The Sapphire Heist is the second book in the Jewel series by Lauren Bl**You can see this full review and more at Book Briefs: https://bookbriefs.net**
The Sapphire Heist is the second book in the Jewel series by Lauren Blakely. The Sapphire Heist is an adult romantic suspense series about bodyguards and jewel heists and all kinds of things that are sure to get your heart pumping. The novel is told in dual narrative, which is really my very favorite narration method. Nowadays, whenever I pick up a book told entirely from one person's point of view, I find myself missing the other person. I really enjoyed the tension in the air throughout the story, and the passion between Jake and Steph. This was a great read for me and I can't wait for more. This is a continuation of the first book in the series, The Sapphire Affair, so if you have not read book one, you need to start there. (you can check out my review here)
I think it is hilarious how neither Jake nor Steph fully trust the other one. They are each so used to either being dishonest or dealing with dishonest people, that their trust meter is so shattered. It is the cause of most of their strife in this novel, and I don't think that is going anywhere anytime soon. I still really like the two of them together, but I will admit that aspect got a little old before the book was over. But in the end that didn't matter too much because their chemistry is still off the charts! And because the mystery and suspense is so awesome that you can't help but fall in love with this series.
I still think this series would make a kickass movie. The suspense is edge of your seat stuff, the mystery is awesome and the romance will have you thinking Antarctica is too hot. This is a wild ride of a book, and I can't wait for more. (There had better be more!)
Also note: ** THE SAPPHIRE AFFAIR & THE SAPPHIRE HEIST are being released by Montlake, which is an Amazon publishing company, and will only be available for sale at Amazon. You can download a free Kindle reading app for any smartphone or tablet here: http://amzn.to/1MIyrHi ***
**You can see this full review and more at Book Briefs: https://bookbriefs.net** The Best Friend Bargain is the third book in the adult contemporary ro**You can see this full review and more at Book Briefs: https://bookbriefs.net** The Best Friend Bargain is the third book in the adult contemporary romance Kisses in the Sand series by Robin Bielman. I read the first book in the series, Keeping Mr. Right Now and I really enjoyed it. I missed the second book in the series, but that is ok because while each of the books are set in the same world, they each work really well as standalones. The Best Friend Bargain is a fun, quick little read that will put a smile on your face.
The Best Friend Bargain is told in dual narrative between Olivia and her best friend Danny. I'm not sure why, but when I originally read the summary, I thought this was going to be a fake marriage/relationship/fake baby turned real type of book, but I was wrong. This is a very real marriage and baby book. It took me a little by surprise when I 1) found out that Olivia was actually pregnant, by someone other than Danny and she really wanted to marry Danny and have him pretend to be the father, and 2) that Danny so easily and readily jumped on board. That is a HUGE thing to ask of your friend and an even bigger thing to accept, no questions asked. For that reason, I found the story to be a little unbelievable. But once I pushed past that and just went with the flow, I really enjoyed Danny and Olivia.
It is clear to see that they care about each other so much. I can honestly say they would do anything for the other one. And that kind of friendship is really hard to go by. I don't read too many books that feature kids and/or pregnancy so this was a bit out of my comfort zone, but it was funny to see these two people, not only try and deal with all the things that go along with a first time pregnancy, but also deal with planning a wedding, an deal with fooling everyone into thinking they are really getting married (this one didn't seem to be too hard.), not to mention living with one another for the first time. As you can probably tell, each of those things led to some cute and funny situations.
Bottom line: Even though The Best Friend Bargain was a bit unbelievable as far as the premise goes, the actual story was very cute. If you are looking for a quirky but adorable quick best friends romance, check out The Best Friend Bargain. However, if the plot seems a little hard to imagine for you, this might not be a good match.
The Architect of Song is the first installment in author A.G. Howard's**You can see this full review and more at Book Briefs: https://bookbriefs.net**
The Architect of Song is the first installment in author A.G. Howard's Haunted Hearts Legacy series, a four book gothic saga, which according to the summary follows the "generations of one family as - haunted by both literal and figurative ghosts - they search for self-acceptance, love, and happiness." It has been so long since I have read a ghost story, and even longer since I have read a historical ghost story. I adored The Architect of Song. It is such an atmospheric read. It is on the slow side, but when you are in the mood for a very well written, meandering, but romantic book, The Architect of Song is a great one for you to check out.
Because of the slow, descriptive pacing throughout, coupled with the fact that The Architect of Song is 425 pages, it took me some time to read. Actually, it took me a few days, which is very odd for me. But I rather enjoyed the denseness of this story. It allowed me to take my time and savor the characters. I love Juliet. As soon as she described how she tricks the world into thinking she is not deaf, she fascinated me. Then there is the ghost (AKA Hawk). He is a delight as well. I liked him so much that I was disappointed when the Viscount finally made his appearance as a love interest as well in the story. Juliet is a wonderful 1880's female protagonist. She is all at once true to the time, but still pushes boundaries. It was a very complex persona that A.G. Howard developed and I thought it was perfect!
The Architect of Song is a perfect mix of mystery, twists and turns and romance. It is unlike other new adult novels I have read in the past, because the romance in this one does not take over everything else this book has to offer. Instead, the romance (and yes, there is a love triangle- you are forewarned.) blends in with the rest of the story, which is actually what I prefer with atmospheric reads such as The Architect of Song. A.G. Howard really did a great job with this one. I love a new adult time period piece.
Bottom line: Fans of A.G. Howard need to read The Architect of Song. The book ends at a good place, so you aren't left hanging until book 2, but I am certainly very interested in continuing the Haunted Hearts Legacy series. The Architect of Song is a haunting and mystery time period historical that is beautifully done. It is a slow paced and dense read, but one that is well worth the time and effort. The Architect of Song is a book meant to be savored.
Sigil in Shadow by Constance Roberts is a historical mystery in a**You can see this full review and more at Book Briefs: https://bookbriefs.net** 4.5/5
Sigil in Shadow by Constance Roberts is a historical mystery in a royal court setting. Not a historical in the sense that it is modeled after events in history, but the book takes place in the past. I love a good royal court setting in a book, especially a book that has a mystery element to it because I feel like politics and high society and people trying to climb the court ranks all lend themselves really well to deception, betrayal and mind games galore. I adored Sigil in Shadow. I think this is a book that deserves to be put out in the spotlight of the young adult world. I have not heard too much hype surrounding this book, and I am shocked! This is a book worth reading, and then some.
Sigil in Shadow follows Ellary, a young girl with an aptitude for healing. Ellary's talent with healing and making potions for healing reminded me of the Maria V. Snyder's Healer series. I think this book would be perfect for fans of the Healer series. Ultimately it is Ellary's healing powers that land her in the castle court, and this is where her real adventure begins. I loved meeting the cast of secondary characters, including the princess Corrin, who actually surprised the heck out of me in a good way. Constance Roberts does an excellent job of creating solid friendships among the characters, which I really appreciated. There are enough bad guys running around that you don't need friends to also be a bad guy. My only complaint is with the romance in the book. It felt lacking in some way. I wanted to see more development between the couple. I felt like they started out great and then just kind of stagnated. However, there is so much else going on in the story that the romance felt secondary to me.
