

I honestly don't have much to say about this but I wanted to write something about it.

This was an enjoyable read with interesting and likable characters. The romance was nice and they had good chemistry. Sometimes Ari was a little annoying in her reactions. And the Becca/Nate thing! I must know more. Will there be a separate book or is it just going to be a secondary plot?

And I'm actually excited about the next book after some of the character information we got toward the end of this one.

Thanks for reading!
Holly

Wednesday, March 22, 2017

Review: The Queen by Kiera Cass

22054340
Series: The Selection Book .4
Format: Ebook
Rating: 4  Stars
How I Got It: Borrowed from Library (Overdrive)
Genre: Young Adult
Publisher: Harper Teen Impulse

Synopsis courtesy of Goodreads
 
Before America Singer's story began, another girl came to the palace to compete for the hand of a different prince….
Don't miss this digital original novella set in the captivating world of Kiera Cass's #1 New York Times bestselling Selection series. This prequel story takes place before the events of The Selection and is told from the point of view of Prince Maxon's mother, Amberly. Discover a whole new Selection with this inside look at how Maxon's parents met—and how an ordinary girl named Amberly became a beloved queen.

Review

I don't remember much from the Selection series, but I do remember liking Amberly. Novellas are kind of a crap-shoot but I thought I would give this one a chance.

This is part of Amberly's journey through the Selection. My rating is primarily based on the fact that I like her. But I didn't really get the point of the story. Like what did this contribute to the overall story/world? Maybe I've forgotten things, but what is up with her headaches. And Clarkson is a manipulative ass. The fact that she never even acknowledges this just leaves a bad taste in my mouth.

Maybe this would have more of an impact if I read the series proper. And I probably will someday.

Thanks for reading!
Holly

Monday, March 20, 2017

Review: Devil in Winter by Lisa Kleypas

114166
Series: Wallflowers Book #3
Format: Mass Market Paperback
Pages: 368
Rating: 5 Stars
How I Got It: Purchased
Genre: Historical Romance
Publisher: Avon

Synopsis courtesy of Goodreads
 
Easily the shyest Wallflower, Evangeline Jenner stands to become the wealthiest, once her inheritance comes due. Because she must first escape the clutches of her unscrupulous relatives, Evie has approached the rake Viscount St. Vincent with a most outrageous proposition: marriage!

Sebastian's reputation is so dangerous that thirty seconds alone with him will ruin any maiden's good name. Still, this bewitching chit appeared, unchaperoned, on his doorstep to offer her hand. Certainly an aristocrat with a fine eye for beauty could do far worse.

But Evie's proposal comes with a condition: no lovemaking after their wedding night. She will never become just another of the dashing libertine's callously discarded broken hearts—which means Sebastian will simply have to work harder at his seductions... or perhaps surrender his own heart for the very first time in the name of true love.


Review

This is one of my favorite books. I can't count how many times I've read it. And it is one of the books I reach for when I need a pick me up. It's like an old friend.

I know I'm not alone in this opinion, but Sebastian is one of the best-developed heroes out there. he never disappoints. Evie is also great. She's soft spoken, but strong which I respect and love to read about. And they are a spectacular couple with a fantastic relationship.

And their son is going to have a book. I just can't. They better be in the book!!!

Thanks for reading!
Holly

Friday, March 17, 2017

Review: It Happened One Autumn by Lisa Kleypas

827412
Series: Wallflowers Book #2
Format: Mass Market Paperback
Pages: 382
Rating: 4.5 Stars
How I Got It: Purchased
Genre: Historical Romance
Publisher: Avon

Synopsis courtesy of Goodreads
 
Where beautiful but bold Lillian Bowman quickly learned that her independent American ways weren't entirely "the thing." And the most disapproving of all was insufferable, snobbish, and impossible Marcus, Lord Westcliff, London's most eligible aristocrat.

It happened in the garden...

When Marcus shockingly—and dangerously—swept her into his arms. Lillian was overcome with a consuming passion for a man she didn't even like. Time stood still; it was as if no one else existed... thank goodness they weren't caught very nearly in the act!

It happened one autumn...

Marcus was a man in charge of his own emotions, a bedrock of stability. But with Lillian, every touch was exquisite torture, every kiss an enticement for more. Yet how could he consider taking a woman so blatantly unsuitable... as his bride?


Review

This is a really good series and I wanted to re-read the whole thing so I can do a series review. I've re-read this one a couple of times and it really went up in my thoughts this time. It has a couple flaws, but I think it's my second favorite in the series.

My only real concern is that Westcliff gets a little too forceful. As a romance reader I get what Ms. Kleypas is doing and it's pretty standard. But I wouldn't want my brother, son, etc to ever treat a woman like that. It just depends if that bothers you or not.

