I was so glad that Avenge Me didn’t turn out to be one of those eroticas where the guy is so controlling, it makes me want to hurl the book across the room. Those type of guys are gross. It’s one thing to be domineering in the bedroom and a whole other thing to carry that trend into their everyday lives, especially with their significant others. I can’t stand it.
BUT!! Avenge Me didn’t have that icky factor. Austin is complex in his desires, but a well-rounded human being, if a bit tortured at the moment. He did a few things in the beginning of the book in assuring Katy would have to stay with him that left me kind of questioning if he would turn into one of those dudes I hate, but luckily he brought it around made it better. Kind of, haha. Katy for her part didn’t take any of his crap lightly whatsoever. She gave him a whole lot of shit for it.
Austin and Katy are after the same thing inside and outside of the bedroom, but they don’t know that at first. It isn’t until after their first hot encounter IN the bedroom that they learn who they really are and what they’re both planning, and that’s to ruin the same man.
Ultimately this trilogy is about bringing down the one man Austin and Katy are after, because they all want revenge for Sarah Michaels. So in Avenge Me we see the start of his take down. It appears it’s going to be a nasty fight, so be ready!(less)
How to Tell Toledo from the Night Sky is one of the most quirky, wonderful books I’ve read. The magical realism story mixes beautiful writing with fun loving characters who you’ll definitely root for. Also, science! Never thought I’d find science that interesting, but Lydia Netzer makes it so.
Imagine being planned, created, then bred for another person. George and Irene were created for one another, but their story goes a little awry along the way and you’ll just be hoping and wishing they work out. The scene where George sees Irene for “the first time” made me smile and giggle SO HARD! Those two had that effect on me a lot in this book.
Their mothers were a different story though. They caused my heart several twinges of pain throughout the story. It was heartbreaking, but I loved being able to see how this plan was hatched. The glimpses into their past gave the story a solid foundation and even made me wonder if a lot of the things they did could be real.
Also!! This book made me feel like I was watching a Woody Allen movie in my head. It reminded me of Mighty Aphrodite, with all the Greek gods appearing everywhere. :)
I can already tell this book will make an appearance on my End of Year post, and I can guarantee I’ll be recommending it A LOT! I think people who like Sarah Addison Allen’s books should definitely try Lydia Netzer. I can’t wait for you guys to experience this little gem!(less)
For me, the thing about historical fiction that always grabs me is just how much I invest in the characters. Especially when it’s derived from actual history. I’ve always loved history and always loved losing myself in imagining what peoples’ lives were like then. I first fell in love with the Tudor era after watching The Tudors series on Showtime. If a character intrigued me enough I would spend time googling them and reading their Wiki page (because we all know that’s the most accurate internet source for history!). I’m by no means a fanatic, but I enjoy it in the moment I’m being consumed by it.
I never thought to look into King Henry’s son because in the tv series, he dies as a young boy, so imagine my surprise to have him be the love interest in Brazen. And I didn’t recall Mary Howard at all from the show. I know! I really shouldn’t be using the show as a point of reference but not having studied this in school or anything, it’s the only thing I can go from, okay?? Okay.
There’s so much at stake in Brazen and it makes for quite the page-turner. Mary and Fitz’s marriage is arranged, so they don’t really know each other, but there’s an instant pull between the two that only grows stronger as time goes on. They’re hardly ever together, even after being married, but they get to know one another and fall in love inspite of the separation. It was one of the most sweetest, strongest relationships I’ve read. I completely believed in their love for each other and I wanted them to have their happily ever after, even knowing that was unlikely because, hello! It’s The Tudors!
Another amazing part of Brazen was the friendship between Mary, Madge, and Margaret. Those girls went through so much together and their relationships were tested often. There were a lot of positives and even some sad disappointments in the end. You’re also going to read about people you know something about: King Henry VIII, Anne Boleyn, and so on. You actually get to see Anne Boleyn’s execution in Brazen through the eyes of Mary, who in this book is friends with her. I loved that aspect of this story.
