A retelling mash-up of The Girl Without Hands & Little Red Riding Hood! To be quite honest, I'd never heard of the former until Hodge mentioned itA retelling mash-up of The Girl Without Hands & Little Red Riding Hood! To be quite honest, I'd never heard of the former until Hodge mentioned it in her acknowledgements. Now that I've looked it up, the story makes even more sense, and I have to give her props for weaving it into this retelling!
Ok, this is a dark retelling, and Rachelle isn't exactly a princess, so if you're hoping for a fluffy love story, back away from this book. For the rest of you? It all starts when she takes a walk in the woods...
Our heroine is a survivor, and she does what she has to do to live. Which means, sometimes she makes the morally wrong choice. In fact, in the first few chapters, she kills her beloved aunt in order to survive a curse. Too bad for her, surviving the curse means she actually becomes a cursed creature. So what's a girl to do with the time she has left as a human?
Well, Rachelle decides to serve her kingdom as a supernatural hunter. She works for the king, and protects people from the nightmarish monsters that are leaking out of the ever encroaching magical Forrest. Legend says that the Devourer will someday return, and bring with him Endless Night. Most of the people think it's just a story, but Rachelle knows that this monster is very real. And almost at their doorstep. She doesn't want redemption, but she does want revenge. And armed with a story her aunt used to tell, she plans to find the one weapon that might be able to end its reign of evil.
Alrighty, so where does The Girl Without Hands story come in? Well, in this version, it's not a girl at all. It's the king's bastard son, a presumed saint, who makes life harder for Rachelle when she has to become his bodyguard. He's (supposedly) lost his hands when refused to kill an innocent in order to survive his curse. His father, in order to use his popularity to quell the rebels, assigns Rachelle to protect him, and insists that they accompany him to a heavily warded royal house in the country. She hates her new charge, Armand, because if he is being honest, that means she didn't have to kill her aunt. But, more than that, she doesn't think he's telling the whole truth about about how he really lost his hands. It's time to take a road trip & fall in love!
Relax, there's no insta-love in Crimson Bound. When she first meets him she hates his guts, because she thinks he's a fraud that's playing on people's ignorance. Throughout the story they gradually start to respect each other, and then trust, and (only then) does Rachelle begin to realize that she feels more for Armand. Can I just point out that the fact that his hands got lopped off, so we're getting a bit of diversity in what is usually considered a traditional Handsome Hero. The dude has stumps! And I thought it was just awesome that while it's addressed as something he has to deal with, it's not something that Rachelle has to overcome in order to be attracted to him. It's just hands. Yeah, it make it difficult for him, but other than the initial shock at seeing him without his silver hands on, it is a non-issue in her growing attraction toward him. She also finds him rather plain looking when they first meet, but (like all real love) she slowly finds that she prefers his face more than anyone else's.
Secrets, betrayal, miscommunication, conspiracies, and sacrifice. Can true love really conquer all? Hell no! But pulling on your Big Girl Panties, and doing the right thing just might work.
So, yeah, I really enjoyed this. It's not going to be something that everyone will like, but this struck just the right balance between dark fantasy, fairytale, and romance for me! ...more
Well, whether or not you like this is going to depend on what you're expecting from it, I think. To me, it was a lot like The Chaos of Stars,3.5 stars
Well, whether or not you like this is going to depend on what you're expecting from it, I think. To me, it was a lot like The Chaos of Stars, in that the magic stuff sort of took a backseat in the book.
In this, magic is something that only the nobility have running though their veins. Commoners don't have any idea that their countries' leaders are wizards. Ok. Not wizards, Magic-users. Something. Anyway, Jessamin comes from a made-up island called Melei, which I assumed was supposed to be like a pseudo-Polynesian island. And she's recently moved to the made-up country of Albion, which I assumed was code for England. She's studying at the college (forgot the name), and working at a hotel (also forgot the name) when she meets Finn. He's a NOBLE! *wink, wink, nudge, nudge*
The blurb implies that there's an overabundance or danger and secrets, and while that's technically true, this isn't a fast-paced thriller. It's more of a historical/fantasy/romance. I don't want to give any spoilers, but there is an evil villain who's pretty horrible. Although, I guess Pretty Horrible is sort of implied by my calling him the Evil Villain, no? So there is danger. It's just the slow kind of danger. And maybe because there wasn't an some in-depth mystery/conspiracy involving the magical world, it seemed...less something than I was expecting. I mean, yes, the bad guy is after ALL THE POWER, but it's more like a hostile takeover, and all of the other magic folks are (pretty much) aware that it's happening. I don't think I'm explaining this right... It's more about the characters than the magic, if that makes sense?
The good news is, the romance isn't super-cheesy. Jessamin doesn't swoon, bite her lip, or get all weak in the knees. The girl had a backbone, and I liked her! And Finn didn't give me the Creeper-vibe, even though there was one point where he spied on her with his shadow (yes, his real shadow). It was kind of like a safety thing, and I didn't get the impression that he was watching her go to the bathroom, or anything else skeevy.
Anyway. I liked the story, I liked the characters, and, for the most part, I really enjoyed this book. Did it change my life? No. But it was entertaining. So, if you don't go into this expecting a thrilling paranormal, you'll probably enjoy it, too.
So when Sara recommended this one to me, I wasn't sure what her motivations were. I mean, maybe she was trying to get back at me for some of m3.5 stars
So when Sara recommended this one to me, I wasn't sure what her motivations were. I mean, maybe she was trying to get back at me for some of my recommendations to her. Evidently, I almost ruined Wonder Woman for her... Pshhht. As if! Anyway, I went into Wolf with Benefits with my fingers crossed, hoping that it wasn't some sort of a clever prank.
It wasn't! I thought this was a pretty cute story about a family of crazy prodigy jackal-shifters, and the normal sister who keep them all from imploding. And the hillbilly(ish) wolf-shifter that she falls in love with. Plus the psychotic sister that's slurking around in the shadows. Oh, and also, a whole lotta other characters that I would probably recognize, if I hadn't started on book #8. *shrugs*
I should also mention that while I've read quite a few of this author's Dragon Kin books (penned under the name G A Aiken), I've never actually finished anything she's written as Laurenston. I've gotta say, the way she writes as Aiken is still what I prefer, but this wasn't half bad. Anyway, if you're in the mood for a lighthearted PNR, then this is something you might find interesting.
Huh. I had no idea that Viv Daniels was Diana Peterfreund's alter ego. I probably would have read this earlier, but then again, I probably wouldn't haHuh. I had no idea that Viv Daniels was Diana Peterfreund's alter ego. I probably would have read this earlier, but then again, I probably wouldn't have gotten quite what I expected, either. Hear Me is a New Adult (urban?) fantasy novella with a great big heaping spoonful of romance. It's short enough that I could easily ruin the plot if I explain too much, but it centers around two childhood sweethearts from different...backgrounds...that find their way back to each other.
I'm not a huge fan of books that center around the sex, but this one had an interesting story to go with it. And Hear Me also felt pretty well thought-out for a novella, so I was mostly happy with it. If you're looking for something a little different in a short romance novel, then this would fit the bill nicely.
I will say there's a part about his semen being evil that sort of freaked me out, but if you want to know any more about that, you'll just have to read the book.
Thank you to NetGalley and the publisher for a digital copy of the book, in exchange for an honest review.
