Thanks to my friend Michelle for the heads up on this free ebook! It's a short and sweet romance between a divorced couple who still love each other.Thanks to my friend Michelle for the heads up on this free ebook! It's a short and sweet romance between a divorced couple who still love each other. I liked the small town setting and also how their careers were a significant aspect of their relationship (and the troubles they had). I finished reading it in one setting, on the train from Prague to Munich....more
My friend Estara recommended this book to me and I started reading it while on vacation. I figured we can talk about it when we met up but I had to puMy friend Estara recommended this book to me and I started reading it while on vacation. I figured we can talk about it when we met up but I had to put it on hold because I was too distracted to concentrate on the worldbuilding. This is my first Judith Tarr and it's a good book, I enjoyed parts of it although other parts also confused me. I don't know if the book would have made more sense if I had read her earlier Avaryan series? I did like how smart and strong the female characters in this book are and maybe I would have enjoyed it more if I was in a space opera kind of mood....more
This book had such an interesting premise and I decided to try it as soon as I heard about it. I reached 30% of the ebook but I'm still not invested iThis book had such an interesting premise and I decided to try it as soon as I heard about it. I reached 30% of the ebook but I'm still not invested in the characters so I'm putting it on hold for now. Maybe I'm not in the right mood for it....more
Urban fantasy YA novel Black Dog by Rachel Neumeier was one of my favorite reads last year. I have been eagerly anticipating the sequel right after I finished reading that book. So when Rachel offered to send me a review copy of Pure Magic in ebook format, I enthusiastically said yes. I didn't waste any time and jumped right in. Thankfully, I still remembered most of the story from the first book and didn't have to do a reread prior to picking up Pure Magic. The books need to be read in order so read Black Dog first before venturing into Pure Magic. There's also a set of short stories that occurs between the first and second book. I won’t mention spoilers but feel free to skip this review if you haven’t read the earlier books yet.
I liked being back in the world that Rachel Neumeier created in her urban fantasy series. Where some men and women can shift into these ferocious and aggressive creatures called black dogs, similar to wolves. And where there are also people like Natividad, who are Pure and can create a defensive form of magic mostly used for peace and protection against evil. I think the first book did a good job of laying out the foundation for the worldbuilding and this sequel builds upon that. I liked seeing more of Natividad’s magic and how creative she can get within the limitations of what she can do. Because of the nature of her magic, Natividad has a quiet strength that shines through when the people she cares about are in danger. I think it’s impressive how a normally unobtrusive kind of magic becomes crucial in certain situations. I really liked that the Pure have their own kind of power and the focus of the story shifts between the Pure and black dogs. That is not to say that humans don’t play an important role in this world because they do, as illustrated by Natividad’s twin, Miguel. Even without special powers, Miguel significantly contributes to helping Dimilioc in its efforts to rebuild the clan. A big part of why I enjoy this series is the characters. Aside from Natividad and her brothers, I also liked the various members of the Dimilioc clan, not the least of which is their executioner, Ezekiel. I found the early chapters of the book a bit slow because of the introduction of a new main character and narrator, Justin, but it was soon revealed how he was important to the story so I didn’t mind. Like with the rest of the characters, I just wanted to find out more about him.
