Poetry has always been a secret love of mine since I knew how to string a sentence together. What drew me to this was not only the hype that surroundePoetry has always been a secret love of mine since I knew how to string a sentence together. What drew me to this was not only the hype that surrounded it, but I've read some of this author's poems online and I was drawn to her words.
While not too many poems were ones I related to, there were some that I resonated with, some that just pulled me back and made me ponder, and some that pricked at my eyes at the reality of them.
I could pick my favourites on one hand, but the one that stood out to me was:
"You must want to spend your life with yourself first."
This one gave me the perfect chills and spoke to my soul. A few more...
"You must enter a relationship with yourself before anyone else."
"The thing about writing is I can't tell if its's healing or destroying me."
And one more for the road...
"If you are not enough for yourself you will never be enough for someone else."
The drawings in here was a welcome treat and really brings the words to life. And while this book can be read in under an hour, I'm the kind of person who likes to reread poems to let it sink in and make my mind whir.
First off, I just want to mention this cover. *fans self* Thanks Tijan for the eye candy. Much MUCH appreciated. I shall add him to my shelf soon whenFirst off, I just want to mention this cover. *fans self* Thanks Tijan for the eye candy. Much MUCH appreciated. I shall add him to my shelf soon when I get a physical copy of this book. Because...have you seen the cover?! My favourite cover so far.
The book was even more so.
I fell right in to this book with all the emotions that this book pulled out of me. I enjoyed every second of it. The writing, the characters, the plot. Everything.
I was instantly drawn to the narrator. Summer is a person that everyone can identify with in one way or another, but I loved the journey of following her along and witnessing her growth throughout. There's actually no one I hated in here. Well I did hate some characters but I still saw the small good in them that made them seem so real.
Caden made my heart swoon. I was totally crushing on him. That cover model didn't help my case at all whenever I pictured his face as Caden. Yeah I admit I usually ignore the cover models sometimes and come up with my own description in my head of how the characters look like...but call me delusional but I was picturing him as Caden the whole time and I was yip swooning.
This book had everything I look for in a good read. A hot swoony male lead with depth, empathy and compassion but above all else loyalty for those he loved. And even though he kept his circle small, he loved with all his heart and I loved that about him.
Summer was a real kicker. I liked her As a main character. I had my ups and down with the rest of them but she seemed like someone I'd like as a friend of mine.
I enjoyed this so much. I almost wanna read it again. Or just have an excuse to gaze at the cover again.
A story about a girl having buried feelings for her stepbrother, who hasn't yet grieved for her mother, and is slowly developing feelings for her best friend who happens to be her stepbrother's fraternity brother. The tug of war between honest friendship and family loyalty. Summer is a girl who can either put out a fire or spark a wildfire. I liked that about her. I also want more of this book.
I definitely want more of Tijans writing.
5stars because it was that good. Also don't be afraid to gaze at the cover. Its too damn hard not to....more
This book was filled with angst. Lots of humour and whole lot-a yes please.
Chase is such a romantic. He just knew what to say and how to say it. He wThis book was filled with angst. Lots of humour and whole lot-a yes please.
Chase is such a romantic. He just knew what to say and how to say it. He was blunt, sexy and bossy as hell. And I liked it.
But he was also a broken man with a broken heart. When he finds Reese trying to pull out of a date that she wasn't enjoying, he calls her out on it. So instead of enduring her date Chase and his date joins them and so begins a flurry of quick witted banter, sexual tension and a whole lot of not so out of the blue encounters.
Especially when Reese lands the job in the same company that Chase happens to own. Chase is persistent when he wants something but Reese has had a bad previous experience with a former colleague that made her look for another job. And she swears not to repeat that mistake. But hers and Chases sexual attraction is off the charts. And who wouldn't want a piece of that action right?
Boss-man is everything I look for in a good romance book. Steamy dreamy hero...and...well let's face it that's all I really want in it LOL but the heroine was sweet and not annoying so I'll give her props for that.
