Thursday, June 23, 2016

Book review: A Court of Thorn and Roses (A Court of Thorn and Roses #1) by Sarah J. Maas

The blurb as seen on Goodreads:
Release Date: May 5, 2015
Publisher: Bloomsbury
432 Pages

A thrilling, seductive new series from New York Times bestselling author Sarah J. Maas, blending Beauty and the Beast with faerie lore.

When nineteen-year-old huntress Feyre kills a wolf in the woods, a beast-like creature arrives to demand retribution for it. Dragged to a treacherous magical land she only knows about from legends, Feyre discovers that her captor is not an animal, but Tamlin—one of the lethal, immortal faeries who once ruled their world.

As she dwells on his estate, her feelings for Tamlin transform from icy hostility into a fiery passion that burns through every lie and warning she's been told about the beautiful, dangerous world of the Fae. But an ancient, wicked shadow grows over the faerie lands, and Feyre must find a way to stop it . . . or doom Tamlin—and his world—forever.

Perfect for fans of Kristin Cashore and George R. R. Martin, this first book in a sexy and action-packed new series is impossible to put down!



So I was super excited to read start this series based on all of the amazing things that I had heard about it. And also, that cover, just beautiful. But alas, the wise words were true here and I shouldn't judge a book by it's cover. Not that I didn't like it, because I did, but overall it was just kind of meh. Now before you get all pitchforky, let me tell you why.

Meet Feyre, our Belle in this story, even though in the beginning she's more like Katniss with her skills to take care of her family. Anyway, Feyre is the 'breadwinner' of sorts in her family. She's the one who brings the food home, who finds pelts to sell in the market - all so her lazy sisters and weak father don't have to do anything. One day, Feyre makes a mistake in the woods that leaves her bound to our 'Beast', high fey Lord Tamlin. Obviously these two do not get along in the beginning (see portrait below)


But over time, as the story goes, they come to care for her. And the Beast, aka Tamlin, in his love for Belle, aka Feyre, choses to let her go. But alas! There's a curse on the fairy land that only Feyre can break so she must venture back into Prythian and face darkness she's never known.

What I liked:
- Rhys: Even though we don't get that much of him here. The tease that we see just made me want to know more about him. He has a story to tell, I just know it. 
 
-Lucien: Tamlin's right hand man outshone his own Lord. He kept surprising me with his wit and his actions. I never knew if he was trying to kill Feyre or help her - and it just  made the story all that more interesting. 
 
-The world: One thing that is hard to do is world build. Even though we didn't see much of the fairy lands, mostly just the Spring Court, the visual that Maas created was extremely vivid and alive.
 
-Feyre's love for her family: I don't know how she did it with those three. But her love was never unwavering and the only thing she thought about was their safety - even if they didn't deserve it. 

What I didn't like:
-Pacing: This book was extremely slow moving. From the time Feyre goes to Prythianto the time she returns, nothing really happens except long drawn out sulking and brooding. For a 400+ book, only about half has substance.
 
-Feyre's family: While her father seemed generally upset that he was no longer useful after his accident, her two sisters literally did nothing. Elain, who we are told is just so sweet and gentle,and Neesta, who is a downright bitch, just stayed at home all day while Feyre hunted food for them. Then spent all of the money Feyre would get for pelts on frivolous things because their heads were still stuck in the past when they had money. They infuriated me to no end. You want something? Work for it. Don't just sit and complain about how you lost everything and treat the one sister who actually does something like shit! Sorry, I have a lot of feelings about her family. 
 
-Tamilin himself. Yes, I know. I can hear all the gasping from here. But he just didn't do it for me. He was so...boring. And weak. He was extremely weak. The whole end of the book proved this as he sat by and did nothing. 
 
-The love story: this probably has to do with my dislike of Tamlin, but I just didn't feel it. It went from "he's hot" to "I love him" in the blink of an eye and there was just no base for me to understand their connection. 
 
Overall, I enjoyed most of the book and will definitely check out the next (I've been told there's more Rhys). Just hope it moves away from the Tamlin/Feyre love story cause I just don't buy it...




Wednesday, June 22, 2016

ARC Review: Into the Blue (Wild Aces #2) by Chanel Cleeton

The blurb as seen on Goodreads:
Release Date: July 5, 2016
Publisher: Berkley
320 Pages

From the author of Fly with Me and the Capital Confessions Novels comes the newest in the sexy Wild Aces Romance series.

