Who here loved (or still loves) The Princess Diaries? What little girl doesn’t want to be a secret princess? The idea that there is more to you and to your family, that who you are is enough to change the world and change people’s lives, is pretty amazing. What doesn’t come across as a kid is the work and responsibility and the utter change in how you view yourself that would come with it.
Samantha Rousseau is your typical Masters student - bunking with roommates, dealing with budget troubles, and generally running around trying to get everything done. Her everything just happens to cover caring for her sick father, chopping up mice for the injured raptors at the wildlife center where she works, and grading the tests and quizzes of disinterested undergraduates. However, when two members of the royal family of a small European country come to town, she is surprised with a new fact about herself and her family - she is the last in line to be Duchess Rousseau, of the country Lilaria. And now she has to decide whether or not she wants to accept the title, lands, money, and responsibility that goes with it. And the handsome Prince Alex isn’t making things any easier on her.
Alex D’Lynsal, as the crown prince of Lilaria, has a lot of responsibilities. But, after meeting the sassy Sam, she can’t seem to shake him. Everywhere she turns, there he is, from playing Monopoly on the plane ride to Lilaria, to acting as her escort to her new lands, being charming and helpful and distracting. There’s a reason Sam’s best friend Jess labeled him “Prince Yummy.”
Now, when I’m reading books to review, I have a system. Most reviewers do, I think, in some form or another. There’s something about reading a review book that is different than just reading for fun. Personally, I try to pay less attention to my own personal preferences (though goodness knows they shine through anyways) and think more about what kind of audience it’s meant for. And then I take notes. Copious amounts of notes. There’s something about the act of writing things down that helps clarify the stories and the characters. But here’s the kicker - for Suddenly Royal, I was so caught up in reading, I wrote next to nothing. I almost forgot about the review part altogether. This is probably one of the highest compliments I can pay a book. Seriously.(less)
I received a copy in exchange for an honest review.
To be honest, I wasn't completely sure what to expect. I'm on the fence about short stories - it is...moreI received a copy in exchange for an honest review.
To be honest, I wasn't completely sure what to expect. I'm on the fence about short stories - it is really hard to give enough information that the story makes sense, but not so much that it is simply pages of exposition and description. Luckily, I didn't have to worry about that here at all. Each of the individual stories (and they are, for the most part, not related to one another, excepting only the two within the Paths series) dropped you into the middle of that particular world, with just enough background to have everything make sense yet remain interesting.
I enjoyed the contrast of the prose short stories against the poems, even the poems against the poems - some are long, practically prose in their nature, others are little more than haiku length. I felt the end of the collection was more poem-heavy, and thought that was a little frustrating, but other than that I found them to be enjoyable.
Though now that my appetite for the Paths series has been rekindled, I am excited for the next full book!(less)
New adult is an area I find hard to describe. Young adult novels cover coming of age stories, mostly in and around high school, sometimes early in college, where the main character is the same age as the target audience. New adult seems to cover the same basic idea, but the characters are graduating high school, in college, or working on finding their first jobs. They are less coming of age, and more discovering adulthood. And because of this age range, and the older readers, the stories can be made more “adult” - basically, they have more sex.
Avery Morgansten is finally moving away from home. At the age of nineteen, she travels across the country to start college, in hopes of leaving her past behind. When she runs into Cameron Hamilton on her way to her first class, her issues and insecurities overwhelm her. Luckily, Cam is both patient and persistent, and has decided that they will be friends, and that one day she will agree to go out with him. Now he just has to overcome a past he knows nothing about to make this happen.
