It’s not surprising, considering this is a Julia Quinn novel, but The Secrets of Sir Richard Kenworthy was absolutely enchanting from the very first pIt’s not surprising, considering this is a Julia Quinn novel, but The Secrets of Sir Richard Kenworthy was absolutely enchanting from the very first page. It was a true delight to pick up a book and right from the beginning want to dive in and get to know the characters and their situations. The Smythe-Smith Quartet has been a very fun series overall, so I suggest reading all of them, but this can easily be read as a standalone as well -- you would just miss out on the fun references to previous main characters.
There’s huge chemistry between Richard and Iris, which makes it difficult for Sir Richard to go through with his original plan. It’s semi-obvious to the reader what's going on behind the scenes in Richard's life, even before we’re completely looped in, but it's very difficult for Iris. She's completely in the dark and feeling like her husband doesn't like or want her. It was interesting to see their relationship progress, because Richard has done a fairly unforgivable thing, and Iris is so confused about what’s going on. It all leads up to a satisfying conclusion, of course, but it's the journey there that's the most interesting.
No matter what, you can expect epic swoons from a Julia Quinn book, and this one is no exception. The author is great at creating dynamic characters with massive chemistry, and secondary characters who leap off the page. While this isn’t my very favourite of hers, I still found it to be a massively entertaining read that any historical romance fan will enjoy....more
Was hoping it would be a celebration of geek culture, and it some ways it was, but there were a few things that I just didn't care for. Not i2.5 stars
Was hoping it would be a celebration of geek culture, and it some ways it was, but there were a few things that I just didn't care for. Not inherently a bad novel, but not one I cared for either. Review to come....more
The Summer of Chasing Mermaids is a beautiful novel about finding your voice: it’s about standing up for yourself and others; about doing what is righThe Summer of Chasing Mermaids is a beautiful novel about finding your voice: it’s about standing up for yourself and others; about doing what is right, but also what is true for you. The main message in it is basically “you do you”, and I love that. Elyse’s journey is a beautiful one to experience and she was a lovely character to read about.
One fabulous aspect of this book is the breaking down of gender stereotypes. I loved, loved, loved Sebastian and his mermaid obsession. His character was a really positive example of accepting people how they are and believing that there aren't girl things and boy things. Along the same train of thought was Elyse entering the pirate regatta, even though she's told that only guys can enter.
Christian and Elyse’s romance was steamy, lovely, and fun. I loved how they got to know one another, how there was respect, and how when it came to sex there was a conversation about consent. I loved how Elyse had sexual thoughts and sexual agency and that Christian gave her a voice in these matters. It’s not that anyone deserves a medal for doing the right thing, but I still liked seeing that example put out there for teens to read. I also liked how their relationship was a mixed race romance and that no one in their group made a big deal of it.
There are a lot of great things about this book. I liked experiencing Elyse’s culture, with her being from Trinidad & Tobago. I also liked the sailing element, with Christian and Elyse fixing up the boat before sailing in the regatta. The Summer of Chasing Mermaids is a gorgeous contemporary YA novel, and I highly recommend it....more
Top Ten Clues You’re Clueless is a a cute story and a very quick read. I would describe this book as a modern day Breakfast Club set in a grocery storTop Ten Clues You’re Clueless is a a cute story and a very quick read. I would describe this book as a modern day Breakfast Club set in a grocery store on Christmas Eve. And, I mean, what sounds better than that?!
I really enjoyed the set up for the story. The book is filled with fun characters and situations, and I was totally crushing on Tyson along with Chloe. Once we got into the main plot of the book I had a bit of a hard time believing that these teens would be forced to stay after work without telling their parents why. I also wondered why despite Chloe investigating what happened to the missing money, no one asks (out loud, anyway) why it's only the teens being held. No one bothers to wonder who accused them, which I found pretty strange.