I'm not sure if there is a planned sequel to Sigil in Shadow or not, but I really hope there is. This is such a fantastically developed world that it would be a shame to not visit it again. Not to mention there are so many characters that I want to read more about. Please Constance, please write another book! I really loved Sigil in Shadow. It has wonderful fantasy elements, a fantastically detailed world, great characters, and a twisty-turny adventure. Bottom line: Sigil in Shadow is a really great book.
Shadow Bloodlines is the first book in the young adult series by the s**You can see this full review and more at Book Briefs: https://bookbriefs.net**
Shadow Bloodlines is the first book in the young adult series by the same name by author Andrea R. Cooper. This is my first book by Andrea and I have to say, I am impressed with her ability to create an engaging world that felt fresh to me, even though I have read the concept dozens of times in young adult novels. I liked her take on shifters, and I loved that this book features a gargoyle. (I am not going to lie- that was at least 70% of the reason that I picked this book up. It is a creature that fascinates me and I don't get to read a lot about.) Shadow Bloodlines is a series that I want to continue.
The set up for Shadow Bloodlines in one that I am sure we have all read about before- teenage girl has a secret about her past and her families past concealed from her from birth, and once she finds out about it, she is set off on a whirlwind adventure. But don't let that deter you, if done right, this is a trope that I really enjoy. And Shadow Bloodlines is done right. I was immediately sucked into Beth and Amar's story. Beth comes from a shifter family, but unlike other books I have read- her shifter father is no where in the picture. Normally when the parents are hiding a secret from their kid, they go out of their way to be overly protective all the time- not completely absent from their lives. It was an interesting twist on the story. The biggest twist of all comes from the way the shifters are depicted. In the Shadow Bloodlines universe, present day shifters can no longer actually shift into their chosen animal. That power has eroded over time, but instead they are left with abilities, traits and powers unique to their shifter animal. That was a very cool take on the shifter idea for me.
As for the other aspects of Shadow Bloodlines, like the characters, pacing, and plot development, I was equally impressed. There are no over the top perfect characters- both Beth and Amar felt like real people- flaws and all. The plot held my attention all the way through and I am very excited to see what is going to come next. Amar was exactly the way I like my gargoyles too- stoic and protective. I do want some more romance in the second book though. (I don't see that as being a problem though! ;) )
Bottom line: If you like paranormal books that have all the elements of a classic paranormal that you love, with new and interesting twists thrown in, the Shadow Bloodlines series is a great one for you. It has romance, adventure, mystery, and some seriously awesome bad guys. (I didn't even talk about the bad guys because I think they are only going to get cooler in the second book, and I figured I talk about them in my next review.) I need book 2 in my life right now.
**You can see this full review and more at Book Briefs: https://bookbriefs.net**NA ReviewMy ThoughtsPlease Note: this is the second book in a series,**You can see this full review and more at Book Briefs: https://bookbriefs.net**NA ReviewMy ThoughtsPlease Note: this is the second book in a series, that should be read in order.
If you are new to the Wingmen Inc. series, first check out my review of book one- The Matchmaker's Playbook HERE
The Matchmaker's Replacement is the second book in a new adult contemporary romance series, called Wingmen Inc., by Rachel Van Dyken. As the title and series name suggests, the series centers around two college friends that have a side business where they set up women with their crushes. I read, and enjoyed The Matchmaker's Playbook, and while technically speaking the stories can be read as standalones, because the two friends are very integral in each others stories, and in their business, I feel like I got much more out of the story having read Ian's story first. Ian is present throughout The Matchmaker's Replacement and it was kind of cool to see how he is now with Blake, knowing how he was before. That will be even more interesting with Lex.
I used to think Ian was the main guy at Wingmen Inc., and maybe that did used to be true, but now that he is with Blake everything seems to be falling to Lex's shoulders. So much so, even though he completely detests Gabi (longgg backstory on that one.) he is willing to reluctantly bring her on board to open their market to helping guys land their girls as well. Lex is brilliant, but can be a total jerk face. I mean in, I felt his callousness oozing off the pages. I know it was a front to keep his distance from Gabi, but oh my goodness was he ever convincing. Which for me, made it all the more satisfying when he started to check in on Gabi more and look out for her more. It was really cute. There is just something about Lex that makes you want to go Awh. Sure, he is a gruff guy that will insult you to your face. (and he doesn't hold any punches- he goes right for what will hurt you the most.) However, seeing that soft marshmallow-y center gets me every time.
As you have probably already guessed The Matchmaker's Replacement is Lex and Gabi's story. Gabi has always been off limits to Lex because she grew up as Ian's best friend. In an attempt to stay away from her, Lex has always been a grade A jerk towards her. I predicted after finishing book one that I might enjoy book 2 even more than the first, and I was totally right. I think I connected with Lex more than I did Ian. I really liked Ian and Blake, but I love Gabi and Lex. And I love all the nerdy goodness for Lex. He calls himself a villain, an anti-hero and he calls his bedroom the inner sanctum. Come on! How can you not love him?
Bottom line: If you are a fan of match making romantic comedies, and you liked the movie Hitch (though they do make fun of the movie hitch in this one)- The Matchmaker's Revenge, and will be a big hit for you. The writing is really solid, the characters are great, and the plot is very entertaining. Not to mention the romance is top notch. Overall, it was a really good book. I liked this book even more than the first one!
**You can see this full review and more at Book Briefs: https://bookbriefs.net**Anything but Love by Daisy Prescott is the third book in the Wingmen s**You can see this full review and more at Book Briefs: https://bookbriefs.net**Anything but Love by Daisy Prescott is the third book in the Wingmen series. The Wingmen series is a group of interconnected romantic comedies that can each be read as standalones. I know the summary describes this as an enemies to lovers story, but man oh man is that ever right. As soon as you start Anything But Love you immediately can feel how much dislike Cari feels for Erik. After the first scene, I wrote her off. I thought there was no way she was going to be the romantic interest because I could feel genuine hate searing from her eyeballs. But let me just tell you, that made the rest of the book all the more fun. Once I realized that she was Cari, I knew their story was going to be a good one. And it was. Anything But Love is the first book I have read from the Wingmen series and if they are all as funny, and hot, and fantastic as this one, then what the heck have I been doing with my life?? I need to be reading all of Daisy's books!
Anything But Love is the story of Erik and Cari. I didn't know Erik from the previous stories, so I don't know just how much of a player or wingman he was previously, but Anything But Love is one giant rollercoaster of events and emotions for him. The poor guy does not catch a break- his life gets jumbled up in one thing after another. And it certainly does not stay in Mexico like he wants it to. I love a book that can integrate our world of social media well, and social media plays a big part in this story. The scary thing is, it is so realistic. I could see what happened to Erik, happening to guys and girls all over the place. Watching Cari and Erik try and deal with the fallout of everything was half the fun for me. I am a new (newly huge) fan of Daisy's. I just love her writing. She writes fantastically delicious tension, and her humor is spot on. And I know this has nothing to do with the story, but I also love that her bio says she lives in a real life Stars Hollow. I want to visit!
Bottom line: Anything But Love is a solidly great book. The writing is top notch, the characters are relatable, and likeable. And the story line will have you laughing. I could see the Wingmen books being made into movies- or at least Anything But Love. It would make a great romantic comedy. Check this one out if you like romantic comedies, and books like Penny Reid.
