2. I had NEVER given a book I hadn't read (or tried to read) a 1Things I had never done before today:
1. I NEVER had a shelf for books I wouldn't read.
2. I had NEVER given a book I hadn't read (or tried to read) a 1 star rating.
3. I had NEVER shelved a book that I had no intention of reading.
4. I had NEVER named and shamed an author for bad behaviour (oh I had a private list of authors that I would NEVER EVER FUCKING READ) but I'd NEVER listed them in public.
5. I had NEVER had any interaction with the reviewer Baba (I've seen lots of brilliant reviews written by her but she's not someone I've ever spoken to).
This book has changed all of the above - I am fucking sick to death of author's acting like fucking five year old children. I'm fucking sick to death of reviewers being attacked because they dared to have an opinion and dislike a book. I'm sick to death of feeling that if I don't like a book I'm going to end up hunted down by self entitled authors and their fan poodles and hit over the head with a wine bottle.
You know what? FUCK YOU both Andrea Smith & Eva LeNoir and fuck all the other authors who agree with you. I'm sure goodreads are going to delete this review pretty quickly and I don't bloody care. I WILL NEVER EVER EVER read one of your books. I'd never heard of either of you before today, I never saw Baba's negative review of any of your books and even if I had it wouldn't have stopped me giving them a try (I've read other books she's rated 1 star and enjoyed them). What has put you on my list of authors to avoid is your own fucking attitude.
Congratulations Andrea Smith & Eva LeNoir - you have both just destroyed your own reputations and put yourselves in that position where reviewers are going to be too terrified to even think about reading any of your books. I hope you're very proud of yourselves!...more
I'm going to warn you in advance that this isn't going to be a proper review - it's going to be a rant about all the reasons why I think this is the wI'm going to warn you in advance that this isn't going to be a proper review - it's going to be a rant about all the reasons why I think this is the worst book I've attempted to read this year. This will include swearing and it'll probably include spoilers but since I only managed to force myself to read the first 91 pages I can't see that I'll be able to give away anything major. Either way you continue reading this at your own risk!
Let's start with the main characters. When I pick up a book told from a female point of view I want to read about a strong, independent girl who knows how to stand on her own two feet. I don't mind if she makes mistakes as long as she learns from them but I do need her to have a brain and be prepared to use it. Unfortunately Britt is everything I hate in a main character. She is spoilt, selfish and incredibly stupid (I'll get to my reasoning for those statements later). She talks about how well independent she is but she won't even fill up her own car at the garage because she doesn't want her hands to smell of petrol. Perhaps petrol pumps are different in America but I've been filling up my own car for about 15 years now and I've never once found that my hands smell of petrol afterwards. What the hell is she doing? Does she shower in the stuff?
Then you have her best friend Korbie. This really is a case of dumb meet dumber and I was ready to strangle the pair of them by about page 40! I love reading about supportive friendships in my novels, best friends who have each others backs and who look out for each other. Let's get something perfectly clear, if your best friend is constantly putting you down to make themselves feel better, if your best friend lies to you and doesn't tell you when she knows your boyfriend is cheating on you (I don't care if your boyfriend happens to be her brother), if your best friend does all of these things then you know what? She is NOT your friend. In fact, you'd be better off considering her an enemy and finding someone new to hang out with. If, after all that, you decide to stick with her then I hate to say it but you deserve everything you get! Britt herself makes all these observations about her friendship with Korbie and yet she still chooses to follow along in her friend's shadow for lord only knows what reasons. If possible Korbie is even more shallow, spoilt and stupid than Britt and trust me that really is saying something.
Britt has been planning a back packing week with Korbie for months (although how spending a week in an expensive cabin and going on daily hikes counts as back packing I'll never know!) and says she is prepared for anything but as they are driving up the mountain they are caught in an unexpected storm that reduces visibility and makes driving dangerous. Does our heroine pull over and stop like a sensible person? No, she lets Korbie goad her into continuing to drive in dangerous conditions, on a fucking mountain no less, when she can't see more than two feet in front of her. This was the point when I really started to hope that she'd drive the car off the edge of a cliff and the book would unexpectedly end after 40 pages. When the torrential rain turns to snow and they are eventually forced to stop at the side of the road they just start making even stupider decisions. What do you do when you're trapped in your car in a major snow storm? Bear in mind that you have a car full of camping equipment, clothes and food that will keep you warm and fed until the storm has passed or help arrives. You have also driven hours into an isolated mountain range and have no clue where you are or if there are any cabins nearby. You can't see any lights in the distance, the snow is already deep and you have no compass or way of getting back to the car if you get lost. So which option do you choose - stay in the semi warm, and definitely dry, car or head out into the great unknown with no idea if you'll be able to find help or just end up turning into a human snowman? Yes, I think it's fair to say that our moronic main characters choose to wander aimlessly just in case they can find help. Yes, my eyeballs did hurt from rolling around inside my head by this point.
Miracle of miracles they actually manage to find a cabin after walking through the snow for over an hour. The cabin is occupied by two hot guys (because obviously our plucky heroines wouldn't trust them if they were ugly!) so no matter what kind of creepy vibes they are giving off Britt and Korbie not only waltz straight in like they own the place, they also start bickering over who gets to call dibs on each guy. Trust me if the author had had "bad guys in here" in skywriting across the top of the cabin it still couldn't have been more obvious that something terrible was about to happen! I'm not even going to pretend to forgive Korbie for wanting to cheat on the boyfriend who is supposed to be spending the week with them - especially when she justifies it by saying:
"So we aren't forever. What's the point of being completely loyal when I know our relationship is going to end?"
My response to that is what's the point in being in a relationship when you're happy to cheat on your partner?
The part that REALLY got me though was Britt's thoughts on finding the cabin and meeting the guys:
"I tapped my cup to his, grateful to have found Shaun, because for a minute there, I'd thought I was going to have to save myself. Instead, I'd wandered into the protective care of a sexy older man..
You know what? Fuck you Britt. Fuck you and your reliance on a man to rescue you. Fuck you for not being capable of looking out for yourself and for putting yourself into this situation in the first place.
I could go on and on about why I hated this book but I think I've already made it clear enough. This is without a doubt the worst book I've attempted to read in 2014 (in fact I'd probably go so far as to say it's the worst book I've picked up since I started blogging at the beginning of 2010 and considering I've read over 1,000 books in that time that really says it all....more
I have been a huge fan of the Crossfire series ever since I first read Bared to You so it feels like I had to wait forever for Entwined with You to fiI have been a huge fan of the Crossfire series ever since I first read Bared to You so it feels like I had to wait forever for Entwined with You to finally be released. Gideon and Eva are my favourite dysfunctional couple and I have to admit to having a huge crush on Gideon so I was excited to spend more time with them both. I was a bit nervous when I discovered that the series had been extended from the trilogy originally planned into a five book series though, I was worried that there wouldn't be enough story to fill that many books and that we'd end up with a couple of filler books. It remains to be seen how much there is to learn in the next two books but I enjoyed this latest instalment and will be at the front of the queue for Captivated by You when it is released.
In the previous book we saw exactly how far Gideon is prepared to go to keep Eva safe but now he is facing the fallout. Not only does he have to try and come to terms with what he did but he also has to make sure nothing can be pinned on him and he can only hope that it doesn't change the way Eva looks at him. He is pushed into taking extreme measures to keep his secret and it shows just how far his and Eva's relationship has progressed when she is able to trust him no matter how bad things look. Their relationship still isn't perfect by a long shot but things are better than they ever have been. I really want to see the pair of them talk to each other more rather than constantly using sex as a way of communicating but it was good to see them start to get a handle on their jealousy issues and have a little faith in each other.
One thing I think I missed was the conflict that was so prevalent in previous books, there are things that happen that could have added more drama to the story but on the whole they were handled much more quickly and with a lot less stress than before. This is partly because of the growth that both Gideon and Eva have gone through but it does make for a less dramatic read and lets face it one of the reasons we love this couple so much is because of the drama! I never thought I'd hear myself say this (especially about an erotic romance novel) but I actually reached the point where I started to get bored of the constant sex scenes. As you'd expect from Sylvia Day the scenes were all well written and incredibly hot but there are only so many ways to describe inserting tab A into slot B before it starts to get a little repetitive. Gideon is still one of the sexiest literary heroes I've come across so I don't want to lose the sex scenes completely but I'm hoping to see a little less of them in the next book and I'd love more focus to be on the couple spending time together outside of the bedroom.
I was really pleased that we have finally started to learn a little more about Gideon's past, we are still left with plenty of questions about what happened to cause his nightmares but it was nice to get a few answers. I found myself getting incredibly annoyed with his mother in this book which surprised me because she has always seemed so nice before. Her attitude and behaviour was completely out of order this time around so it was nice to see Eva stand up for her man. I'm hoping for some kind of showdown with Eva's mother in the future too because she is driving me crazy with the way she stalks Eva, the way that everyone just panders to her only makes her behaviour worse. Then you have the side story with Cary that shocked me and made me want to shake some sense into him! I still can't quite believe what he's got himself mixed up in this time and I'm really hoping that he sorts himself out soon.
Although Entwined with You wasn't my favourite book in the series it was still a great book and I'm happy to have had my much needed Gideon fix. I'm glad that the story didn't end with a huge cliffhanger so as much as I'm looking forward to the next instalment I'm not quite as desperate to get my hands on it as I was this one. It will be interesting to see what the future holds for Gideon and Eva and I find myself feeling happy that we have another 2 books to look forward to. ________________________________________________________
UPDATE: 22nd Feb Another email from Amazon today & the release date has changed to JUNE!! I want to cry :o( If they change the date again I will hit something!!
UPDATE: November 2012 Amazon just emailed me to say the release date for this has been pushed back from December to May 2013!!!!!!!!
NOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOO I can't wait that long for my next Gideon fix :o(...more
I'm a massive fan of Ilona and Gordon Andrews's Kate Daniels series, in fact I'd put it right up there as one of my favourites, so of course I couldn'I'm a massive fan of Ilona and Gordon Andrews's Kate Daniels series, in fact I'd put it right up there as one of my favourites, so of course I couldn't wait to dive into their newest novel and explore another world they've created in Burn for Me. When I pick up a story from a favourite author I always go into it with high expectations and sometimes that can work against me but this husband and wife team have never let me down and with each new book they consistently hit the ball out of the park. They excel at excellent world building, creating strong female lead characters, sexy heroes and fantastic casts of side characters and that is exactly what they've done again in Burn for Me. I wanted to climb into the book and live there, Nevada would make a great friend although I don't think she'd appreciate me having such a big crush on Rogan LOL.
Nevada is a private investigator in charge of running her family business, they're a small operation and money is tight so Nevada is under a lot of pressure to keep her family stable financially. She has a close relationship with her mother, grandmother and younger cousins and siblings but as the main breadwinner she has a lot on her shoulders. When she is asked to take on a case against a Prime magic user she knows she has very little chance of succeeding but the money she could earn would make a huge difference to her entire family and it's not like she has much choice other than to accept. As if going up against a Prime wasn't bad enough the case also brings her to the attention of Mad Rogan, an eccentric billionaire and powerful magic user in his own right. Rogan doesn't play by the rules and he will do whatever it takes to get what he wants, for now it is in his best interests to work alongside Nevada but she knows she can't trust him to have her back if their goals change which makes him trouble.