Brazen completely stole my heart. The characters set up shop in my heart from page one and stayed there until the last page. The writing was so enthralling and moving. This was my first Katherine Longshore read, but it won’t be the last.(less)
Wish You Were Italian was the type of book that when I wasn’t reading it, I was thinking about it. What would Pippa do next? Would she see Darren? Would they finally kiss? Would she (please!) forget about Bruno??? Where would she visit next??
While I could’ve devoured this book in one weekend, I stretched it out a little longer because I wanted to savor it. And yes, it not only made me want to desperately visit and explore Italy, it totally made me a gelato fan (Favorite? Southern Buttered Pecan by Talenti).
I loved how Pippa was young in so many ways, but mature and determined enough to explore Italy on her own, without her parents knowing. Was it risky and dangerous? Of course! Did I totally forget about those two things until her dad brings it up at the end? You betcha! And I really shouldn’t have so easily done so, considering I’m a mom and I have a daughter, lol. Oops. I mean, Pippa’s best friend and Gram knew where she was and she kept in contact with everyone by email mostly, so it wasn’t completely reckless. But anyway…I loved Pippa. She was sweet and funny and I was totally rooting for her to have the time of her life.
Pippa has two very different guys in the picture, but to her it’s clear who the real contender for her heart is. That doesn’t mean she gives in easily, but it does make for some fun tension between the two. No, there isn’t really a love triangle, so don’t worry. It’s not really like that.
I very much was a fan of Darren. I thought he was adorable and sweet and perfect for Pippa. Their relationship builds from friendship to something more at a good pace I think, but I was ready for them to just make out already. Ha! I did appreciate how Kristin Rae wrote Bruno to be a redeemable “bad” guy. He makes mistakes but he also makes things right. I also loved Pippa’s girlfriends, both back home and in Italy. Yay for positive girlfriend relationships!
Overall Wish You Were Italian was the perfect cute Summer read. If you’re in need for something that will make you smile this is the book you want in your hands.(less)
How to Misbehave was the perfect quick sexy romp I needed. I enjoyed the contradictions the main character, Amber, exhibited. She appears innocent on the outside, but she’s completely secure and confident on the inside. Maybe it takes her getting angry to show her bolder side, but that defiance was cool in my opinion. Tony was also a bit of a contradiction himself. He wants to be the guy who loves them and leaves them, but he’s deeper and more sensitive than that inside. He wants to have the happily ever after, but for reasons we later find out, he doesn’t feel he’s worth that.
I appreciate the emotional depthness of this novella. And the sexy times are sexy yet intimate. Basically the perfect balance. I’m looking forward to meeting the rest of the Clarks and getting to know them. I also hope we get a Patrick, Tony’s brother, story one day!
Ruthie Knox always delivers on these novellas and you guys should definitely pick them up if you haven’t already. Go on! Do it! :)(less)
After Hours was a really different kind of romance read. I don’t mean because it’s erotica, but because the characters are so not the norm in romance novels I’ve previously read. They were regular people with regular people problems in an unconventional setting. They were not rich and fancy and they came from crappy households. Definitely different for me.
The book did start a little slow for me. It gave so much detail about Erin’s job that it made me lose interest in that aspect of the story. I skimmed a lot of it, sad to say. But I couldn’t skim too much of it because the love interest worked there too. Another thing that bugged me was Erin’s sister. It hit too close to home I guess.
Aside from that, I liked how well matched these two characters were in personality. They gave as good as they got, these two. And let me tell you, when it came to sexy times, it was intense!! Definitely not for delicate readers. Kelly Robak was domineering but he met his match in Erin, something that surprised her and me. I was glad for this too because I do not like it when the woman just takes it. No balance is no fun. I also really appreciated the dirty talk, even if at times some of the things said were not my cup of tea. This being the second book I read my Cara, I see that she likes writing dirty talk and I’m totally for that. Looking forward to reading more soon!(less)
Tease by Amanda Maciel was such an interesting perspective, inside the head of the bully. It...moreRead this review on my blog! --> Tease by Amanda Maciel
Tease by Amanda Maciel was such an interesting perspective, inside the head of the bully. It was a thought-provoking, uncomfortable, and challenging read for sure! It was also unputdownable for me, in the way you can’t make yourself look away from something awful about to happen. It was good read!