LOVED THIS! LOVED IT! I laughed, and laughed, and laughed, and then I laughed some more. Sooooo good! I have to say that I understand why some people foLOVED THIS! LOVED IT! I laughed, and laughed, and laughed, and then I laughed some more. Sooooo good! I have to say that I understand why some people found this book (Drew's voice in particular) offensive, rude, and obnoxious. He's a self-centered man-whore, and his inner thoughts are not even slightly redeeming. We first meet him while he's getting a BJ from a random redhead in a bathroom, and his immediate thoughts are only how quickly he can extract himself from her, and move on to the next good time. Because why in the world would he have sex with the same woman twice? Hang on. Did she just say she had a twin? Aaaaand we're back in business! Is Drew honest, or is he just a horrible person? Maybe a little bit of both. Thing is, I married a guy who sounds just like Drew. 14 years later, I'm used to that particular brand of honesty, so it cracked me up on several different levels. However, if you don't like leading men who aren't PC, then you'll want to steer clear of this one, because this guy is guaranteed to offend you. I get it, I do. It's just that my husband has used the excuse 'because I'm not a giant vagina' to get out of doing so many things with me, that I'm desensitized to it. At any rate, I loved Drew and Kate's story, and I can see myself coming back and revisiting this book over and over again.
This a typical romance in that Drew is unbelievably sexy, unbelievably rich, and unbelievably skilled with women. I should be annoyed with his lack of Real-World issues, but this was funny enough that I managed to over look his...lack of flaws, I guess? Tangled is one of those stories that I just chalked up to complete fantasy, and decided not to let my sensible side squish the fun.
Mild Spoilers Ahead:
Here's what I thought the author did right: First, when Drew realizes he's in love, he doesn't run off and deny it. It doesn't make sense when they have characters do that, you know? If you're in love, you act the fool. You do the whole embarrassing PDA stuff, you talk about them until your friends want to strangle you, and you otherwise just act all goofy and stupid. You don't run off. Not even relationship-shy dudes. I think that's something certain people tell themselves when their love interest runs for the hills. Oh, they're just scared of their feelings! Ehhh. I think they just don't like you. Maybe I'm wrong. I'm not. Second, it takes Kate a reasonable amount of convincing to take Drew back at the end. I know that some of you are probably thinking she took him back too soon, but let's face it, she was crazy about him. If you already want to believe someone, then it doesn't usually take much for them to convince you of something. She hung in there longer than I would have...
I'm not sure how I missed out on this little gem, but I'm sure glad I found it. If you haven't read this one yet, you need to check it out!
I LOVE THESE BOOKS! Love them! Violent characters, funny dialogue, and silly situations...what's not to like? But first, you've gotta forget that you reaI LOVE THESE BOOKS! Love them! Violent characters, funny dialogue, and silly situations...what's not to like? But first, you've gotta forget that you read that blurb. It's a somewhat accurate description of a teeny tiny bit of the book. Celyn and Elina are the romantic lead in this one, but there is so much more going on between the pages! And all of our favorite characters from the past books are back! ALL OF THEM! I think I'm already going a little crazy with the exclamation points. Maybe? Just a bit?
ATTENTION! This is a Big Deal: You've really gotta read these in order. This may seem like PNR about some hot dragon shape-shifters, but these aren't just self-contained lurve stories that happen to be set in the same world. There's stuff! Important battles, plots, and stuff that you've got to already know about. Or, at least, you'll wish you knew about. There's more than just raunchy sex with a lizard between these pages, ladies! Evil witches, poisonous princesses, and children who plot to kill their parents... And then there's also the bad guys! If you've had the pleasure of reading any of these books, then you know that the heroes and heroines are all kind of morally iffy. This book is no exception. In fact, there's a scene that involves Elina's evil mother, an axe, and the Mad Queen Annwyl that I simply can't get out of my mind. *winces...crosses legs* But there's a lot of humor to go with all blood, gore, and sex. I had forgotten how funny these books were until I found myself giggle-snorting through the majority of this one. I don't want to spoil anything for fans of the series, but it looks like there are some BIG changes on the horizon, and quite a few of them involve those crazy Abominations. *flails wildly* As I mentioned, everyone shows up in this one...including the children! *deep breath* Obviously, this isn't going to be something that everyone is going to love, but if you like PNR that doesn't take it'self too seriously, then this is a series you might like. And if you like mean, self-centered, obnoxious, violent, characters, as well? Then you need to check these out. Now.
Light My Fire was another hilarious installment in Aiken's Dragon Kin world, and I thoroughly enjoyed reading it. Seriously! Go get it!
Thanks to NetGalley and the publisher for a digital arc, in exchange for an honest review.
Um... So. I didn't love it. Basically, you have the Angel/Demon thing going on. And, unfortunately, those stories aren't my favorite. I'm not saying I nUm... So. I didn't love it. Basically, you have the Angel/Demon thing going on. And, unfortunately, those stories aren't my favorite. I'm not saying I never like them, but I sort of groan inwardly when I realize that's what the story is about.
I'm not telling anyone not to read it, but it just wasn't for me. There was never actually a point in this book where I was really interested in what was happening, or what would happen. I've been a Frost fan for years, and she one of the few writers that dips into the PNR genre without bothering me. And by PNR, I mean the heroine has a moment when her WOMB CLENCHES from desire... Can I ask a question? Have any of you ladies ever experienced a clenching womb? Outside of labor and delivery, I mean. Am I doing something wrong? Is the clenching womb some kind of Big-Time 'experience' that I need to add to my bucket list? Or is womb just a euphemism for something else? *wink, wink, nudge, nudge* If so, then I'm good...
Anyhoo, for some reason, this story just felt like it was kinda Paint By Numbers. I'm not saying she phoned it in, but I couldn't connect with the characters or the plot. Was this an attempt at the New Adult market? I'm assuming yes, but I can't say that for sure. The heroine was a 20something idiot, who has powers she doesn't understand. The hero is a 150something idiot, who did the old HidingMySpookyPastSins thing for waaaaaaaay too long. There's a FATE vs CHOICE storyline. And there's an Angel... Who plays the role of the I'mNotTellingYouShitForYourOwnGood guy. There's nothing really Wrong with it, I've just read it all before.
Ok, and speaking of I've read it before... I'm sick to death of these guys like Adrian swooping in to some girl's life, and 'kidnapping' them for their own good. I mean, if the stupid girl won't listen to you after you explain that you're there to save her life? Fine. Toss her ass in the trunk. But do us all the courtesy of at least trying to explain. Showing up unannounced in someone's room, and cryptically mocking them while shrouded in darkness? Well, I'm just thinking that shouldn't be Plan A.
The whole idea is that gargoyles and demons are fighting each other for the future of humanity. I'll be honest, the whole gargoyle thing didn't exactly captivate me. I found the novella rather bland, and if it hadn't been for the glimpse of Layla and Roth, I would never have picked this up. Luckily, this series is all about those two crazy kids. As the title suggests, Layla has a problem with kissing. She can't. Well, she can, but then she sucks out the other person's soul. So. That sucks. Heh. Secretly she pines for Zayne, the son of the Warden (gargoyle) who took her in when she was seven. They've been friends for as long as she can remember, but lately her feelings have turned into something more. Unfortunately, Zayne's life is not really his own, and he's being pushed into an engagement with another female Warden. You know, one that won't suck out his soul...
So why is Layla a soul-sucker? Well, she's a hybrid. The daughter of a demon and a Warden. And technically, they should have killed her when they found her in the orphanage. But Zayne's dad thought she should be given a chance to deny her demon side. That doesn't mean that the other Wardens feel that way. Most of them teeter between quietly suspicious and openly hostile when they meet her. With her home life a confusing mess, Layla finds comfort in the normalcy of school, and in her after school job...tagging demons. See, along with the ability to steal souls, Layla can also see souls. Or the lack thereof, as the case may be. And once she touches a demon, it lights them up with an invisible neon sign that points them out to the Wardens. So, in her own way, she gets to use her strange abilities to be useful in the fight against evil. Because all demons are evil. Right? Hello, Roth! He's a demon who keeps popping into her life at the most unexpected times...and saving her life. Now, why would a demon do that?
