Review of Beautiful by the always amazing Christina Lauren ❤

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Beautiful (Beautiful Bastard #5) by Christina Lauren – 4/4.5 Stars

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It’s pretty depressing knowing this series has come to an end, but what a way to go.

As always, Christina Lauren delivers fun, sex, laugh out loud scenes, and one of the greatest casts there ever was.

Basic plot: Jensen (brother of Hanna from Beautiful Player) meets eccentric Pippa (friend of Ruby from Beautiful Secret) on an airplane and comes to find out she is the friend of his sister’s friends. Jensen is a workaholic. Pippa wants a change. Will, Hanna, Ruby and Niall plan a road trip and convince Jensen to come along. During the trip, Jensen and Pippa have a little fling, and Pippa helps Jensen loosen up and have some fun along the way.

As I worked to disentangle us, she gazed at me, bemused. “This makes me wary of ever dabbling in bondage with you.”
Silence greeted us, and I unlooped the seatbelt from her neck before looking up and around us at the other passengers.
“We’re not alone, are we?” she playfully stage-hissed.
“There are others,” I confirmed. “They’re regarding you with curiosity.”
“And mild horror,” Niall added.

What I loved: Basically everything. The fact that we get more Will Sumner is reason enough to read this. But Jensen and Pippa were absolutely ADORABLE together.

“Your hair like this makes your eyes bluer,” he continued, and my mind hit the brakes. “Makes your lips pinker. Makes you look too perfect to be real.”

Pippa was laugh out loud funny. Jensen, while sometimes being uptight, was sexy as all hell once he opened up.

Beside me, Jensen laughed. “Your random metaphors are beginning to make sense to me.”
“I’m slowly blackening your intellect.”
“Is that what you’re doing when you’re fucking me senseless?”

The ending was without a doubt my favorite thing about this. It features a few short epilogues from some series favs.

Why not 5 stars? While I LOVED how much the rest of the gang was involved in this, I wished there were more scenes with JUST Jensen and Pippa. I don’t feel like I got a good grasp on either of their characters fully, not in the way I did with the rest of the cast in the other books in this series. The ending was a tad rushed as well. A lot of time was spent on the gang during their road trip, but once they are home, scenes with just Jensen and Pippa were kind of rushed and skirted over. To me, this felt a little more like an epilogue book, and less than just Jensen and Pippa’s story.

This series remains one of my all-time favorites and I dare anyone who has followed this gang all along not to shed a tear after reading the last page. I’m so sad to see them go, and foresee many re-reads of this incredible series in the future!

“They’re insane and overbearing, but…I think you’ll fit in perfectly.”
She pulled back in mock insult. “You think I’m insane and overbearing?
“No. I think you’re fun, and smart, and wild.” I leaned forward, kissing her nose. “I think you’re fucking
beautiful.”

Beautiful is out October 4th! (Can be read as a standalone)

Ruin & Rising by Leigh Bardugo – if I could stop crying over this series, that’d be great =)

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Ruin and Rising (The Grisha #3) by Leigh Bardugo – 5 MASSIVE STARS

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“Maybe love was superstition, a prayer we said to keep the truth of loneliness at bay.”

Why you should read the Grisha Trilogy:

1. The Darkling
2. Mal
3. Pirates and demons and magical birds
4. The Darkling
5. Nikolai
6. The Darkling
7. Mal and Alina
8. Mal
9. MAL
10. Malyen Fucking Oretsev

If you haven’t gotten it yet, I’m kind of in love with Mal. And I know some people preferred the other heroes over him. Maybe because he wasn’t as funny as Nikolai or as seductive as the Darkling. But I loved that boy from the start and Chapter 16 and the epilogue ruined my life. I read them 4 times. And I think when I’m done writing this review I’m going back to read them again.