Lillian and Westcliff are two alphas who are constantly challenging each other. I just love that dynamic. And Ms. Kleypas does it so well. They are such a passionate couple and you know they love each other. And they are great with their friends and family which I always like to see.

I was going to wait on reading the third one, but I just can't. Evie and Sebastian are faves and are calling to me.

Thanks for reading!
Holly

Wednesday, March 15, 2017

Review: Rules of Attraction by Simone Elkeles

7137775
Series: Perfect Chemistry Book #2
Format: Ebook
Rating: 4 Stars
How I Got It: Borrowed from Overdrive
Genre: Young Adult, New Adult
Publisher: Walker Children's

Synopsis courtesy of Goodreads
 
Carlos Fuentes doesn't want any part of the life his older brother, Alex, has laid out for him in Boulder, Colorado. He wants to keep living on the edge, and carve his own path-just like Alex did. Unfortunately, his ties to a Mexican gang aren't easy to break, and he soon finds himself being set up by a drug lord.

When Alex arranges for Carlos to live with his former professor and his family to keep him from being sent to jail, Carlos feels completely out of place. He's even more thrown by his strong feelings for the professor's daughter, Kiara, who is nothing like the girls he's usually drawn to. But Carlos and Kiara soon discover that in matters of the heart, the rules of attraction overpower the social differences that conspire to keep them apart.

As the danger grows for Carlos, he's shocked to discover that it's this seemingly All-American family who can save him. But is he willing to endanger their safety for a chance at the kind of life he's never even dreamed possible?


Review

This has a lot of the same themes and plot elements as Perfect Chemistry. I think the first book is done better.

If the first one has insta-love this is like that times 1,000. I really can't see the shift from sort-of friends to "lovers". But I do like the idea of it. Kiara and her family are great. And I loved the great amount of Alex and Brittany. Carlos was a little too much of an asshole for me.

Looking at this now on a re-read it has a lot of similarities with Crash Into You by Katie McGarry. And McGarry's book is just so much better. It's kind of not fair to this book.

Thanks for reading!
Holly

Tuesday, March 14, 2017

Top 10 Tuesday: Books on My Spring TBR

Top 10 Tuesday was created by the Broke and the Bookish. You can find more information here 

I'm making TBRs again so what better time to come back to Top Ten Tuesday. These are a combination of new releases and books I already own. You know for variety.

I also only did five books. I don't want to put too much pressure on myself.

Are there any books on your Spring TBR you're super-excited about?

Pipe Dreams by Sarina Bowen
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Releases: 5/2/17
Sarina Bowen. Hockey. Enough said.

When Dimple Met Rishi by Sandhya Menon
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Released: 5/30/17
I saw this randomly on GoodReads and knew I had to check it out. YA contemporary romances (especially with humor) is one of my favorite genres. Plus, the diversity. I've always been fascinated by Indian culture so this calls to me.

Poison Study by Maria V. Snyder
60510
I was afraid to finish this series because it's so good. I am now planning to finish. Naturally, that means I have to re-read this. Really, I've been looking for excuse to re-read it since I first finished it.

The Boy Most Likely To by Huntley Fitzpatrick
18392495
I have no idea why I haven't read this yet. There's no excuse. Most read it!!!

Darkest Hour by Meg Cabot
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I've been re-reading this series so I can read Remembrance. This is the next one on my list and things are really starting to get exciting!

Thanks for reading!
Holly



Monday, March 13, 2017

Review: Perfect Chemistry by Simone Elkeles

4268157
Series: Perfect Chemistry Book #1
Format: Ebook
Rating: 5 Stars
How I Got It: Borrowed from the Library (Overdrive)
Genre: Young Adult, New Adult, Contemporary, Inter-racial
Publisher: Walker Children's

Synopsis courtesy of Goodreads
 
When Brittany Ellis walks into chemistry class on the first day of senior year, she has no clue that her carefully created 'perfect' life is about to unravel before her eyes. She's forced to be lab partners with Alex Fuentes, a gang member from the other side of town, and he is about to threaten everything she's worked so hard for: her flawless reputation, her relationship with her boyfriend, and the secret that her home life is anything but perfect.

Alex is a bad boy and he knows it. So when he makes a bet with his friends to lure Brittany into his life, he thinks nothing of it. But soon Alex realizes Brittany is a real person with real problems, and suddenly the bet he made in arrogance turns into something much more.


Review

This is the third time I read this book-I'm pretty sure. I blew through it in a couple hours like the previous times. There are flaws I noticed this time around, but I stand by my original rating of 5 stars.