As you can probably figure out, there's a lot of gray in the world that Layla doesn't know about. Even more important, a lot she doesn't know about her past, her heritage, and her powers.
This was a fun story, with a side of cute demon-boy on the side. I'm going back for more! If you're a fan of Armentrout's writing, then this one will make you happy! If you're not...find something else.
Surprisingly good book, especially considering I don't normally tend to like Chick-Lit! In fact, all of the problems I normally have with this genre...aren't there. There's no obnoxious friend that I want the heroine to kick to the curb. But normally the MC just listens to their horrible advice and smiles... There's no awful passive-aggressive family that needs to be put in their place. But normally the MC just coasts through the story oblivious... Miss Spelled features a likable heroine, an awesome I'll-Help-You-Hide-The-Body best friend, and a family who (although not perfect) are supportive and loving.
Bonus? It's funny! And not in that stupid 'Tee-Hee! Let's get drunk and talk about vibrators!' kind of way. This one actually made me laugh out loud (or as the kids say...LOL) a few times.
The best part was that I was totally wrong about how the story would play out. Read the blurb, and then tell me if this isn't what you would assume is going to happen: Aidan isn't really Mr. Perfect, and Lou finds out that maybe Hunter is the man she was supposed to end up with. At the end, Lou finds a way to reverse the spell and win Aidan back...only to realize that what she REALLY wants isn't so clear-cut. 'Cause that's The Formula that I've come to count on when I read these books. I'm not going to even hint around at what actually happens in this one, because half of the reason I liked this so much was due to the way it unfolded. But. The premise (while maybe not terribly original) is this: What if you went back and erased your biggest mistake? In Lou's case, it's the relationship she had with a philandering asshole, who turns out to be her fiancee's worst enemy. She tries to convince Hunter not to reveal their past relationship, but the visit turns into a debacle that could ruin her relationship with Aidan. Desperate, and low on options, she follows the advice of her best friend and buys a magic spell off of the internet. The spell is supposed to erase her from Hunter's mind, but by not following the instructions that came with the spell, she ends up doing more than that.
Alright. I'm sure I'm not the only person who's thought that things would be better if only I hadn't done that One Thing. And, of course, if I had a time machine, I could change it! Except. When I really think about it, if I hadn't done A, I wouldn't have ended up at the corner of B, which led to C Street. When I tried to cross C street, I got hit by a semi. That sorta sucked, and I had to go to D for extensive rehab on my legs. I stayed at D until I could walk again, and when I could, I found a job at E. The job at E was almost as bad as the rehab, but I met a nice guy named F there. He was blown away by my sheer awesomeness, and 13 years later... F, G, H, J, K, and I are quite happy together. Ok, you see my point. It's not just the things you did right, that led you to the things you couldn't live without. And that's what Lou finds out, too.
It's a fun, funny, light-hearted romance...with just a hint of magic. Ladies and gentlemen, Anne has found a Chick-Lit WINNER!
I received a digital arc from NetGalley in exchange for an honest review....more
Even though I didn't particularly love this one, I didn't hate it, either. Normally, anything by McCarthy is a winner, but this was, for me, one of her weakest romances. That doesn't mean Shatter is a stinker, by any means, it's just sort of meh. I'm sure lots of other readers with enjoy it, but I had several problems getting into it. And here's why: Kylie has no real problems. Her family is beyond wonderful, she's well-liked, and she even manages to get knocked up by a nice guy. The only 'bad' thing that seems to have happened to her is that one of her best friends (during a blackout drinking episode) slept with her (now) scuzzy ex-boyfriend. Um, ok? Oh, and she's not super-smart when it comes to math and science. So? I still add on my fingers?! Maybe if you're a genius who's never been cheated on, you might feel bad for her. The unplanned pregnancy that was supposed to be the big THING didn't really evoke much of a reaction from me, either.
And speaking of getting pregnant... Kylie gets knocked up because Jonathon touched her with his wiener for half a second without a condom. Not a full thrust, just an Oops! Thought you were on the pill! Let me move my penis away from you! kind of thing. Could you get pregnant because a boy's naughty bits 'touched' your naught bits? It's possible. But not likely. I guess McCarthy wanted to paint them both in a fairly good light, hence the condom use. But lets face it, that's not why/how most unplanned pregnancies happen for college age girls. Stupidity happens. Irresponsibility happens. Unprotected sex happens. I'm not hating or looking down my nose at those girls. I am one of those girls. My stupidity led to the biggest and best mistakes of my life, and I happen to love that Little Oops with all of my heart. There's nothing like looking at a squishy-looking goo-covered infant that you didn't want, and realizing that you just lost all of your heart a human being for the first time. It feels something like getting punched in the throat, quite frankly. However, I didn't get pregnant because his biological father 'accidentally' touched my vajayjay. And, as a charter member of the Irresponsible Club, I'm a bit insulted that the author copped out on this subject. So, Kylie getting pregnant in some After School Special kind of way, turned me off big time. It felt like McCarthy was writing some Oooga-Booga-Booga! pamphlet for an evangelical church. If the boy's penis comes near your vagina, God will strike you down with PREGNANCY! Obviously, this wasn't McCarthy's intent, but I felt like she took some easy 'magical' route in order to save her characters from looking culpable.
Of course, with all the baby drama, they have to decide whether or not they actually love each other. *spoilery stuff happens* After some time apart to figure out what they want, Kylie decides... She really wants, is to be a Homemaker. I should be jumping up and down, right? Hey! That's me! That's what I do! Except when she decided this, she didn't have any kids, so it felt sort of...odd. Yeah, she loves Jonathon, and realizes that she wants to make a home with him, but... Ehhhhhhhh. In all fairness, it looks like she maybe plans to finish college. It's just...? I don't know, it felt off. Housewife is a valid life choice, but if either of my girls end up going that route, I want them to have a really solid backup plan.
The romance lacked any real (can't believe I'm going to say this) angst. I know, I know, that should have been a good thing, right? But their love story seemed to play out a little too blandly for me to get all worked up over them. Sure there were a few obstacles and misunderstandings, just not anything that made me hold my breath or worry. They were both nice kids. And they both acted in a fairly responsible manner. Sooooo. I guess their romance played out more like a side romance, and less like a main character romance to me. Does that make sense?
This was an easy read, and I had no problem finishing it, but there were a lot of things I thought were either too vanilla or too iffy, for it to be truly enjoyable. ...more
So, I get an email a while back from Cat, saying that she's gifting me this book, and sending the next one in the mail. Hmmmm. Should I be suspicious?So, I get an email a while back from Cat, saying that she's gifting me this book, and sending the next one in the mail. Hmmmm. Should I be suspicious? Is this some sort of a stinker that she doesn't want to read herself? Nah. She's just an unusually nice sort of person who sends me 'care packages', because she genuinely thinks I'll enjoy these books. And she was right!