I absolutely loved the world that Ilona Andrews has created, the magical system is well explained and thought out and the idea of the powerful magical families having mob like control over certain areas was a brilliant one. These families do whatever it takes to protect their interests and to keep their bloodlines pure and it is safer to stay under their radar, something Nevada and her family have always tried to do in the past. Her latest case drags her right into the middle of things though and she's now stuck in an impossible situation. She isn't powerful enough to tackle the case on her own but accepting help from one family could set the others against her. Nevada is a great lead, she is strong and intelligent, she knows her own mind and she doesn't let anyone get away with pushing her around. She cares about her family and is willing to risk everything to keep them safe but as much as she would prefer to go it alone she is willing to accept help when she needs it. I loved the relationships she has with her various family members, in fact, the whole family was just so much fun to spend time with. There are some quite eccentric characters amongst them but I mean that in the best possible way and I can't wait to see more of them as the series continues.
Then you have Mad Rogan. What can I say about Rogan apart from that I have the biggest crush on him? Nevada and Rogan don't get off to the best start and considering that Rogan kidnaps her trying to get information that isn't too surprising. Technically I shouldn't like Rogan for that incident alone but oh boy do they have some fabulous chemistry going on between them. I loved the fact that Nevada didn't instantly forgive Rogan and act on her attraction to him, in fact she is fighting it all the way because she is still annoyed at his behaviour but he's definitely wearing her down and I can't even blame her for that. Rogan is dangerous with a capital D. He isn't the kind of guy who lets anyone close easily and if you're not part of his family then he really has very little interest in what happens to you. He doesn't have standard morals so if you're not an ally you're automatically a potential enemy and he'll have no reservation about doing whatever it takes to make sure you give him what he wants. However, once he has given someone his loyalty they can trust him to have their backs no matter what. Nevada starts to see that but it's going to take a lot before she accepts that they are anything beyond convenient, and temporary, allies for the length of their current case. I'm incredibly excited about seeing them spending more time together and I'm also looking forward to seeing Nevada start to get more control over her abilities.
I could rave on and on about Burn for Me but if I haven't already convinced you to give this series a try then I don't think anything else I could say will make a difference. This is a fantastic start to the Hidden Legacy series and any future books will be going immediately to the top of my to read pile.
28th Feb 2014:
Want. Desperately. I mean NOW!!
6th May 2014:
OMG I HAVE IT!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! Burn for Me is up on Edelweiss for review right now guys!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! I'M SOOOOOOOOO EXCITED!!!!!!!!!!!!...more
Sometimes you stumble across a book that is so good it just blows your mind.Red Rising is one of those books and I wanBuddy read with Ange & Jenny
Sometimes you stumble across a book that is so good it just blows your mind. Red Rising is one of those books and I want to grab a stack of copies and walk around the streets handing them to everyone I come across telling people that they NEED to read this book! I know it's only January but I would be incredibly surprised if this book isn't at the top of my list for best books in 2014. I've been putting off writing this review for days because there is no way I can do it justice but I'm going to try, I can't put it any more simply than "BUY THIS BOOK NOW" but we'll see if I can come up with something a bit more meaningful.
Darrow is from a family of pioneers and for generations his people, known as the reds, have worked in the mines on Mars digging for the Helium 3 needed to terraform the planet and make it hospitable for humans to live on the surface. They live hard and die young but they do it for the greater good of humanity knowing that their sacrifices will create a home that is desperately needed for future generations. Things may be tough but Darrow is generally happy with his lot, he loves his wife and lives for her and his family, they don't have much but they find joy in the small things and that's what makes life bearable. That is until he discovers the extent of the betrayal against his people and discovers that the higher echelons of society have been living on the surface in luxury for centuries. The Golds look down on the reds seeing them as nothing more than slave labour and everything that Darrow has ever been told about his role is a lie. With the help of a group of rebels Darrow is given the chance to fight back against the oppression of his people but in order to do that he will have to give up all that he cares about, he will have to turn himself into the one of the people he hates most and if he fails it will cost him everything.
I can't even begin to tell you what an emotional roller coaster Red Rising is, this book completely tore my heart out and ripped it into tiny little pieces - I don't think I've ever cried so hard less than 50 pages into a book before! It's incredible that Pierce Brown had me invested in his characters so quickly but that's a strong testament to how powerful his writing is. I was hooked into this story from the very first page and with an opening like "I would have lived in peace. But my enemies brought me war." who can blame me? Darrow has to be one of the most memorable characters I've come across in a long time. He isn't a natural leader, he was happy with his life as he knew it and didn't go looking to change things but when his hand is forced his need for vengeance takes him to places he never could have imagined. I loved the fact that Darrow isn't perfect, he is fallible and he makes a lot of mistakes along the way but he is constantly learning from them and doing his best to improve. He is the kind of guy who is prepared to fight for what he believes in even if the battle was brought to him rather than one that he went searching for. He is forced into a world that his upbringing could never have prepared him for but his will to live, his strength and his need for revenge pull him through.
Along with Darrow we are treated to a whole host of memorable side characters, I don't want to tell you too much about what happens during the rest of the book because I really think you'll get more enjoyment out of it if you go in blind but trust me it will be a memorable journey. This is a dark story, Darrow finds himself in a violent world where things are cut-throat and kill or be killed. He is forced into situations where there is no safe or easy outcome and that means he has to do terrible things to survive, he takes no pleasure in it but he will gorydamn do whatever it takes to make it. He can't survive alone though and that means putting his trust into people who are his natural enemies. He has to battle with himself as he starts to see some of the people he should hate as his friends but nothing is ever quite what it seems and it is impossible to know who he can really trust or who will stab him in the back at the first opportunity.
Red Rising is an impressive debut and the start of what is sure to be an incredibly popular trilogy. I don't say that lightly and I honestly believe that we will see big things from Pierce Brown in the future. If you are only going to take my recommendation for one book this year then please let it be for this one - this really is a book that I definitely want everyone to read. Whether you are a fan of dystopian stories or if it's a genre you're sick to death of you will love this book. It has none of the typical YA clichés and will surprise you at every turn. My only complaint is that I've got to wait to get my hands on the sequels but I guarantee that I'll be rereading this story to tide me over until they're published....more
I've been waiting nearly 2 years for the final book in this trilogy so to say End of Days was my most anticipated read of 2015 is an understatement. AI've been waiting nearly 2 years for the final book in this trilogy so to say End of Days was my most anticipated read of 2015 is an understatement. Angelfall and World After are both two of my favourite books so I was actually kind of terrified going into this, I was so scared that Susan Ee wouldn't be able to live up to my very high expectations and that I'd end up feeling disappointed. I'm very happy to report that I couldn't have been more wrong and the series goes out with a bang. I actually think this is the first time that I've rated every single book in a trilogy 5 stars, that's how good it is!
This isn't going to be an easy book to review, not because it isn't amazing but because I would absolutely hate to give spoilers to anyone who hasn't read it yet. I'm going to keep this deliberately vague but I will promise you that if you enjoyed the first two books you're going to love this this one. Penryn is one of the best heroines I've come across in a long time and I'm absolutely head over heels for Raffe too.
End of Days picks up seconds after the end of World After and the intensity is high from the very first page. There is non stop action and swoon worthy romance, you'll find yourself heartbroken and in tears one minute and cheering Penryn and her allies on the next. It was everything I could have possibly hoped for and some things that I would never have dared to dream of. In short this trilogy is epic, it's a series I can't recommend highly enough and it's catapulted Susan Ee to the top of my favourite author's list. I have no idea what she will be writing next but I do know it's already at the top of my wish list. Now I'm off to go and reread End of Days because I know I'm going to find even more to love about it the second time around!
If you haven't started this trilogy yet, or if you just haven't finished it then drop whatever else you're reading immediately and dive into this world - you won't regret it!
Previous Thoughts: February 2015 OMG OMG OMG OMG HOLY SHIT I HAVE END OF DAYS!!!!!!!!!!!! Thank you Hodder & Thank you Netgalley - I'm DYING of excitement here!! I know I'm supposed to be taking part in a huge group buddy read of the whole series closer to the release date but guys I just can't. You can't make me wait that long - it would KILL me!
I'm reading the first two books ASAP and then End of Days is MINE!
November 2013 This book is right at the top of my wish list! The second I get hold of a copy I'm dropping EVERYTHING to read it :-)...more
I've said it before but I'll say it again - I'm an Ilona & Gordon Andrews fan girl, in fact, I'm a total addict of this series and Kate & CurrI've said it before but I'll say it again - I'm an Ilona & Gordon Andrews fan girl, in fact, I'm a total addict of this series and Kate & Curran are one of my favourite fictional couples ever. So it would be fair to say that I was excited to get my hands on an advanced copy of Magic Breaks. In fact I was so excited about it that I actually read it twice before the release date - that's how fantastic this book is. So, you're probably wondering why it has taken me so long to write this review and my answer is that I've been feeling intimidated. How can I possibly describe the level of awesome that this book (in fact, this entire series!) has reached? I'm afraid to say that this review will probably involve a lot of gushing but I've decided that I just have to share my feelings about it and hope you'll forgive me for lack the of sensible insight.
Fans of the series will already know that this book is the cumulation of the long running story arc with Kate's father Roland, that doesn't mean this is the end of the series, just that Magic Breaks is a game changer. This confrontation has been a long time coming and it's fair to say expectations were high for Kate and Roland's first face to face meeting. I've spent a lot of time throughout the books wondering what would happen when they met but I don't think I could ever have been fully prepared for what actually happens. The showdown is nothing like I was expecting but it has totally set things up for exciting things in the future. That ending was epic and I can't wait to see where things go from here.
I love how much Kate has grown as a person throughout this series, she has come such a long way but she still has a lot to learn about her abilities and she doesn't have full control over her powers yet. The most special thing about these books has been seeing her go from a lonely young woman who felt she had to keep everyone at a distance to someone who has close friends and a self-made little family that she would give her life to protect. She has worked hard to find her place in the Pack and she comes into her own even more in this book when she has to take charge while Curran is absent. I love how her relationship with Curran has developed too, they have become such a strong couple and no matter what happens they never lose faith in each other. I adore them both and find myself wanting to reread every single moment they spend together.
I don't want to say too much about the plot of Magic Breaks because I would hate to give spoilers but I will mention a few other highlights. I loved the bickering between Derek and Ascanio who had me laughing out loud numerous times with their antics. Kate's confrontation with Jennifer was a long time coming but so worth the wait - that really was the best smack down EVER. I enjoyed getting to learn a bit more about Gastek and his background and I'm actually kind of starting to like the guy. Andrea is awesome and she always has Kate's back no matter how dangerous the situation, how fantastic is it to have more than one strong female character in a series! Magic Breaks is everything I want from a book in this series, it is humorous and has some fantastic one liners, it is action packed and full of unexpected surprises and most of all it has the best characters, the strongest friendships and a wonderful relationship between the main characters. There is so much to love about these books and it's quite unusual to find a series that is still this fresh and exciting seven books down the line, I never want it to end. ________________________________
10th April 2014 (my response to getting the ARC!): OMG OMG OMG OMG I HAVE IT!!! I have an ARC of Magic Breaks!!!!!!!!!!!!