The plot twist was so heartbreaking and I just cared so much for these characters. The writing as always was just as good. That epilogue just made me turn into mush. Really bringing this novel full circle.
I laughed out loud on the first couple of pages. I get second hand embarrassment sometimes but that first encounter meeting was pretty hilarious. EmerI laughed out loud on the first couple of pages. I get second hand embarrassment sometimes but that first encounter meeting was pretty hilarious. Emerie was a spit fire. I liked her. Drew even more so.
An office type romance that I actually enjoyed. Their banter was quite funny I even snorted a couple of times.
I adored Drew and despite his arrogance he was quite a charmer. And a sweet thoughtful guy. Even though he hid it behind this tough exterior, he melted me into goo with the stuff he did for Emerie.
I felt it to be quite ironic that Emerie is a marriage councillor and Drew is a divorce attorney. And they end up sharing the same office space. Both dealing with marriages but offering different services. It made their interactions so much more entertaining. And the whiteboard quotes she wrote on the door he always changed it to something rude and funny.
My heart broke for Drew when we find out a little more about his background. I couldn't stand his ex. My gosh I wanted to throttle her. She was a bonafide bitch. And I hate using that term to degrade women but she's the reason that term was even invented. I swear.
Emerie was such a relatable likable heroine. I wasn't annoyed at her once. She's such a sweetheart.
I enjoyed Vi Keeland's writing as well. Easy to read and fluid with pacing. Guess I'll be adding her to my author list too.
P.S. I'll have that cover model to-go thanks!...more
This was probably one of the hardest books to read from Penelope Ward. So much happened in this that it is hard for me to decipher my thought processThis was probably one of the hardest books to read from Penelope Ward. So much happened in this that it is hard for me to decipher my thought process and how I feel about the story as a whole.
Part of my resilience is based off the characters decisions and the repercussions they endured after. My heart was dragged through the mud with this book. I've never been so conflicted about a book where I don't know what to rate it.
In some parts it was a solid five. Other parts I thought maybe that's too generous and it was just hanging by a three. Then the worst parts spiralled down to a one. I was a mess of emotions.
This is going to be more of a spoiler rant than a review...so you have been warned.
I went into this book knowing nothing and just putting my faith solely into Penelope's hands. I'm already well versed into her work that I am confident in the stories she writes because I trust her as a writer.
This book was so unpredictable it had me on edge throughout the whole thing. Part of me was hoping for a needle in a haystack most of the time. It was stressful.
The first half of this book is great. Evangeline was a heroine who seemed confident in what she wanted. She was ambitious. Steadfast, and independent. I saw her as a strong female who just knew what she wants out of life. The drive behind her had made her seem so real to me. Inspiring even. The minute she meets her sisters betrothed is what initially would become her biggest downfall. Not just as in their relationship but a character as a whole.
Sevin was a walking sin. For all involved. Despite his sexual attraction to Evangeline and vice versa, Sevin was always the one who initiated anything between the two. Despite Evangeline's trepidatious warnings. He never had any regard for the consequences of his actions. And despite their forbidden love for each other, he was still keeping his betrothed at arms length stringing her along.
Now I know that given both their circumstances, I get that they both had limited options, but I think Sevin was selfish to think he could love one sister but marry the other. His reasonings for keeping the engagement to Elle was idiotic. He should have stopped it the moment he knew he was falling for Evangeline. Sure he said he would but his actions always contradicted his words.
His actions showed that he didn't respect Evangeline enough to break the engagement and man up and tell everyone the truth before it got out of hand. Evangeline deserved better than that. But he was too selfish to stop. The temptation was too enticing. He pushed and pushed until finally Evangeline gave in. Which was where everything went downhill for her. I felt so sorry for her. She didn't deserve the mayhem that followed her life after she ran away.
The worst thing he done was blame her for everything. She wasn't worth a damn thing to him after she left. Sure he waited. All a whole year. A year he gives in and marries her sister Elle.
For someone who claimed he loved Evangeline, he didn't do shit to try to look for her. A year. That's all it took for him to marry and settle with her sister Elle. The betrothed.