Eric Jansen—call sign Thor—loves nothing more than pushing his F-16 to the limit. Returning home to South Carolina after a tragic loss, he hopes to fix the mistake he made long ago, when he chose the Air Force over his fiancĂ©e.

Becca Madison isn’t quick to welcome Thor back. She can’t forget how he shattered her heart. But Thor won’t give up once he’s set his sights on what he wants—and he wants Becca.

Thor shows Becca that he’s no longer the impulsive boy he used to be, and Becca finds herself irresistibly drawn to him. But will Thor be able to walk away from his dream of flying the F-16 for their love or does his heart belong to the sky?


His call sign is Thor - I had to read this book. And I wasn't disappointed. 

Eric and Becca were high school sweethearts with extremely different goals. Eric wanted more than anything to join the Air Force and fly planes. Becca wanted to stay in their small town and practice law. Well, the good news is, they both achieved their goals. The bad news? It cost them their relationship. Ten years later, Eric has lost someone close to him and it's making him question his choices in life. When he decides to go back home to clear his head, he realizes just how much he's been missing. However, Becca isn't willing to just forgive him for leaving all those years ago. 

Into the Blue radiated small town charm. A southern town in South Carolina where everyone knows everyone and your business isn't just your own was a character itself in this book and held different meanings. For Becca, it was home. The one place where she found family and stability. It made her feel safe and secure. For Eric, it was a trap. A dead end with no way out.

This book was interesting in that I sided with each character for different reasons. I understood Eric's desire to want more and to follow that dream wherever it took him. But I also understood Becca's wanting of that close knit family that she had found. Neither were wrong in their desires, however, some decisions could have been better made. For example, Eric leaving Becca. I am totally with her on being pissed and heartbroken with how that was handled. 

A very sweet story on second chances, the difficulties life can bring and how home really is where the heart is. 


I received an e-copy of this book from the publisher via Netgalley in exchange for an honest review.



Tuesday, June 21, 2016

Teaser Tuesday 6/21

                              

Teaser Tuesday is a weekly meme hosted MizB at Books and a Beat!
To participate, all you have to do is:

  • Grab your current read
  • Open to a random page
  • Share two (2) "teaser" sentences from somewhere on that page
  • BE CAREFUL NOT TO INCLUDE SPOILERS! (Make sure what you share doesn't give too much away! You don't want to ruin the book for others!)
Share the title and author, too, so that other TT participants can ad the book to their TBR lists if they like your teasers!
 ____________________________
 
One single picture, he thought wryly. Just one photograph of this and the English crown would collapse.


Chapter 5, 52%, ARC













What are you reading this week?
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Tuesday, June 14, 2016

Teaser Tuesday 6/14

                              

Teaser Tuesday is a weekly meme hosted MizB at Books and a Beat!
To participate, all you have to do is:

  • Grab your current read
  • Open to a random page
  • Share two (2) "teaser" sentences from somewhere on that page
  • BE CAREFUL NOT TO INCLUDE SPOILERS! (Make sure what you share doesn't give too much away! You don't want to ruin the book for others!)
Share the title and author, too, so that other TT participants can ad the book to their TBR lists if they like your teasers!
 ____________________________
Dammit. No amount of late-night, cold-air rides on his bike were gonna cool him down tonight. Megan made him hot. He was going to think about her all night long.

Chapter 8, 28%













What are you reading this week?
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Monday, June 13, 2016

ARC Review: The Secret Life of a Dream Girl (Creative Hearts #4) by Tracy Deebs

The blurb as seen on Goodreads:
Release Date: June 27, 2016
Publisher: Entangled Teen
219 Pages

Hiding in plain sight is harder than it looks…

Dahlia Greene—aka international pop superstar Cherry—is undercover as a normal high school student. She just wants to experience what real life is like, so when she overhears hottie Keegan Matthews nervously talking about liking a girl, she sees the perfect opportunity to live a real life and play a little matchmaker. What was not part of the plan was falling for a guy she can never tell the truth.