*dies of excitement*
11th-14th April 2014 (first read): Loved it, love Kate & Curran, love the humour & just generally love the whole series. Full review to come closer to the release date.
1st July 2014 (2nd read in progress): I decided to reread the book before I write my review...more
When Grace wakes up locked in a plain white room she has no idea how she got there. Held captive by the mysterious Ethan the only distraction she hasWhen Grace wakes up locked in a plain white room she has no idea how she got there. Held captive by the mysterious Ethan the only distraction she has is some pens and paper so she starts writing her story. As she writes about her friendship with Sal and falling in love with her boyfriend Nat we begin to unravel the mystery of how she ended up in the white room.
Entangled is a captivating and powerful debut and one that will take the reader on a roller coaster of emotions from laughter to tears and everything in between. When I sat down to read I was only intending to read a couple of chapters but I became so caught up in Grace's tale that I finished the entire book in one sitting. This is a dark and uncomfortable read at times but that just makes it even more compelling and it does manage to leave you feeling hopeful by the end. I really admire the fact that Cat Clarke made me laugh out loud despite the difficult topics covered.
I've seen several reviewers say that they didn't find Grace very likable in the beginning but I have to say I didn't have the same problem with her. I didn't like some of the things she was doing or her attitude at times but her character really spoke to me on a personal level and in some ways she reminded me a lot of myself as a teenager. Grace is in self destruct mode, she has so many emotions that she just doesn't know how to deal with and this shows in the way she acts. In many ways she comes across as a normal teen - she seems friendly and outgoing and is doing well at school but this is just a front that she puts on. Underneath it all she is messed up - she uses alcohol to escape from reality, sleeps with boys she has just met and resorts to cutting as a way to feel in control of her life.
Her reasons might be different to mine and her behaviours differ to some degree but at her age I was in a very similar destructive pattern. Grace's voice was so real real to me and made for painful reading as I watched her make similar mistakes to me & I just wanted to reach into the book and be the voice of experience to tell her that things can and will get better. This particular quote has stayed with me for days since reading the story and for me it captures the essence of Grace perfectly:
"It's when I'm alone that the doubt sets in. It's been that way for years. As long as there are people around, I can pretend everything's OK. But I need that audience to pretend for, otherwise it doesn't work. Alone, I'm not that easy to fool." Page 214
It is hard to go into too much detail about the rest of the story without giving spoilers, I really do think that this is one of those books that the less you know about before going in the better the reading experience will be. I will say that although I thought I'd figured out the twist at the end (well I had several theories anyway and was sure one of them would be correct) Cat Clarke still managed to surprise me. Entangled is a gripping and powerful read and one that I would thoroughly recommend, I know this is a story that will stay with me and one that I'm looking forward to reading again now I know how it ends....more
Do yourself a favour and don't buy this ebook if you don't want to waste your money.
As of 10th September it will cost you 1.99 for this ebook but if yDo yourself a favour and don't buy this ebook if you don't want to waste your money.
As of 10th September it will cost you £1.99 for this ebook but if you wait until January you can get this and 4 other short stories (all priced at £1.99 each when purchased separately) in one print bind up that is currently available to pre-order for just £4.99 (versus the £9.95 it would cost you for the 5 ebooks!!!)
I hate to say it but this is going to end up being more of a rant than a review, I just can't talk about this book without going into detail about theI hate to say it but this is going to end up being more of a rant than a review, I just can't talk about this book without going into detail about the main character's completely unacceptable behaviour and I have a whole heap of quotes I'll be using to back that up. I really hate this trend that female characters have to act like a complete bitch to be seen as a strong woman, the trend that says it is OK for a girl to beat up on a guy because she has had a bad experience in the past. Domestic violence is WRONG, I don't care if the perpetrator is male or female - the ONLY time it is acceptable to resort to violence is when you are defending yourself from a physical assault. If you are beating people up for any other reason then you need to seek help.
My Favourite Mistake starts with the main character Taylor making the following statement:
The first time I met Hunter Zaccadelli, I punched him in the face. Granted, he completely and totally deserved it. He also asked for it, in so many ways.
I was initially prepared to give her the benefit of the doubt because we don't know what he did to get that reaction from her but when the scene plays out I was shocked at her behaviour. Taylor has just moved into a new coed dorm at her college along with her friends Renee and Darah and they are waiting for their fourth room mate to arrive. In walks Hunter and Taylor is horrified to discover that she will be sharing her room with a guy. I can kind of understand that reaction but it's not exactly Hunter's fault that he was assigned to their room. (On a side note would a college really place a guy in a room with three girls? I'm not sure I believe that!). Hunter is a good looking guy with tattoos, a guitar and a cocky, flirty attitude so Taylor immediately pegs him as a douche without even spending five minutes getting to know him. He makes the terrible mistake of flirting with her and stepping into her personal space but does Taylor react like a normal person and ask him to back off? No she punches him in the face (hard enough to leave a bruise) and knees him in the nuts before storming out of the apartment. Her friends don't seem particularly surprised by her reaction which just confused me - if one of my friends acted like that I'd want to know what the hell was wrong with them! The only person who questions her behaviour is her sister and this is the conversation they have about it:
"Aw, Kid, why did you do that?" "He cornered me, what was I supposed to do?" My hand was red and starting to turn a lovely purple shade. "You could have told him to back off. That would have been the logical thing to do." "You know I'm not a logical person."
Well no Taylor quite obviously isn't a logical person - she's actually a violent head case. From this point onwards Taylor is consistently rude to Hunter, she calls him names, snaps at him and does everything she can to get him out of her life. For his part Hunter is patient with her, he cooks for her, he buys her jewellery, he goes out of his way to make sure she is safe and happy and he continues to banter with her while all this time she continues to call him a douche for absolutely no reason! I can't for the life of me understand what such a nice guy sees in her. There is just nothing likeable about Taylor, even when we eventually find out what she went through in her past it couldn't excuse her current behaviour. I felt bad about what had happened to her and could understand her being wary around men and finding it difficult to trust people but that is still no excuse for her getting violent.
I kept hoping we'd see her get some kind of anger management but she refuses to accept any kind of help and that wasn't the only time she hit Hunter either. She threatens him constantly and the second time she attacks him was when he committed the terrible crime of trying to wrap her in a blanket because she was shivering. Here is part of her attack against him:
“Stop it!” I thrashed, but he wouldn't let go of me. He tried to pick me up, but I was ready for him, landing punches and kicks right and left. His face was blank. Somehow he got me to my feet, and the blanket fell away. It was like I’d unleashed something dark and violent that had been stirring inside me since that night eight years ago. “Stop it! Stop it! Stop it!” I pounded on his chest. I slapped his face and I kicked him. I kept going until my lungs were heaving and my arms were sore and a strangled sob had escaped my mouth. He stood with his arms at his sides. His face was red from me slapping him.
and this is her sad attempt at an apology:
"I’m still sorry I beat you," I said, touching his perfect face. "How’s my face looking?" I glanced up. He was going to look quite pretty tomorrow. "A little battered." "That’s okay. I’ll just tell everyone I was in a bar fight." "What, you’re ashamed to say you were hit by a girl?" "No, but I’m worried you’ll get hauled in for domestic violence," he said with a smile. "Okay, fine."
I think that was one of the most disturbing conversations in the whole book. He is making excuses to cover for her and protect her which is classic victim behaviour in domestic violence situations. The fact that she ribs him for being embarrassed to have been hit by a girl rather than worrying about her own actions was just completely disgraceful. She had kicked, punched and slapped him like a mad thing while he just stood there and took it. If that scene was written so that Hunter had been the one attacking Taylor can you imagine the public reaction? People would have been rightly horrified so why is it acceptable for Taylor to be the one doing the attacking? I'll answer that question for you - IT ISN'T!!! There is no way in a million years you'll ever convince me that she is anything other than a violent bully with anger management issues who should be in therapy. I might have been able to forgive her over time if she'd owned up to her problems and taken steps to resolve them but she doesn't and Hunter doesn't help with this either when he says things like this:
"I’m not coping with it, according to my therapists. There have been many." "Fuck them. If breaking things and punching people every now and then helps you, I’ll be your punching bag and we can get you some stuff to throw off the roof. Deal?"
He's offering to be her punching bag if that makes her feel better? No, just NO. That isn't the right way to go about things! He should be offering to help her find a decent therapist or he should be telling her he isn't prepared to put up with the way she treats him and then running a million miles away from her. Taylor's behaviour isn't right, it isn't acceptable and it's only going to get worse if she doesn't deal with her issues. I'm disturbed that this story is considered a romance and that not one of her friends or family members try to put a stop to her actions. I'm also annoyed with Hunter for letting her treat him the way she does, he doesn't just let her get away with it he actually encourages her to carry on.
I think this is the first time I've ever given a book that I actually finished reading 1 star (I usually save that rating for books I didn't finish) but I can't bring myself to give it a 2 star "it was OK" rating because that feels too much like I'm saying domestic violence is OK. I've seen the results of domestic violence first hand and it is NEVER OK.
Mini Review: I managed to hold out until the whole story was available before I started reading it & it was definitely worth the wait! It's not goiMini Review: I managed to hold out until the whole story was available before I started reading it & it was definitely worth the wait! It's not going to be on the website forever though so if you want to read it while it's free you'd best do that ASAP. Of course I'll be buying the finished version once it's gone through the editing process so I'm going to hold off until I've read the final story before I post a full review but I'm loving this series.
Here are a few highlights: - Love Dina's character, everyone always underestimates her but she is more than capable of holding her own & proves it time and time again. - Beast is adorable & I like the new edition to the Inn's pets. - Shaun, we didn't see enough of him in this book but he's still my favourite! - I love that the series links to the Edge books and that we got the chance to catch up with some familiar faces (even if one of them did piss me off by being a manipulative bastard LOL). - We get to meet some interesting new characters and I'm already looking forward to the next book :o)
Thoughts before I read it: It has a NAME!!!!!!!! Sweep in Peace I LOVE IT!
Also, Ilona and Gordon have posted the first chapter on their blog!! I think they're aiming to post a chapter each week like they did for Clean Sweep but chapter one is already live!
From the minute I saw the cover of The Novice I wanted to read it, I'm a huge fantasy fan and that stunning cover totally did it's job on me3.5 stars
From the minute I saw the cover of The Novice I wanted to read it, I'm a huge fantasy fan and that stunning cover totally did it's job on me. Then I heard that the story was a Wattpad sensation and to be honest that made me a little nervous, I know from experience that being a Wattpad hit doesn't always mean a book is good. In fact, some of the Wattpad success stories I've attempted to read have been pretty terrible and I really, REALLY didn't want that to be the case here. I'm so glad I decided to give this story a chance though because I ended up really enjoying it, it's fast paced and very easy to read and it actually managed to pull me out of a really annoying reading slump where I'd DNFed 6 books in a row!
The Novice isn't perfect, there were times when I found myself getting the secondary characters muddled up so I had to backtrack to remind myself who was who and the plot is fairly easy to guess because of the similarities to several other well known stories but overall there were far more positives than negatives and I think the series as a whole has a huge amount of potential.