Delia's Shadow is part love story, part paranormal thriller, and part historical mystery. Shadow is the name Delia gives to the unusual ghost that started haunting her (in earnest) while she was teaching in New York. She can't communicate with the dead, but she sees their spirits wandering around, sometimes attached to someone they loved in life. This particular spirit seems different, in that it is determined to get her attention. She feels this ghost wants her to return to her hometown of San Francisco. With no other way to rid herself of the the spirit, she gets on a train, and heads back to the women she considers her family. And it's not too long before Delia realizes the connection between her Shadow, and a serial killer who is hunting in her hometown. With the help of her best friend, Sadie, she's introduced to a medium named Dora. She understands what Delia is up against, and is willing to help her piece together the story of Shadow's life. And maybe more importantly, her death. Sadie's fiancee, Jack, and his partner, Gabe, are the detectives who are frantically working to prevent the killer from striking again. Not only does he show no signs of stopping, it looks as though he's getting ready to strike at the loved ones of the two men who are hunting him. With Sadie's life in danger, Delia has to overcome her fears and learn how to use her abilities to help stop this psychopath, before it's too late.
It was a really good story, and I enjoyed it quite a bit. However, if you're looking for a fast-paced romp, you won't find it here. The story moves forward at a decent pace, but Delia isn't an action heroine. She relays the messages and information to Gabe or Jack, and they head out to investigate. Part of me wanted to see her get out there and kick some ass, but the other part of me was glad that she wasn't stupid enough to do it. She doesn't have hidden ninja skills, and in this time period it would have been weird for her to be involved in capturing a criminal. So, no points for feminism, but points for historical accuracy. Also, I found it odd (and yet sort of refreshing) that Delia had no trouble convincing Gabe and Jack of the I See Dead People thing. Ok. To be fair, there's a whole lotta evidence (including some ghostly tantrum stuff) to point to the fact that she's not riding the Crazy Train. So. Either you'll be like me, and enjoy the fact that she doesn't spend the entire book trying to convince everyone she's not nuts. Or you'll think it was a little to convenient that everyone got on board with the idea so quickly.
I liked the POV shifts between Gabe and Delia, as well. He's a good guy with good intentions, and a pretty broad emotional spectrum. It was awesome to see a book promote healthy relationships between men and women. Jack and Gabe aren't controlling Alpha men, and neither Sadie nor Delia are fainting violets. It seems as though their relationships are built on...hang on to your hat....respect and love for each other. GASP!
If you've been looking for a paranormal/historical/thriller/mystery/ghost story...with a bit of romance, then check this one out. If you want a story about an ass-kicking Ghost Whisperer, then you need to keep looking....more
Loved it! For some reason, I almost feel like I have to defend my love for these books. Is that weird? Or are there really a bunch of you out there givLoved it! For some reason, I almost feel like I have to defend my love for these books. Is that weird? Or are there really a bunch of you out there giving me the Judgy Eye for being all aflutter every time I read another installment of the Lunar Chronicles? I'm just paranoid, right? Right?!
Ok, so...Cress = Rapunzel (or Tangled, as my little girl calls her). She's been imprisoned in a Tower (read: satellite orbiting the Earth) for years by an evil witch (read: Sybil) Her parents were forced to give her up to the witch when she was a baby, because she was born a Shell (read: a Lunar who can't create a glamour or be glamoured). Enter the hero, Captain Thorne, whose attempt at a rescue doesn't quite work out the way they had hoped.
Alrighty, what I really loved about this one were all of the Rapunzelesque twists Meyer kept tossing in there. The name of the ship didn't even hit me until this time around! Rampion? Duh! That's the name of the frigging lettuce (or whatever!) that Rapunzel's father traded her for! Even Thorne's name was a nod at the thorns that blinded him. Again, duh. There were lots of tidbits like that, plus bigger (more spoilerific) things that mirrored the fairytale. LOVED IT! More Cinder, more Wolf, and more Kai.
What I wasn't as in love with was Cress, herself. She was kinda...too nice? And then she was also kinda goofy about her twue luv feelings for Thorne. Thankfully, he thinks it's a bit goofy, as well, so he isn't talking advantage of her idiocy. Mostly, it's just Cress bumbling around acting somewhat adorkable...somewhat slapable. But, I thought the good plot and nice pacing (this sucker is big!) more than made up for Cress' personality. Besides, you aren't stuck with her for the entire novel. You've got all of the other main characters POV's rolling around in this thing, so spending a few minutes in a swoony head din't kill the book for me.
In the end, you finally meet Snow White! *screaming fangirl flailing* Winter is Coming. That's right. I went there. Oh, and by the way, that book will be released right around my birthday in November. *cough* Just in case you were, you know, stuck for what to get me.
Grabbed this when it was free on Amazon the other day, because it looked cute.
Sort of a Bridget Jones-like vibe to it. If you enjoyed that then you'llGrabbed this when it was free on Amazon the other day, because it looked cute.
Sort of a Bridget Jones-like vibe to it. If you enjoyed that then you'll probably like this one. It's not a copycat story or anything, but it has the same sort of feel. Sophie is in her early 30's, British, feels she's a few pounds overweight, and has a piss-poor lovelife. Although, it's hard to feel sorry for her since it's her own fault. Not the part about being British. Poor thing can't help where she was born after all... Kidding! Her boyfriend dumps her in the opening pages, and she spends great gobs of time trying to win him back. Even though she knows he's a useless dick. He rekindles his interest in her when she informs him that she's going to inherit a house and some money. And she knows that's why he's sniffing around again. But she thinks she can prove to him that she's awesome or something? I didn't get it. I honestly can't fathom being that desperate. I'd rather be alone than with a douchebag who comments on my weight, and continually 'forgets' his wallet. But..whatever. I guess there are women out there somewhere who can relate? I just... Ugh.
Her two roommates/BFFs are also massive tools. If I had to live with bitches that annoying, I'd probably be in jail. I kept waiting for the moment when Sophie would realize that these chicks were soul-sucking harpies, but it never happened. So again, I couldn't relate. They were obnoxious, and I would have kicked them to the curb a long time ago.
Her mother was the most obvious twat in the bunch, but at least there was some amount of retribution for that toward the end. Not enough, but some.
The love story thing between Sophie and Nick was...pretty bland. Why did they like each other anyway? Boring relationships is one of the reasons I don't normally gravitate toward chick-lit. But if you're a fan of this genre, you'll probably have no problem with the way it all plays out.
I did giggle quite a bit while I was reading, so this wasn't a waste of my time. It had a cute plot, witty dialogue, and funny situations. Not bad considering this isn't what I normally go for.
Not bad for a freebie. However, I can't in good conscience recommend anyone spending their hard-earned money on this one. It's a pretty simplis2.5 stars
Not bad for a freebie. However, I can't in good conscience recommend anyone spending their hard-earned money on this one. It's a pretty simplistic historical romance that has some ok moments, but nothing awesome. Claire ends up married to Nate, because her father demands 'satisfaction', due to an unfortunate accident at a ball. In other words, she trips and ends up tangled up with the Earl on the veranda. Nate (the Earl) resents her, because he believes that she did it on purpose in order to trap him into marriage. Which is stupid, because she kept telling him to leave her alone, and that she only wanted a few minutes by herself. Not exactly the world's best trap... Also, it appeared that Nate was a virgin. Which led to him spending a lot of time reading a book about How to Please Your Woman. And according to this novel...that's all you need. Ok. As much as I love books, there are some things you can only learn with...um, hands on experience. There's no way two virgins are going to have the time of their lives in bed. Go ahead, call me a liar. I dare you.
Then there was Claire's sister, and her obsession with a snagging a man with a title. The situation was resolved with the use of lame disguises, and very little conflict.