**You can see this full review and more at Book Briefs: https://bookbriefs.net** Don't Tempt Me by Lori Foster is an adult contemporary romance told fr**You can see this full review and more at Book Briefs: https://bookbriefs.net** Don't Tempt Me by Lori Foster is an adult contemporary romance told from multiple points of views. Nowadays it seems that dual narratives are almost the norm, so when I started reading Honor and Jason's story, I thought that was just what Don't Tempt Me was going to be. But it turned out to be a multi person narrative because we also got to see Honor's friend Lexie and her romantic interest, as well.
Honor moves into a house that needs a lot of TLC, but it allows her to be closer to her grandpa, which really warmed my heart. I loved Honor. She is fiercely independent, if not a little stubborn, but also super sweet and wholesome. I loved seeing her wonderful friendship with Lexie, even though her and Lexie seemed like polar opposites at times. And I really liked Honor with Jason. Jason is an interesting guy as well. I loved the dynamic of the neighborhood, and it is clear as day how integral Jason is to the community. He is always helping out with people's cars, and houses, and just about everything.
My only complaint about Don't Tempt Me was the number of perspectives the book was told from. I would have liked to have seen Lexie get her own book, but only because I want more of this community. I really liked all of the characters and their camaraderie. But seeing Lexie in this book isn't really what bugged me (and bugged might be too strong of a word because I did really enjoy this story.) What irked me was that the point of view shifts were not labeled. Sometimes we would change from one character to the next in the middle of a chapter, and I know I would have followed along the story better if those changes had been easily labeled. A few times I caught myself re-reading a paragraph to figure out who was talking now. Nothing major but something that pulled me out of the story for a few seconds.
Overall though, Don't Tempt Me is a fun read. I love rehabbing houses, so I was happy to see that come into play, and I love the idea of a close group of neighbors being featured as characters in the story. I want more from these characters! I loved all of them. I even want Colt's book, maybe once he goes away to college. He is the sweetest guy ever. Don't Tempt Me is a fun read. I really hope there is going to be more in this world.
Random Acts of Marriage is the second book in the adult contemporary r**You can see this full review and more at Book Briefs: https://bookbriefs.net**
Random Acts of Marriage is the second book in the adult contemporary romance series, called Wedding Favors, by Boone Brux. The books in the Wedding Favors series can each be read as standalones, and I had no problem jumping in with book two. In fact, I was surprised to learn that this was part of a series, and even more surprised to learn that the couple from the first book was Dani and Jamie, because of certain events that took place in Random Acts of Marriage. Either way, Random Acts of Marriage was a quick fun read that left me feeling slightly warmer than lukewarm.
Random Acts of Marriage is the story of overly uptight Kinni and go with the flow Price. I liked the opposites attract angle of the story, and I really enjoyed Price. Kinni seemed a bit over the top, even for me. The idea behind the story is that as a wedding favor, the bride asks Kinni to just let loose and have some fun in the week leading up to the big day. Price overhears Kinni reluctantly agree to let her hair down (kind of) and decides to take advantage of this. Price was my favorite part of the story. I loved all of his attempts to trick Kinni into having fun, and I loved his big scottish family! I would totally read a spin off series about them! I want to go to a highland games with them.
I think the main reason that I couldn't completely connect with this story was that it all seemed kind of all over the place. It didn't have a nice flow, I couldn't keep up with the pacing. It was fast and then slow and descriptive. Kinni was up and then she was down. Price wanted to have fun and then he wanted something more on the next page. I know this sounds weird, but I couldn't find my groove. I felt kind of on edge the whole time. Nonetheless, it was a cute story. I liked Kinni and Price together. They do a good job of balancing each other out, and Price is such a sweetheart underneath his cocky exterior.
Bottom line: I did enjoy Random Acts of Marriage. It was a fun, quick read, and I think fans of opposites attract story lines will enjoy this one. I debated between 2.5 and 3 stars for a long time on this one, and ultimately I decided to go with 3 stars because even though this book felt a bit all over the place, I did like it. I am not sure I will be continuing with the series. I would be all over a spin off featuring Price's family though!
**You can see this full review and more at Book Briefs: https://bookbriefs.net** Sometimes you just need a good college romance to get your romance fee**You can see this full review and more at Book Briefs: https://bookbriefs.net** Sometimes you just need a good college romance to get your romance feelers satisfied. At least, sometimes I do. And Blind Spot by Katana Collins totally hit the spot for me. Blind Spot is a new adult college contemporary romance, and I really enjoyed it. I had a little snag with the plot details early on, but the characters more than made up for it. Overall, this was a satisfying romance for me.
Blind Spot is told in dual narrative between Shelby and Tate. Shelby is your classic stubbornly independent college girl. She falls into the new adult stereotype that I have seen a bit too much of. The, had a hard past, but determined to make it on your own- and stubborn to the point where you refuse to accept help of any kind from anyone. It is the last part of the stereotype that irks me. I get wanting to make it on your own. I really do, but being stubborn to a fault is something I could do with less of. Other than that Shelby is a really sweet girl. I totally get why Tate is so smitten with her. And I loved Tate. Yes, he is your classic rich boy used to getting what he wants no questions asked, but I didn't find him to be a jerk. He is a well rounded character that was really likable in my opinion.
And now for the snag. Shelby worked multiple jobs, and saved saved saved so she could finally afford her first apartment. Which is super awesome!! Except, her first apartment is on the 14th floor (of a 15 floor building) which just so happens to be the newest and safest building in Charleston. One where all of the "trust fund kids" live. She does say it is the smallest one bedroom in the building, but the smallest one bedroom would not be placed on the second best floor of the building and it certainly would not be cheap. I want to know just what kinds of big bucks jobs she is working because that apartment would cost a TON of money. It just bugged me because it seemed so far outside of the realm of possible. But it was a minor detail, and Blind Spot is so character driven, and the characters are done so well that I got over my frustration quickly as I became more immersed in the story.
Bottom line: If you are a fan of new adult college romances and you are a character driven reader, Blind Spot will be a good book for you to check out. The romance is great and the characters are my favorite part of the story. Overall, this was a good read.
**You can see this full review and more at Book Briefs: https://bookbriefs.net**"Colleen Hoover reminds readers that love is a fragile thing, built fr**You can see this full review and more at Book Briefs: https://bookbriefs.net**"Colleen Hoover reminds readers that love is a fragile thing, built from courage, hope, and tears. Every person with a heartbeat should read this book." – Kami Garcia, #1 New York Times bestselling author
It Ends with us is a new adult standalone by Colleen Hoover. Man, does she write emotional reads. This one really got to me. Actually, this quote from author Anna Todd explains the book to a T for me: I agree with her 100%. Colleen Hoover is the QUEEN of emotional reads. image006It Ends with Us totally broke my heart, but in a good way. If that is even possible. I have a feeling that my review is not going to do this story justice. It Ends with Us is the kind of book that you simply must read and experience for yourself to truly get it. This is a book that will reach in and grab your soul. I immediately connected with Lily. Her voice and speaking style, all of it matched me to a tee. When I was reading her opening dialogue, i felt like the way it was set up was like hearing one of my own conversations. Not the content of what she was saying, and not even really her personality is similar to mine, but the way she delivers her words connected with me. And because of that, I instantly got her.
I loved watching Ryle instantly rile Lily up. It was like a clashing of personalities with those two, but a fiery clash. It Ends with Us delves into both Lily's present relationship with Ryle, but also her past relationships. It was interesting to see the back and forth and see how her past affects her present, and really affects who Lily is as a person.