I really liked the main character Fletcher and I'm looking forward to seeing more of him as the series continues. Abandoned as a baby Fletcher was adopted by the town blacksmith and has had a fairly good life, he works hard but has been well cared for and his adoptive father obviously loves him. Fletcher is an apprentice blacksmith and he fully expects to spend his life working alongside Berdon supplying swords for the army and shoeing horses. Everything changes the day he finds an old scroll though, when he accidentally summons a demon while reading it. Demons in this series aren't quite the evil things we expect them to be though, in fact they are kind of a cross between the Daemons from Philip Pullman's His Dark Materials series and pokemon. There are numerous different types of demons, they all have different abilities and different power levels and summoners are able to create a bond with them so the demons will do their bidding. Fletcher's demon, a salamander called Ignatius, is utterly adorable and I loved him.
Summoners are rare but extremely useful in the ongoing war with the Orcs because the demons they control can make a huge difference in the outcome of any battle. When Fletcher's summoning abilities are discovered he is sent to the Vocans Academy where he will be trained alongside other summoners and learn everything there is to know about demons. It is only recently that commoners have been accepted into the academy, previously it was believed that only those of noble blood were capable of summoning, but now they are so desperate for demons to help turn the tide of the war the rules have changed. Not everyone is happy about the new system though and there is a lot of bad blood between the nobles and the commoners, something that isn't helped by the academy accepting their first ever dwarf and elf students too.
The Novice is mainly Fletcher's story, we get to see him grow as he learns more about his abilities and tries to find his place in the world. I really liked how loyal he is, he's the kind of guy you'd want to have at your side because he always has his friend's backs, even when that puts himself in danger. He isn't afraid to stand up for himself even against people who are stronger and more powerful than he is but that doesn't mean he is stupid and I enjoyed seeing him come up with smart ways to protect himself. The world building is interesting, The Novice touches on themes of bullying & racism and there is also plenty of politics. I have lots of questions about the ongoing war that I'm hoping will be answered as the series continues but this was definitely a strong start that has hooked me enough to want to carry on reading....more
Please note that although this review won't contain spoilers for Cursed by Destiny it will include spoilers for previous books in the series.
Celia isPlease note that although this review won't contain spoilers for Cursed by Destiny it will include spoilers for previous books in the series.
Celia is devastated after Aric left her and his fast approaching wedding to another pureblood were isn't making her feel any happier. She can't stay living at home with her sisters surrounded by Aric's warriors but she can't be on her own thanks to the demons who are constantly trying to take her out so she has no other option but to accept Misha's offer of sanctuary. To take her mind off her broken heart Celia is focusing on learning better control of her powers and training to become as fast and strong as possible. For some reason the Tribe seem to be gunning for her and she is going to need every skill she can gain if she wants to have a chance of winning against them. Luckily she will always have her sisters at her back, they may not be living with her but they'd never leave her unprotected.
I have become a massive fan of the Weird Girls series since I first started reading it so have been eagerly waiting for this instalment, especially after Aric's actions during the last book! I still don't think I've fully recovered from the emotional roller coaster A Cursed Embrace took me on and Cecy Robson wasn't done with me yet! Cursed by Destiny was just as action packed as the previous books, in fact I think things have moved up a gear when it comes to the Tribe and the battles that Celia and her sisters are facing. Nobody is safe but Celia seems to be their main target and they are sending all the big guns in her direction. She doesn't have time to sit and cry over her broken heart, she's far too busy trying to stay alive!
I've never been a huge fan of Misha, I always felt he was creepy and I never really believed that he cared about Celia but I have to say he really grew on me in this book. We see a more protective side of him and it was nice that Celia had someone to rely on to help her. I still don't see them as a couple though so I'm happy to say I'm still on Team Aric! I do enjoy watching Celia spend time with the vampires though, the Catholic Schoolgirls always make me laugh with the outrageous things they come out with and I appreciate the way Misha pushes Celia when it comes to her training.
It's no secret that Aric's actions shocked and horrified me in the last book, he broke my heart right alongside Celia's and I still haven't forgiven him for that. I do feel like I have a better understanding for his actions after this book though, I do wish he'd done things differently and I'm still waiting for him to completely redeem himself but I've never once wanted Celia to give up on him. I just have to believe that they will find a way to be together, that after everything they've been through things will turn out right in the long run. It seems like a happy ending is a long way off though so I guess I'm going to have to learn some patience. There were times when I wanted to give Aric a good kick and tell him to buck his ideas up but he does make some steps in the right direction, let's just hope this continues in the next book.
There are so many things I want to talk about but I can't because I don't want to give spoilers. If you're already a fan of the series you're going to love Cursed by Destiny, it has all the humour, action and romance you'd expect plus so much more. I have really come to care about these characters and after the way things ended I can't wait for the next book! This is an auto-buy series for me and one I can't recommend highly enough. _________________________________________ My thoughts before I read the book:
I love this series but the blurb for this book has me more than a little nervous!
I seem to be in the minority when it comes to this book but I just couldn't force myself to finish it. I made it 40% of the way through and all that sI seem to be in the minority when it comes to this book but I just couldn't force myself to finish it. I made it 40% of the way through and all that seems to have happened is that Brooke practically orgasms every time she so much as looks in Remy's direction. We're constantly beaten over the head with how gorgeous his body is but we haven't been shown any of his personality. I reached the point where I just didn't care any more so I gave up.
I think my status updates say it all about my feelings towards this book:
23% - "Well the sexual tension is building nicely but I'm not sure how many more times I can read about her clenching womb before I have to punch something! Also I'm really not interested in learning the names of every muscle & bone in the human body - skip over that & get to the good stuff please!"
24% - "Geez, if her "sex organs throb so fiercely" just because he sniffed her I dread to think what she'll do if he ever gets her naked! I just can't take this book seriously!! Please someone tell me it gets better?!"
39% - "I'm not sure what to make of Remy. All we really know is that he's got a great body (we've heard about that at length & in great detail!), that he's a good fighter, trains like a madman & acts like a psycho when someone / something annoys him. He just doesn't seem to have much of a personality outside of that :-("
40% - "I can't do it, I just can't force myself to keep reading - its more painful than smashing my face into a brick wall! I did a few word searches on my kindle & these results should explain everything. The book contains: 71 x clench / clenches / clenched / clenching 22 x throb / throbs / throbbing 20 x pulse 11 x ripple / ripples 9 x tremor / tremors 39 x my sex (usually combined with at least 1 of the above!)"
Loads of my friends have rated this 4 or 5 stars though so don't let me put you off trying it. At least read through some of the MANY positive reviews before you make your mind up....more
I already wrote a proper review of this book HERE but I think I loved it even more the second time around.
I can't wait to read the final book but I hI already wrote a proper review of this book HERE but I think I loved it even more the second time around.
I can't wait to read the final book but I have absolutely NO IDEA what to expect from it! I'm sure Susan Ee is going to throw some twists in there & I'm actually kind of terrified for my favourite characters. Oh please, please, please let End of Days be as good as the rest of the series!!...more
I knew I wanted to read Stormdancer from the moment I first saw the cover, I can't even decide if I prefer the UK or USUpdated review - 28th September
I knew I wanted to read Stormdancer from the moment I first saw the cover, I can't even decide if I prefer the UK or US version - I actually want to buy both just so I can sit and stare at them! This is one of those books that had so much hype surrounding it that it had taken the blogosphere by storm well before it had even been released so I have to admit that I felt nervous when I first picked it up in case it didn't live up to my expectations. Then when I started reading it took me a long time to get into, Jay Kristoff has a beautifully descriptive writing style but I found the beginning particularly heavy going. This was probably because a lot of the Japanese terms used were so unfamiliar to me but I did find it off putting. In fact I got about 80 pages in and decided that the book just wasn't for me and gave up on it. Thankfully a few of my friends on Goodreads persuaded me to give it another try, they assured me that it was worth the effort of pushing through and that once the story clicked I would be hooked and am very happy to say that they were right.
By the time I'd got around 130 pages into the book I was well and truly addicted and I didn't want to put it down for a second. I don't give up on books often but once I do I never go back to them so Stormdancer was an unusual exception that turned into one of my favourite fantasy reads of the year so far. I don't want to go into too much detail regarding the storyline (there are plenty of other reviews out there that already do that) but I do want to tell you that this is a book that shouldn't be missed. It has something in there to appeal to fantasy fans of all ages - a futuristic dystopian world that is on the verge of apocalypse thanks to human pollution; a steampunk feel to it with airships, face masks and samurai with chainsaw katanas; a wonderful mixture of mythology and fantastic creatures and last but by no means least a collection of well drawn characters who you will come to both love and hate - sometimes at the same time!
The main character is sixteen year old Yukiko and the story follows her as she is sent along with her father on an impossible mission. They are tasked with capturing a griffin and bringing it back for the Shogun but everyone knows that griffins are long extinct. The Shogun will accept no failure though - they either bring back his prize or their lives are forefit. When they finally manage to capture a griffin Yukiko finds she has a bond with him that is stronger than anything she could have dreamed of. Without a doubt the griffin (also known as a thunder tiger) Buruu was my favourite character in the story, from the moment he flies onto the page I couldn't get enough of him. I loved the relationship that slowly develops between Buruu and Yukiko, separately they are great but put the two of them together and they become unforgettable. The way they influence each other through their psychic bond was wonderful to see and I adored the conversations between them.
Stormdancer may get off to a relatively slow start as we are introduced to the complex and detailed world that Jay Kristoff has created but once the pace picks up it quickly gains momentum and the action doesn't stop until the heart wrenching end. The author certainly isn't afraid to take risks with his characters and there were times I was genuinely terrified for Yukiko and Buruu's safety. It's been a long time since I was quite so captivated by a story and to say that Stormdancer is an impressive debut would be an understatement - my only complaint is that I now have to wait a year for the next instalment. I'm so relieved that I gave this book a second chance and I would urge anyone else who finds the beginning a bit heavy going to stick with it - I promise you it is more than worth the effort.
Original Review posted at the beginning of September 2012: I hate to give up on books but I started reading this one on the 2nd of August and it's now a month later and I'm still only around 100 pages in. I do think the story has a lot of potential, I have a feeling that once it gets going it will be a fantastic read but I'm just finding it so heavy going at the beginning that I can't face picking it up again (it has been on hold since about the 9th of August).
The writing is beautiful but it is so heavy on the description that I don't feel like anything has actually happened yet. I've seen so many positive reviews for the story and a lot of people have said that although it is slow to start it gets a lot better towards the end but at the moment I'm just not in the mood to slog my way through 400 pages to search for the good bits. I think I just have to accept that this book isn't for me, or possibly that I'm not in the right mood to read it.
I may well give it another chance in a couple of months and see if I get on with it better then but for now I'm afraid this is a Did Not Finish....more
I want to point out that I don't write proper reviews for books I don't finish reading but since I made so many notes during the first 50% of this booI want to point out that I don't write proper reviews for books I don't finish reading but since I made so many notes during the first 50% of this book (before I gave up) I thought I'd share them here.
I have to say that I'm in the minority when it comes to this book though, most of my GRs friends enjoyed the story and rated it quite highly. So don't just go on my review if you're trying to decide whether to read it or not - this one obviously just wasn't for me.