Even though this is not labeled a 'Christian' romance, I think it would work well enough for readers who are looking for something in that genre. For me, however, this was a semi-cute way to pass the time, but nothing more....more
Snagged this one a little while back, because it's a retelling of Cinderella. Don't judge my obsessions! But3.5 stars
My quest for Freebies continues!
Snagged this one a little while back, because it's a retelling of Cinderella. Don't judge my obsessions! But I gotta say, the cover didn't really inspire confidence. Excuse me, Mrs. Hannah? Would you like some crackers with your cheese? At any rate, I wasn't expecting much. Why does it seem like a cover can make or break a book for women. I mean, haven't we always been told that men were the visual ones? Anyway, with my low expectations firmly in place, I started reading...
Guess what? It wasn't bad at all. In fact, this is a pretty good retelling! Well, considering Cinderella is a werewolf, and all. There was a lot more of the original story woven into the plot than I thought it would have. I've noticed quite a few books lately that are labeled 'retellings', but have little to no connection to the story they are retelling. In some cases, the only connection to Cinderella is that the girl has a stepmother, and her shoe falls off at some point in the story. Not exactly what I was hoping for in a reimagining, you know?
Yes, there were some corny PNR moments in this one. Loins are burning, and wombs are throbbing! But for the most part, Before Midnight is a pretty good book. Best part? It's still free on Amazon!
I received a digital arc from NetGalley and the publisher.
It's being called the When Harry Met Sally for young adults, so right off the bat, I wantedI received a digital arc from NetGalley and the publisher.
It's being called the When Harry Met Sally for young adults, so right off the bat, I wanted it. I mean, is there anyone out there who didn't love that movie?! But this book isn't some rip-off retelling of the movie, so don't worry. No, it's just a really good book about two kids who meet in seventh grade, and how they form an unlikely friendship over the years.
Anybody who has ever had a really close friendship with someone of the opposite sex, knows that there are some awkward questions that you're forced to answer about the nature of your relationship. Over and over and over again. No matter how platonic it is. But what if the two of you over time start to feel less than platonic? Aren't the best romantic relationships build on strong friendships? Of course they are. Lust rocks, but real love is the shit that The Long Haul is made out of. But finding a BFF that makes your knees go wobbly isn't always easy. Or maybe recognizing that person for what they are is the hard part? And that's the gist of Better off Friends.
The story follows Macallan and Levi from their first encounter in middle school, to their last year of high school. The grow close, grow up, grow apart, and grow back together again. The cycles of their relationship are funny, sad, and heartwarming. By the end of it, I wanted to go back to high school and relive all of those bittersweet memories, too. No, not really! You couldn't pay me enough to go through all that angsty shit again! Sorry, kids. These are most definitely NOT the best years of your life. So. Don't kill yourself, or anything stupid like that. It gets better.
At any rate, this is the perfect kind of book to curl up on the couch with. It's sweet, cute, and it leaves you with a smile on your face.
So, Kaitlin's pals offer to help her paint her house, if she'll dip her toes back into the dating pool. SheSnagged this one as a freebie the other day!
So, Kaitlin's pals offer to help her paint her house, if she'll dip her toes back into the dating pool. She agrees, but with the intention of getting the dates over with as quickly as possible. Naturally, she meets Mr. Awesomesauce in the process.
It's short, cute, and sweet. Did it blow my socks off? No. But it didn't annoy me, either....more
I received a digital arc of this book from NetGalley, in exchange for an honest review.
Alrighty. I want to mention upfront that Scintillate is gettingI received a digital arc of this book from NetGalley, in exchange for an honest review.
Alrighty. I want to mention upfront that Scintillate is getting 4 stars from me solely for the mystery of what's going on with Cora and her new ability to see auras. The romance in this one is probably going to turn quite a few readers off to the book. Cora and Finn have an overly dramatic insta-love thing going on, and it bugged me. Also, Finn sounded less like an Irish teenager, and more like an older dude from one of those Highland Romance novels. Maybe I'm wrong. Maybe the teenage boys in Ireland all talk like old men, but I don't think so.
However, the aura thing was pretty cool. Cora gets sick, runs a super high fever, and ends up in the hospital. When she wakes up, she finds that she can see colors around everyone, including herself. At first, she thinks that she has brain damage or something, but after a little research, realizes that she's seeing people's emotions and energy. Her father seems to refuse to believe her, but Cora can tell that something is off about his reactions to her questioning. After some poking around, she discovers that her mother's disappearance years ago may have had something to do with the same thing Cora is experiencing now.
The whole 'changing the way we see humanity' mystery, kept me totally glued to the pages. And even when she gets some answers at the end, you can tell that it's only the tip of the iceberg. I'm hoping that the next book will tone down the star-crossed lovers theme, and focus on the mystery. If it does, I think this will be quite an interesting trilogy to follow. If not? Well, I have a limit to the amount of goofy teen-drama I can swallow. Untangle your lips and back away, cause there's more important things in life. Really. Like finding out who's trying to kill you for instance... ...more
Man, there are a ton of great reviews for this book! This won't be one of them. For me, Almost Matched was a stinker on many levels.
First, I thought itMan, there are a ton of great reviews for this book! This won't be one of them. For me, Almost Matched was a stinker on many levels.
First, I thought it was supposed to be funny. Guess what? Not funny. At all. Natalie and her friends were goofy, but not funny. Oh look at us! We all sit around and talk about sex! Aren't we funny?! No. No, you're not. We made orgasm noises when we ate scones! Remember how I nearly didn't make it to the potty in time...because it was soooo funny?! Remember? Huh? Remember?! Uuuuuh... Tee-hee! We had a swordfight with a dildo and a breadstick! Sober! Did I forget to say that we did that sober? Aren't we hilarious?! *crickets chirping* So for humor, you get some sort of immature stuff that you might have laughed at...when you were twelve.
Second stinky aspect of the book? Their Heartbreaking Past Will Move You. Or at least, that's what the blurb says. I held out judgment on Mr. Wonderful's 'heartbreaking past', even though it seemed like it was leading up to something fishy. Surprise! It was truly heartbreaking! No. Just kidding. It was waaaay stupid. Ok. He has this mysterious 'thing' that troubles him. He seems to go to a dark far off place sometimes... By the end of the book he's having a debilitating panic attack because of this 'thing' in his past. Finally, we find out that his college girlfriend was killed in a drunk driving accident. But there's something he's not saying... *cue dramatic music* (view spoiler)[So I assume that he was the one driving, right? Yeah, no. She had been on a downward spiral with drug and alcohol for a while. They were at a party, she made out with another guy, clubbed Mr. Wonderful in the head with a beer bottle, got in her car, and got smashed. Literally. But, of course, he feels guilty. Ok. Reasonable. But not to the point of panic attacks! And yes, I read the 'extra' where we find out that he was in the passenger seat. Yep. That sucked. But seriously? If you're curling into a ball, because that's the worst thing you've ever had happen to you? Warning: Rude Awakening Ahead! See, there's this little thing called, Life. It happens to all of us. Get over yourself, dude. (hide spoiler)] I'm not crying over that one.
Third nail in the coffin was that this was a novella. I usually fly through them, but I had to force myself to keep reading this one. I couldn't believe something that short could feel like Game of Thrones. There was always another page! Ahhhhh! It's The Neverending Short-Story! What if my kindle was cursed?! You are now entering...The Twilight Zone. Or. It just sucked.
Lots of people seemed to love this book. I thought it was crap.
I received a digital copy of this book from NetGalley in exchange for an honest review.