So while the book took a little suspension of disbelief, I still liked the story and the characters. It's a fun read, something perfect to pick up when you want to read something in one sitting. If you're looking for something sweet with a bit of saucy and a mystery on top of that then I definitely recommend it....more
There is something so exciting and interesting about this book. Right from the time I heard of it, Red Queen was being hyped as a big series to come.There is something so exciting and interesting about this book. Right from the time I heard of it, Red Queen was being hyped as a big series to come. Most of the time I end up being disappointed by those, but in this case I absolutely loved it. I was intrigued and excited throughout, and so curious about where the book was going.
Probably one of my favourite things about Red Queen is that there’s a real sense of not being able to trust anyone. It’s a theme of the book, so when you’re reading, that fact is constantly in the back of your mind. You can’t ever be sure who is actually portraying themselves honestly, which makes for a very intense read. Without going into spoilers, there’s definitely some betrayal in the book, and even when you think you see it coming the book it's so well written that you can’t be entirely sure. I kept questioning my instincts and wondering who was really good or bad.
The synopsis of the book compares it to The Selection, which makes sense because of the way the royal court operates and the competition to be the next queen. It had those aspects, but it was a very different book, too. It had a lot of elements that readers might find familiar, but it puts them together in an amazing way. There’s a secret rebellion aspect similar to The Hunger Games and people with different powers like in Graceling. It had a great fantasy genre feel to it with the major class differences: the poor in the slums, the rich in their palaces.
I can’t even really talk about the characters without spoiling things, but Mare is our main character, and she gets swept into a world she’s never dreamed of. Mare starts off a little bit like the Ultra Special Female Protagonist (she’s a pickpocket, she’s a smartass, she gets away with things -- she just fits into that stereotype), but as she’s thrust into the unknown she becomes a lot more interesting. I loved seeing the way she reacted to things, the way she processed her thoughts and feelings.
One big theme of YA literature is being on the outside and not fitting in. I loved that even in this ultra complex fantasy world, our main character was going through the same thing that so many contemporary teens are. In the world of Red Queen there’s the red blood (normals) vs the silver blood (the elite, oppressors, having powers). And then there’s Mare, who doesn’t fit into either category. It sucks for her, but it makes for an incredibly interesting read.
Red Queen is a book with big secrets, intrigue, and action. It’s about fighting the oppressors, something which is made difficult when the people in charge have the ability to control you. It asks important questions, like how can you breed a rebellion when you’re barely surviving? When you’re the ones fighting and dying in an impossible war, when you don’t have enough food for your family -- how can you get beyond that? It asks all these questions and it doesn’t offer up easy answers. Red Queen is a wonderful beginning to a new series, and I’m incredibly excited to see where Victoria Aveyard takes us in the next book....more
Four Nights With the Duke is Vander’s story, who you got to know fairly well if you read Thorn and India’s story, Three Weeks With Lady X. Vander is tFour Nights With the Duke is Vander’s story, who you got to know fairly well if you read Thorn and India’s story, Three Weeks With Lady X. Vander is the Duke, and we know he has a bit of scandal in his family -- from the prologue we know very well what it is, and we meet his heroine, Mia. This book contains a couple of tropes, first with the marriage of convenience, but also with blackmail. It makes for an interesting coupling, and the situation makes it so I didn’t blame Vander at all for his attitude at first.
From Mia’s POV we see someone who has been left alone, who’s been jilted, who needs a husband in order to take care of her nephew. It makes her a sympathetic character, but it doesn't fully excuse her actions. I liked when her plans backfired on her to an extent. I liked her, but considering she blackmailed a guy into marrying her, she deserved to get a little back at her.
Mia is also an interesting character because she’s a writer. We see Mia plotting her book and having issues with it, which is very relatable. It was like seeing into a writer’s brain when Mia wanted her publisher to send her other books to read so she could avoid her own work. The thinly veiled references to Julia Quinn's and Lisa Kleypas’ books were so fun to pick out.