Amanda Maciel writes a character so challenging in Sara because her actions against Emma are just awful, but then you see her at home with her two little brothers and how caring she is with them and you forget for a moment how awful she acted. Sara is also kind of a whiny brat, she’s childish, and for a long time she refuses to accept any responsibility when it comes to Emma. All these things didn’t make me dislike her as much as I just felt sorry for her. She just seemed so lost and unhappy. Her boyfriend treated her badly too. Those times they were together just broke my heart. And her best friend was THE WORST. Just THE WORST.
There were a lot of things that made me reflect about my time in high school. I think I saw a lot of myself in Sara. Not the bullying parts, but the difficulty in being myself no matter what, and having the bad boyfriends, having those friends that brought me down instead of lifting me up. And I saw myself in Emma too. Her wanting to be friends with the in-crowd but only being able to find an in through the boys in the group. Being called awful names because of boys even though we were just friends. Jealousy in high school can cause so much pain. I definitely felt it, both the jealousy and pain. Thankfully things never escalated beyond the name calling, which was always behind my back anyway.
Basically, if you’re a girl, you’re most likely to relate to SOMETHING in this book. And if you’re a boy, it will hopefully make you realize how damaging your actions and non-actions can be. This makes it a great read because it can reach many, no matter what side you’re on.
But back to the story…
I thought the ending showed everyone’s true colors. It showed that people can change for the better in the face of tragedy, some more than others, but it certainly makes an impact.
Amanda says in her author’s note that one of the reasons she wrote this book was because she’d like to believe that girls like Sara aren’t vicious enough to bully a peer in hopes they kill themselves. I’d like to believe this too.
I wish bullying would go away altogether. It breaks my heart! And it breaks my heart for my daughter, who already has to deal with mean girls in the 6th grade. Lets just love and encourage and embrace. And lets teach our kids to love and encourage and embrace.(less)
This quickie read was just what I needed during my slight reading slump. Not only was the setting really cool: Ireland (I want to read more books set in Ireland, people!), but right off the bat I liked the main character for braving this trip alone. I don’t know if I’d be brave enough to ever do that, sad to say.
The other thing I loved was the instant chemistry between our two love interests. I love that they set this up for themselves as a two fling where they would enjoy each other to the max. And, oh man, their sexy times were really hot. I felt their connection was really strong by the end of their two weeks and I wished they’d somehow make it to where they could be together for good, but of course, there are obstacles and things that can’t be easily changed.
But do not despair!! I did get my happy ending and I was pleasantly surprised by it. I couldn’t have asked for more from this short, sexy read. I highly recommend it!(less)
You guys! This book was so gooooood!! I was completely hooked from the start!
I See London takes us on a wild ride through London’s night clubs, holidays across Europe, and Samir. Oh, Samir. And yes, it even gives us a look at what it’s like to attend university in London. Man, how I wish I’d gone to university in London. It sounds awesome! I loved the diversity of the characters. You have all kinds of nationalities and it all just worked. Really cool. :)
I loved the friendships Maggie forms while there. They weren't all easy, but definitely worth it in the end. I didn’t want to read about bitchy roommates being bitchy just because and I’m so happy it didn’t turn out that way. Maggie’s group of friends knew how to have fun, and they liked to party a lot, but they also knew when to get serious about school and they let Maggie back off of partying without giving her a guilt trip. Real friends!
But the best part… Oh, yes, I’m going there! The best part was Samir and the make-out sessions to end all make-out sessions! Sometimes I forget how much fun making out like that was. When it doesn't have to go further, but the wanting to is so intense. Chanel Cleeton writes great make-out scenes, you guys.