This may sound silly to some of you, but there's one 'friend' I have here on Goodreads that I refuse to delete...only because their taste in4.5 stars
This may sound silly to some of you, but there's one 'friend' I have here on Goodreads that I refuse to delete...only because their taste in books is so awful. Or maybe I should say, awfully different from mine. Everything they sing the praises of goes directly to the bottom of my TBR pile. And, accordingly, anytime they trash a book that I'm potentially interested in, I immediately move it to the tippy-top of that same TBR pile. It may sound crazy, but one person's frivolous trash is another person's treasure. Woot Woot! I'm a literary dumpster-diver! Consequently, I avoided this book for quite a while due to their glowing review. I should also mention that several reviewers that I have the utmost respect for hated this sucker. My personal brand of logic dictated that this book would suck. Big time. Although, if you know me, then you also know that if it's a fairytale retelling, I'm eventually gonna break down and read it anyway. So. Now imagine the horror I'm feeling right now. I'm going to have to not only side with my friendly neighborhood Book-Snob, but against my pals! Sorry, but I loved this one.
I was totally glued to the pages while I was reading Cruel Beauty. For me, it was the right mix of mythology, fantasy, and a dark fairytale retelling. As an added bonus, I absolutely loved the perfectly flawed heroine and the semi-evil hero of the story!
I will admit that the author lost me at the very end of the book. Those last 30 pages or so were a tad bit much. (view spoiler)[That whole time-travel/alternate reality thing really killed my buzz. I thought it would have been better to end the stupid curse during the Big Showdown, and let the story end there. (hide spoiler)] In my humble opinion, dragging it out really did nothing to improve on the the story. But. As, I hope you've learned, my opinion is just that. An opinion. This is one of those books that you will probably either love or hate. Decide for yourself.
I'd seen some really high praise for these books, so I jumped at the chance to read McGarry's newest book in the Pushing the Limits series. And I likeI'd seen some really high praise for these books, so I jumped at the chance to read McGarry's newest book in the Pushing the Limits series. And I liked it, but it didn't blow me out of the water. I'm thinking that either these particular characters just weren't my cuppa, or maybe I need to take a break from the angsty stuff. I should also note that I'm a bit sick of the Good girl/Bad boy thing at the moment.
So Rachel has a weird life. Sure, her family has money, but they're beyond strange. ALL of them. Let's start with her oddly overprotective brothers, ok? I've never seen a group (I believe there's 4 of them) of older brothers act like they have nothing better to do than escort their little sister around so that no guy ever speaks to her. A lot of brothers tend to get pissed when guys mess with their sisters. Especially if the guy in question is a douchebag. That's normal. What's not normal is screaming death threats at every male that attempts to talk to her. You would think at least one of them would be on her side, right? But, no. Protectively eyeballing her date...SANE. Acting like a psycho over a conversation between her an a random dude at a wedding...INSANE. Yeah. So I had a problem buying into the over-the-top dynamics with her brothers. Then there's her parents. Years ago they lost their oldest daughter to Leukemia. Very tragic, no? Yes, yes it is. But. In an effort to make the mother happy again, they kept having children until Rachel was born, so that the mom would have a replacement daughter. Wha...? Unfortunately, kids aren't replaceable, so Rachael lives in the shadow of her perfect older sister. Worse, she's expected to speak at charity functions on her dead sister's behalf. Or she was until she started having panic attacks when she was younger. The panic attacks took the form of severe vomiting, and eventually she was hospitalized because she was throwing up blood. Skip to present day, and Rachel is supposedly over her fear of public speaking and panic attacks. Of course, she's not. She's only pretending to feel better about it so that everyone will stop treating her like she's breakable. And now Dad wants her to start speaking at her mother's fundraising events again...so that mommy won't be sad. Again, I felt the parents were overblown caricatures of people, and not realistic enough for me to sympathize with or even hate. To keep Rachel from seeming like she was made out of some boring jello mold, we find out that she loves cars. Reallyreallyreally loves cars. And that's how she meets Isaiah...who also reallyreallyreally loves cars. He protects her when she wanders out of her element and into an illegal street race. Naturally, there's an evil guy who run the race. This same evil guy blames Rachel for selling them out to the cops/stealing his money. And also (naturally), they have to find a way to pay him back...or else! That whole plotline felt like something out of a 50's movie, and I kept expecting them to break out into some sort of a dance-off to settle the score. Or some such nonsense. As the fear for their lives increased, the obvious answer just sat there staring them in the face. Call the cops (who are actively looking for a reason to arrest the guy) and report him for threatening to kill you! But wait. They can't do that. Rachel doesn't want her parents to find out she was involved in illegal street race! Well. That's an awesome reason to get killed by a scummy wannabe mobster. Sorry I questioned your logic, Einstein.
Ok. Sorry, I'm making it sound like this book is total crap, but in reality it's not. I didn't have a hard time getting through the story, and there are tons of absolutely glowing reviews out there for this one. New Adult is a genre that thrives on drama and angst, so I'm not going to fault an author for giving readers exactly what they came to the party looking for. So. My personal opinion is that this one was overly...everything. But even I know that my opinion doesn't count for much. It will probably be a great read to someone who isn't burned out on virgin heroines and damaged heroes.
I received a digital copy of this book from NetGalley in return for an honest review....more
I received a digital copy of this book from NetGalley in return for an honest review.
Hmmm. I loved Covert Assignment, which was the 1st book in the seI received a digital copy of this book from NetGalley in return for an honest review.
Hmmm. I loved Covert Assignment, which was the 1st book in the series, but this one just felt like a filler. I'm not saying it was a bad book, it was just missing that sumpin' sumpin', you know?
I think the majority of the problem lies with the introduction of a new love interest. Lyle. The Southern gentleman. I didn't like him. At all. My hope is that he turns out to be a terrorist, and Preston shoots him...while he's drinking his sweet iced tea. Anyway. Elle takes a bunch of personality tests, gets put into dangerous (but not too dangerous) situations, and has to decide whether or not she really wants to be part of the Agency. Like I said...filler.
I still want to read the next book, because a lot of series seem to struggle with the dreaded Second Book Syndrome, and a lot of times the 3d book comes back strong. I'm hoping Elle will bounce back, get tough, and find a guy who doesn't make me want to vomit in my mouth.
P.S. I have no idea why I hated Lyle so much. He was a nice guy who introduced Elle to his mamma, held open the door, and pulled out her chair for her. What's wrong with me?! ...more
Whoa! Talk about a book being NOT what you expected! I thought this was going to go into my every growing pile of4.5 stars
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Whoa! Talk about a book being NOT what you expected! I thought this was going to go into my every growing pile of mermaid books. So color me shocked when I finally realized what Nerissa was, and where she came from. Yeah. She's so not a mermaid.
I thought this book was heading straight into typical territory after the first chapter or so, but then it surprised me by taking off in an entirely different direction. And I want to tell you...I really really do! But part of the reason I enjoyed Waterfell so much was because I had no idea what kind of book I was in for. The characters were fully formed, the pacing was great, and every time I thought I had what was going to happen next figured out, everything flip-flopped on me.
Nerissa is the heir to the Aquarathi throne, and after her father's murder, the Aquarathi family that guarded her took her to safety. When she comes of age, she is expected to go back and fight for her throne, but Nerissa isn't in any hurry. She enjoys living in the human world and pretending to be a regular girl. Playing soccer, surfing, and hanging out with her best friend sure beats going back to face a people who aren't sure if you're fit to rule. See, before her father's death, Nerissa was simply the King's Irresponsible Daughter. And now? Well, she isn't sure. It seems like a lot of pressure and responsibility for something that she doesn't even want. And with her mother and father both dead, there really isn't any reason to go back...right? Except that her guardians haven't exactly told her everything.