Keegan Matthews has been secretly crushing on Dahlia ever since she started at his school. Sure, Dahlia thinks he’s crushing on some other girl—not realizing his Dream Girl is actually her—but he figures, play along with her tips to woo someone else, let her get to know him, and then make his move. But with so many secrets in the mix, their romance is doomed from the start…


In a story very reminiscent of Hannah Montana, Secret Life of a Dream Girl tells the tale of pop sensation Cherry trying to live under the radar as a normal high school student at a school for the arts in Austin, TX. Unlike Miss Montana, Cherry – or Dahlia, as she goes by now – wants to leave the pop world behind and take control of her own music. This is something her father/manager doesn’t want. In order to get away from his rule, Dahlia chooses to become emancipated from her father. Something the court will only agree to if she can stay out of trouble and prove she can handle her fame/money/life herself. Her goal was simple: keep to herself while figuring out where she wants to go next. What she didn’t count on was Keegan Matthews.

Keegan has been crushing on Dahlia since she first walked through the doors of NextGen. When Dahlia overhears Keegan talking about some mysterious girl he has a crush on, she decides in order to get the complete high school experience she needs friends. And what’s more friend inducing than helping someone land their crush? So Dahlia offers up her services to Keegan who basically thinks he’s hit the jackpot and instantly takes her up on her offer.

Obviously, nothing can go wrong, right? Well, this wouldn’t be a high school drama without some drama. Dahlia starts to fall for Keegan not realizing she’s who he wants. Keegan slips further and further into this lie about a dream girl that he doesn’t know how to come clean. And then there’s Dahlia’s true identity. Should she tell him? Should she not? 

Even though this is book four in the series, this is only the second one I’ve read. They are mostly a companion series, meaning you don’t actually have to read each book for it to make sense. It helps knowing the background of some characters, and it was nice seeing ones that I remembered, but it’s not at all necessary to enjoy them. And I did enjoy this one. I felt for Dahlia and her struggles to do what she wanted. Despite being a singer, no one was letting her have a voice. And then there was Keegan, who’s home life was also falling apart but in a way completely opposite of Dahlia. 

This is the story of two different people, from completely different walks of life, finding solace and strength in each other at a time when figuring out who you are and what you want is weighing heavily on your shoulders. I am very interested in what happens next with these two and will be keeping my eye out for their next story.


I received an e-copy of this book from the publisher via Netgalley in exchange for an honest review.

Thursday, June 9, 2016

Book Review: Stifled (Summoned #2) by Rainy Kaye

The blurb as seen on Goodreads:
Release Date: March 28, 2015
Publisher: TeZLA
252 Pages

Dimitri would like nothing more than to live a low-key life in Naples, Italy. His girlfriend, Syd, has other plans.

After three months of researching, she is positive she has found a jinn on a killing spree in San Diego, California. Since Syd gave Dimitri the one thing he thought was out of reach, he feels obligated to use his ill-gained talents for her cause.

A few hours back in the US proves that Dimitri and Syd didn't quite make the clean escape they had thought. As they trail the elusive jinn, someone else trails them. What should have been a simple trip to confirm once and for all if the jinn are living among humans, instead reveals a community keeping dark secrets.

Unfortunately for Dim, the only way out is in.


The scariest thing isn't being stifled; it's finding the courage to speak up.

I didn't like this one as much as the first. I went in, fresh off finishing Summoned, ready to follow in the new adventure and it was just...underwhelming. And a bit convoluted at times as well.

Dimitri, now having been freed, is living with Syd, her grandmother, and her sister in Italy. He wants nothing more than to leave the past behind him and start his new life and basically just try to figure out what freedom means but Syd has other plans. Her obsession with the jinn is far from sated. When she finds a rash of killings in San Diego that she believes are being committed by a jinn, she drags Dimitri back into the world he so wanted to escape. Needless to say, they find the jinn and then some.

My main issue with this book was Syd herself. Having seen what being a jinn did to Dimitri and how much freewill was just not a thing, it was just rather inconsiderate of her to assume he;s be okay with everything she was doing - mainly, asking him to pretend to be a controlled jinn again. Everything he escaped from was now back to being front and center - burglary, kidnapping, murder - Syd saw no problem with involving Dim in this because it was for knowledge. I mean, doesn't he want to know more about his life and the other jinn? For someone who supposedly was in love, she acted rather childish and very selfish. Only caring about her goals and not bothering to see how much stress this was causing Dim. And can I mention how awkward the sex scenes were? Yikes.

Another problem was the pacing vs. plot. There was just so much plot thrown at us that it was extremely hard to focus on just one thing. Because of this, a lot got lost in translation. I didn't care about any outcomes because I wasn't given time to care. I wanted to see Dim grow in his freedom, deal with the struggles of being normal and he wasn't given that opportunity. The author basically told us and we were to accept it at face value before diving into the multiple mysteries that hounded this book.

