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
I had high expectations for this book (it just sounded epic), but it surpassed all of them. This is a longgg read, but my attention neverOH. MY. GOSH.
I had high expectations for this book (it just sounded epic), but it surpassed all of them. This is a longgg read, but my attention never waned. In fact, I stayed up past 4 am (!) crying my eyes out over it -- and this is not a usual occurrence. (Reading late, yes. Actually crying over a book? No.)
Much love for Nick/Bex, so can I be one of the first to claim Freddie?? <3
Full review to come, but needless to say I LOVED THIS BOOK (!!!)....more
All Fall Down was a highly anticipated title for me, as I’m sure it is for a lot of people. I was so excited to start a new series from Ally Carter, aAll Fall Down was a highly anticipated title for me, as I’m sure it is for a lot of people. I was so excited to start a new series from Ally Carter, and I wasn’t at all disappointed.
Grace is a different type of heroine for Ally Carter, which I really appreciated. Grace is a lot broken. She's dealing (or not dealing) with her mom's death, she's been to a shrink, and you can just tell she’s not coping well. Grace swears that her mom was murdered, but no one will believe her, which sets up an incredibly interesting mystery.
One of my favourite aspects of the book was the setting of Embassy Row. Grace’s grandfather is the US ambassador to the (fictional) European country of Adria. I loved meeting the international kids and seeing the lifestyle there. I loved the action scenes (which we all know Ally does so well), and the conspiracy element to it.
This book has a lack of romance to it, but you can definitely see things developing in the future. That being said, it was refreshing to not have a romance plot line. I didn’t miss it at all, especially since Grace is a younger character who has way more important things to deal with. I liked that friendship was the primary type of relationship featured, especially since there was a great gang of supporting characters.
All Fall Down is a good first book in a new series. It has a whammy of a conclusion and a set up that will get you incredibly excited for Book 2. Awesome, as expected from Ally Carter. Definitely recommended....more
My first impression of the book: I saw the cover and thought WOW!! My second impression of the book: it sounds interesting, but perhaps a bit cliche,My first impression of the book: I saw the cover and thought WOW!! My second impression of the book: it sounds interesting, but perhaps a bit cliche, so maybe I’ll wait and read some reviews. My third impression of the book: okay, but look at all those amazing blurbs from authors that I freaking adore. Decision: okay, I definitely have to read this now!!! And oh my GOSH I am so glad I read this one. It was only poor decision making because now I have to wait even longer for the second book.
Bad Romeo tells a story we may have read before, at least on the surface. It features a broken boy with emotional issues who has MAJORLY screwed up (we’re not completely sure how), but now he’s reformed (supposedly) and he wants another chance. It’s the girl-loves-emotionally-unavailable-boy story. Our main character, Cassie, hasn't been able to replace said boy (Ethan) in her bed or in her heart, but she’s understandably leery to trust him again.
This book features two incredible main characters. Cassie from then and Cassie from now are so deliciously the same character and yet so deliciously not. I'm not sure I've ever read a better instance of character growth, where you can see how life experiences and the hurt Cassie has been through has changed her inner monologue. Another thing I loved about Cassie is that college aged Cassie was a virgin who was also very sexual. I don't think we see this type of character enough. So often, even in romance novels (the books which should be celebrating all versions of female sexuality), you've got the simpering virgin with no experience OR the fully sexually empowered woman. There doesn't tend to be many characters in between. Cassie may be lacking in orgasms, but she freely talks about masturbation and watching porn. She's a virgin who (gasp!) has sexual urges and knows what she wants. Cassie is, in fact, the initiator in almost every sexual encounter with Ethan.
Ethan is also a character who changes and evolves. He's a real jerk at the beginning of the book, where in real life it would be like "see you later, jackass" but in the book he has enough charming vulnerability for you to say "get it, girl!". You cling to the good parts of the character and really want him to be the best version of himself, which definitely comes out in present Ethan. Ethan from now is charming and cocky and delicious, minus the crippling emotional issues of Ethan from then.
Basically, I loved (loved loved!) this book, and considering there's very little actual sex going on it's a surprisingly sexy and steamy read. I absolutely loved this story, but I am a bit disappointed that it ended on a cliffhanger. It felt like with another 30 to 50 pages we could have had the whole story, rather than drawing things out into a sequel. Of course since this book was so good in general I’m really hoping that the second book will give us a great full story rather than dragging out the will they/won’t they for another novel. Bad Romeo is an absolutely amazing read, and I can’t wait for more from this author....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
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
THIS BOOK. I read a lot of books, so it really means something when it’s been months since I’ve read a book and I still remember not only a lot of detTHIS BOOK. I read a lot of books, so it really means something when it’s been months since I’ve read a book and I still remember not only a lot of details about it, but also how much it made me feel. And this book? It totally made me feel. It was a completely frustrating reading experience at times, because of how long it took the characters to see how good they were together. I mean, they couldn’t admit how they felt to themselves let alone to the other person, so it definitely took a while. But it was gorgeous, swoonworthy frustration. There are just so many good moments in When Joss Met Matt (including non-romantic ones, such as Joss with her cat).