What I also loved: how I was oddly okay with anyway this could have ended. I actually kept going back and forth with how I wanted the story to conclude. Towards the last half, I HOPED it would end a certain way. I was PRAYING Alina would end up with a certain someone. And I can honestly say the ending was just perfection. PER-FREAKING-FECTION. I cried and weeped and laughed and I just thought it couldn’t have been better.

The characters were realistic, fantastic, and fun. The plot twists were CRAZY. The Darkling is literally the most fascinating and intriguing character I have read about and I can’t praise Leigh enough for creating someone like him. For creating this whole series that stayed true to its characters and theme from the very beginning. And for Mal. Thank you for Mal.

Fav quotes:

“In the end, maybe love just meant longing for something impossibly bright and forever out of reach.”

“I am not ruined. I am ruination.”

“I will strip away all that you know, all that you love, until you have no shelter but me.”

“I would have been different too, without you. Weaker, reckless.” He smiled slightly. “Afraid of the dark.” He brushed the tears from my cheeks. I wasn’t sure when they’d started. “But no matter who or what I was, I would have been yours.”

“You are all I ever wanted. You are the whole of my heart.”

“When evening fell, the boy would bring the girl a glass of tea, a slice of lemon cake, an apple blossom floating in a blue cup. He would kiss her neck and whisper new names in her ear: beauty, beloved, cherished, my heart.
They had an ordinary life, full of ordinary things – if love can ever be called that.”



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Review (not really – more like ramblings) of Siege and Storm by Leigh Bardugo ❤

Siege and Storm by Leigh Bardugo (The Grisha #2) – 4.5 Stars

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“So many men had tried to make her a queen. Now she understood that she was meant for something more.”

How do you review a second book to a phenomenal series without giving away major spoilers? You can’t. You just blabber on like a fool. So:

I kind of wish I counted how many times I gasped while reading.
How many times I screamed.
How many times I threatened and cursed Leigh Bardugo and tried to telepathically warn her if she hurts Mal or Alina one more GOD DAMN TIME I WAS GOING TO FIND HER.
How many times I tried to summon the Darkling to appear or show up in a scene while simultaneously cursing his delicious, stupid, intriguing name.

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Darkling:“Tell him you see me when he takes you in his arms.”
Me: *faints*
Darkling:“Don’t worry, tracker. You’ll know when our deal is up. I’ll be certain you hear it when I make her scream.”
Me:*dies*

“I’ve seen what you truly are,” said the Darkling, “and I’ve never turned away. I never will. Can he say the same?”

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Mal: “No, Alina. You came here for Ravka. For the firebird. To lead the Second Army.” He tapped the sun over his heart. “I came here for you. You’re my flag. You’re my nation.”

Me:
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And if anyone has anything bad to say about Mal you can turn the hell away from this review right this second because I love him DEARLY even though chapter 20 happened and I’m still not over it.

Starmhond: I’m kind of in love with you. And that’s all I can say on you without spoiling everything. I’LL BE YOUR QUEEN!

Ok. I think I’m done rambling now. Actually. One more for the Darkling:

“Why won’t you leave me alone?” I whispered one night as he hovered behind me while I tried to work at my desk.

Long minutes passed. I didn’t think he would answer. I even had time to hope he might have gone, until I felt his hand on my shoulder.

“Then I’d be alone, too,” he said, and he stayed the whole night through, till the lamps burned down to nothing.

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THIS!!!! ❤ Shadow and Bone by Leigh Bardugo

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Shadow and Bone (The Grisha #1) by Leigh Bardugo – 5 Stars

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THIS! This is how you write the first book of a series. There was action, romance, mystery, suspense, intrigue.

It was descriptive without being redundant.
There were fantasy elements that were not so overly done where you may get confused or lost.
The characters drew me in right from the start. They were flawed, their relationships were emotional, and I loved how relatable they all were.
The world and culture in which the story takes place is quickly and clearly established.

Basically, Leigh gets to the fucking point in Chapter 1 and I love her for it.