**You can see this full review and more at Book Briefs: https://bookbriefs.net** The Prince's Bride is the second book in the adult contemporary romanc**You can see this full review and more at Book Briefs: https://bookbriefs.net** The Prince's Bride is the second book in the adult contemporary romance series, Modern Fairytales, by Diane Alberts. The books in this series are not related at all, from what I can tell, and can each be read as complete standalones. The Prince's Bride felt like part second chance love, and part The Princess Diaries movie. (the second one where she has to get married.) I really enjoyed this book. It is like a modern fairytale.
The Prince's Bride is told in dual narrative between Leo and Alicia. I liked the twist of the second chance love between these two. They really were teenage sweethearts, except she has no idea he was a prince then. They go their separate ways and don't see each other again for another 10 years. It all seems like happenstance that they find one another again, but all of that is explained in the book. I really, really liked Leo. Alicia was a little bit of a block head. I loved her, but sheesh is the girl stubborn. I got it at first. but come on....She has got to give a little. Leo is very determined, and I loved that about him. I wanted him to let go of his stoic exterior a little bit more though, because the readers gets to see inside his head, and he is nothing like the emotionless exterior that he presents to the world. He is so kind and heartfelt and genuine that you just want to hug him. My heart broke for him in this story.
Bottom line: The Prince's Bride is a fun feel good read. I really enjoyed this one. I don't typically read many prince/millionaire/billionaire books, but this one was perfect for me because I love a second chance love story. And I loved how genuine Leo was, and how spunky Alicia was. If you are a fan of fairytales or of second chance love stories, you will enjoy The Prince's Bride. I know I did.
**You can see this full review and more at Book Briefs: https://bookbriefs.net**Witchmate is part of the Skeleton Key book series. I really love the s**You can see this full review and more at Book Briefs: https://bookbriefs.net**Witchmate is part of the Skeleton Key book series. I really love the set up of this series. It is a group of almost 30 authors, each one writing a book featuring a skeleton key that unlocks a secret world. But all of the books are vastly different. Different themes, different age groups and different sub genres. I just love that idea. So whether you like young adult, new adult or adult, you will be able to find a book for you. If you want to know more information about the series you can check out the website dedicated to the books.
Witchmate is up there as one of my favorite of the books I have read so far in the Skeleton Key series. I loved the set up of the series. Emma, the main character, is trying to pull off an art heist, when she gets locked into this vault and finds the skeleton key. It was a very exciting start to the story. And then, hello, what is there not to like. Shifters and witches fighting. Umm yes, please sign me up! Witchmate clocks in at about 140 pages, which puts it right in between a novella and novel, in my opinion. I liked it more than the novellas in the series that I have read and I think a little bit less than I enjoyed The Azure Kingdom by Michelle Dare. But perhaps that is only because that book was longer, and I wanted more of Emma's story. I really enjoyed Witchmate, and I can't wait to read more by Renee George because of it. This was the first book that I have read by her, and I have to say it has intrigued me to add her to my author watch list.
I loved Keir and Emma. I enjoyed the set up of the world too. It was a very fast paced story because the world is in the middle of a huge war between the wolves and the witches. Emma was an interesting twist in the whole thing. I really enjoyed this one. An unpected benefit to reading the Skeleton Key series is that it is introducing me to a lot of new authors that I have not previous read before. And I am finding some authors that I am really excited to read more from. Renee George is one of those authors. Thus far, I have been really impressed with the variety in these stories. And the covers. I love the key that is present on all of them, but other than that they are all very different, but at the same time they are very well done and fit very well together. I can't wait to see what I think of the other books in the series.
Curioddity is a fantasy novel by Paul Jenkins. I had a lot of fun with**You can see this full review and more at Book Briefs: https://bookbriefs.net**
Curioddity is a fantasy novel by Paul Jenkins. I had a lot of fun with this book. Don't get me wrong, this book is downright weird at times, but it was a lot of fun to read. The main character Will, is a detective that never really gets to do much detective work. He finds himself at the Curioddity Museum, and lands himself the job of trying to save the museum. The Curioddity museum reminded me a bit of warehouse 13 (sci-fi tv show, which is awesome), but the writing and the zany situations and characters reminded me much more of Hitchhiker's Guide to the Galaxy. I think fans of that book will really enjoy Curioddity.
I would love to wander the halls of the Curioddity museum. There are a mixture of crazy contraptions (that make for some pretty hilarious scenes) some other world-y things, like Levity (the opposite of gravity) and some cool historic relics that have magical properties (this is what reminded me of warehouse 13- if you like that idea, you need to watch that show! It's on netflix).
Curioddity is a book that certainly has it's slower moments, but I think that is mostly because Paul Jenkins really focuses on character development. You get to know who Will is. Who he really is. you get to see his inner struggles and see why his job wears on him. I enjoyed getting to know him as a character, and I think Paul Jenkins has done a great job creating someone who can star in tons of sequels and series. Will is a great guy to follow from book to book. I hope that is what happens with Curioddity.
Bottom line: if you like zany books, with strong character development, lots of funny scenes and more than a few weird- off the wall moments, Curioddity is a book that you will enjoy. I certainly didn't know what to make of it a lot of the time. it kept me on my toes, and I think that was my favorite part. Fans of The Hitchiker's Guide to the Galaxy will really enjoy detective Will Morgan and the curioddity museum.
No Falling Allowed is a new adult contemporary romance by Melissa West**You can see this full review and more at Book Briefs: https://bookbriefs.net**
No Falling Allowed is a new adult contemporary romance by Melissa West. It is the second book in the No Kissing Allowed series. I liked the first book, No Kissing Allowed, but I didn’t love it as much as some of Melissa’s other books. The good news is, I liked No Falling Allowed a lot more than I liked the first book. No Falling Allowed is a fun, quick and flirty new adult romance. Each of the books in the series can be read as a standalone. I think fans of the first book would enjoy reading about Cameron and Aiden because they do pop up from time to time in this story, and we get to see what is next for them. However; if you are new to the series, you might want to consider reading No Falling Allowed first, because I really enjoyed this one a good bit more than No Kissing Allowed.
No Falling Allowed is Grace’s story. We met Grace in the first book, but we didn’t get to meet her sexy bartender match- Noah until this book. And I have to say- I really liked Noah. Him and Grace no doubt have chemistry between the two of them, and their dialogue cracked me up! No Falling Allowed Teaser 2
No Falling Allowed is a book that just clicked for me. I loved the small town setting, and I loved that this was a new adult small town romance. I don’t read too many of those. And I am really loving bartenders at the moment. And Noah is a great one, let me tell you! And Grace is even better. Most of my issues with No Kissing Allowed centered around the main character, Cameron. I had no issues with Grace, and I think that is why I enjoyed reading her story more. Noah is the one that pulls some major butthead moves in this story. But there is still something about him. He has this magnetic personality. You can’t help but forgive him. Even though Noah annoyed me at times with his aloof attitude, what made him different from Cameron was that Noah seemed to real and nuanced, whereas Cameron just seemed annoying to me. Noah and Grace are fantastically developed and realistically flawed. It makes their romance even more satisfying.
Bottom line: I love Melissa’s easy and conversational writing style. It made reading this book feel good. If you are looking a quick and fun read, and you like small town “bad boy” romances new adult style, this might be a great one for you. And like I said, I do hope that Melissa West makes stories for the rest of Cameron’s friends from book one. I want to see Lauren next!