While I did feel that Pure Magic had a bit of a slow start, the climax builds really nicely until you reach a point where the characters are in situations where the odds are seemingly impossible. The stakes are high and there's only so much that the Dimilioc black dogs and Pure can do. It makes for an absorbing read. I was glad I picked this up on a weekend and I didn’t have to worry about work getting in the way of my reading time. I was worried about the characters and I wanted everyone to find a way out of the difficulties they found themselves in. The book doesn’t end on a cliffhanger but keep in mind that there will be more installments in the series and some of the future plot arcs have been nicely set up in Pure Magic. There's a more global view of the black dog world in this book as compared to the first one, where we mostly saw the focus in the Americas - North America where the Dimilioc strength lies and also Mexico because that's where Natividad and her brothers grew up. My review of Pure Magic will not be complete if I didn’t mention the slow burn romance. There was just a hint of it in the first book and I immediately wanted A LOT MORE. More scenes with these two potential lovebirds, more dialogue and conversation, and a better idea of what they thought of each other. Pure Magic does not disappoint! I really savored this aspect of the story, although I certainly wouldn’t have minded if these two had more page time in the book. There were too many things happening for them to have a quiet time together. I can always hope for that in the next novel, which I already can’t wait to read even if it hasn’t even been written yet! Similar to Black Dog, Pure Magic was a very satisfying read and I recommend it to fans of YA urban fantasy....more
An nice set of short stories with most of them set in between Black Dog and Pure Magic, one occurs before the first book. I liked all of these storiesAn nice set of short stories with most of them set in between Black Dog and Pure Magic, one occurs before the first book. I liked all of these stories because it gives readers a better picture of the characters, especially Ezekiel and Grayson. There's more depth to them in how they fulfill their roles within Dimilioc. I also liked that one of the stories was from Miguel's POV since we didn't get that in the first book. Looking forward to seeing more of everyone in Pure Magic!...more
I enjoyed reading The Hook Up but I didn't think it's as good as other sports-themed new adult romances like The Deal by Elle Kennedy and the Ivy YearI enjoyed reading The Hook Up but I didn't think it's as good as other sports-themed new adult romances like The Deal by Elle Kennedy and the Ivy Years series by Sarina Bowen....more
Elle Kennedy's Off-Campus series is a lot of fun to read. Loved Logan in this one. I also liked how there was an explanation regarding pro hockey drafElle Kennedy's Off-Campus series is a lot of fun to read. Loved Logan in this one. I also liked how there was an explanation regarding pro hockey drafts and why Logan is still in college. Will try to review The Deal and The Mistake soon. Elle writes books so quickly! ...more
I had fun reading the first book in the series so I tried Storm's Heart but I just couldn't get into it. I think I reached around 30% then decided toI had fun reading the first book in the series so I tried Storm's Heart but I just couldn't get into it. I think I reached around 30% then decided to DNF. Sad that this didn't work out for me....more
Really enjoyed reading this fun and smexy new adult romance. I read half of it one week night and finished the rest the next day. The development of tReally enjoyed reading this fun and smexy new adult romance. I read half of it one week night and finished the rest the next day. The development of the romance between the two MCs felt natural (from study buddies to friends to something more). Will try to write a full review soon (yeah right, haha I haven't written a review in ages)....more
Saw this recommended by Ilona Andrews and decided to give it a try. Very easy to read romance fantasy with echoes of Beauty and the Beast. I liked thiSaw this recommended by Ilona Andrews and decided to give it a try. Very easy to read romance fantasy with echoes of Beauty and the Beast. I liked this more than Entreat Me....more
I got past the halfway mark in this book but couldn't really get into it. Maybe I'm just not in the mood for it? I'm putting it on the DNF shelf for nI got past the halfway mark in this book but couldn't really get into it. Maybe I'm just not in the mood for it? I'm putting it on the DNF shelf for now....more
I heard a lot of buzz about I’ll Meet You There by Heather Demetrios months before it came out. Bloggers whoOriginally posted at Chachic's Book Nook.
I heard a lot of buzz about I’ll Meet You There by Heather Demetrios months before it came out. Bloggers who have read early review copies were raving about how good it is. I was pretty excited to read it and started on it when I was in the mood for a contemporary YA novel. It's been a few months since I finished reading this and I feel bad that I haven't posted a review of this wonderful book until now but I'm trying to do my best to catch up on blog stuff, especially on reviews for books that I loved. I made the mistake of starting this book on a Sunday, which led to me staying up all night to finish reading it and I was a zombie at work the next day.