When I said I wanted more of the history of the jinn, this was not what I had in mind.


 



 
I received an e-copy of this book from the publisher via Netgalley in exchange for an honest review.


Wednesday, June 8, 2016

Book Review: Summoned (Summoned #1) by Rainy Kaye

The blurb as seen on Goodreads:
Release Date: March 28, 2014
Publisher: TeZLA
237 Pages

Twenty-three year old Dimitri has to do what he is told—literally. Controlled by a paranormal bond, he is forced to use his wits to fulfill unlimited deadly wishes made by multimillionaire Karl Walker.

Dimitri has no idea how his family line became trapped in the genie bond. He just knows resisting has never ended well. When he meets Syd—assertive, sexy, intelligent Syd—he becomes determined to make her his own. Except Karl has ensured Dimitri can’t tell anyone about the bond, and Syd isn’t the type to tolerate secrets.

Then Karl starts sending him away on back-to-back wishes. Unable to balance love and lies, Dimitri sets out to uncover Karl’s ultimate plan and put it to an end. But doing so forces him to confront the one wish he never saw coming—the wish that will destroy him.

A dark twist on the genie folklore, SUMMONED follows a reluctant criminal as he unravels the mystery of the paranormal bond controlling him.

 
When most of us think genies, this is what we think of:
 
Magical being tied to a lamp that can grant wishes. Right? Unless you watch Supernatural and think they’re more like this:
 
Well, not according to Dimitri. Dimitri has no magical powers, by all appearances he’s human. Except he’s not. He’s a genie. Dimitri was born with the genie bond in his blood like his father before him and his father before him and so on. Of course if there’s a genie bond then there’s also the master bond – those who can control the genies. The Walkers have held the master bond over Dimitri’s family for as long as he can remember. The way it works is pretty simple. Karl Walker can summon Dimitri at any time and once he says those three little words “this I wish”, it’s on. A slight humming in the head of the genie guarantees that the wish will be fulfilled, because if it the humming in his head overtakes him, possibly killing him.
It’s an interesting take on an old legend. Only the head of the family line can hold the master bond, once that person is gone is moves on to the heir or the next family member if there is no heir. Same for the genie bond. This is the only life that Dimitri has ever known, ever cared to know. Until he meets Syd.
I was a little wary of Syd when she first arrived. It just seemed to perfect in the ‘right place, right time’ sort of thing. And ultimately it did end being one hell of a coincidence, it wasn’t in the way I expected it. Let’s just say there’s more to her than meets the eye.
The story in itself was interesting. Genie falls in love with human but realizes that he will most likely never be able to have a relationship with her because of his bond. I mean, how does one explain disappearing out of thin air? And also a past of murder, kidnapping, and burglary? Especially if one is under compulsion where he can’t reveal what he is to people. Poor Dimitri, his life is just so complicated. And then there’s Karl Walker. What does he want? What is his end goal? Why are his wishes increasing in quantity and intensity? What used to be a summons every few weeks or so has become one a day, if not more.
The story and the writing style kept me interested. I wanted to know more about the origins of the genie/master bond but since this is the first in the series, I’m hoping we will get to know more in future installments. I was more interested in that then the love story. It was a little awkward and hard to see why they came together. I didn’t want for them as much as I wanted Dim to be free.
Off to read the second.
 
 

I received an e-copy of this book from the publisher via Netgalley in exchange for an honest review.


Tuesday, June 7, 2016

Teaser Tuesday: June 7, 2016

                              

Teaser Tuesday is a weekly meme hosted MizB at Books and a Beat!
To participate, all you have to do is:

  • Grab your current read
  • Open to a random page
  • Share two (2) "teaser" sentences from somewhere on that page
  • BE CAREFUL NOT TO INCLUDE SPOILERS! (Make sure what you share doesn't give too much away! You don't want to ruin the book for others!)
Share the title and author, too, so that other TT participants can ad the book to their TBR lists if they like your teasers!
 
 ____________________________
 "It was forbidden to speak of it. Some of them went mad, started preying on the others when Amarantha forgot to feed them. Some formed bands that prowled the camps and did -" He rubbed his brows with a thumb and forefingers. "They did horrible things."

Chapter 3, page 32
 













What are you reading this week?
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