Maggie and Samir were very similar personality wise. The difference was that Maggie was trying to repress that side of her. She wanted to be the good girl and Samir could see right through her, which of course scared her to pieces. I felt for Maggie’s parental situation. Her mom left when she was little and her dad is in the military, which means she hardly ever saw him. It sounded like her grandparents were good to her but of course it’s not the same. I hope we get a resolution to that in the next book because it did feel like it was left hanging.
Like the synopsis mentions, Maggie meets Hugh and tries not to think about Samir much. Hugh is older than her and a lot more experienced in life. He’s a wealthy club owner who likes to date around. He’s a really nice guy and really patient with Maggie because he knows she’s a virgin. I was glad to see he was a good guy about that because most guys like wouldn't have stuck around in that situation. But Samir was who she needed to end up with!! Yeah, sure, he’s a player and he’s hiding something huge regarding his future, but he’s irresistible!
I definitely can’t wait to see how it all plays out in London Falling, the sequel to I See London. Great job, Ms. Chanel Cleeton!! I don’t much enjoy New Adult books but this one was just the right amount of fun, and college, and not too much angst. I definitely recommend you guys check it out. :)(less)
While I’ll admit I love all Kristan Higgins books, I do have my favorites. Waiting On You is now one of those favorites. I don’t think I’ve laughed so much with a Higgins book before. And at the same time, my heartstrings have never been pulled so taut before either. In other words, ALL THE DAMN FEELS!
I think the beauty in the relationship between Colleen and Lucas is that these two knew they were meant to be from the moment they laid eyes on one another, back in high school. Their love was everything first love is: overwhelming, intense, beautifully pure. But life has a funny way of throwing things for a loop sometimes, taking your life plans and shredding them so completely. Our Colleen and Lucas were subjected to such a fate, and so the whole book I’m just waiting for life to work out for them.
There are tons of emotional ups and downs in this book, plenty moments to shed tears for, but there are also some hilariously awesome moments. I think the hilarious moments were necessary to balance out the emotional aspect and Higgins did a great job of it.
Other characters we’ve met before make appearances and we get to see where they are now, which is always nice. We also get to know Connor, Colleen’s twin brother, a little better. In fact, he completely intrigued me in this book and I hope we get a Connor book soon!
Even though Waiting On You is technically part of a series, you could completely read this one as a stand-alone, and I strongly urge you to check it out. I have no doubt you’ll love it too. :)(less)
So Ride With Me had the distinct advantage of having a hero named Tom who loves cycling…because my fiance’s name is Tom and he loves cycling. Haha My good friend Ginger pointed this out to me because she knew both of those details about him. Thanks, Ginger!! But the similarities ended there. Though it was still a fun detail.
One thing I love about Ruthie Knox’s books is that they always feel like such big stories. They’re written so well that you feel like it’s more than the actual number of pages. Ride With Me was like that. Since the timeline of this book is a few months, I think Ruthie made it work so that you felt it was a longer story than it was, IN A GOOD WAY!
I loved the character’s progression and growth in this book. While their common interests complimented each other, their personalities started off on opposite ends of the spectrum. I loved seeing them learn and grow and open up.
I know that sounds like a super chill experience those two went through, but holy rollercoaster! No. It was anything but. First, Tom wouldn’t talk. Then Lexie wouldn’t talk. They disliked each other at first, but completely lusted for one another. Then they were friends, then more, then not. It was an awesome ride, y’all! The whole time I was just rooting for them to work it out and make it. In the smexy department, this book is a total WIN. The romance is steamy yet romantic.
Ride With Me also made me want to take cycling across America. It’s a nice thought, but I doubt I’d ever do it. I’d rather drive my way across America. But it was really cool seeing it through the eyes of Lexie and Tom.