The blurb does a good job of summarizing what this is all about. Alina is a part of the King’s Army along with her best friend Mal. When they are picked to cross the “Shadow Fold” – basically a black hole with these really disgusting creatures that feast on humans – Alina discovers a power that has been dormant her whole life. She is then whisked away to the royal palace where she is inducted into the Second Army aka the Grisha aka people who possess certain powers and are led by the Darkling. After summoning her “power”, Alina discovers a secret that can lead to the destruction of her country and those she loves.

Got it? Good.

Let’s just take a moment to discuss the Darkling now, shall we?

“I’ve been waiting for you a long time, Alina,” he said. “You and I are going to change the world.”

I am usually the first person to roll their eyes and scoff when it comes to “villains.” And the first one to think drooling over the villain is so freaking cliché.

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Yea. I take it back. I loved this smooth talking mysterious bastard. I haven’t been this intrigued by a character in a LONG TIME and I love how complex he is. Nothing is black and white when it comes to him and I am itching to read and find out more.

“Did you tell him, Alina? Does the boy know how willing you were to give yourself to me?
Did you tell him what I showed you in the dark?” 

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Alina was such a genuine character. And I know people can complain about the typical “chosen girl with powers” narrative that is so common among these types of reads, but I never once found myself annoyed with her and for me, everything done with her in this book just worked.

“And I reached out to the thing within me that I’d kept hidden for so long.
I’m sorry, I whispered to it.
I’m sorry I left you so long in the dark.
I’m sorry, but I’m ready now.”

And Mal. I didn’t forget about you Mal! Your scenes with Alina pulled at my heart strings and I read them over and over and over.

“So don’t tell me we don’t belong together,” he said fiercely. He was very close now, and my heart was suddenly hammering in my chest. “I’m sorry it took me so long to see you, Alina. But I see you now.”

I could sit here and nitpick about things I would have liked to see, or change, or questions I didn’t get answered. But I am well aware that this is the first book to a series and I am certain things will get addressed later on. The point is, this drew me in and kept me intrigued throughout. It’s been a while since I have felt completely immersed in a book and felt a connection to the characters right from the start. I loved everything about this and have wasted enough time writing this review so off to book 2 I go!


When the 2nd in a series disappoints: Review of The Heart Of Betrayal

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The Heart Of Betrayal (The Remnant Chronicles #2) by Mary E. Peasron – 1 Star

So. Everyone in this book is a fucking liar. And at first it was interesting to keep up with all of their deceit.

Lia loves Rafe but Kaden loves her and hates Rafe but Lia can’t say no to the Komizar and Rafe has to pretend to hate Lia while lying about not being a Prince and Kaden thinks Lia might love him but also hates her because she lead him on but also knows Rafe loves her but they have to hide it from the Komizar or he’ll kill them.

And I couldn’t wait for shit to hit the fan. For some action. Romance. SOMETHING.

But same as the first and DISAPPOINTINGLY SO, this book was SO SLOW. I was hoping the slow pace of the first book wouldn’t continue with the second. I was hoping the little action in the first book was leading up to something epic in the second.

NOPE.

What was discussed could have easily been revealed within half the amount of pages and I wasn’t a fan of the overly descriptive writing, and really the total absence of a gripping storyline. Somewhere around the 80% mark I just stopped giving a shit.

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This series had so much potential. So much could have been done with these characters but I was bored to tears. The plot is slightly more exciting than the first book but it remained tedious and was dull. Slow paced isn’t always bad (and I didn’t mind it in book 1!) but in this case it felt like such a let-down. The book should have been so much more exciting and suspenseful. I am 99.9% sure this will continue with the next book so I’m definitely not continuing with this series.

 

A love note to Suanne Laqueur & a short review of Give Me Your Answer True

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Give Me Your Answer True (The Fish Tales #2) – 5 stars

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This isn’t really a review. This is more of a love note directed at the author Suanne Laqueur.