Avery’s past is something that is alluded to from almost the first page. We know that something has happened, and that it drastically affected her high school life. We know it happened at a party, and there was a guy involved. I think it’s pretty easy to put together the dots here. But with all the opportunities she has to come clean about her past with Cam and with her friends (and there are several doors wide open here, just waiting for her to walk through), she just can’t say anything. I take notes when I read review books, and my notes on Avery are basically several different versions of “this girl needs therapy.” And she really does. What happened to her was horrible (and we do finally get the details about her past, and it really is pretty awful), and the fact that her parents didn’t get her psychological help is practically criminal. But sadly, I found it hard to relate to Avery, a real shame since this book is written from her point of view, all first person perspective.(less)
It is unfortunate when a solid storyline gets overwhelmed by too much going on, and damaged by characters the reader can’t relate to. The basic premise of this story - interesting. But the heroine was annoying and the story itself suffered from overload.
When Zane Montoya stakes out the motel room of a conman, he doesn’t expect to find a sassy redhead breaking into the place. So, he does the only thing he can think of with Iona MacCabe - grabs her, threatens arrest, and holds her personal belongings (including her purse and passport) for good behavior.
Iona, however, has traveled across both an ocean and a continent, following the con man from her home in Scotland to get her father’s money back. She has issues, understandably, with Zane’s high-handedness, but can’t stop herself from being attracted to him. Now she just has to work through his problems, to reach their happily ever after.(less)
There are times when a story needs to be wrapped up, when there are too many loose ends floating around, and nothing makes sense. There are other times, though, where at the end of the book you are left wondering, and it is a good thing. Not everything is finished, and it doesn’t always need to be. Portrait of a Crossroads is like that - an open-ended story that just feels right.
A recent high school graduate, Annette Vargas is, like most teenagers, trying to figure out what to do next. Her father’s suicide the year before, and her discovery of his body, has Annette’s entire sense of self off-track - she is, quite simply, at a loss about the future.
And though she has considered women romantically before, she finds her newly-single neighbor endlessly fascinating...(less)
Novellas are usually hit or miss, especially when it comes to romance. The problem all boils down to their length - with something so short, can we really get our full HEA?
Brandon Marcus is smart. As in ridiculously so. As a professor, he is able to both teach (something he seems to really enjoy) and work on his research. Unfortunately, his department chair seems to have it out for him, and Brandon can’t figure out why. Enter Josh Horton, the new assistant football coach at the university. Josh is able to do that one thing Brandon just never could - figure people out. But Josh has his own issues, mainly in regards to his parents and their thoughts on his job and his future. Maybe together they can figure out what they need to do to get their lives in order.(less)
I wasn’t completely sure what to expect when I started this book. Yes, I had the summary, but I’ve learned from past experience that just the summary doesn’t always help in choosing something to read. And I was right about that - it isn’t that the back of the book doesn’t describe what is going on, it’s more that it doesn’t tell you enough.
Samantha Drummond, historian and textile specialist, has an...interesting relationship with her parents. Desperate to get from under her mother’s influence, she takes a job across the Atlantic, house-sitting for a couple in England. But when a favor to the homeowners finds her being chased across London by the handsome Derrick Cameron (who thinks she is a textile thief), as well as some unknown thugs, Sam has to wonder if her journey towards independence is going to end up more of a tragedy than she thought.
First of all, Derrick? You are lovely, but you have some issues. But most of the best romance heros do, after all, so we can forgive you. Derrick spends a lot of time going back and forth in time, is accustomed to danger and loyal to a fault, he’s well-off, and he has a very specific moral code, which seems to help him in the present and in the past. Honestly, by the end, I was a little in love with him myself.
Samantha, what can I say about you? You are 26 years old, you live with your parents, you’ve studied what they wanted you to study, and now you work for them basically for free. And you hate every second of it. I spent so much time wondering when Sam was going to grow up and gain some independence that the plot and the romance kinda sneaked up on me. It was hard to relate to her, but as her confidence grew (the longer she was away from her overbearing family), the more I liked her. And the more Derrick saw past the librarian/historian exterior into someone he could fall for.(less)
I have to be completely honest. The main reason I wanted to read this book was the cover. The plastic model of a hero, the most relaxed boat-ride hair I’ve ever seen on the heroine, and they both look so bored! Then I read the synopsis, and said to myself “Huh, that could be interesting.”