In a romance you always want to root for the hero, but it’s also great when the hero isn’t perfect: when he’s making mistakes and doing dumb things. Romance may not always lend itself to total realism, but I always enjoy when the hero seems like he could be a regular person instead of the Best Man Ever. Well, Vander definitely fits into the imperfect hero role. The arrogant assumptions he had at first about how Mia felt made me literally LOL.
Despite how he acts at first, Vander is a very understanding character who quickly gets why Mia did what she did. I loved how he supported Mia’s nephew, Charlie, so well and showed him love right away in a different way than he was used to. Charlie was a great character, which is no surprise, because one thing Eloisa James always does well is secondary characters. I loved Vander’s uncle and how he was a total fanboy over Mia’s books. I also liked what we saw of Thorn and India, and how they were so loyal to Vander.
While I did like Three Weeks With Lady X better, I still thoroughly enjoyed this book. There’s always something so epic and compulsively readable about Eloisa’s books. If you’re just getting into historical romance and haven’t yet read her backlist I highly recommend you do so....more
I absolutely love the concept of alternate dimensions and exploring them, so this book hooked me in right away with that element. I'm not too fussy onI absolutely love the concept of alternate dimensions and exploring them, so this book hooked me in right away with that element. I'm not too fussy on having all the scientific details or an explanation on how it works, but I think Claudia Gray did a good job explaining things without making it boring.
I liked the lead character. Marguerite was a bit impulsive, but she was brave and loyal to her family. I liked her spunk and determination. In terms of other characters, can we talk about Paul Markov and how dreamy he is? He's utterly lovely in both the incarnations we meet.
The “who actually killed her father?” mystery aspect of the book was both simple and complex. On the one hand, you can figure out some parts so easily. On the other hand, there are parts to unravel that you need to read on to figure out, and it gets complicated enough that you might not even work out every aspect until the Big Reveal time.
Basically, I'm kind of obsessed with these characters and the intrigue. I liked that there was a satisfying ending but also so much more to be explored with the larger plot and in the universe that had been built. I’m very much looking forward to Book 2!...more
I completely loved the idea of this book -- it sounded like a total “me” book -- but unfortunately I failed to really connect with the characters or tI completely loved the idea of this book -- it sounded like a total “me” book -- but unfortunately I failed to really connect with the characters or the story. The voice of the main character is very “rural teen”, a completely different world than I’m used to. I guess that sounds silly, because reading about a warrior or some character in a fantasy world is something outside my reality too, but there was something different about this. I love that books are getting published from different types of characters, ones outside the norm, but in this case it just wasn’t for me.
I definitely didn’t dislike No Place to Fall, but I didn’t find it very memorable either. The main character, Amber, was a very confusing character, I think because she was at a stage where she wanted to test boundaries. She does things that are more than slightly insane, and I had a hard time relating to that. Probably a lot of other people might connect with this type of character, but, again, I just didn’t. On the romance end of things, the supposed love interest was kind of an idiot. I was really hoping there would be someone better for Amber.
What I liked most about this book was Amber’s love of music and how that was presented. I love when there is an aspect of a character which is so clear to them. Amber may have been a mess overall, but when it came to music she absolutely knew who she was.
So, overall, this was a hit and a miss for me. It’s not bad, but it didn’t enthrall me, either. Be sure to check out other reviews, because I’m sure many others connected to it in a way that I didn’t....more
There’s something about Jay Crownover’s writing that makes it super addicting and easy to read. I also find that her characters are well fleshed out.There’s something about Jay Crownover’s writing that makes it super addicting and easy to read. I also find that her characters are well fleshed out. Right from the beginning they feel like real people. This was absolutely the case here, even with the very complicated characters and situations.
I'm generally a fan of the good guy character, so it's absolutely crazy that I fell for Bax. I mean, he's not someone I would personally want, but in the context of the book? Oh yeah. As for him and Dovie, they are just awesome together. The reasons why I can like Bax as a character, despite the things he does, is because of how he feels for Race and especially how he feels for Dovie. Those feelings are the good parts of him, showing that he’s not bad deep down and he’s not just a criminal. He’s someone who wanted to get out of the life before, and he sees the injustice in the world he lives in.