It takes talent to tell a story of flashbacks mixed with the present and I think the author did an awesome job of it. Towards the beginning I kept wanting to know more of the present, but very quickly the book hit a groove and the way things were presented fit so well in the present context. It was amazing to see Joss and Matt’s friendship evolve and experience how they always belonged to one another even when they didn't know it. I completely fell in love with these characters and I loved how they developed throughout the book. It was especially awesome to see Joss grow up, especially when she had the realization about Matt.
Another thing I really enjoyed about this book was that there was a decent chunk of story at the end when we were caught up with the present and got to be along on the emotional journey with Joss. It’s not often that I fall in love with a book that is basically only about sex/romance, but I think I liked the characters and wanted them to be together so much that it worked for me. It was enough about them as individuals growing to a place where they were ready for the relationship that it stopped it from being one dimensional.
Overall I found this book to be a lot of fun. It was certainly frustrating at times, but it was also lovely and funny and sweet. A great New Adult romance....more
If you read my reviews regularly you know that I’ve been loving Ann Aguirre’s New Adult 2B trilogy. This final book in the trilogy, The Shape of My HeIf you read my reviews regularly you know that I’ve been loving Ann Aguirre’s New Adult 2B trilogy. This final book in the trilogy, The Shape of My Heart, stars Courtney and Max. Courtney is a very cool chick; she’s spunky and outgoing, but she also has a soft side to her. While it doesn’t totally take over her life, she’s very much still suffering over the death of her high school boyfriend, who was also her best friend. Our hero, Max, is a very layered character. We’ve seen some glimpses into his true self over the past two books, but here we get his full story. Max is someone who has made something of himself despite his rough past. He’s actually very vulnerable, and he’s one of those people who is so lovely but doesn’t see his own worth.
Courtney and Max are very intense together, but their relationship feels so right. They grew incredibly close as friends first, a situation where going to the next level made perfect sense. Of course since this is a novel, and reading about total happiness tends to be boring, there has to be a wrinkle in the perfection of their relationship. I was a bit disappointed in how things went down. In some ways it fit the characters, but I was frustrated with Max’s actions and confused as to why both of them made it seem like Courtney was completely in the wrong.
Overall, though, I thought this was a good book with awesome main and secondary characters. I do have to say that I Want It That Way is my favourite book of the three, but I still enjoyed every book in the trilogy. Ann Aguirre has a great talent at writing diverse college aged characters who feel like real young adults. I love that her books include drama without going over the top, and that they tell a great story of character growth for each of the the main characters, as well as a sizzling romance....more
Scratch is a book I enjoyed mostly because of the characters and their journeys. I liked that our main character, Casey, went through a gradu3.5 stars
Scratch is a book I enjoyed mostly because of the characters and their journeys. I liked that our main character, Casey, went through a gradual process of opening up to people and changing her mindset. With our hero, Daniel, I liked how he was sweet and patient, but that he didn't let himself get walked all over. Daniel was willing to wait on sexual matters and never ever pressed Casey, but when it came to matters of trust he was willing to stand up for himself and what he was worth.
In terms of plot you get hints of what happened to Casey, and then you can basically figure out what happened to her before it’s all spelled out. I’m not sure it had to be such a secret until that reveal, but it didn’t detract too much from the story. One of my favourite parts of the book was Casey’s relationship with her grandparents and how her understanding of them evolved. Casey has the realization that they’ve also been hurting because of what happened, and that they’ve had to deal with the same situation, just from another perspective.
Overall this is a good read. I love nice guy love interests and strong female friendships, both of which Scratch features in great ways. Not a favourite, but definitely still recommended....more
Loving You is Easy is one of those books that contains a lot of tropes. The ones I found include: the girl with a mysterious damaged past, the girl wiLoving You is Easy is one of those books that contains a lot of tropes. The ones I found include: the girl with a mysterious damaged past, the girl with family issues (bonus points: her father is in politics), the injured young vet fresh back from war, and the sex scandal. Now, if I see a book that is too much like every other book out there I get a bit cautious. There's a reason why tropes are tropes, though, and that’s because when they’re done well? They’re irresistible. In this case I loved the characters in Loving You is Easy and I adored the way the story played out. It was deeply emotional -- as in, I had actual tears streaming down my face several times. I could really feel for the characters and their circumstances.