There were so many things about the story that didn't make sense and that ruined the book for me. I've hidden my notes saying exactly what bothered me behind a spoiler tag so don't continue further if you've not read the book and don't wish to have the first half spoiled for you.
Beware: Rant ahead!
(view spoiler)[- Mila's mother is a scientist who is capable of creating the most sophisticated android the military has and now she's in hiding working as a vet who specialises in horses - just how many degrees does this woman have?
- They're on the run from the military, MILA (which stands for Mobile Intel Lifelike Android) is a stolen robot and her "mother" is trying to protect her. Why then does her mother a) send her to school in the first place (especially when her implanted memories are of being home schooled) and b) not change her daughters name to anything other than Mila? Seriously, how hard would it be for the military to search school registers for 16 year old girls called Mila??
- Her best friend Kaylee literally tries to kill her. I know teenage girls can be bitches (I saw that first hand at school!) but would someone really be stupid enough to make you sit in the back of their truck & then drive at high speeds until you go flying out to what should be your death? All this because the boy Kaylee likes (Hunter) seems more interested in Mila than in her.
- On the subject of Hunter what is it with YA and instalove? I'm sick to death of it, they talk to each other about twice & go on one date before Mila makes the discovery that she is an android and has to run for her life. Now you'd think with the shock of that she would be more interested in finding out about her past but no she's too busy mooning over the fact that she had to leave Hunter behind & will never see him again. FFS!
- When they go on the run we discover that dear old "Mum" happens to have ready made passports for both of them in fake names. Since she happens to have these false identities to hand I ask again - why did she enrol Mila at school without changing her name first? Just to make it easier for the military to find them??
- Speaking of the military how did they track them down (apart from the obvious stupidity with her name!)? It's a little convenient that they turn up within days of Mila finding out the truth.
- What was the point of giving Mila false memories of a fire that supposedly killed her father when he never existed in the first place? Why traumatise her with something like that when you could just say he left them when she was a baby?
- When Mila's android abilities start kicking in a lot of them just don't make sense. She's able to project data into the air like some kind of projector. Where does the light come from? Surely if she has magical light up eyeballs it would be noticeable! There was no explanation for how it worked.
- I also had trouble believing that her program updates itself wirelessly from the military's technology but there is supposed to be no way for them to track her.
- When the bad guys track them to the hotel they are staying in rather than just storm the room in the middle of the night they decide to knock on the door and announce themselves. OK so they pretend to be hotel maintenance needing access to the hotel fuse box but how many hotels have their fuse boxes hiding in a guest's room rather than somewhere they have access to 24/7? What kind of maintenance guys knock on your door after 2am anyway? Seriously are these the most stupid bad guys in history or have I missed the point somewhere?
- I didn't understand how Mila was able to signal the security computers at the airport so that the scans show a normal person walking through them not an android. That just becomes even more ridiculous when she then sets off the alarms because she has a balled up gum wrapper in her pocket. Come on, since when does paper set of airport security?
- Why does the airport dog sense something about her and start barking? We've never had any evidence to show animals don't like her until that point - she's able to ride the horses her mum looks after without a problem and horses tend to be quite skittish.
- This then leads onto the most ridiculous and pointless chase scene in history - seriously I don't think I've ever read anything so stupid in my entire life (& I've read over 1000 books just in the last 3 years!). Airport security try to stop Mila and her mother yet they manage to run past all 9 guards who are at check in plus the security dog?! If airport security is really that rubbish I don't think I'm ever getting on a plane again! They make it into the duty free area and military expert android Mila decides that the best way to slow down security is by throwing ice cream on the floor "hoping the slickness would slow our pursuers". You really are too stupid to survive this book aren't you Mila!
- Mother and android proceed to make it through an empty gate, survive the fall from the gate down to the ground, steal a luggage truck and end up being chased around the airport by security. Mila starts throwing suitcases at the chasing cars smashing one of their windscreens so the car ends up being hit by a plane and then she thinks "Hopefully we'd managed to buy ourselves some time without really seriously injuring anyone". WTF??? Come on, you just risked the lives of half the airport security and every single innocent passenger on the plane and you're hopeful you didn't hurt anyone. Are you kidding me?
- So after that completely crazy, unrealistic and utterly pointless chase scene guess what happens? They get caught. Surprise f*cking surprise! What was the point of all that apart from to cause me eye strain from all the eye rolling I was doing?
- What makes it even worse is that I couldn't understand why they were even running. All they needed to do was let security search them for drugs and see that they didn't have anything dodgy with them and they'd have let them go. Instead they end up caught and in a whole shit load of extra trouble - running from security, stealing, criminal damage, endangering lives, entering restricted areas and actually driving across a runway in front of a plane that is trying to take off. I'm pretty sure there are other charges that could be held against them but I'm beyond caring at this point.
I just couldn't bring myself to read another page, the book had pushed me way beyond the realms of believability and right into I couldn't give a crap (hide spoiler)]["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>...more
Before You by Jenna Bennett is part of the Sex on the Beach multi-author series, the stories are linked by three main characters who have all gone onBefore You by Jenna Bennett is part of the Sex on the Beach multi-author series, the stories are linked by three main characters who have all gone on holiday together for spring break and who are looking for a little romance to go along with their sun, sand and cocktails. The characters spend most of their time apart going off and having their own adventures but they do meet up occasionally so you'll get glimpses of all three of them in each story. The books can be read in any order and they each work fine as a stand alone story so you can choose whether you want to read one, two or all three of them.
I'm someone who hates to write negative reviews but sometimes there is just no other option and I'm afraid that is the case with Before You. It's hard to explain why without giving spoilers but to put it briefly I was annoyed by the complete and utter stupidity of the two main characters, Ty acts like a complete ass, Cassie lets him walk all over her and I didn't feel like there was even a tiny amount of chemistry between the two of them. It's bad enough when I don't respect the main characters but top that off with the instant love after they'd spoken three (yes THREE) times probably for less than an hour in total and the fact that the mystery was so obvious that I think my cat figured it out before the main characters did and you've got a book that I was seriously disappointed with. That's all I can say without spoilers so if you don't want to know more about the plot look away now - if you like spoilers or have already read the story then feel free to carry on reading for a more in depth review.
SPOILERS BEGIN HERE:
(view spoiler)[Okay, so you've been warned and decided to carry on reading - I'll apologise in advance for the rant this is bound to turn into! Let's talk about our two main characters. First you have Cassie who if I'm honest is a bit of a wet blanket, she's utterly clueless about a lot of things and so naive that I struggled to believe that she was older than 15. I know her father is a preacher but she's supposed to be 21 and she's been living away from home attending college so you'd think she would have grown up just a tiny bit. She meets Ty and pretty much falls in love with him from first glance. He walks her back to her hotel on 3 occasions and leaves her at the door without so much as a goodbye kiss and she's already telling herself she has fallen for him. I should probably add that he told her he has a girlfriend but she is still daydreaming about kissing him - not particularly something that makes me likely to admire her character.
Then you have Ty. Now I'd figured out at their first meeting that he was an undercover cop (it later turns out he's an undercover FBI Agent but I was close enough). He is at Key West to investigate a serial rapist and he walks Cassie back to the hotel to make sure she doesn't become another victim (it's a pity not all of the girls on the Keys have a police escort home!). Over the course of the next few days they bump into each other a few times and each time he walks her back to the hotel safely but although she is with him when they discover one of the victims he never admits his involvement in the investigation. Fair enough, I can get on board with the fact that he shouldn't disclose his identity to just anyone when he's undercover so I'm not going to hold that against him.
What I couldn't understand is his actions when Cassie nearly ends up one of the rapist's victims. He goes to find her one evening to walk her home and finds her drugged out of her mind, barely able to walk and obviously not aware of her surroundings so what does he do? You'd think that a police officer (I didn't know he was FBI at that point but finding that out makes his actions seem even worse!) would immediately take her to hospital to get her checked out wouldn't you? Surely, that is the only course of action, right? I'm afraid not - Ty is obviously from a different planet from the rest of us because he takes her back to her hotel room, half undresses her and lets her sleep it off for TWELVE hours! Are you shocked yet? I would think that ANYONE (let alone a trained police officer!) would worry that she's been drugged & he has no idea what is in her system. What if she has an adverse reaction to the drugs and ends up dead? What if she was given an overdose? What makes him qualified to decide it's safe to let her sleep? She should have been admitted to the hospital IMMEDIATELY!
Now forget about the drugs for a minute and jump forward to the following morning. When she finally wakes up (dressed in just her underwear and a t-shirt) he tells her what happened and says she needs to go to the hospital straight away so they can take blood samples to check what drugs she was given & that if she doesn't hurry they'll all be out of her system (well that wouldn't be a problem if you took her to the hospital TWELVE hours ago now, would it?!). I also have to point out here that while some date rape drugs can stay in your system for up to 72 hours others - GHD for example - are gone in LESS than twelve hours. It took me less than 5 minutes and a single google search to confirm that (click here for more info)! I really hate it when authors fail to do their research.
He also tells her she needs a pelvic exam just in case she was raped even though he doesn't think she was. WHAT??? You mean to tell me that there was even the teeniest, tiniest little possibility that she was RAPED and you didn't TAKE HER TO THE HOSPITAL??? Are you fucking kidding me? He makes her dress in the clothes she'd been wearing the night before because the police will want them as evidence (no shit Sherlock and I'm sure the fact that you've contaminated them by undressing her yourself wouldn't be an issue *insert eye roll here*) and then it's off to hospital they go. They are driven by a police car because Ty finally thought to call for back up but he tries to just drop her off at the door to the hospital telling her a detective will be there soon. Again, I know he's trying to stay undercover but he hasn't called any of her friends, she's just woken up out of a drug haze and is disoriented because she has no idea what happened to her, she's terrified because she was possibly the victim of a rapist and he STILL doesn't offer to go in and hold her hand while she waits for the doctor? She has to actually ask him to stay with her. Well those sure are the actions of a wonderful hero aren't they? Are you swooning yet?
The book actually has some good messages about not accepting drinks from strangers, not leaving your drink unattended and even not getting so drunk that you aren't in full control of your actions but as far as I'm concerned that is all completely negated by the message it sends about what to do if your friend is drugged. Date rape drugs can be lethal, this quote comes directly from the NHS website: Date rape drugs are particularly dangerous when mixed with alcohol because they combine to have a very powerful anaesthetic effect. In extreme cases, it can lead to a coma or even death. If an FBI Agent just puts Cassie to bed and lets her sleep it off what do you think teenagers are going to do if it happens to their friend? They're going to do exactly the same thing. Is this really a safe message we want to be passing along to teenagers (or anyone else for that matter)?
This review is already a heck of a lot longer than I planned it to be but there are a couple of other things I have to mention so please bear with me. I think that Ty was using the "I have a girlfriend" card as a way to stop getting involved with her because he was working but that little point is never clarified. Even after he admits he was lying to her and comes clean about who he really is she doesn't bother to ask if he actually has a girlfriend or not. The final chapter is one of the most ridiculous sex scenes I've ever read about - her begging him to take her virginity was just embarrassing, both for her and for me as a reader. It's even more cringeworthy considering how close she'd come to being raped the night before (this is a 2nd rape attempt not the one already mentioned previously). Cap that with the fact that she wakes up the next morning and he's vanished without even leaving a note and I just wanted to punch Ty in the face for being a complete asshole!