Elle deserved so much better. Evangeline even more so. But he blamed her for leaving??? Sevin was an asshole. I've never been so angry at a character like this let alone a fictional character. He was an ass.h.o.l.e.
Sure he stayed with Elle. But it was pity that drove him there. He thought by staying with her, that he was doing right by her. Yeah no. He was just selfish. He would keep her company until the day she died.
Which ultimately brings him face to face with Evangeline five years later. At her funeral.
And he has the audacity to be mad?! Give me a break. She left her family, she left the love of her life, all because she thought Elle deserved an honest married man. She thought she was doing everyone a favour. If there ever was a martyr in this story, Evangeline definitely oozed that title. But she came back to mourn her sister. But she couldn't even do that without judgment? I'm confused why they thought she had no right to mourn her sister? Ugh. That made me mad.
And Sevin refused to forgive her. That she abandoned him. That she broke his heart. That she was the reason for everything wrong in his life. Are you fucking kidding me?
Granted that Evangeline handled things irrationally, and impulsive, but she was a confused girl that had no sense of direction. Her father was a bigot asshole. Her mom was a fly on the wall. And her sister was living inside a rainbow unicorn infested bubble. And we've already established what I thought about Sevin. So of course I'd be running if I was in that same position. Who wouldn't?
A scared pregnant girl, with no sense of direction? No one to turn to. Yeah, I don't blame her for the need to run away.
If Sevin was the man she believed he was, a safe truth, a man who loved her enough to conquer the world, I truly think she would have told him. If her sister wasn't so self involved, so blind by false hope, I truly believe she would have told her everything. If her father wasn't so set in his ways, I think she would have told him. Her mother was the only means as a scape goat. But even she failed her.
My heart was really there for Evangeline. Her life was a constant downspiral after that. She fell pregnant. Almost at the brink of being homeless which led to her having to give up her child. Ended up in an abusive marriage. Ended up losing her sister. Became estranged with the one woman that I felt treated her with the utmost respect, her best friend slash mechanic, Addy. Lost her family in the process. And became a stripper to make ends meet. And the worst was that she thought she deserved every bad thing that happened to her. That it was her punishment for the sins she commited. For loving Sevin. Her life made my heart break for her. She deserved so much more. All because the decision to leave her forbidden romance when things got too overwhelming. So he can make her sister happy like it was 'supposed' to be.
And it was no ones fault. But her own? I don't believe that. I think she had a choice. Sure. But her circumstances left her with little to no reprieve. She had the weight of the world on her shoulders. If anything she had way more to lose than any of the characters in this book. Because she was selfless she refused to succumb to love. Her parents ideals made her believe that falling in love was a sin. So she ran.
I think if anything she deserved an apology. From her mother, her father, her sister and definitely from her so called lover.
The part where Sevin learns that Evangeline is a stripper, he stays and demands a lap dance of her. The waitress gives him a warning that she's not that kind of girl. But because he's not happy about that he offers her ten grand to get a lap dance. When they're finally face to face, he decides to rub it in her face. Humiliate her, make her feel like shit, as if she didn't already, and then insults her profession basically degrading her. I was done for. That is when I decided I hated him for good. Sure he apologized but he was an ass.
Despite my hatred for Sevin. I truly was conflicted with this book. A true love/hate relationship with it. I was totally immersed in every word, every page, every heart break. I was so addicted to this book. There were so many things I loved in this book. Mostly the things that Evangeline said. Her ambitions really spoke to me. Her love for cars made me smile. Her personality was infrctious. I was rooting for her life to get better. Even if it meant a life without Sevin.
The true heart of this story is really the result of their offspring Rose. I was brought to tears when we meet her. It was truly a happily ever after that spoke volumes. So despite my shit talk about Sevin, Rose really brought out the best in him. And I fucking forgave him. I think her existence really redeemed Sevin for me. I like that they never gave up on each other, even when their breaking points seemed to dissuage from each other. I truly believed the only sin that they ever committed was believing the lie was the best thing for them both.