On the flip side, Dovie is the quintessential good girl. She's sweet and fairly innocent, despite growing up in a rough situation. I admired her the way Bax grew to: that she was goodness in among all the bad, a light in the dark, etc. It takes someone special to be that way when they've had a difficult life, and Dovie is definitely a special character.
Better When He’s Bad is a gritty story featuring rough characters, but it felt genuine. The setting felt like a real place, with the characters representing a real lifestyle. The book features heart pounding action scenes, as well as the mystery of what happened to Race. There are some twisty parts, which you may or may not guess ahead of time. If you’re looking for a gritty romance featuring an actual bad boy (versus the “he’s a bit of a player with tattoos, so we’ll call him a bad boy” type), be sure to check this one out....more
I was highly, highly anticipating this book, which is always a dangerous thing. It may be why I liked this book, but didn’t completely love it. Don'tI was highly, highly anticipating this book, which is always a dangerous thing. It may be why I liked this book, but didn’t completely love it. Don't get me wrong, Rowdy is a good book, but I didn't fall into it like I did the other books in the series.
What’s great about this series, and one reason why I loved the past books so much, is that the couples coming together is quite a surprise. Even when there’s a long history between the two characters, or a “working up to it” type of situation, it’s still something fresh and new for those characters to come together and find themselves in love. Here the situation is a bit different, and it didn’t quite click for me. It rubbed me the wrong way a bit for Salem to come sailing back into Rowdy’s life after a decade of absence and just automatically assume she’s going to make him hers.
I think for me to really love a book I have to understand the main characters, and that’s where things got a bit murky. Rowdy has always been the sweet good-time guy on the edge of the stories, so I can understand why the readers might not fully know his character until this point. However, it felt off to me that Salem came sweeping in, revealing that Rowdy is this broken character using happiness as a mask. I can understand the readers not knowing him completely, but what about the characters who he says saved him? They are the ones who presented him as a happy, joyful guy, so is Salem saying that these people, who he calls his family, don’t know him? I had a hard time understanding who the real Rowdy was.
Another thing that bugged me about this book is that there was so much sex. That might sound weird considering all of Jay Crownover’s books are sexy, but hear me out. Usually I find her books sexy in a good way -- in an empowering way, where the couples further their emotional connection through sex. Here the sex scenes felt gratuitous. I mean, seriously, besides maybe going on a picnic and hanging out at a bar once or twice, it honestly felt like all they did was have sex. This will work for a lot of people, but it didn't for me. Where were the "get to know you" chats? Despite what Salem thinks, just because you grew up together for five years does not mean you know each other ten years down the line. I wanted to see them getting to know one another again, seeing how they fit into each other’s worlds, but that didn't really happen.
At this point you probably think I hated this book, but I truly didn’t. I liked it, and I liked some aspects a lot, I just didn’t like it as much as the previous books in the series. I have high expectations for Jay’s books, and they make me feel a lot of things even when I’m not in love with them. Despite some of my problems with this book I’d still recommend it over a lot of other New Adult books, and I’d definitely still label this series as one of my favourites in NA.
What I liked about this book especially was the subplot with Salem’s family. It gets especially crazy at one point, but it still didn't feel over the top. I liked seeing into their background, as it explained a lot about Salem and her sister. I also liked the lawyer character, who can’t really be talked about because of spoilers. Even though the build up for that felt obvious it was still a great subplot, and I liked the way it played out. Since I didn’t absolutely love Rowdy/Salem, I actually found my favourite parts of the book to be the group scenes, seeing what the rest of the gang was up to, and seeing the build up for Royal/Asa.