I'm definitely a fan of socio-economic differences romrances. If you add an inter-racial couple and I'm like an extra happy person. And Ms. Elkeles addresses the issues with these situations because it isn't all gumdrops and rainbows. It's also a pretty angsty and dramatic read which I think is what sucks me in. As long as I'm in the mood for it I love them.

The romance is kind of insta-lovey and not as well-developed as it could be. This especially shows with how extreme and dramatic Alex and Brittany can be in their decision. But I do still love them.

Even though there are issues with the writing, this book makes me happy and i'm sure I'll read it again.

Thanks for reading!
Holly

Friday, March 10, 2017

Review: Unmade by Sarah Rees Brennan

18309803
Series: Lynburn Legacy Book #3
Format: Hardcover
Pages: 370
Rating: 4 Stars
How I Got It: Purchased
Genre: Paranormal, Young Adult
Publisher: Random House

Synopsis courtesy of Goodreads
 
Kami has lost the boy she loves, is tied to a boy she does not, and faces an enemy more powerful than ever before. With Jared missing for months and presumed dead, Kami must rely on her new magical link with Ash for the strength to face the evil spreading through her town.

Rob Lynburn is now the master of Sorry-in-the-Vale, and he demands a death. Kami will use every tool at her disposal to stop him. Together with Rusty, Angela, and Holly, she uncovers a secret that might be the key to saving the town. But with knowledge comes responsibility—and a painful choice. A choice that will risk not only Kami’s life, but also the lives of those she loves most.


Review

I'm not sure I should even write this review. I had to step away from this book for a few days because it was destroying my emotions. I think that was a mistake.

The end was a little too quick and I don't really understand what happened. That's odd because every other time I would give Ms. Brennan an A+ in the world building and description department. But overall, I did really enjoy this and it was a good conclusion to the series.

I definitely would re-read this series and I wonder if this one would work better on a re-read. I'm sure some day I will find out.

Thanks for reading!
Holly

Wednesday, March 8, 2017

Review: Untold by Sarah Rees Brennan

15801763
Series: The Lynburn Legacy Book #2
Format: Hardcover
Pages: 367
Rating: 4 Stars
How I Got It: Purchased
Genre: Young Adult, Paranormal
Publisher: Random House

Synopsis courtesy of Goodreads
 
On the surface, Sorry-in-the-Vale is a sleepy English town. But Kami Glass knows the truth. Sorry-in-the-Vale is full of magic. In the old days, the Lynburn family ruled with fear, terrifying the people into submission in order to kill for blood and power. Now the Lynburns are back, and Rob Lynburn is gathering sorcerers so that the town can return to the old ways.

But Rob and his followers aren’t the only sorcerers in town. A decision must be made: pay the blood sacrifice, or fight. For Kami, this means more than just choosing between good and evil. With her link to Jared Lynburn severed, she’s now free to love anyone she chooses. But who should that be?

A darkly humorous take on Gothic romance, Sarah Rees Brennan's Lynburn Legacy weaves together the tale of a heroine desperate to protect those she loves, two boys hoping to be saved, and the magical forces that will shape their destiny.


Review

Reviewing this one is hard. I read it so fast that it's hard for me to really remember everything.

This one was definitely on the darker side. There's still some humor-especially from Kami-but the tone matches the more serious events of the book.

I saw a few source-related things coming, but for the most part I was kept in suspense. I had no idea how this was going to end and my emotions were being ripped to pieces. And what the heck is going to happen in the final book? There are so many unanswered questions. Will there be more angst? I don't know if I can handle it. Especially for my ship-it's kind of sailing.

Thanks for reading!
Holly

Monday, March 6, 2017

February Wrap-Up (2017)

This was a rough month, but I was able to read ten books. Sometimes it was hard to read because I was too depressed. Othertimes, reading really helped me deal with everything.

I don't want to go into too much detail because that makes it worse for me. but I got bad news at work and had to put down my dog I've had for over 10 years. But that's the beauty of books-they can bring so much joy in sadness.

And my reading was pretty eclectic this month. There were audiobooks, ebooks, and physical copies. Plus, I read non-fiction, young adult, and romance. I'm making good progress with my series re-reads fo The Mediator and Lords of the Underworld.

Below are the books I read this month and the ratings I gave them.