Secrets, betrayals, and possibly even true love.. What more could I ask for?
If you enjoy books that twist and turn into unexpected places, then you're definitely gonna want to get your hands on this one!
P.S. There's a fade to black sex scene toward the end that plays into the plot. I didn't personally think it was inappropriate, and I would have no problem letting my girls read this when they are teenagers. I'm just tossing it out there as an FYI for anyone looking to buy this for their (or someone else's) teen. Teenagers? Yes. Tweenagers? Probably not.
Thank you to NetGalley for a copy of this book....more
So. I read yet another book without checking to see if it was part of a series. It was. And yet, somehow no one is shocked.... Anyway, (as I now know) thSo. I read yet another book without checking to see if it was part of a series. It was. And yet, somehow no one is shocked.... Anyway, (as I now know) this is the third book in the Clann series, and it seemed to wrap up what I assumed was a trilogy. But it's not listed as a trilogy, so maybe there are more books to come? Not sure. Also not important to the enjoyment of this book. After a few chapters I got the gist of what had happened in the previous books, and got sucked into Consume and it's cast of characters. Very cool story, but now I want to go back and read first two books. Ugh. Because my to-read list isn't long enough as it is...
Tristan and Savannah are childhood friends who fell in love. Awww. So sweet! Anyway, Tristan was a member of the magic wielding Clann, who was slated to take over for his father as it's leader. Savannah was too, but she was a witch/vampire hybrid, so of course their love was forbidden. Evidently, at the end of the last book she was forced to turn him into a vampire hybrid in order to save his life. So the story opens with her and her (vampire) father out in the middle of the woods trying to get Tristan's blood lust under control. I'll admit I had a little Twitard flashback reading that part... Oh, and Tristan's also lost his memory, so eating people seems like a good idea to him. Fortunately, his memory eventually comes back, and he stops trying to suck the blood of innocents. But their troubles don't stop there. Now they have to convince the vampire counsel and the Clann to stop fighting each other, and let them live happily ever after. Which would be a lot easier if the new Clann leader wasn't an extremist lunatic hell-bent on destroying all vampires. And blowing things up. And framing Savannah and Tristan for it.
Of course, the lovebirds have a major falling out over how to deal with this guy. Savannah wants him stopped, but Tristan (due to some spoilery stuff) wants him dead. Can they win the day and repair their love? *cue dramatic music*
This was a really fun story, and I had no problems getting into it without having read the other books. If you haven't read these, you might want to check them out!...more
Thank you to NetGalley and the publisher for a copy of this book.
I've come to realize something about this genre and it's readers. Everyone hThank you to NetGalley and the publisher for a copy of this book.
I've come to realize something about this genre and it's readers. Everyone has a different thing they look for when it comes to romance novels. Some of us live for hot sex scenes, some of us require action in the plots, some of us go for damaged heroes, some of us like kink, some of us want it to be sappy, and some of us specifically seek out guys in kilts. And then there's that whole group that likes to read about having sex with swamp monsters n' stuff. Hey! Not judging...just pointing out that Romance readers are a fairly diverse group. Anyway, my point is that we all gravitate toward different things. Me? I like humor. Maybe because falling in love is awkward, nerve-wracking, and well, quite hilarious at times. Remember the first time you accidentally farted in front of the man of your dreams? Oh yeah. Good times... And in my personal opinion, no one does humor better than Erin McCarthy. It's not over-the-top Three Stooges kind of funny. Which honestly, I don't find funny at all. No, it's more that her characters have a running inner monologue that resonates with my experiences, and makes me giggle. A lot.
There's another thing that makes Sweet a perfect fit for my personality, and that's the fact that Jessica comes from an extremely religious family. Believe it or not, I come from a family of Southern Baptist preachers and missionaries. I know, right? I bet you're wondering how I turned out to be such a well-adjusted person, but that a story for another day. So. While some of what Jessica says and does might seem strange, I don't think McCarthy's portrayal of a preacher's daughter was weird at all. This isn't an anti-God book, but Jessica's character is trying to straddle the fence between pleasing her parents and being herself. Instead of just telling her parents that she's not who they want her to be, she lies to them. She knows that the minute they find out that she's not acting like a good girl, they're going to pull the plug on her finances. Not to mention, they'll probably emotionally disown her as their daughter. Now, it's not like she really wants to spend great gobs of time with her mom and dad, but the idea that your parents will totally turn your backs on you is a scary thought for anyone. She wasn't exactly raised to be Miss Independent, so No Money + No Family = Bad Idea in her mind.
And then there's Riley. He's such an ass, but you can't help but love him. In the last book, True, we met Riley's brother, Tyler Mann. And where Tyler is a sweetheart, Riley is...not. Well, he is once you get to know him, but he hides his warm fuzzy side under layers and layers of douchebaggery. Fortunately, Jessica is not really much of a sweetheart either, and she enjoys handing him nuts on a plate when he gets out of line.
So what happens when you stick two snarky people from entirely different backgrounds under the same roof for a week? Pure magic, that's what! Because while it seems like these two are destined to work each other's last nerve, their personalities actually compliment each other really well. Mostly because underneath it all, Riley is actually a good guy, and as it turns out a really good friend to Jessica. But can these guys get over the damage of their pasts and make room for each other in their futures? Hmmm. If you think I'd give a story with a sad ending four and a half stars, then you don't know me very well, do you?
As a side note, if you're one of the readers who's looking for a book that features sex with Bigfoot, then you may not enjoy this as much as I did. Sasquatch does not make an appearance in Sweet. Oh well, there's always next time...
You know how you go into a book expecting one thing, and then end up with something else entirely? That's what happened to me when I read You Are Mine. Here's what happened: I was low on reading material. Really low. I was searching through NetGalley for something (anything) to read, and nothing was looking very good. I'll admit I was getting desperate, and requested a few things that I normally would have given a pass. Including this book. Because at first glance, I thought it was going to be a cheesy bondage/kidnapping romance about a wizard who liked to spank chicks with his magic paddle. Admittedly, there are worse ways to spend a rainy Saturday afternoon... But, wow. I couldn't have been more wrong about this book if I had tried!
You Are Mine is actually a fairly heavy story, and filled to the brim with social commentary about women's rights. Now, in this country, it's thankfully not much of an issue. At least not to the extent described in this book. We've all heard the horror stories of things that go on around the world, and to be honest, I usually avoid reading the books that describe what it's like. Frankly, it makes me ill. But what Ms. Falor did was weave an element of fantasy into her story, and that allowed me to keep reading something that I normally wouldn't have been able to stomach.
In this world, only the males can use magic. One of the things that makes a woman valuable to a man is the level of magic in her blood, which allows her to breed stronger children. Serena has been tested and it turns out that she's quite the catch. Only, it's not like she gets her choice of suitors. Her father sells her to the highest bidder, not caring what happens to her at his hands. In fact, he actively wants the man to abuse her. It's the norm for their society, and men who are not heavy-handed with their wives are looked down upon as weak. Serena's entire life has been filled with punishments and abuse by her father for non-existent wrongs that he's gladly doled out. So far, she has been able to keep him from hurting her sisters too much, but she knows that once she is sold to her new husband there will be no one to protect them.
Through a series of interesting events, Serena ends up in the possession of a warlock from a barbarian country. Of course, she thinks it will be a fate worse than death, because if the men in her civilized country are so cruel, how much worse will it be with this man? The fact that she can't see obvious kindness in this man could have been a very tedious and eye-rolling thing to read. But the author does such an excellent job of putting the reader into her shoes, and showing what systematic years of abuse has done to her, that it comes off as totally believable.