For the epilogue we skip forward several months. Cassie is back at school in Chicago and hasn't seen or spoken to Ty since he took her virginity and walked away without a backward glance yet she's still pining over him and wishing he'd get in contact (it's not like she can call him - he didn't bother to give her his number). He turns up after all that time with a sheepish grin on his face and she just walks into his arms happy to see him. I'm supposed to believe in this romance? I'm supposed to accept that this asshole is a worthy hero that I should be swooning over? I shouldn't be waiting for Cassie to punch him in the face and tell him to get stuffed? I'm sorry but ROMANCE FAIL.
In case you don't believe me here are the final few sentences of the book, remember this is the FIRST time she sees him after he walked out on her over 2 months ago:
He stopped in front of me. “Hi.” He looked a little nervous, like maybe he wasn't entirely sure of his reception. I smiled. “Nice shirt.” He glanced down at it, and back up at me. “Thanks.” “Wanna inspect my body?” “Yeah,” Ty said, and reached for me.
Yup, that's it - the end. The "Wanna inspect my body" comment makes more sense if I point out that he's wearing a t-shirt that says "FBI - Female Body Inspector" on it. (hide spoiler)]
UPDATE: I asked Lisa on twitter how many parts there would be and she said she's writing until it's done so she isn't sure. I'll try to update this with links to each new part as they are posted though.
I have to confess that I wasn't really too sure what to expect from Trial by Fire, I hadn't heard a great deal about it before I sBuddy read with Ange
I have to confess that I wasn't really too sure what to expect from Trial by Fire, I hadn't heard a great deal about it before I started reading but the shiny foil cover caught my eye and when I realised it was about witches and alternate realities I couldn't resist. I'm so glad I took a chance because this turned out to be one of my favourite YA reads of the year. There is just so much to love about this book and once I'd started reading I didn't want to stop.
Lily is such a fantastic main character. She isn't one of the popular crowd at school, in fact her allergies to pretty much everything have made her a bit of an outcast but no matter how tough things are she just gets on with it. She knows that it won't be long before her increasing allergies leave her housebound and she's determined to make the most of attending school while she still can. I loved her automatically for having so much courage but what tipped me over the edge into complete girl crush mode was the way she reacted when a potential love interest broke her heart. Lily isn't a simpering fool who will forgive a guy any asshat behaviour just because he is hot, no Lily is the kind of heroine who knows exactly how she deserves to be treated and who would rather be alone than let a boy walk all over her. Do you know how rare a heroine like that is in YA these days? It's so hard to find positive female role models and I could have jumped for job at Lily's response to the boy in question!
All that was before we'd made it beyond the first couple of chapters and I could already tell I was going to love this book. Now take this fabulous heroine and drop her unexpectedly into an alternate reality, one where magic is real and where witches rule. Lily suddenly has an explanation for her allergies and finds herself in a place where she isn't an outcast, in fact she is incredibly powerful. She is completely out of her depth and has no idea who she can trust so it's understandable that she quickly bonds with the people she recognises from her own reality but even then she doesn't blindly trust them or expect them to act the way they would in her world. Lily is sensible, she thinks things through and trusts her instincts rather than go along with what other people want her to do, even in an alternate universe Lily is my kind of heroine!
There are two other characters who I really want to talk about and the first is Lillian, Lily's alternate self, who happens to be the witch in charge of the whole of Salem and all of the other covens around the new world. Lillian is a fascinating character, she does some horrific things and you can't help but hate her for them but the more you learn about her the more you start to wonder about her motives. I'm not saying her actions are justifiable but she does have reasons and I think we've only started to uncover them. There is so much more to Lillian than a cardboard cut-out villain and the choices she makes raise some really interesting questions. Can you ever justify doing terrible things? Is it worth losing the life of a few people if you can potentially save thousands? What if the cost is more than a few - how much life are you willing to sacrifice?
The other character who deserves an honourable mention and a round of applause is love interest Rowan. He really is the kind of guy that we all wish we could meet, he's strong, protective, caring, intelligent and brave but best of all he can admit when he's made a mistake and he can actually apologise for it! Imagine that - a guy who will say sorry! It's a rare and beautiful thing indeed, especially in YA. There is no alpha asshat behaviour here, yes he's wary of Lily in the beginning but considering he thinks she is is mortal enemy Lillian (because they do look identical after all!) that was completely understandable. To be fair, considering the things that Lillian has done to him I actually thought he reacted quite reasonably to Lily's arrival. I absolutely loved seeing their relationship develop over time, there is no insta-love here and the couple spend time getting to know each other and learning to trust. Lily isn't afraid to call Rowan out when he is unreasonable and he is equally willing to push her when she needs it which makes them very well matched.
I don't want to say too much about the alternate world that Lily ends up in because I think it is somewhere that you should have fun exploring for yourself by reading the book. What I will say is that I loved the way magic works, the way it is based on scientific principles and has been so cleverly set up that it comes across as completely believable. I don't have much difficulty thinking there is an alternate universe out there somewhere where magic is real! I think it's quite obvious that I loved this book, I could spend hours writing this review trying to give you more reasons to read it but to be honest if I haven't already sold it to you then probably nothing else I could say will either. If you're only going to take one young adult recommendation from me this year then make it Trial by Fire, this book is such a refreshing change, it breaks so many of the current YA trends and is well worth the money it costs....more
Sam is a grad student who is working hard to get her masters degree in wildlife biology, she specialises in birds of prey and she loves her studies anSam is a grad student who is working hard to get her masters degree in wildlife biology, she specialises in birds of prey and she loves her studies and her job working with rescued birds at her university. When she is invited to dinner with a Duchess from Lilaria she assumes it is something to do with the program she helps run and hopes to secure a donation. The last thing she expects is to find out that her family not only came from Lilaria but that she is the heir to a title and the queen wants her to return and take up her inheritance. The one thing that tempts her to visit is the fact that they have superior medical treatment that could offer a cure for her sick father but it also has the advantage of allowing her to spend time with the gorgeous prince yummy. Alex is the crown prince of Lilaria and has had his heart broken too many times by women who are only interested in his title and his money. He is trying to keep his head down and stay out of the limelight for a change and the last thing he wants is to get entangled with a woman that the press is desperate to get a glimpse of. That was before he met Sam though, she isn't like most of the women he knows, she doesn't care about money or the latest fashions and is reluctant to accept her own title let alone start dating a prince. He promises to be by her side every step of the way if she returns to Lilaria with him but can he win her heart and get her to stay there with him?
My friend loved this book so much that she convinced pretty much everyone she knows to join in a massive group read of it (there were 16 of us in total!). She had told us that Suddenly Royal was a fun, light hearted read with a Princess Diaries feel to it and no unnecessary relationship angst and I couldn't agree more with that assessment. I picked this up when I was in the mood for something light, something that would make me laugh out loud and leave me smiling and that's exactly what I got. In fact I think the smile was pretty much glued to my face the whole time I was reading. Yes, I'll admit that the story was a little predictable in places but how many romances have you read that aren't? I for one would be most disappointed if I picked up a romance and didn't get a happy ever after (or at least a happy for now) at the end of it! I started the story planning on reading a couple of chapters but before I knew it I was over 200 pages in and that to me is a sign of a good story.
Sam was a likeable heroine, a normal every day girl and the kind of person any of us would be friends with. She had good friends, a loving father and she cared about people and animals. She was thrown into the public spotlight when she found out about her title and inheritance in Lilaria but she never let it go to her head, in fact she tried really hard to carry on with her life as normal. Not that she had much of a chance at doing that when she was being hounded by the press every five minutes and couldn't even open her front door without having her picture taken by photographers but she didn't let that stop her carrying on with her everyday routine at college. Her life does change rather dramatically when she agrees to visit Lilaria but rather than sit around complaining she does her best to get on with things. I loved the fact that her reaction to everything going on around her was so normal, her behaviour felt realistic and that just made me like her even more.
Alex was a fabulous hero, he was cool, confident, compassionate and caring. He went out of his way to make things as easy for Sam as possible and he respected her opinion on things. He never once tried to force her into anything she wasn't comfortable with and he took the time to make sure she was OK with everything that was happening. It didn't hurt that he was sexy as hell and happened to be a prince too - don't all little girls have a prince charming fantasy at some point in their lives? I know I did! Sam is determined to resist Alex's advances because she doesn't think she could possibly be a queen and she assumes he is only interested in a temporary affair. She knows it would be too easy to get her heart broken if she gave in to temptation but she can't deny the chemistry between them forever, especially as Alex keeps proving to her over and over again that he will always be there for her.
Suddenly Royal is such a fun book to read with a fantastic couple at the centre and some wonderful side characters who never failed to entertain me. If you're in the mood for something light and fluffy then you can't go far wrong with this and I'm definitely going to be on the look out for more from Nichole Chase in the future - especially now I've found out this is going to be the first book in a series!
Summer Read Along - 14th June 2013
After reading Cory's fab review this ended up turning into a massive group read. Links to the reviews of other participants are listed below:
I absolutely loved Finnikin of the Rock when I read it last year but I haRead as part of a huge group read with the Buddy Read Group. _________________
I absolutely loved Finnikin of the Rock when I read it last year but I have to admit I was nervous when I realised that Froi was the main character of the sequel. After one particular scene with him in the first book I was absolutely convinced that I would never be able to like his character and had nearly made up my mind not to continue with the series but then by the time I finished reading Finnikin Melina Marchetta had already gone some way towards showing a nicer side to Froi so I decided to give it a chance. I'm glad I did because this series really is fantastic, it's dark and some of the characters go through some pretty horrific things but I'm totally invested in what happens to them and desperate to see how the series finishes.
If you read the first book (and I really don't recommend continuing with this review if you haven't!) then you'll know exactly what scene with Froi I'm talking about and I'm sure I'm not the only one who was horrified by his actions. I still haven't forgiven him for what he tried to do to Isaboe and to be honest I don't think I ever will but I still ended up growing to really care about his characters and that just proves what a fantastic writer Melina Marchetta is. Froi is a messed up guy, he had a terrible upbringing and saw a lot of horrific things when he was living on the streets. I'm not trying to excuse his actions, there really is NO excuse for what he did, but it does make his thought processes easier to understand. His whole life has been about pain and he learned at a very young age that if you're not the one dishing it out then you're the one who is being made to suffer. Like I said that's no excuse but Froi never once tried to excuse his actions. It is obvious that he regrets what he did and he tries every single day to make up for it but he doesn't ask for, or expect, forgiveness. I couldn't have come to like him if I didn't feel like he regretted his actions and was trying to atone for his past mistakes and he totally won me around.
Froi of the Exiles is a huge book (just over 700 pages) but it's one I absolutely devoured and didn't want to put down for a minute. It's set three years after the first book and although this is mainly Froi's story we also get to catch up with all our favourite characters and see how they're getting on now. There have been big improvements for some of them and life in Lumatere is finally starting to settle down now that all of the refugees have been able to return home but there is still a lot of resentment and confusion between those who were left behind and those who were on the outside. Finnikin and Isaboe are trying to bring their people back together but it isn't easy and everyone is desperate for revenge against the king of Charyn, the person who cursed them in the first place. When they have the opportunity to get close to the king Froi is sent undercover but what he discovers when he reaches Charyn is completely unexpected. In fact, the people there are suffering just as much as the people of Lumatere have and Froi has some very difficult decisions to make, especially when it comes to Charyn's princes Quintana.