I think I highlighted so many quotes bit out of all of them...My favourite quote was: "Your my truth. Everything else is a lie"
My heart sank that she couldn't have anymore children. But everything that leads up to the ending kind of makes sense for the story.
Thanks Penelope Ward. You've officially made my top five authors. For someone who can make me love and hate every single character, and fall in love with a fuckboy like Sevin, all the while hating the fuck out of him, I applaud you.
I'm completely high on Penelope Ward books right now, so anything I say will be a little hard for me to articulaI cannot. Stop. Reading. These. Books.
I'm completely high on Penelope Ward books right now, so anything I say will be a little hard for me to articulate how much I enjoy her writing. Her characters are defi itely some of my favourite I've read so far. Each and every one of them takes up a place in my heart. They're so realistic and painfully human I just can't help but fall in love with them.
I never thought I'd like this story after reading Stepbrother Dearest but this is on a whole new level.
It's so easy to fall into Penelope's books because they are addicting and easily paced that it's so easy to get lost into them
There were so many heartwarming messages and moments in here that made me root for these two characters.
I finished this thinking that while it's not my favourite Penelope Ward book, Jake is definitely my favourite male character she's written that I've rI finished this thinking that while it's not my favourite Penelope Ward book, Jake is definitely my favourite male character she's written that I've read so far.
I mean, he's definitely got major flaws and major baggage but overall I still liked him as a whole.
Nina, was a character that really mirrored myself in so many ways. I was a bit hesistant to read on once I learned of her anxiety because I was afraid that they would trigger my own, but knowing that someone like Nina shared the same issues and insecurities really resonated with me that it made me relate to her on a personal level. I could definitely see myself in her.
Afraid of getting stuck in an elevator. Check. Afraid of flying on a plane. Check. Afraid of heights. Check. Afraid of public transport. Check. I even hate talking on the phone. Or ordering food. Or asking for help. Or that normal shit that should be easy to do? I struggle with. I don't even drive anymore. Because fuck it all Anxiety is a selfish bitch.
When Nina said she didn't like being forced to do things and face her fears, I couldn't help but nod in annoyance. Because this is me. Every. Fucking. Day.
The only difference is I was forced to endure them By default. I had to take a train AND a bus twice a day to and from work. I had to take the elevator to the top of the floor to where I worked. And the worst part was the day I had to face my fear of flying when I had to take a flight to a business meeting ALONE and meet my reps for work. I'd conquered all of my fears in as little as a couple of months. I still struggle with those simple things but I still endure them because I refused to let it rule my life. Even if I knew that it was little steps to get there, I still did it. And even though I've done these things a million times, I still feel like its the first time when I'm faced with having to go through with it again.
So yeah. I know exactly what Nina was going through. And why I couldn't fault Jake for any of the shit he went through either.
He was a man after my own heart. He challenged Nina to conquer her fears in the best ways possible. He knew how to handle her when things got too overwhelming, he knew that anxiety had no rhyme or reason but he just knew what to do to help her through it. Whether he was standing back. Or holding her hand. Even tickling her feet to distract her...everything he done made it so much more bearable that her anxiety seemed to take a back seat to her feelings when he was around. He was so thoughtful and sweet and caring. I just knew that I was done for.
He was definitely a walking contradiction. The twists and turns made me so nervous and once we learn what seems to be plaguing his resistance to Nina, everything seems to fall in place and make sense.
This book definitely gave me flashbacks of the RoomHate vibes since Nina moves in to her brothers old friends apartment because she has a spare room available. But what she didn't know is that she ends up being roomates with a hot tattooed guy Jake who is everything opposite to what he seems on the outside. And everything she craves on the inside.
When Nina meets him, they hit it off immediately and soon he makes a bet with her. If he tutors her in maths and she gets anything less than an A in an exam he creates a forfeit where she would havee to conquer one of her fears. Brilliant idea. For all involved.