**You can see this full review and more at Book Briefs: https://bookbriefs.net**The Azure Kingdom is part of the Skeleton Key book series. I really lo**You can see this full review and more at Book Briefs: https://bookbriefs.net**The Azure Kingdom is part of the Skeleton Key book series. I really love the set up of this series. It is a group of almost 30 authors, each one writing a book featuring a skeleton key that unlocks a secret world. But all of the books are vastly different. Different themes, different age groups and different sub genres. I just love that idea. So whether you like young adult, new adult or adult, you will be able to find a book for you. If you want to know more information about the series you can check out the website dedicated to the books.
The Azure Kingdom is my favorite of the books I have read so far in the Skeleton Key series. It felt different and much more like a full length novel (because it was) than the previous two novellas I had read from the series. I also loved that this one had more of a high fantasy feel than a paranormal fantasy feel. The Azure Kingdom by Michelle Dare takes you to a fantasy world where kings and kingdoms are warring. I really liked that immediately there were knights from two very different kingdoms trying to convince Alison that she should be with them. I will admit that at the very start I was torn, but pretty quickly I jumped on board with team Luke.
The romance in The Azure Kingdom is excellent. It is all at once sweet and sexy. I am loving the Skeleton Key series more and more. I can't tell you how beyond thrilled I am that even though some of the books are on the shorter end, there are also longer stories in there. Thus far, I have been really impressed with the variety in these stories. And the covers. I love the key that is present on all of them, but other than that they are all very different, but at the same time they are very well done and fit very well together. The Azure Kingdom is the book to beat in this series. So far, out of the three that I have read, it is the clear winner. I can't wait to see what I think of the other books in the series.
Six Month Rule is the second book in the Kingston Ale House series by**You can see this full review and more at Book Briefs: https://bookbriefs.net**
Six Month Rule is the second book in the Kingston Ale House series by A.J. Pine. I had no problem jumping into this book, even though I have not read the first book. (They each follow a different couple.) I have read several books by this author, so I feel like I pretty much know what to expect going in. I know it is going to be a good romance, I know there are going to be flawed, complex characters that make for an interesting read, and I know that there is probably going to be drama thrown in. And I was right on all of the above for the Six Month Rule.
I have always found horoscopes to be very interesting, so I really liked that each of the chapters start out with the horoscope of one of the characters. Holly is a big believer in them, and I loved seeing her reactions to some of them. It helped me get to know her better. Holly has a very strict six month rule, meaning that she will do a six month, or less, no strings attached relationship- but no longer than that. So yes, I know that means the book is going to be fairly predictable...you know the Holly and Will are going to fall for each other and threaten the six month rule, bu knowing that doesn't take anything away from the reading the story. I really enjoyed watching Will and Holly dance around one another. I didn't love Holly's reasoning behind the six month rule however...it made her seem lazy. She thinks that after six months have passed the fun parts of the relationship are outweighed by the work that now has to go into the relationship, and she doesn't seem to think it is worth it. That my friends, is what had me interested to see what was going to go down with Will. How would he change her?
And now for Will. Will is British. That may not be worth mentioning, but I loved his British accent and terminology. And he is rather snarky, so I liked that he immediately gave it right back to Holly. Will is only in the states for Six months....are you starting to see where this is going. The Six Month Rule is a rather predictable read, but I really enjoyed it. I thought the characters were well developed, the writing is great and their relationship felt super natural. It felt like they each fell into the others gravitational pull and just kind of stayed there getting closer and closer. The six month rule felt like a book that slowly built up over time. Like a smile that just keeps growing.
Bottom line: If you don't mind a book that is a little predictable, but nonetheless very well done, the Six Month Rule is a great one for you to check out. It is a very character driven read with a lot of sass and a lot of heart.
P.S. please, someone give me Holly's wardrobe. I was having serious fashion envy while reading!
**You can see this full review and more at Book Briefs: http://bookbriefs.net** Working It is the third book in the It Girl series by by Leah Marie Bro**You can see this full review and more at Book Briefs: http://bookbriefs.net** Working It is the third book in the It Girl series by by Leah Marie Brown. The It Girl Series are all adult romantic comedies, and each one can be read as a standalone. Working It is the first book that I have had the opportunity to read, but now that I have seen Vivia so much from this book, I am dying to read her story. She seems awesome! I enjoyed how witty and fun Working It was. It was the perfect mix of humor, chick lit, friendship and romance.
Fanny is a very posh, and some might say a bit of a B, lady who loses her job at a top fashion house and finds herself a little lost. She ends up at a non-profit in the middle of Alaska teaching a class. Working It is really a journey of self discovery for Fanny. I loved that she has such great friends. The friendships in this book made me smile almost as much as the romance did. I love Vivia and I really took a quick liking to Fanny's roommate at Teach them to Fish. She is quirky and a ton of fun. I would love for her to get her own book.
I really enjoyed Working It. It was a quick read that was a ton of fun. I had only two sticking points with the book. First, I thought it took a little while to really get rolling. I was kind of bored in the beginning, and the story really only started to catch my interest when Fanny arrived in Alaska. From there on out, Working It and I were friends. My main complaint is that I felt like the book was too short. Once I started to get into the characters and the relationships, I felt like the story flew by and I didn't get a chance to savore them r hang out with them long enough. Especially in regards to the romance. I felt like once things were really picking up with Calder and Fanny we were at 72% into the book and I was sad because I knew it would be over soon. I wanted to see more of them.
Bottom line: Fans of chick lit will adore this series. Working It is a fun read that you can finish in one sitting. It takes a little bit of time to gain steam, but once the story gets going it is fast paced and zips right along to the very end. I think you will appreciate the friendships in this story most of all, but there is also a yummy romance with a scot that I loved. Overall, this was a fun read. I can't wait to read Vivia's story.
**You can see this full review and more at Book Briefs: http://bookbriefs.net**Everywhere and Every Way is the first book in the new Billionaire Build**You can see this full review and more at Book Briefs: http://bookbriefs.net**Everywhere and Every Way is the first book in the new Billionaire Builders series by Jennifer Probst. The series is a based on a group of three brothers, modeled after the Property Brothers. I love the property brothers, so I was super excited to read Everywhere and Every Way. And I am happy to say that I completely loved this story. I loved (almost) everything about it. I love the cover, I love the characters, I love the HGTV references, I love that there are going to be at least 2 more books, I loved the dogs, and I really loved the romance. In fact, the only thing I didn't completely love about it was the title of the series. I have never really jumped on the whole Billionaire train, but for this series, I guess I just don't get the title. Because I wasn't under the impression that the brothers were billionaires. I know their family has a lot of money and the business could be worth a lot, but I was under the impression that the brothers themselves were not rolling in the dough. It just seemed off to me. But that is a minor point.
Everything about the story Everywhere and Every Way was a hit for me. One of my favorite books of 2016. I think this is my first book by Jennifer Probst, and I am completely kicking myself for not reading her books in the past, but all of that is going to change now. She has made a big fan out of me. I love the way she writes her characters. I loved Cal and Morgan. Morgan is so strong willed that she is a great match for Cal, who is also more than a little stubborn. Watching them go head to head was a lot of fun.