Our main character Brooke is tough. She’s very determined and self-aware. Brooke falls in love with Shane and is willing to wait for him to be ready for the relationship. When Shane comes back from war injured she’s not scared of the situation and is willing to love and support him no matter what. As I mentioned, Brooke has had a hard time with her family, but she’s very strong and brave, distancing herself from a poisonous situation.
Shane first appears to be the typical good time guy, a guy’s guy, but since this is a romance novel, he’s definitely using bravado to cover up the major feels he’s feeling. He doesn’t think he’s good enough for Brooke, and it’s even worse when he comes back injured and his ego is bruised along with his body. On top of that he has PTSD and thinks of himself only as weak. Shane is actually dealing pretty well, considering he has no idea where his life is going now that his chosen career is over, and on top of that he’s dealing with the death of his best friend. He’s pretty strong, considering all of that, but Shane only sees the negative: the weakness of his leg and his vision, the nightmares he has, etc.
I really liked that Shane and Brooke had a background of writing letters and emails to each other for years. This gave them a real chemistry straight away that made sense. They knew each other’s deepest secrets, so it was logical that they worked so well together in person. I got a little angry at Shane constantly thinking he wasn’t good enough, but I liked that even when he was trying to push Brooke away he didn’t go into unforgivable territory. So often “heroes” do and say horrible things in the name of “saving” the woman they love, so I’m glad it didn’t go to that level.
Besides the romance, there’s also a whole side plot about sexy pics being leaked online, which actually turned out to be less of the story than I expected. It’s this huge mess of false accusations of Brooke, who is a middle school teacher, sexually abusing her students. I wasn’t sure how I liked the message overall, about the dangers of false reporting and why it’s so dangerous to use just witness testimony, and also how you automatically assume the guilt of the adult in these situations. It worked in the case of the book, but it seemed a dangerous topic to explore, considering how many actual abusers get off scott-free in situations like this. I was afraid this story line would go to the side when the romantic conflict came to the forefront, but I thought the way it was wrapped up was satisfactory, if a bit convenient.
I loved this story for the most part, and found both the main and secondary characters to be interesting. Brooke’s BFF is kind of insane, but I love their relationship. I’m sure we’re getting a book with her and Shane’s army buddy, considering they were pen pals as well, and had some crazy incident between them. I also thought Shane’s family was a hoot, with his mother being lovely and his one sister being absolutely crazzzy. Overall, recommended....more
Promise Me This is another great New Adult novel from Christina Lee. I thought this book was a really beautiful story about self acceptance. What I loPromise Me This is another great New Adult novel from Christina Lee. I thought this book was a really beautiful story about self acceptance. What I love about Christina’s books is that they send great messages without being the type of book that knocks you over the head with it.
One thing that stood out for me in Promise Me This, and that I really appreciated, is that it sent a very strong positive recommendation for therapy. I loved how Jessie suggested therapy to Nate, sending him the message that you’re not weak for seeking help. I liked that the characters recognized that talking things out in general is great, but that talking to a professional can help you in even more ways.
Jessie is a tattoo covered girl who’s very emotionally strong, probably because of the strong support system she’s always had. She’s a very sweet girl who is friends with Nate long before any kind of romantic or sexual feelings develop between them. Jessie doesn’t see herself with a preppy guy, but a particular incident makes her start thinking differently about Nate. I loved Jessie’s passion for photography, which was passed down from her recently deceased father, and how she honoured her father by using his camera.
Nate is generally a good guy. He first appears as the typical manwhore character, but he’s definitely a lot more than that. He’s a good guy who doesn’t see himself as that. He’s a very vulnerable character, still suffering from the abuse that his father has targeted on their family, but especially on Nate’s mother. Nate fears becoming like his father, especially because of his sexual predilections.
What’s great about Christina Lee's books is that they feel very realistic. The characters are layered, and the situations seem true to life. In this vein, I liked how there wasn't any easy answers for Nate when it came to his personal life or with his family situation. It was a definite process, both with learning to accept his sexual tastes and in realizing that the only person he can control is himself. It was lovely to see Nate make peace with his situations and to see Jessie encourage Nate while letting him find his own path.
Overall I definitely recommend Promise Me This. It’s a steamy love story with a strong emotional base, and I think all romance fans will find something to enjoy in it....more