Well, just to let you know, the synopsis is actually not at all what happens in the book. Not really. And their lovely boat ride on the cover? I just flipped through the book again trying to find a boat ride. Lots of motorcycles, very few boats. And for a good portion of the book, the heroine is kinda beat up. Literally. Also, there is an entire other couple whose romance (read: sexy fun times) takes place at least half the time, and they aren’t mentioned on the back cover at all. Which is sad, because of the two couples, I liked the second couple more.(less)
This was an interesting novel, though definitely too short. It didn't feel like a complete story (although yes, I know it's part of a larger series).
I...moreThis was an interesting novel, though definitely too short. It didn't feel like a complete story (although yes, I know it's part of a larger series).
I liked the play on the Norse mythology, and how Loki is portrayed here (though it was definitely hard to picture him as a redhead, rather than as Tom Hiddleston's dark-haired Loki). His story is heartbreaking, and is portrayed as such. Amy Lewis is an interesting character, though I hope we get to learn more about her in the future books - I feel as if we only got a cursory look at her as an individual.(less)
Interesting thriller - FBI, CIA, political thriller. There is a lot going on here, and it is fast-paced and interesting. You follow the main character...moreInteresting thriller - FBI, CIA, political thriller. There is a lot going on here, and it is fast-paced and interesting. You follow the main characters back and forth across the Atlantic as you try to match up what is going on in Europe with the conspiracies in Washington, DC. To me it reads a lot like a movie - would probably make a pretty interesting movie, actually.(less)
This was a fun read, though not particularly engrossing. Our Romantic Couple are both pretty interesting, and I like how each is basically doing the s...moreThis was a fun read, though not particularly engrossing. Our Romantic Couple are both pretty interesting, and I like how each is basically doing the same thing to the other. Though the heroine's reaction to it is a little annoying - she can only complain so much, since she wasn't exactly being truthful herself. You know, at all.(less)
This book really surprised me. I really liked it! Normally I'm not too big on contemporary romance, or cowboy romance, but both our hero and heroine w...moreThis book really surprised me. I really liked it! Normally I'm not too big on contemporary romance, or cowboy romance, but both our hero and heroine were really interesting, there was an edge of danger that made sense and worked really well, and the setting was the perfect backdrop to the whole story. I think I will be looking for subsequent books in this series!(less)
This was actually really fun! I have to be honest, I haven't read any of the books in this series, and just picked up this one because we start out wi...moreThis was actually really fun! I have to be honest, I haven't read any of the books in this series, and just picked up this one because we start out with a heroine who is diagnosed schizophrenic. It was too intriguing to pass up!
Overall, I enjoyed the story, and how we get little bits of information as the MC figures it all out. What I need to do now is go back and read some of the previous books in this series so I can get it to make a little more sense!(less)
This was hard to read. It didn't take long, really - it's a pretty short book, for which I was very glad, but for someone from the area, Hurricane Kat...moreThis was hard to read. It didn't take long, really - it's a pretty short book, for which I was very glad, but for someone from the area, Hurricane Katrina can be a touchy subject. This is definitely something I will only read once, but again, it's a little too close to home.
Stephen, our main character, is living in the bayou with his father (his mother is in New Orleans) when Hurricane Katrina hits. His father is a bit of a survivalist, and so their home survives the hurricane, and between their cistern and hunting, they have enough food and water. Unfortunately, it is other people who are the problem.
Stephen ends up, armed, on a boat with Angela, a college student who was visiting her parents in the nearby town, and takes the lead as they try to find other people and civilization. And while they meet with several lovely ones, the not-so-lovely also have guns...
Personally, I thought Stephen felt a little young to me (he's 16, but read closer to 13). It's a very stark narration - Stephen gives the story with little to no emotion. He thinks of things in a very matter-of-fact way that works well.
*Although Hurricane Katrina doesn't really count as an apocalypse, it really is in this book, and was to a lot of people, so I am putting it on that shelf(less)
Wow, this may very well be my first 1 star book. And I usually enjoy Linda Lael Miller's novels!