It's clear that this definitely wasn’t my favourite of the series (Rome is holding on to that spot, with Jet being a close second), but hey, it might be your new fave! I still have a lot of faith in Jay’s writing, and I’m excited for Asa (April 2015) and for the second book in her Welcome to the Point series, Better When He’s Bold (February 2015)....more
I was sucked in by the premise of this book, the whole “one that got away” situation. I was curious how it would work, considering one of the people wI was sucked in by the premise of this book, the whole “one that got away” situation. I was curious how it would work, considering one of the people was married in the present. Happily I can report that there is no actual cheating in the book, which was one bright spot. What’s quite interesting about this book is that it's very focused on the relationship between Ben and Rachel, but it's not what I would call a traditional romance.
Rachel is a complicated character. On the one hand I liked that she had a lot to learn. She made bad choices and she was passive a lot of the time. I’d so much rather read about a flawed character than one who is perfect all the time. On the other hand, though, I don’t know how sympathetic she was. Her passivity reached to epic proportions, to the point where she stayed with another man ten years, despite loving someone else. Ben, interestingly enough, is equally appealing and unappealing at the same time. He made weak choices and let those decisions dictate his life. He lies to himself and he lies to Rachel at times, in one instance being very accusatory and completely unfair.
I wasn’t sure how this book would play out, but it didn’t fully live up to my expectations. I found it difficult to root for Rachel and Ben, considering Ben was married for 98% of the book. The book was so bittersweet for the majority of the time. There were definitely some good moments in the past where you saw what could be between them, and some potential in the current moments. I felt like those scenes were sullied a bit, though, considering that either one of them was with someone else the whole time.
Despite my problems with how it read overall, I didn’t fully dislike this book. There were some interesting side characters, and I enjoyed the subplot with Rachel's work. I can’t really fault the author for my feelings toward this book, because I mainly didn’t connect with it because it wasn’t the book I was expecting or looking for. It seems as though many people have fallen in love with this book, so I suggest you check it out for yourself to see if you’re one of them....more
It would be an understatement to say I was excited when I saw that Logan was one of the main characters in Wild. I was totally ecstatic, because I jusIt would be an understatement to say I was excited when I saw that Logan was one of the main characters in Wild. I was totally ecstatic, because I just had a feeling he would be an incredibly sexy and interesting character to delve into. And, of course, that prediction was right. Logan, Logan, Logan… what is there to say about him?! Well, he’s both wise and experienced beyond his years. He is in no way a typical high school senior, and in a lot of other circumstances I would call bullshit on this guy being a high schooler, but Sophie Jordan pulls it off beautifully. Logan’s life hasn't been typical at all. He's basically raised himself, since his mother passed away and his father is a drunk. Logan’s older brother Reece (protagonist of book 1, Foreplay) has done his best, but he's only a few years older and he was away at school for a time. What’s so great about Logan’s character is that he’s a lot deeper than you think he is. You get to see his serious side here, the one that no one else really acknowledges.
Georgia was a good main character, but a very frustrating one as well. Georgia’s mother dictated her whole life, from the biggest choices to the smallest details. Georgia had her own likes and wants, but she never let them out. It’s definitely a tough situation to be in, and one you can’t judge from the outside, but it was hard to see Georgia so beaten down and unhappy. I understood the predicament, but I really wished Georgia had stood up for herself sooner.
So… Georgia and Logan together? Pretttty epic. There aren’t a lot of older woman/younger guy stories out there, so I was really excited for this one, especially since Logan is the experienced one in the relationship. The two of them together is primarily about sexual attraction at first, but it becomes more without Georgia wanting to admit it. She’s totally in over her head with Logan, because while she tries to tell herself he’s just a kid she can't stop thinking about him. These two seem like total opposites, but for some reason they totally work. Georgia grounds Logan and sees him how he really is, and Logan brings out Georgia's fun side and her real self, the one she wants to keep hidden.
I absolutely loved experiencing the relationship between Logan and Georgia and seeing everyone's reactions to them. Wild was an awesome read and this has been a great series overall. It brings in tropes and themes that you see in a lot of books and that you expect from NA, but the characters are so real and interesting that they truly make the books. Now that this series is complete I hope that Sophie Jordan will continue to write in the New Adult category....more