I can’t wait to read more romances from Ruthie Knox. I’ve come to really enjoy them! I hope you guys will check them out too!!(less)
I think what I enjoyed most about River Marked is ALL THE MERCY AND ADAM GOODNESS!! We had yet to have a book in this series where they were featured as a couple so predominately.
It was so fun seeing their wedding happen and them taking off on their honeymoon, which OF COURSE would be interrupted by something crazy. Still, it was nice seeing them spend so much time together, alone.
This book also really told us a lot about Mercy’s heritage and supernatural power, which we didn’t have a lot of detail on before. And it wouldn’t be a Mercy Thompson installment without her getting put through the wringer. SIGH! Poor Mercy. She’s really banged up at the end of this one!
I can’t believe how I’m almost caught up with this series. I’m currently still reading Frost Burned because I got stuck in a reading slump this past month, but I think it’s time to kick things back up. :) Onward!!(less)
Side Effects May Vary is a really well written debut from Julie Murphy. I thought the writing was incredibly honest and emotionally raw, which made feeling what these characters were feeling real. That anger that Alice feels, the love Harvey can’t shed, all so raw. This was probably my favorite part of this book.
I found the characters a little harder to warm up to. They were complex and made mistakes, which made them real, even when I couldn’t really fall into like with them. But I don’t have to feel like I can be besties with them or feel like I want to totally make out with them to appreciate them.
Alice is an emotionally distant person, even before things in her life change. And after, she’s so angry. And Harvey is the opposite, giving his emotions over without a question. They both grow so much and get to understand one another better by the end, but it was a rough road getting there. There were times when I wanted to tell Alice off or try to make Harvey stand up to her earlier. I did like the parents in this book, even though they’re not in the forefront a lot. I was really intrigued by the glimpses of their lives, their problems, their history. We don’t really get into much of that, but I wanted to know more about them.
In short, Julie Murphy nailed it. Side Effects May Vary is complex and the writing is really great. I look forward to reading more of her books in the future.(less)
Moth and Spark was a different kind of read for me. I don’t read as much fantasy as I should. Especially since I enjoy it lots and lots. Moth and Spark is adult fantasy and I’ve yet to venture into that much but I’m totally game now!
I loved that the love story was so central to this fantasy story because it’s definitely what kept me glued to the end. I loved the main characters, Prince Corin and Tam, and immensely enjoyed their fast and intense courtship. They were so well matched and I found it refreshing that, even though he was a prince and she a commoner, things didn’t go badly for them. I expected lots of heartbreak for those two but was happy it didn’t turn out that way in the end.
There are dragons in this book, but maybe not so much as some may anticipate or want. They play a central role in the plot, but since it’s also about Corin, we see them mostly in the beginning and end. The war is also a big part of the story, but it’s not in the forefront of the story. I was ok with both of these things because I was so invested in seeing Corin and Tam being together and fighting to be together.
Don’t expect a fast pace book in Moth and Spark. It took me longer to finish than most books this length, but it was because I wanted to absorb all the details and imagery. The world-building was also really intricate and interesting. After a while it became pretty unputdownable for me though, and then we were moving right along. I really enjoyed Anne Leonard’s writing and I hope I can read more soon.(less)
Uhmmm, well damn! Silver Borne made me cry a few times!
By now you guys know I’ve been binge reading this series and OMG have I fallen in love with it. I think part of the reason this book made me cry is because I’ve come to care so much for these characters over the last few weeks.
Everyone is pretty much in some kind of danger or hurt in this book. Silver Borne is book five in this series, and having read them back to back so far, I feel like DAMN! They’ve gone through SO much in less than a year, which is the time span of these last five books. I guess if you only read one a year it doesn’t really become as noticeable, but I noticed. lol
I could not believe Samuel. And I could not believe what happened to Adam. And, GAH! Mary Jo! Really?! And Gabriel! Lordy… SO MUCH! If you haven’t read these, you’re probably questioning my sanity and ability to put my thoughts down, but it makes some kind of sense if you happen to HAVE read it.