I absolutely loved Quintana, she is completely crazy but utterly brilliant and she's one of the most complex characters I've come across in a long time. I don't really want to tell you much about her because it's much better for you to discover her for yourself but she has been put in such an impossible situation that she's pretty much split her mind in two to protect herself. She definitely has multiple personalities and it was completely heartbreaking to see how much she has suffered for her people. She's so funny though, at one moment she'll be completely innocent and naive but the next she's like a wild cat spitting and fighting to defend herself. I loved how Froi was able to see through her sharp edges and understand how vulnerable she was and seeing the two of them together was adorable.
I honestly don't have the words for how much I loved this book. Melina Marchetta turned me into an emotional wreck, she ripped my heart into shreds and then set fire to the remains one minute but then had me laughing out loud the next. This is a book of heartbreaking tragedies and incredible injustices but also of characters with huge amounts of inner strength and hearts of gold. There are epic love stories and wonderful friendships as well as deep betrayals and surprising family connections. The plot is so complex that it's impossible to guess what will happen next and there were times when I was so shocked I nearly fell out of my chair. I will warn you now that it ends on a killer cliffhanger - seriously if you thought the ending of Finnikin of the Rock was bad you've not seen anything yet! - so you're going to want to get your hands on a copy of Quintana of Charyn ready for as soon as you finish this book. I have so much love for this series and I really do think it's one that everyone should read. It may be set in a fantasy setting but there are so many things about it that make it feel relevant to today, the characters are incredibly easy to relate to and I don't think many people would be able to read these books without getting some kind of strong emotional reaction to what happens....more
I was really looking forward to reading Heart of Stone, I haven't come across many paranormal romances where gargoylesBuddy read with Ange & Cory
I was really looking forward to reading Heart of Stone, I haven't come across many paranormal romances where gargoyles are the main supernatural character but I've enjoyed the ones I have read so I had high hopes for this one. Unfortunately there were so many inconsistencies and things that bugged me about the story that I struggled just to finish it and I'm not sure it's a series I will be continuing with. It's hard to explain what I didn't like about the story without talking about what happens so, although I'll try to keep the spoilers to a minimum, you might not want to continue reading this review if you haven't read the book yet unless you don't mind being told part of the plot.
I thought I was going to like Ella at first, she is shy and keeps herself to herself but she was amusing and I was looking forward to seeing her come into her own as the story progressed. Unfortunately fairly early on she is attacked by a real creep who seems quite determined to rape her and her reaction really annoyed me. After passively accepting what is happening for ages Ella finally slaps her attacker and I started to think that she was going to stand up for herself (hooray!) but it isn't long before she starts to feel guilty and regret the fact that she might have hurt him (what?!). I was further irritated when her boss interrupts them, it is quite obvious that something untoward is going on but they all agree that it's probably best not to discuss what happened and agree to go on their merry way. At this point Ella starts wishing that someone had been there to protect her - even though she apparently has these special abilities that she could have used to defend herself but for some unknown reason she would rather be raped than use them!
While Ella is standing around complaining to the gargoyle statue that he didn't rescue her she is so oblivious to her surroundings that a second attacker is able to sneak up behind her with a knife. Luckily this time the gargoyle decides it's time to step in and he comes to life and saves her. OK, I get that it would be a shock if a statue came to life in front of you but considering he just saved her life you might think that Ella would be grateful. Well, unfortunately you'd be wrong - in fact she starts screaming, calls him a monster and uses her super special ability to attack him. So she can't use her power to defend herself from the guy who is trying to rape her but she can use it to go after the gargoyle that just saved her from a knife attack? I'm sorry but I'm struggling to see the logic there!
Gargoyle, Kees, is actually surprisingly patient with her. He lets her get away with attacking him and he waits for her to calm down before questioning her to find out what has woken him up. I have to warn you there are quite a few plot holes when it comes to the gargoyles, they are supposed to be defenders of humanity who can only be woken up by their guardians when they are needed to protect the world from demons but unfortunately someone has been killing off the guardians and now most of the gargoyles have been lost. When Kees is in his statue form he is aware enough of his surroundings to keep fairly up to date with the latest technology and fashions, he even talks in a modern way in spite of the fact that he's been asleep for centuries, but he isn't aware of his current location and why he is no longer with his guardian. That just didn't make sense to me - either he's watching what is going on around him or he isn't, why would his knowledge be so selective? Surely he would at least have been aware of his location change even if he hadn't been able to wake himself up to do anything about it?
I'm not even going to keep writing about the things that didn't make sense because I'd be here all day so let's move on to the romance between Kees and Ella. You've probably already guessed by this point that I wasn't the biggest fan of Ella but for some reason I still had high hopes for Kees. I mean, here you have this protective alpha gargoyle who can not only fly but who can also transform into an incredibly sexy human - what's not to like about him? Well, his attitude for a start and unfortunately that was a major turn off for me. He is so determined to not show any emotions that he acts like, well, for want of a better word, stone. He is cold and hard and if I was Ella I'd have punched him on multiple occasions. They quickly give in to their attraction for each other and sleep together but since Kees is too scared to have any kind of feelings he then proceeds to pretty much ignore Ella and treat her like crap for the rest of the week. While he's busy being cold towards her she is for some strange reason busy falling in love with him - don't ask me why because I sure as hell couldn't figure it out. After a week of tension Kees finally decides that he really does want to be with her so they end up back in bed together, afterwards Ella confesses that she loves him and he doesn't respond which has her feeling like he's going to go back to giving her the cold shoulder and leaves her feeling devastated. So the next morning Ella leaves for work without before Kees wakes up and he has the gall to be annoyed with her because she left without saying goodbye. Seriously, are you kidding me?
You'd hope that since I didn't like either of the main characters and I didn't believe in the romance that at least there might be some decent fight scenes? After all, the gargoyles are supposed to protect the world from demons so that should lead to some pretty scary bad guys right? Unfortunately you'd be wrong again and not only are the bad guys pretty pathetic (and easy to guess!) but our hero and heroine are pretty damn stupid too. I'm not even sure how they survived to the end of the book if I'm honest. Does this series have potential? I'd have to say possibly, the fact that the next book features a different main couple does automatically makes me more interested in reading it. If there weren't so many holes in the world building then I would have loved the mythology but after being so disappointed with the first instalment I'm not sure I'll be able to bring myself to carry on reading this series....more
I already wrote a semi coherent review about Angelfall HERE so I'm not going to write another one.
What I will say is that this book is just as fantastic on a second reading, in fact if anything, I think I loved it even more! This really is an outstanding series and it's one I'd highly recommend to anyone. I can't wait to finally read End of Days & see how the trilogy ends...more
I think this series might be the death of me, these O'Kane guys and gals just really know how to rock my worldBuddy read with Annie, Aly & Amanda
I think this series might be the death of me, these O'Kane guys and gals just really know how to rock my world and if I could pick one series to dive into and die of hedonistic pleasure this would be it! Every time I think Bree and Donna (the writing duo behind the Kit Rocha name) can't possibly top the antics of the last book they happily manage to prove me wrong and Beyond Innocence was everything I could have hoped for and then some.
I have been desperate to read Jared's story ever since he was first introduced into the series, his best friend Ace (who happens to be my favourite O'Kane!) has been trying to get Jared to join them for as long as I can remember but Jared has been determined to stick to the sidelines. Well, that's what we've always been led to believe but it turns out Jared's motives are a lot more complicated and he's actually Dallas's most loyal spy and the O'Kane eyes and ears inside Eden. Jared's position in Eden society has allowed him access to uncountable secrets and he's more than willing to share, one one condition - Ace and the others must never find out what he's up to. Jared knows he is risking his life but he wants to do something worthwhile and he's doing his best to survive in an impossible situation. I was already half in love with him but the more we learn about his past and the amount of danger he is willing to face for the O'Kanes the easier it was to fall even harder.
I wasn't too sure what to expect from Lili, she appeared in Sector Four in the middle of the night dressed in a blood spattered nightdress and a fur coat with pockets full of drugs having killed the guard holding her captive in Sector Five. Lili has seen it all as the daughter and then the wife of Sector Five's most recent leaders, she learned the hard way never to trust anyone and that any kindness always comes at a price. Life in Five was a nightmare but she knew where she fitted in and what the rules were and now she's lost and completely adrift because she has no idea what the O'Kanes expect from her. She survived the first few months in a drug induced haze but now the drugs are running out and she is terrified. Lili brings out all of Jared's protective instincts, as someone else who is a relative outsider amongst the O'Kanes he knows he can show her the rules and help her settle in but when he is risking his life on a daily basis it isn't a great idea to get involved with anyone. I have to admit I was worried about Lili in the beginning, I wasn't sure she would be a worthy heroine for Jared because she seemed so weak and innocent but she has a core of steel and once she sets her mind on something nothing will sway her from her path. She really proved herself as a valuable asset to Jared and the pair make a fantastic couple. Jared is incredibly patient with Lili and he takes the time to introduce her to her new life slowly, Lili is a willing student and it doesn't take long before she is pushing Jared to let her be his equal partner, both in bed and in business.
Of course you'd expect the sex to be hot considering Jared's profession and I wasn't disappointed there. Lili and Jared share some incredibly sweet and tender moments but there is still plenty of the down and dirty action you'd expect from this series, we even get to see the couple experimenting with Ace, Rachel and Cruz and trust me that's not a scene you want to miss! What I love most about these books are the characters, they're all flawed in different ways and incredibly realistic and I love seeing them open up to each other as they learn about their own deepest and darkest desires. The world building is fantastic too and this is a series I would definitely recommend reading in order so you get the full benefit of the background of the different Sectors and Dallas's battle for control. We're definitely in for some interesting times ahead and I'm even more excited to read Beyond Ruin now that I know who the main characters are going to be....more
Once Loved is the second book in Cecy Robson's new adult Shattered Past series and it's a real emotional roller coaster of a story. The serie4.5 stars
Once Loved is the second book in Cecy Robson's new adult Shattered Past series and it's a real emotional roller coaster of a story. The series is just getting better and better and I absolutely loved both of these characters, Lety and Brody have been through so much but they're survivors who refuse to let their pasts define them.
If you've read Once Perfect you'll already have met both characters, Lety is Mateo's sister so we've already seen some of her horrific family history. Her father is a drunk and a bully who regularly beats on his wife and his children. Lety has suffered verbal and physical abuse for the majority of her life and even though she's now moved out of the family home to go to college she still can't quite escape from her father's clutches. It's heartbreaking to see everything that Lety goes through but I was so proud of her for the way she copes with everything that happens. She is brave enough to make a stand even when her mother won't and I was cheering her along from the sidelines. Lety has worked hard to get her scholarship to study nursing but she also works as a carer to earn enough money to pay her bills. You have to admire her determination to make something of her life and the way she tries so hard to stand on her own two feet.