A lot of things annoyed me in this (and some just made...moreWow, this may very well be my first 1 star book. And I usually enjoy Linda Lael Miller's novels!
A lot of things annoyed me in this (and some just made me mad), which I won't go into again (if you really want to know, they are in my updates for the book - talking about them again would just make me mad. Again). Basically, there is a distinct lack of strong individual characters. There is the very obvious bias against internet dating (which, while something I personally have never done, is a perfectly acceptable way of meeting people) - our main character likens it to signing up to be a mail-order bride. Yes, that is totally the same thing. Sarcasm. If the author does not like internet dating, perhaps she shouldn't have used it as a plot device in her novel. Also, the idea that it is perfectly okay not to tell your potential significant other major life events.
(view spoiler)[There was a lovely date moment, where our hero Brody fixes up a drive-in theatre that was out of business just to take our heroine on a dinner and movie date. He had an unfortunate movie choice, though, with a famous actor that apparently the entire town things our heroine Carolyn slept with. Even though he hasn't been in town for, oh, years, she is convinced he is throwing the rumors in her face and storms off in a huff. I get why she was upset, I do, but Brody hasn't been there! He has absolutely no idea why you've gone all cuckoo on his ass. (hide spoiler)]
Basically, overall, I am surprised that I actually managed to finish this. ["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>(less)
The plot on this one was a little more intricate than I was expecting, and got more convoluted than anything else, honestly. Also, the way the issues...moreThe plot on this one was a little more intricate than I was expecting, and got more convoluted than anything else, honestly. Also, the way the issues between the two resolved seemed more than a little rushed - which makes sense, with how short the story is. Overall, however, the art was lovely, and the characters were interesting.(less)
Cute story, lovely art. I have read a bunch of sample graphic novels in the Harlequin Romance Manga group, and this is a really good example of them....moreCute story, lovely art. I have read a bunch of sample graphic novels in the Harlequin Romance Manga group, and this is a really good example of them. Very cute story, with a happy ending.(less)
This was a fun, fluffy kind of read. I felt like the ending was a bit rushed, and there were a few other things that annoyed me, but overall I did enj...moreThis was a fun, fluffy kind of read. I felt like the ending was a bit rushed, and there were a few other things that annoyed me, but overall I did enjoy it. I have read most of the books in this series, and they are fluffy fun times. I did enjoy our main characters, though, and the secondary characters were pure entertainment.(less)
Cute, fairly simplistic romance, with a very complicated and dark past for our main character. The synopsis is wrong, though, since our hero is more t...moreCute, fairly simplistic romance, with a very complicated and dark past for our main character. The synopsis is wrong, though, since our hero is more than ready to believe our heroine. There are very light touches of christianity but they aren't preachy or overdone.(less)
If this book doesn't scare you, then something is wrong....
Basic premise: Marcus and his friends live in San Francisco, and have ditched school on the...moreIf this book doesn't scare you, then something is wrong....
Basic premise: Marcus and his friends live in San Francisco, and have ditched school on the wrong day. When a terrorist bombing goes off, he and his friends are picked up and detained for days as suspected terrorists. His parents think he is dead. He thinks he is dead. But when they let him go, he is determined to make them pay.
The scary part about this book is how very real it is. You can easily see something like this happening in America as a reaction to a terrorist attack. You can easily imagine a 17 year old boy, at the wrong place at the wrong time, not wanting to give his passwords to someone because he has his secrets he wants to protect. Everyone has their secrets they want to protect. It's pretty terrifying.(less)
Overall enjoyable, but the second half of the book just seems a bit.....over the top. Don't get me wrong, I absolutely devoured the story, but I felt...moreOverall enjoyable, but the second half of the book just seems a bit.....over the top. Don't get me wrong, I absolutely devoured the story, but I felt like there were too many things to try to follow, and then by the last page they were all wrapped up and done. In this case, some loose ends might have been more beneficial.
That being said, I have every intention of reading the next one.(less)