As far as this being a cheesy PNR? Yeah, no. There's not even one sex scene in this book. It was just an amazingly well told story with a dab of romance. I absolutely could not put it down. And it made me think...
I know we always celebrate the women who fought for the rights that we now take for granted as ours. And we should! But let's face facts, if there weren't men who fought to change things too, nothing would have happened. There were guys who went against the conventional beliefs of their times, and stuck up for their daughters, wives, sisters, and mothers. I would imagine that took quite a bit of guts. Just sayin'.
Anyhoo. Read this one if you get the chance, 'cause it totally blew me away.
Thanks to NetGalley and the publisher for a copy of this book.
Thank you to Edelweiss and the publisher for a copy of this book. 3.5 stars
Here on Goodreads, you'll see some fairly low ratings for this book, but I dThank you to Edelweiss and the publisher for a copy of this book. 3.5 stars
Here on Goodreads, you'll see some fairly low ratings for this book, but I don't think they're necessarily deserved. I actually thought this one was pretty entertaining. However. Don't go into it expecting it to be an epic journey into mythological Egypt. No, it more of a story about growing up and realizing that just because your parents aren't perfect, doesn't mean they don't love you.
The older I (and my children) get, the more I understand my own mother. And by understand, I mean sympathize. She had no idea what she was doing! I don't mean that in a bad way, either. If you have kids, you know what I'm saying. I mean, everyone knows the basics. Feed them, take them to the doctor when they're sick, don't beat them, and don't sell them to strangers. Easy, right? Yeah. Not so much. Turns out there's a lot of grey area in there... I have this friend (true story) who told me she was going to get Purity Rings for her sons when they started middle school. She was serious. *crickets chirping* When it was time to have the talk with my boys, I Googled 'penis sores/swollen testicles' and clicked on Images. Then I told them to think about that the next time they saw a pretty girl! Ka-Ching! What I'm trying to say, is that those are both equally idiotic ways to try to keep our boys from having sex before mom is ready for it. Also, we both love our kids, but there isn't really a guidebook for how to do this whole 'parenting' thing exactly right. It's a fly-by-the-seat-of-your-pants kind of job, and there's no way to say or do everything perfectly.
But my way was better. Admit it.
Isadora has lived a sheltered life in Egypt with her family. Now, her family is made up of Egyptian gods and goddesses, so it wasn't exactly a normal upbringing, but she had a happy childhood. Until she found out that her parents hadn't bothered to make her immortal. Nope. She was gonna die just like everyone else. Her father, being the ruler over death, had a nice tomb made up for her, though. Screw getting a dumb pony! My daddy got me my very own sarcophagus! It also seems as though her mother only had her in order to keep from fading. See, the gods only exist if they have people who worship and believe in them. So every twenty years her mom has a baby, and Ta-da! a new worshiper is born. Isadora comes to believe that she does this to basically ensure that there is always someone out there believing in her and the rest of her immortal family.
The final straw for Isadora happens when her mother announces that she's pregnant. She feels as though she's being replaced (sooner than normal), and decides that she's done with her whole wonky family. Especially her mother. So when good old mom starts having dreams about something bad coming their way, Isadora see her chance for escape. With the help of her aunt, she manages to convince her mother that it would be safer for her to go live with her brother in California for a little while. Except her plans don't include coming back. Ever.
Once there, of course, she meets an awesome guy who thinks she hung the moon. He's gorgeous, he's talented, and he's perfect for her. Pssst. He also has a cool secret, but I'm not going to tell you what it is... Except she still can't get past the fact that she's going to die someday. For some reason, she thinks that since her life will eventually end, then there's no point in falling in love. I'll admit that was an odd focal point for all of the relationship drama, but I decided to just go with it. You know, think of it as a metaphor for all of the 'psychological damage from childhood' that we have to get over to become an adult.
Although, I find that most people who blame their childhood for the reason they can't function as a responsible adult are usually idiots looking for an excuse to behave badly. For example (I know you've heard this one), "I can't be faithful to my spouse/lover because my parents divorced when I was 10, and now I just can't fully commit to anyone. *sob*". Huh? For those first 10 years did they force you to live in a box and eat crickets or something?! No? Ok, then. Suck it up and move on.
And that's the plot of Chaos of the Stars. Oh, there's a bit of danger lurking in the background (the dream stuff), but it isn't the main part of the story. Don't expect much from it, and you won't be disappointed. On the whole, I thought it was entertaining, quirky, and different enough to keep me interested.
Have you been searching for a good clean romance? One with no sex whatsoever...not even the Fade To BlackThanks to NetGalley for a copy of this book
Have you been searching for a good clean romance? One with no sex whatsoever...not even the Fade To Black scenes? A book with a heroine who's moral standards keep her from hopping in the sack with a boy just because he's perfect for her?
Yeah, me neither. But if you know someone who is looking for something like that, you can recommend Friday Night Alibi to them!
Ok, the premise is actually really weird. Like, Syfy channel weird. Sundale is a community filled to the brim with the super-wealthy. That's not the weird part, by the way... The weird part is that all of these people are heavily involved in the local church. Even their country club is called the Christian County Club. Very religious. As in, their kids don't get their trust funds if they fool around before marriage and/or date heathens. Because the rich have always been the benchmark for morality in America, right? *crickets chirping* Um, right. Now, if you're going to get any enjoyment out of this book, you're just gonna have to roll with it, and pretend that this kind of place could be real...outside of the state of Utah.
So, like the blurb says, Kelli is a good girl who runs a business for trust fund babies that enables them to date people who their parents would consider unsavory. Nudists, atheists, hippies, etc.. It's not that Kelli needs the money. Oh, no. She's a trust fund baby, too. Her own parents, although morally upright, are emotionally distant and often absent. She's your classic Poor Little Rich Girl.
Her life is bumping along at boring pace until she meet Chase. Chase and Kelli's courtship, especially in the beginning, is very antagonistic. Their interactions really are pretty cute and funny, and they're the main reason for the highish rating. Also, you have to admire any girl who sets a guy up for an impromptu butt-waxing. Very nice. They were a fun couple read about, though, and I found myself rooting for them to make it.
Alright, I feel it's only fair to warn you that they do a lot of kissing. A lot. And that's all they do. He does attempt to touch her boob at one point, but she doesn't feel like she's ready to move that fast. He's such a good guy, that he immediately hops off of her and apologizes for trying to get to second base...with his 18 year old girlfriend. After the tittie-touch incident, they decide that they should never make out on a bed again, because the temptation to squeeze each other's naughty bits inappropriately is just too great. It's not a big deal to him, though. I mean, he's never gotten his hands on a girl's hooters before anyway. Yes, you read that sentence correctly. There is an explanation for his bizarre lack of experience with women, but I couldn't swallow it. Then again, not much could convince me that a 21 year old guy who wasn't socially inept had zero sexual experience. Sure, they're both stunningly attractive young people with charming personalities. And, of course, there's been no parental supervision in their lives. Logic dictates that these two would, naturally, both be virgins. Seems reasonable to me! *Theme to Twilight Zone playing* I don't..what? Look, we all can suspend disbelief to get into stories about zombies, superheroes, and vampires. Is is such a stretch to use that same mental muscle to believe that this scenario is possible, too? *sigh* That's a decision that only you can make. As for me, I'm immediately buying this, and then adding it to my daughters' bookshelves when when they get older. "Boys are yucky! Don't let them touch you!" Yeah, I know. I'm a hypocrite. Sue me.