I had to forcefully stop myself from reading River Marked because there’s a couple of books ahead of it, but man! I want to! NOW! I’m almost caught up! I did like how this one ended though. It was a happy ending! I’m happy with where things are at the moment, though I know it won’t last. :)
At the beginning of The Headmaster’s Wife, I was instantly hooked by the engrossing writing and the situation we find Arthur, the Headmaster, in. He then begins recanting the story of how exactly he ended up where he is. At least, we’re led to believed that’s the story.
The story is broken up into three parts of which the first is all narrated by the Headmaster. I will warn you now that it might put you off, but I promise it will all be clear in the end. The twists this story takes are all so well done. The writing continues being engrossing throughout the whole book. This story about love, loss, death, and grief was so compelling. Once I sat down to read it, I did not put it down and finished it in one day.
Fans of adult literature with some mystery should definitely give this book a chance. It would also make a great book club read. I look forward to reading more of Thomas Christopher Greene’s books if they’re all written this well.
The Winner's Curse by Marie Rutkoski has been reviewed beautifully by so many people out there, so when it came time for me to review it, I knew there was no way I could even try. Not in that way anyway. So I began thinking of ways for me to share my love of this book with you guys! And being that it's Tuesday, the day I normally do Top Ten, AND also the release day of The Winner's Curse, I figured I'd combine the two!
ALSO!! Thanks to the Fierce Reads team for these awesome graphic quotes!! I loved putting them together for this post!
The moment you meet Kestrel you're intrigued by this girl. She's different and that's obvious from the beginning. She accidentally ends up at a slave auction and the things that catch her eye about Arin are so interesting, but what makes her bid is when it's mentioned he's a singer. Sold! But why, Kesterl?! Why the singing?? You'll have to read and find out. :)
2. Kestrel's Not Fronting
I loved that Kestrel would speak up to her father, and I loved that her father listened to her. He didn't bend to her whims, but he was fair, in my opinion. She's honest about her strengths and weaknesses and I appreciated that. Keep it real, girl!
3. The Slaves
The Herrans are a race that has suffered so much at the hands of Valorians. They took everything from them. Some even have to serve in what used to be their homes. It was tough to read. No amount of being treated "well" could ever make up for what they took. I think Arin is completely justified in his cause too. There's a lot of manipulation going on though! That kinds of stung....
4. The Valorians
Valorians to me seemed like flamboyant barbarians. They don't shy away from fights, duels, battles, war...but at the same time they lead lives full of pretty clothes and big parties. They are into high society and gossip and they were so oblivious of the fact that Herran people would want to take back their land. Kestrel is definitely different, and people notice because they talk about her, and not in a good way. They're dumb. She's awesome.
I loved Arin. He was smart, strong, honest, and honorable. But oooooh, how he could manipulate. Our girl didn't stand a chance, to be honest. I knew she'd fall for him instantly, but to get to Arin's heart, you basically have to almost die for him. Or maybe he just felt like she was an impossibility for him. Either way, he doesn't really get swoony until the last third of the book, I'd say, but it was glorious seeing him get there.
6. Realistic Fantasy
Did you know there was such a thing? I didn't. I wasn't sure how to classify this book...it reads like a fantasy novel, but there was no fantasy. So I decided to ask Marie Rutkoski on twitter and she explained about the Realistic Fantasy genre out there. I'm TOTALLY intrigued by it now! Hope I can read more of it. And the writing! I mean...it's just fantastically written. Plot, prose, characters...SO GOOD!
7. War, Huh...
"What is it good for? Absolutely nothing." But sometimes it's so that people can get their land and their homes back. It was pretty brutal, this rebellion. Watch out!
9. ALLLL The Praise
There's no shortage of people praising this book. Even I'm doing it!! For better breakdowns of this fantastic book check out the following reviews by ASHELEY | LAUREN | KIRKUS :)
10. The Ending
UGGGGH! I really didn't know how it would end but I was not prepared to have my heart wrenched!