Wow, this is the first book by Heather Demetrios that I’ve read but it definitely won’t be the last! I’ll Meet You There is beautifully written and captures a slice of California that most people won’t be familiar with. For someone like me who has countless friends and relatives who have migrated to the US because it gives people better opportunities than the Philippines, it’s interesting to read about Americans who struggle to attain what others take for granted. Yes, it's true that most Filipinos who move to the States do get an improved quality of life than what they'd get back home (actually that's true for me as well - I'm in Singapore for the same reasons) but the US is huge and there are places like Creek View where the inhabitants are in pretty bleak situations. The small town setting and the daily struggles of the characters in I’ll Meet You There all felt unapologetically real. The kind of life that Sky, Josh and their friends lead make your heart ache for them. I could see why Sky and her best friend Chris have always had this dream and vision of going beyond the confines of their small town, to go to places where they would have better lives. The book describes the setting as “the armpit of California” and I think it’s such a fitting description. It's no wonder that Josh escapes from Creek View by joining the Marines but his military career is unexpectedly cut short by a life-changing injury and he has no choice but to go back to the town he desperately wanted to leave. While I know next to nothing about situations similar to what Josh went through, I felt that his experience is portrayed realistically.
"In my essay for San Fran, I'd written about how I'd always felt like there was something magical about taking bits and pieces of the world around me and creating something whole. It gave me hope: if you could make a beautiful piece of art from discarded newspapers and old matchbooks, then it meant that everything had potential. And maybe people were like collages - no matter how broken or useless we felt, we were an essential part of the whole. We mattered."
What I loved about I’ll Meet You There is that even though there’s a lot of sadness and emotional weight in the story, it never becomes overwhelming. I loved the balance between despair and hope, something which only the very best of authors are able to create. There's a strong and beautiful friendship between Sky, Chris and Dylan - they understand each other so well and do their best to support each other even if they don't always agree with what the other person is thinking or feeling. They have their way of coping with their problems like reminding each other of the vision, getting crazy on the dance floor or focusing on art by doing collages. Sky also finds refuge in her job at the Paradise Hotel where she has a great boss who is like a second mother to her. I think it's pretty obvious from the book's description that there's a romance in this one. It was a very swoon-worthy, slow burn romance which I gobbled right up. So good! There was a point that had me worried for the two lovebirds, because I had no idea how things will unfold - I didn't want the story to go in a direction where I wouldn't be able to forgive one of the characters. But I’m happy to say that I was more than satisfied with what happened. A realistic YA novel reminiscent of Something Like Normal by Trish Doller and Such a Rush by Jennifer Echols, I’ll Meet You There was worth all the hype that it generated.
Caroline Blues is the first book in the series where the main characters aren’t part of the Fletcher family.Originally posted at Chachic's Book Nook.
Caroline Blues is the first book in the series where the main characters aren’t part of the Fletcher family. It’s still set in the same town and both Jack and Lauren know the family well so we still see a lot of them in this installment. Jack and Lauren are new to the island – with Jack just settling in as Chief of Police and Lauren taking a much-needed break to restart her writing. I liked seeing Dare Island from their points of view, which is different from how locals see it. Their romance is a bit tentative, with both of them trying to keep things casual at the start but eventually developing deeper feelings for each other. Similar to the earlier books in the series, Caroline Blues is a heartwarming romance about two flawed characters set in cozy Dare Island...more
I have liked the brief glimpses that I’ve seen of both Luke and Kate in the earlier books and I was more thanOriginally posted at Chachic's Book Nook.
I have liked the brief glimpses that I’ve seen of both Luke and Kate in the earlier books and I was more than happy to find out how their romance unfolds. Luke’s life suddenly changes when he gains custody of ten-year-old Taylor, a daughter he had no idea about until his high school girlfriend passes away. With family being a strong theme in the Dare Island series, it was no surprise that Luke and Kate’s story is intertwined with Taylor's. I love how Taylor instantly becomes Luke’s number one priority the moment he finds out about her. I also liked how Kate develops a relationship not just with Luke but also with Taylor. All three – Luke, Kate and Taylor – have been through difficult situations and I wanted things to work out for them. What I appreciated about this book was that even if the characters have carried heavy burdens, the story never gets too dark. There’s a nice balance of grief and sorrow vs. hope and happiness. I think that applies to the other books in the series too....more