Cal and his brothers have a lot of issues between them, which is why I am super happy that I started this series in book one. I think that readers will really benefit from reading this series in order, because there is a lot of backstory and history between this family and if you jump into book 2 or 3 you might miss out on some of it. I loved that while this was Cal and Morgan's story, we really started to get to know about the other brothers. I can't wait to read theirs. I already have some ideas of where they are going to go, and I want to see if I am right or not! (view spoiler)[Plus, I want to know what is up with Raven- from the bar. There is more to her abrupt change in demeanor when they mentioned their name. (hide spoiler)]
Bottom line: If you love HGTV and the Property Brothers, you are going to fall in love with the slightly gruffer and less PC version of them Jennifer Probst has created in the Pierce brothers. Even if you have not watch, and swooned, over Johnathan and Drew, you will love the characters and romance (and dogs!) in Everywhere and Every Way. It is one of my favorite reads of the year!
The Way to Game the Walk of Shame is a young adult standalone contempor**You can see this full review and more at Book Briefs: http://bookbriefs.net**
The Way to Game the Walk of Shame is a young adult standalone contemporary romance by Jenn P. Nguyen. It is a swoon reads romance, so I knew that it was going to be a hit with me. And it was. The Way to Game the Walk of Shame is a cute read that I thoroughly enjoyed. The Way to Game the Walk of Shame is told in dual narrative between good girl, Taylor, and notorious bad boy, Evan. A rumor gets started about the two of them, and Taylor decides that instead of letting people think the worst about her, she would work the situation to her advantage. I love the title of this book, because that is what she tries to do. She tries to game the situation into something she would like.
The Way to Game the Walk of Shame is a fake relationship book. (I have said it before and I will say it again...2016 is the year of the fake relationship trope. I have read a ton of them, and it is a story line that I have really been enjoying.) Taylor decides that if people think she hooked up with Evan, it would be better for her reputation to let people think that Evan was serious about her. I was a little surprised that she got him to go along with it all so easily, because I honestly didn't see what was in it for him. Nonetheless, it was pretty cute seeing how protective of Taylor he was. Evan is a good guy. And Taylor is great. I loved her brand of quirkiness. I mean, come on, she drew up a contract for the fake relationship. That is my kind of girl. ;)
Bottom line: if you are looking for a cute and light read that will put a smile on your face, The Way to Game the Walk of Shame is a great addition to the Swoon reads line of romances. I loved it. And if you are like me, and you cannot get enough of the fake relationship plot line, The Way to Game the Walk of Shame is a great one. You will love Taylor and Evan.
Side note: This is a minor stylistic thing, but I really liked that not only were the chapters were clearly labeled with whose point of view the chapter was gong to be told from, but also that they were styled a bit different. Taylor's chapters had brackets around her name, and Evan's chapters had dashes on either side of his name. I know that may be a small thing, but I appreciated the little differences between the two and the consistency throughout the story. Am I the only one that notices or cares about things like that while reading?
**You can see this full review and more at Book Briefs: http://bookbriefs.net** Wasted Words is a new adult romantic comedy by Staci Hart. Wasted Words**You can see this full review and more at Book Briefs: http://bookbriefs.net** Wasted Words is a new adult romantic comedy by Staci Hart. Wasted Words is inspired by Jane Austen's Emma, and I have to say this is one of the best new adult romantic comedies that I have read in a long time. I really, loved it. I loved Cam. I loved Tyler. I loved the two of them together. I just loved it. Wasted Words is a quirky, refreshing, and completely addicting romance. I could not get enough of it. One of my favorite reads of 2016 for sure.
Cam works at a comic book/book store/bar. Does that alone, not sound freakin' awesome? I want one of those where I live. A bookstore and a bar all in one? Sign me up. I knew right away that I was going to like Cam. In the very first chapter of the story Cam started her match making with an Outlander reading girl and an Anime reading guy. (And by the way, Wasted Words marks the second book I have read in three days that makes mention that Jamie Fraser from Outlander is the perfect guy. Which seals my fate- I must read Outlander now.) Cam being her little observant meddling self is totally adorable. And then we switched over to Tyler's chapter, and I loved him just as much! He is a sweetie and it is clear that he sees how awesome Cam is right from the start, which earns him big points in my book. (unlike Tyler's football playing "friend"...who immediately lost points in my book.)
But of course Cam is totally oblivious to all of this. Why is that the most observant people are so blind when it comes to themselves? It always happens. But I digress. Wasted Words is told in dual narrative between Tyler and Cam. One of the things I loved most about Wasted Words was the way that Staci Hart found an effortless way to balance every emotion. The funny balanced the serious and the romance. It just all works so well. I must read all of Staci's other books ASAP. Wasted Words is one of those books that has ingrained itself on my heart. It is so well written and I loved the characters so much. I want to read it again right now, because I want to hang out with Cam and Tyler some more. Staci Hart has a real talent for writing romances that suck you in and do not let go.
**You can see this full review and more at Book Briefs: http://bookbriefs.net**Love Charms and Other Catastrophes is the second book in the magical yo**You can see this full review and more at Book Briefs: http://bookbriefs.net**Love Charms and Other Catastrophes is the second book in the magical young adult series, Grimbaud by Kimberly Karalius. The first book, Love Fortunes and Other Disasters was one of my favorite books of 2015. It is the kind of book that puts a perma smile on your face, and Love Charms and Other Catastrophes is no different. You do need to read these books in order, so if you have not checked out the first book yet, you really do need to. The series is set in the magical town of Grimbaud. I love the cover of these books so much, because their whimsical feel helps me imagine Grimbaud with the same touch of whimsy. Does that make sense? The town also reminded me of the Kissing Town from the tv series The Tenth Kingdom (which is an amazing mini series if you have not watched it yet, you need to!) So the entire time I was reading, I was imagining the kissing town with love in the air, everywhere. (After I finished reading the first book, I told the author about this, and she confirmed that kissing town was part of her inspiration for Grimbaud! How exciting is that??)
Love Charms and Other Catastrophes picks up in the wake of the events of the first book. The gang has defeated Zita and all of her evil-ness has fled the town. But, in her place a whole bunch of different charm makers have taken up shop in Grimbaud. Some bad in their own way. Love starts to get a little nervous so he decides a contest is the key. Winner gets to take Zita's spot. Insert, our favorite student charm maker from book 1, Hijiri and you know where this is going.
I will admit that I was a little nervous about this story being about Hijiri. Not because I didn't like her in the first book. I did. But I just felt like I didn't really know her well. She was in the first book a good deal but I had my Fallon and Sebastian blinders on. But man, oh man did Hijiri prove me wrong. I am so happy that we had two plot lines going on. We had the love charm makers competition on one side and Hijiri's love life on the other. And getting to see Hijiri open up to love made her more personable to me. It made me like her. And who wouldn't love Ken. He was hand picked and delivered just for her! I mean come on. That is the stuff of daydreams.
Bottom line: If you liked Love Fortunes and Other Disasters you are going to love Love Charms and Other Catastrophes. It is every bit as fun and magical as the first book. I am completely loving this series. I hope I get to visit the town of Grimbaud many more times. This series is winner.
One Lucky Hero is the first in a new, adult contemporary romance serie**You can see this full review and more at Book Briefs: https://bookbriefs.net**
One Lucky Hero is the first in a new, adult contemporary romance series, called the Men in Uniform series, by Codi Gary. I loved this book! plain and simple. I really loved it. I thought it was an awesome romance full of wit, sass and good times. If you are looking for a feel good romance, this is it.