On the surface Brody's life looks perfect, he's the son of a wealthy family so he has plenty of money and the freedom to do whatever he wants and he's also one of the popular guys at the college. What most people don't see is that he is still damaged from a major event in his childhood. He keeps his emotional scars well hidden but they're definitely there and Lety is the only person who he feels understands him. I think what I loved most about Brody is that he's such a great guy, he's sweet, kind and doesn't have a mean bone in his body. I've started to get a little bored of the bad boys and players so coming across a guy like Brody makes a really nice change. Lety and Brody were a couple when we first met them but after an incident with her father Lety pushed Brody away to protect him. Brody cares deeply for Lety though, he knows they had something special and he is determined to win her back and show her that together they can survive anything.
I don't want to say too much more about the plot but I have to tell you what an adorable couple they are. I loved seeing the two of them together, they have a great relationship and they're both surrounded by supportive friends which was great. I liked how protective they are of each other and I was glad that their relationship is so solid with very little angst between the two of them. Both of their family situations were heartbreaking but there were some really sweet moments both with Brody's family and with Lety's siblings. We get to see some incredibly sweet moments between Mateo and Evelyn which made me smile and we are given a further glimpse at the next couple Sophia and Killian. Once Loved is a fantastic story and I'm already desperate to get my hands on the final book Once Pure, I've had a feeling from the beginning that Sophia and Killian will be my favourite couple but it's going to be hard for them to knock Lety and Brody off the top spot....more
I've been curious about Bowen ever since we first met him in His Risk to Take so of course I was excited to finally get my hands on his story. Tessa BI've been curious about Bowen ever since we first met him in His Risk to Take so of course I was excited to finally get my hands on his story. Tessa Bailey excels at writing dirty talking alpha heroes and Bowen is no exception to that, in fact I think he might just be her hottest one yet! What I love most about him is how complicated he is. Bowen would be the first person to tell you he's not a good man, in fact, he was raised to be as bad as they come. His father used to be the boss of the criminal underworld in South Boston and ever since he was sent to prison Bowen has taken over his role. Bowen has done a lot of terrible things but he's living a life he never asked for an doesn't really want and as much as he has that dark side he also has a good side to him too. He's always been very protective of his younger sister Ruby, to the point where he has now pushed her away from him to keep her safe, and he has his own code of honour that he sticks to. When undercover cop Sera gets in too deep police officers use Bowen's connection to Ruby and Troy to put pressure on him to go to her rescue. The last thing Bown needs is the added complication of a rookie cop but he can't leave her alone and unprotected so reluctantly agrees to play bodyguard.
Sera couldn't be more different to Bowen, she's a good girl who initially trained as a nurse but changed her career path after her police officer brother was murdered. All Sera wants is to put her brother's murderer behind bars but even though they know who was behind Colin's death the police haven't been able to prove it. Sera isn't willing to leave things at that though so she takes it upon herself to go undercover to find the proof she needs to get Hogan locked up for good. I ended up having mixed feelings about Sera, in some ways I really liked her but there were times when I found her incredibly frustrating. I could completely understand her need to get revenge but I struggled to believe that she'd had any kind of police training. I think I would have found it more realistic if she'd just quit her job as a nurse and gone in completely unprepared - that's certainly how she acted. Overall I was able to forgive her naivety though and I did love the slow build relationship between her and Bowen.
Risking it All is one of Tessa Bailey's hottest books yet and the fact that it was longer than most of her other stories really allowed readers the chance to connect with both of the characters. The way things ended have left me very excited to continue reading this series and I'm already hoping that Connor's story will be up next. If you love Tessa's Line of Duty series I have a feeling you're going to enjoy this one even more!...more
I had seen so many rave reviews for Obsidian that I have to admit I was a bit nervous to start reading it. My expectations had been raised so high that I was worried the book wouldn't live up to them and I have to admit in the beginning I didn't think it was going to. There were quite a few similarities with another popular YA series which made the storyline feel familiar and some events were quite predictable. However, despite my initial reservations Obsidian really grew on me and the further you read the less familiar it becomes as it starts to move off in it's own direction.
I loved Katy from the beginning, she is the kind of character that any book blogger will be able to relate to because she shares our love of books, blogging and her online community. I loved her comments about her blog and the way she was so excited to gain new followers or receive books in the post and I could totally understand her joy at finally getting internet access at their new home! Along with being a bit of a nerdy book lover Katy is also an intelligent girl and a good friend. She is immediately drawn to the hot boy next door but she isn't going to let anyone talk to her the way Daemon does without telling them exactly what she thinks of them. I was so pleased that she called him out whenever he was acting like a jerk (which unfortunately was quite regularly!). Daemon isn't the only one she stands up to though and there was a particular scene in the school cafeteria that practically had me jumping up and down and waving pompoms to cheer her on.
Now let's talk some more about Daemon. He totally has the hot body and good looks going for him but his attitude stinks. I think Katy said it best: "Beautiful face. Beautiful body. Horrible attitude. It was the holy trinity of hot boys." He was such a complete jerk for the majority of the book and there were times I wanted to reach into the book and shake some sense into him. But no matter how badly he acts he has something about him that draws you in so I could completely understand Katy's attraction. The only word to describe the chemistry between these two is intense. They scorch the pages in every scene and you can never quite tell if they're going to tear each others heads off or start ripping their clothes off! I haven't come across so much heat in a YA book in a long time and that alone makes it worth reading the book. The more you get to know Daemon the more you start to see a sweeter side to him, he keeps that side well hidden but just those glimpses leave you wanting to get to know him better.
I have to mention how much I loved the fact that this series is about aliens rather than the usual vampires, shapeshifters, angels or demons. I don't think I've actually come across any other YA paranormal romance or urban fantasy books about aliens (but if you know of any good ones please let me know because I'd love to read them!) so that made a really nice change. I'm not going to say much about Jennifer L Armentrout's alien mythology because I think it's something you want to discover yourself as you read the book but I did find it really interesting and well thought out. I'm looking forward to learning more about the Luxen as the series continues.
So I have to say that Obsidian surprised me, after a shaky start it did manage to live up to the hype that has surrounded it and it has made me want to check out more books by Jennifer L. Armentrout. I will definitely be picking up a copy of the next book Onyx when it is released in August. One last thing I want to mention is that if you're a fan of this series then make sure you check out the extra scenes she has written and posted on her website. You'll get to see some of the important scenes from the book but told from Daemon's perspective and I promise they'll just make you love him even more! The Kindle version of the book even had a couple of extra scenes included at the end that aren't on her website (and I don't believe they're included in the paperback either so I'm glad I purchased the kindle edition).
I can't tell you which short stories these merged reviews refer to because Goodreads didn't bother to fucking tell me. I'm getting more than a little pissed off with them today!!!!
As if this scene wasn't hot enough when told from Kat's point of view - oh boy I need a cold shower after reading it from Daemon's!
I do love reading bits of the story from Daemon's POV!! This is a great little extra from Jennifer Armentrout
Another fun freebie from Daemon's POV. Doesn't really give us any extra info to the story but it's always good to get into Daemon's head!...more
Buddy read with Aly, Ange, Annie & Anzu (Although I think only Aly, Anzu and I actually ended up reading it LOL)
Daughter of the Blood is a reallyBuddy read with Aly, Ange, Annie & Anzu (Although I think only Aly, Anzu and I actually ended up reading it LOL)
Daughter of the Blood is a really difficult book to review and I think that's partly due to how uncomfortable it made me feel when I was reading it. This is a DARK fantasy story, if you're looking for an easy read then that's not what you're going to get here. However, if you're looking for a story that is as compelling as it is disturbing then this may be just what you're after. If I'd known the kind of things this story included (everything from child molestation, rape, incest, abuse, torture and much much more) then I would have been wary about picking it up but no matter how squeamish reading it made me feel there was never a point where I wanted to put the book down and walk away. I was so engrossed in this world and the characters that I just had to know what was going to happen next!
Anne Bishop has created a fascinating but brutal world, one where power has completely corrupted the people in charge. Society is ruled by those of the Blood, men and women with magic whose abilities are defined by the colour of jewel they receive at birth. It is a matriarchal society where territories are ruled by the Queens who have the strongest magic and they are served by their male counterparts the Warlords. There was peace and happiness for centuries until they fell under the power of a dark and twisted High Queen, Dorothea, a woman who thinks nothing of terrorising the people under her command. In fact she has encouraged the other Queens to treat men as worse than nothing, they are often little more than sex slaves who are under complete control of Dorothea and the other Queens that she allows to rule over smaller territories. The world is split into three different realms - Terreille, Kaeleer and Hell - but most of this story takes place in Terreille and Hell (I have to admit I'm a little confused about how Kaeleer fits into the picture but I'm assuming that will become more clear as the series continues). The realms have been divided and under Dorothea's reign Terreille has become a dark and terrifying place. There is only one hope for the realms to be reunited and prophecy has long since told of Witch, the most powerful Queen to be born in centuries, one who will either heal or destroy the world.
For centuries Saetan, the overlord of Hell, has awaited the birth of Witch and finally she is here. Jaenelle is just seven years old when she finds her way to Hell and befriends him and he instantly recognises her for who and what she is. It will take years of training before she is ready to fulfil the prophecy but that is only if he manages to keep her safe from those that seek to harm her. Jaenelle is already capable of incredible and terrifying things but she doesn't have proper control of her magic and desperately needs the lessons he can give her. Saetan is a father figure to Jaenelle and he would do anything to help her but that isn't easy when she is so determined to follow her own path, she is a wanderer who has friends throughout all three realms and in her own way she is just as determined to protect those she cares about. She refuses to stay safe in Hell when her friends need her help and she keeps secrets about things that happen because she tries to spare Saetan the pain of knowing the kind of trouble she is in.
Jaenelle also befriends Saetan's two sons Daemon and and Lucivar although her relationship with them is very different to the one she has with Saetan. Daemon and Lucivar are both slaves who are under control of Dorothea, they have spent centuries being abused and tortured biding their time until Witch comes into her power and can free them. We don't see a great deal of Lucivar here but whenever we do get his point of view he is either suffering the worst kind of torture or watching it happen to someone else. I'm actually glad we don't see more of him because his scenes were incredibly difficult to read about, I just wish I could say they were the worst in the book and unfortunately they weren't! Daemon is a pleasure slave who has spent centuries forced to do the bidding of Dorothea, but in spite of that he actually has a kind of innocence to him, one that Jaenelle brings to the surface through their friendship. Daemon would do anything to keep Jaenelle safe, he would go through any kind of pain or suffering himself if it meant she didn't have to but even he isn't powerful enough to protect her the entire time. Scenes towards the end of the book absolutely broke my heart and I have no idea how Jaenelle is going to come back from what happened to her. Thankfully the abuse she suffers is one of the few scenes that isn't detailed graphically in the story but the aftermath is more than enough to show just how badly she suffered and it makes for difficult reading.
Daughter of the Blood is a fascinating but brutal story, it is graphic and unflinching when it comes to showing the darkest that the world has to offer. This is a compelling book that hits you where it hurts and makes it hard to keep breathing but one that you can't look away from. As much as I'm kind of terrified to see where Anne Bishop will take us next I'm in it for the long haul and there is no way I can stop reading this series. The world building is absolutely fascinating and I am so invested in these characters that I want to see them get the happy ending that they deserve. Apart from Dorothea and a few others who are evil to the core - them I want to see suffer in the most brutal ways imaginable!...more