Jouney's in English-3 Stars
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Heartless-2 Stars
18584855

The Darkest Torment-4 Stars
30900064

Summer Days and Summer Nights-3 Stars
25063781

Argo-4 Stars
13588425

As Long as You Love Me-3 Stars
20945758

The Darkest Secret-4 Stars
9394010

Ninth Key-4 Stars
199786

The Darkest Surrender-4 Stars
8038219

Dare You To-5 Stars
13561164

Thanks for reading!
Holly

Friday, March 3, 2017

Review: Unspoken by Sarah Rees Brennan

10866624
Series: The Lynburn Legacy Book #1
Format: Hardcover
Pages: 370
Rating: 4 Stars
How I Got It: Purchased
Genre: Young Adult, Paranormal
Publisher: Random House

Synopsis courtesy of Goodreads

Kami Glass loves someone she’s never met... a boy she’s talked to in her head ever since she was born. She wasn’t silent about her imaginary friend during her childhood, and is thus a bit of an outsider in her sleepy English town of Sorry-in-the-Vale. Still, Kami hasn’t suffered too much from not fitting in. She has a best friend, runs the school newspaper, and is only occasionally caught talking to herself. Her life is in order, just the way she likes it, despite the voice in her head.

But all that changes when the Lynburns return.

The Lynburn family has owned the spectacular and sinister manor that overlooks Sorry-in-the-Vale for centuries. The mysterious twin sisters who abandoned their ancestral home a generation ago are back, along with their teenage sons, Jared and Ash, one of whom is eerily familiar to Kami. Kami is not one to shy away from the unknown—in fact, she’s determined to find answers for all the questions Sorry-in-the-Vale is suddenly posing. Who is responsible for the bloody deeds in the depths of the woods? What is her own mother hiding? And now that her imaginary friend has become a real boy, does she still love him? Does she hate him? Can she trust him?


Review

I've been putting off reading this because I heard it was angsty and I have to be in the right mood for that kind of book. And it definitely has angsty moments, but it was also very funny. And I really flew through it which is nice.

On the surface I really love Kami. She is hilarious in the best way possible. She just always has something smart to say no matter who she talks to. But sometimes I thought she was rude and reckless. She's a teenager, but she would act a little to big for her britches. She has already started to reflect on herself and is becoming a better friend so I'm pretty OK with it.

Then there are the paranormal elements and plot. Some parts I was able to predict, but overall I was kept guessing. I don't want to give anything away, because I think it's best if you go in with very little knowledge. So, I'll say I enjoyed the world-building aspects Ms. Brennan used.

This is a paranormal story, but the characters are the true stars for me. Kami could easily steal the show because she is such a dominant personality. The Lynburns are interesting, but mostly in a mysterious way. Angela is so dark, but funny. And Kami's dad! He's kind of a minor side character, but he's probably my favorite. Every time he showed up I laughed out loud and loved the scene.

To end this I want to say I have a ship. I feel like there is a love triangle, but I have a very serious side. My ship better sail!

Thanks for reading!
Holly

Wednesday, March 1, 2017

Review: Secrets of a Summer Night by Lisa Kleypas

It Happened One Autumn (Wallflowers, #2)
Series: Wallflowers Book #2
Format: Mass Market Paperback
Pages: 375
Rating: 4 Stars
How I Got It: Purchased
Genre: Historical Romance
Publisher: Avon

Synopsis courtesy of Goodreads
It happened at the ball...

Where beautiful but bold Lillian Bowman quickly learned that her independent American ways weren't entirely "the thing." And the most disapproving of all was insufferable, snobbish, and impossible Marcus, Lord Westcliff, London's most eligible aristocrat.

It happened in the garden...

When Marcus shockingly—and dangerously—swept her into his arms. Lillian was overcome with a consuming passion for a man she didn't even like. Time stood still; it was as if no one else existed... thank goodness they weren't caught very nearly in the act!

It happened one autumn...

Marcus was a man in charge of his own emotions, a bedrock of stability. But with Lillian, every touch was exquisite torture, every kiss an enticement for more. Yet how could he consider taking a woman so blatantly unsuitable... as his bride?


Review

This was the third or fourth time I've read this, but it has been awhile. I only remembered a couple of  things from the end. This is a great example of a traditional Lisa Kleypas book-social maneuvering/differences and strong female relationships.

Annabelle and Simon have instant chemistry that is a constant. Generally, I like both of them-especially Simon. Annabelle is a little snobby to Simon and her friends. But in the end, I think it's a huge part of her development. It still makes me cringe reading it, but I can appreciate the characterization.

It would be nice if they talked more as a couple. Simon seems to know a lot about Annabelle, but not the other way around. They're still a great couple, but there are some flaws in the relationship development.

The core of this series is the four Wallflowers-Annabelle, Lillian, Evie, and Daisy. And this is the source of their relationship. Lillian is a little obnoxious, but I still like the friendships. And I'm not sure how much groundwork was laid for Evie's future decisions and development. And she's my favorite wallflower.

Thanks for reading!
Holly