Violet and Dean (and Dilbert the dog!) totally won me over. They each have their own demons, but what I loved about them is that when they are around each other they seem to be so full of life. They can push each others demons away. They felt lighter when they were together, and that just made me smile. Plus I loved their back and forth banter. I have been really into books featuring military men in some way (I think I can blame it on watching American Grit...) and One Lucky Hero has to be one of my favorites.
Dean can brood with the best of them. So if that is your thing, get ready to swoon. Not to mention you get some puppy loving in this book too. Is it just me, or does a book with an adorable puppy in it automatically gain a few extra points? It totally does for me! Bring on more Dilbert! ;)
In all seriousness though, One Lucky Hero is far from all lighthearted fun. There are some serious issues being dealt with by the characters and there are some serious roadblocks for them to overcome. Overall, their journey was so worth it for me. I loved the characters and I love One Lucky Hero.
Surviving High School is a novel co-authored by vine superstar Lele Pon**You can see this full review and more at Book Briefs: http://bookbriefs.net**
Surviving High School is a novel co-authored by vine superstar Lele Pons (and don't worry, I had never heard of her either. I am more of a youtube kind of gal.) and author Melissa De La Cruz. Surviving High School is a standalone young adult contemporary comedy. This book cracked me up. It is certainly not a book to take overly seriously. It is very irreverent, but hilarious! I loved all of the pop culture references, and the main character, Lele is a hoot. She is not the most serious or deep individuals ever to grace the halls of high school, but she cracked me up. I am not really sure if this is based at all on Lele's high school experience, and I don't know what to think if it was...even very loosely. Either way, this is a book to read, laugh and not take too seriously. If you do that, I think you will have a good time.
Surviving High School seems to be a very polarizing book for readers. People have either loved it or intensely disliked it. Honestly, I really enjoyed Surviving High School. I took it for what it is... a pop culture filled, irreverent and sarcastic story about a high school girl. It is kooky and wacky, and I get that may not be for everyone, but I think if you are in the mood to read something that will have you giggling away, this is the book for you. If this is not your cup of tea, then this is certainly not the book for you. But I thought it was a fun ride. Lele is a girl that goes insta-famous on the internet, and we get to watch how that rolls over to her "real-life". I loved this concept because in a world of social media stars, this could be a very real reality for some teens. I have no idea whether it would be this extreme for them or not, but it was fun reading, because it didn't seem so far to stretch for me. Sure it was over the top, but that added to the humor for me.
This book reminded me of Mean Girls, like the summary says, and also It's All Your Fault by Paul Rudnick. It has that same kind of hold nothing back, everyone and everything is fair game contemporary humor. It seemed like every sentence had a pop culture reference of some kind. I love stuff like that because I am kind of a pop culture junkie. (my head is full of all kinds of useless pop culture facts.) It kind of made me want to go watch Lele Pons vine video's to see if they are anything like the book, and to see if the Lele from the book is anything like the real life Lele. I would love to know how much of this overlaps with real Lele's life.
Bottom line: if you are looking for a light hearted read that is not serious at all, check out Surviving High School. Pull up your pop culture wikipedia and get ready to laugh.
The Star-Touched Queen is the debut young adult fantasy novel by Roshan**You can see this full review and more at Book Briefs: http://bookbriefs.net**
The Star-Touched Queen is the debut young adult fantasy novel by Roshani Chokshi. It is a blend of greek mythology and Indian folklore. While, I am very familiar with Greek mythology, I am admittedly not very familiar with much Indian Folklore. But starting out with The Star-Touched Queen certainly is going to set the bar very high. I loved this book. Absolutely loved it. I am so blown away and impressed that this is author, Roshani Chokshi's debut novel. I never would have guessed that. She writes so beautifully. The Star-Touched Queen is a breathtaking tale.
The Star-Touched Queen tells the story of seventeen year old Maya, who as you can tell from the summary, is cursed. I instantly fell in love with Maya. I was more hesitant with Amar, though that was completely by design of Roshani. Eventually I warmed up to him, and the romance between the two of them turns out to be really beautiful as well. But as great as the romance is, everything is really great. The Star-Touched Queen is packed with exemplary world building, interesting characters, and plenty of action to keep you turning pages almost faster than you can read them. I could not put this book down.
This review has the potential to become very spoilery, so I am trying to say less, but I can't quite find the words to show how reading The Star-Touched Queen made me feel. There are plenty of well written, good young adult stories. But the great stories are the ones that stay with you long after you finish reading them. The great ones are the ones that you just can't stop thinking about. And I just can't stop thinking about The Star-Touched Queen. It is a GREAT story.
**You can see this full review and more at Book Briefs: http://bookbriefs.net**My ThoughtsRush is a standalone new adult contemporary romance by Shae**You can see this full review and more at Book Briefs: http://bookbriefs.net**My ThoughtsRush is a standalone new adult contemporary romance by Shae Ross. This is the second book that I have read, and loved by Shae so far. (The first was Pretty Smart Girls: Lace Up) She has this awesome knack for writing great characters. (I have been on a roll lately with wonderful chemistry in the romances I have been reading. Which is perfectly timed after about a month of just ok books.) Rush is a college sports romance featuring the school quarterback and the captain of the girls soccer team, and just like in Pretty Smart Girls, there was also a theme of guys v. girls in this book.
Rush is told in dual narrative between Priscilla and Preston, and from the very first moment I knew I was going to love them. The first scene in the book shows them at a Halloween party and they are dressed up as chewbacca and little bo peep. They cracked me up in that scene, and then the you know what all hit the fan and I was surprised for a whole different reason. I didn't expect all that to happen, and that one event shapes a good majority of the rest of the book. I enjoyed that this was just as much about getting Priscilla back on the soccer field as it was a romance between Priscilla and Preston.
Shae Ross knows how to write my kind of romance. This is from her amazon bio and it perfectly sums up the characters in her book, and why I love them so much. "She loves strong heroines and sexy alpha heroes who deliver stories filled with sass, smarts and sizzle." Umm, YES PLEASE! And I am here to tell you that she does a darn good job doing just that. Her characters sell the story. They are just so much fun to read. I love the rapid fire banter and the sass galore that all the girls have. And her guys are just as excellent. They all have that smoldering thing down pat. It just all works for me. I feel like Shae Ross writes book tailor made for me. We are like romance-reader-soul-sisters.
Bottom line: If you like your contemporary romance with strong and sassy female characters and equally swoon worthy and smoldering male characters, Rush is a new adult sports romance to check out. I had a blast reading this one. Shae Ross is one of my new favorites for new adult romance.
After We Fall is the third book in the contemporary romance series, Tak**You can see this full review and more at Book Briefs: http://bookbriefs.net**
After We Fall is the third book in the contemporary romance series, Take the Fall by Marquita Valentine. I have not read either of the first two books in the series, but this one caught my eye. It was a heartbreaking story, but also a sweet one. It is told in dual narrative between Hunter and Evangeline. By the way, can we just talk about how pretty of a name that is? I just loved both of the characters names. Hunter is a strong name and Evangeline is so pretty. I thought they were very fitting.
Evangeline knows Hunter as the cop who was there the night she finally escaped her abusive ex husband. I would have thought that would be a comfort to her to see him again, but it was much more of an embarrassment for her. But Hunter is not someone that is easily deterred. He stuck by Evangeline and was as patient as could be. I admired that about him. Hunter is just a good guy, through and through. I do have to say that I found his extra curricular activity very out of character for his day job. No matter how hard I tried, I couldn't get them to add up to me. It didn't make any kind of sense, to me at least. It was the only aspect of the book I didn't love.