My love for Jake only intensified when we learn what would soon become his breaking point. I couldn't fault him for any of the mistakes he made. Sure some were hard to swallow but he was such a sweet caring guy that made me root for him all the way.
Because I've recently hopped on the Penelope ward train and the Vi Keeland bandwagon it wasn't much of a surprise that I loved this one. Both authorsBecause I've recently hopped on the Penelope ward train and the Vi Keeland bandwagon it wasn't much of a surprise that I loved this one. Both authors work great together, but still put their own signature spin on things.
I especially loved the fluffy go lucky romance in this. There's this sort of instant connection I have when I start reading their books that makes me feel giddy of what is to come from anything these amazing awesome writers do. Individually they are incredible story tellers. Together they're unstoppable.
Stuck up suit was more fluffy in the sense that it was a lot less angsty and lot more romantic lovey dovey stuff. It was great.
About a guy who has been unlucky in love and a girl who has never been lucky in love. Together they were a powerhouse couple. Soraya was a fire cracker who didn't take his shit. And Graham was a stuck up suit whom she kept on his toes. The both of them were perfect for each other.
The small plot twist I will say was a little ridiculous but it made for good reading.
As always, I am enamoured by whatever these two authors put to paper.
Oh man...I have no words for this. I need to take a minute to process this book first, but WOW. This was intense.
I'm completely on a Penelope Ward biOh man...I have no words for this. I need to take a minute to process this book first, but WOW. This was intense.
I'm completely on a Penelope Ward binge and I'm completely in awe of her skills. Her ability to create such realistic characters blow me away. Especially the male hero's. They're so flawed and sweet and funny and most of all damn sexy. I fall in love with every character. It's incredible.
She so good at creating well rounded characters. And her dialogue is the best thing about her books. Man does this woman know how to write dialogue.
All I know is, that Penelope Ward was destined to write. Her books are becoming my favourite thing right now.
Justin is my main. Hah. I was totally falling for him. He was a crack up. And sexy. And so so adorable. I had several ovaries-gonna-explode moments with him. He's such a husband-material type guy. The way he just took over was so natural to him and cute.
I already want to read it again just for his sake. ...more
I was a little sceptic about this one because the first half of the book had me second guessing myself whether or not I wanted to invest my time intoI was a little sceptic about this one because the first half of the book had me second guessing myself whether or not I wanted to invest my time into this story. I think their ages really put me off. I wasn't expecting them to be so young. But as I kept reading, I found myself glued to the pages.
This story is not usually something I'll read right off the bat. Given the title and blurb, kinda rubbed me the wrong way. But I heard a lot of buzz about it over on booktube and I just had to read it.
At first the characters Greta and Elec were just shells of themselves and I wasn't as interested in them at the start. But then after awhile I came to care for them. I ached for them in ways that made me regret my initial first impression of them.
I laughed. I cried. I swooned. My heart was all in it. This was such a fantastic escape for awhile. I enjoyed every bit of it. Elec. My gosh I had it bad for him. On the exterior, he was an asshole but he really was just a broken boy trying to grasp a hold of his shitty hand he was dealt which made him hide all of his sweetness. Until Greta came along and showed him a way to the surface.
Whoa! This was a kicker. I wasn't expecting this book to be heavy and angsty but I was so consumed, I realised I'd finished it in one gulp.
At first gWhoa! This was a kicker. I wasn't expecting this book to be heavy and angsty but I was so consumed, I realised I'd finished it in one gulp.
At first glimpse, this title and cover hooked me. I mean that guy? Holy hotness!! But going into this book was definitely more than that. I had so many emotions while reading this book.
The biggest was the connection I had to Frankie. Something about her made me relate to her so much. In many ways, I see myself in her.Her character really resonated with me, that made this book a lot more interesting.
The easy to read writing style sucks you in, and Penelope Ward delivers with a punch and then some. Her execution and the way she handled certain themes in here makes me certain that I'll be on the look out for all of her future works and even past creations.
A story about second chances, missed opportunities, and friendship. About two people who find themselves reunited with so many things left unsaid.