After We Fall is a bit heavier of a contemporary romance than I normally read, but I really enjoyed it. Sometimes it is nice to read a more somber book to balance out the light and fluffy books. (I still think I prefer the light and fluffy books most of the time.) My heart just broke for Evangeline. It would be hard for it not to. But she is a strong person and she is a survivor. It was nice to see her get her happily ever after as well.
Bottom line: After We Fall is a great book for people that enjoy darker contemporary romances. It deals with some tough issues, such as abuse. In the end, it is a lovely romance for two characters that are easy to root for. I enjoyed it.
Painting Sky is a new adult contemporary romance standalone from R**You can see this full review and more at Book Briefs: http://bookbriefs.net**
Painting Sky is a new adult contemporary romance standalone from Rita Branches. It is hard to believe that this is Rita's debut novel because she really captured the essence of the characters so vividly. I didn't initially know what to think of the story. On one hand, I was immediately drawn into the little bubble that seemed to be created around Keith and Jane every time they came in contact with each other. But on the other hand, I was hoping for something a little more drastic from his brother. I mean yes he was a jerk, but it didn't seem so clear cut to me. In the end, it didn't matter because I was completely, head-over-heels in love with Keith and Jane, who seems so much more like a Sky to me.
Painting Sky is told entirely from Sky's point of view, and while I loved watching her sort out her feelings for Keith and come into her own, I really really wanted to hear some snippets from Keith. He is such a deep individual, that I wanted to peak inside of his head so very badly. This book wrapped me up tight in their little bubble and whisked me away from the world. I very nearly was late coming back from lunch because I forgot all about the time. I had withdrawal symptoms when I had to tear myself away from the story. And even when I doing other things, my thoughts kept straying back to Keith and Sky. That is the mark of a great book. I love it when characters and their story can affect me like that.
The only gripe I had with the story was with the other character's opinion of Keith. I hated how everyone other than Sky seemed to think he was the worst person on the planet. Even Sky's brother, Ryan, who is supposed to be his best friend, thought he was no good. That really bothered me, because no one seemed actually interested in getting to know who he was as a person. I didn't see anything to justify the kind of treatment he was receiving from everyone. It was disappointing, and unsupported with facts from the story, that Keith was portrayed that way to everyone. Obviously, you can tell that I am a huge Keith fan. I loved the way he was always looking out for Sky. It was very sweet.
Bottom line: if you love tortured character driven romances that will rock your world to its' very core, read Painting Sky. This is a book that will deeply affect you. I want more from Keith. I loved Painting Sky so much.
P.S. I just found out that this is not a standalone and the next book will be about Sky's brother Ryan. I hope we get to see more of Keith in that story.
The Player and the Pixie is the second book in the Rugby by author duo**You can see this full review and more at Book Briefs: http://bookbriefs.net**
The Player and the Pixie is the second book in the Rugby by author duo L.H. Cosway & Penny Reid. I am so excited that I read this book. Yes, I loved the first book in the series, but even more so this is my first 5 star book in a while. I have been on a 3.5 star reading kick for about a month now it feels like. It isn't what I would call a reading slump by any means, because I have actually been reading a ton lately, and I have been enjoying the books, but I just haven't really been crazy in love, over the top excited about a book for what feels like a while (but in reality might only be a couple of weeks AKA about 20 books ago.) The Player and The Pixie changed all of that! I freakin' loved this book. We are talking top books of 2016, loved! I liked it more than the first book in the series, which was also excellent by the way.
The Player and the Pixie is the story of Lucy and Sean. Sean is the resident jerk on the rugby team and Lucy is the sister of the guy that Sean is the biggest jerk to- Ronan. (you might remember him as the guy that broke up Ronan and his ex girlfriend from book one.) Yeah, there is no love lost between those two. But Lucy is like a breath of fresh air. She is just so sweet, with a side of spunk, that it was adorable to watch her get under Sean's skin. There is just something about the two of them together that I could not get enough of.
Penny Reid is one of my favorite romance authors to read because she is so incredibly talented at creating chemistry and fantastically real characters. Every single one of her books should be made into RomComs. I would marathon watch them all! And as much as I love Penny Reid, I equally love her writing with L.H. Cosway. I told myself this after I read the first book in the series, The Hooker and the Hermit, and I am telling myself it again. I need to read her other books! In fact, they are going on my wishlist this moment.
Ok, this is about to get weird. One of the things that I loved the most about Sean and about this book, was the premise. You can tell from the summary, but I just think it was so totally unique that this huge player and sports athlete womanizer would have this problem. I just loved that this was the route that the authors chose to go. It was unexpected. I have not read a book that took this tack, and I completely loved it.
Bottom line: Sean and Lucy, and The Player and the Pixie, are one of my favorite books couples of the year. They are so great together. I honestly can't imagine anyone not loving them. If you have not read this book, you are missing out. It is as simple as that. This book is a must read for fans of romantic comedies and contemporary romances. I would wholeheartedly recommend it to everyone. It will be a re-read of mine for years to come.
The Blood of the Hydra is the second book in the yo**You can see this full review and more at Book Briefs: http://bookbriefs.net**YA ReviewMy Thoughts
The Blood of the Hydra is the second book in the young adult fantasy series by Michelle Madow, called Elementals. I love a mythology book and this series is extra interesting because it combines elemental magic, typically reserved for witches, along with mythology gods and demigods. I enjoyed the first book, but the second installment is so much better than the first book in my opinion. I loved The Blood of the Hydra. I liked all of the characters more, yes even Blake, and the quest in this installment was so great.
One of my issues, though minor, with book one was that I was not into Blake and his romance with Nicole. At all. And I am still not 100% sure that I am on board with them, it didn't bug me nearly as much as it did in the first book. Maybe because it wasn't as much of a focus. Instead we got to go on a super awesome quest, that fans of Homer's The Iliad and The Odyssey will love. And we not only get to see the whole gang, but we are also introduced to a few new characters. Chris, Kate and Danielle are my favorite characters in the book. (Yes, I said Danielle.) I think they are the most well rounded, interesting and relate able. I like Nicole enough, and oddly enough my favorite thing about her is the thing that she hates the most. I am super intrigued by her special power.
Let's talk about this quest. Nicole and the gang head off to Greece and this is where I really started bouncing up and down in my seat with excitement. I love a quest! And to get to see some of my favorite classic myth stories get revisited was a real treat. I think Michelle Madow did an excellent job with the Land of the Lotus Eaters. And I mean, really excellent. It was by far, my favorite part of the story. I cannot wait to see what is in store for our characters next. I hope to see more classic quests incorporated into the book and I hope to see some romance in store for Kate...ahem coughchriscough.
Bottom line: If you are a fan of YA mythology, this is a series you do not want to miss. Even if you were meh about the first book, I really urge you to pick up the second book because it is really, really great. Better than the first book. Fans of Percy Jackson will really dig this series. I can see the parallels more in this book than the first because this one was so focused on the greek gods and myths and the first book incorporated more of the elemental powers while laying the groundwork for the story and world. I am so happy that I loved The Blood of the Hydra as much as I did because I went from enjoying the series to need-to-get-my-hands-on-the-next-book-right-now.