Your writing is flawless. Addictive. Clever. Poetic.

The characters you’ve created are the most beautifully flawed yet perfect characters.

I love their story. I love their growth. I love where you took Daisy’s story. And I’m sorry I ever doubted you. I wasn’t sure I would understand her anymore. Or even like her again. But all I know is the emotions I felt reading this and the tears I shed throughout and at the end of this book just prove what an incredibly talented writer you are.

As I said in my review for the first book The Man I Love, this story needs to be experienced by EVERYONE. Never have I come across a story or characters that have felt so honest and so REAL.

If you want something SMART, thought out, romantic, raw, and beautiful – This series is it!

Cover Reveal! ROYALLY MATCHED By Emma Chase

 ROYALLY MATCHED – the second book in The Royally Series from Emma Chase releases on January 10, 2017!

I haven’t even read the first book yet and I already can’t wait for this!

Royally Matched FOR WEB

 

Royally-Matched-3D-bookSome men are born responsible, some men have responsibility thrust upon them. Henry Charles Albert Edgar Pembrook, Prince of Wessco, just got the motherlode of all responsibility dumped in his regal lap.

He’s not handling it well.

Hoping to force her grandson to rise to the occasion, Queen Lenora goes on a much-needed safari holiday—and when the Queen’s away, the Prince will play. After a chance meeting with an American television producer, Henry finally makes a decision all on his own:

Welcome to Matched: Royal Edition.

A reality TV dating game show featuring twenty of the world’s most beautiful blue bloods gathered in the same castle. Only one will win the diamond tiara, only one will capture the handsome prince’s heart.

While Henry revels in the sexy, raunchy antics of the contestants as they fight, literally, for his affection, it’s the quiet, bespectacled girl in the corner—with the voice of an angel and a body that would tempt a saint—who catches his eye.

The more Henry gets to know Sarah Mirabelle Zinnia Von Titebottum, the more enamored he becomes of her simple beauty, her strength, her kind spirit…and her naughty sense of humor.

But Rome wasn’t built in a day—and irresponsible royals aren’t reformed overnight.

As he endeavors to right his wrongs, old words take on whole new meanings for the dashing Prince. Words like, Duty, Honor and most of all—Love.

 

ADD TO GOODREADS

PREORDER

iBooks

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Emma Chase is the New York Times and USA Today bestselling author of the hot and hilarious Tangled series and The Legal Briefs series. Emma lives in New Jersey with her husband, two children and two naughty (but really cute) dogs. She has a long-standing love/hate relationship with caffeine.

WEBSITE | FACEBOOK | NEWSLETTER | TWITTER | GOODREADS

Review: The Kiss of Deception (The Remnant Chronicles #1) by Mary E. Pearson

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The Kiss of Deception – 4 Stars

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“And late at night as I stared at the stars, sometimes a whisper broke through, one I was too afraid to believe.
I will find you.
In the farthest corner, I will find you.”

Considering how often I pick up a first book in a series that seems to be loved by all and I wind up hating, I enjoyed this way more than I thought I would.

The blurb really tells you all you need to know about the plot and all I can talk about without spoiling anything. Princess Lia runs away on her wedding day to avoid an arraigned married to a Prince she’s never met, set up by her parents who don’t really seem to care or understand her. Lia runs with her best friend to a far town. The story is told through the alternating POVs of Lia, the snubbed prince who is tracking her, and an assassin who was paid to find and kill her.

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What I liked about this? The execution of the story was done excellently, Lia is a strong willed and smart character who wasn’t easily fooled and basically takes no shit. The plot twist around the 60% mark had me in shock. I felt so tricked! And I am usually pretty good at guessing plot twists, but this one came out of nowhere for me.

“Lia”, he whispered. “Lia.”
And I heard the words I love you. Even if he didn’t say them.

Would I call this book a love triangle? No – not really. While both the Prince and Assassin have eyes for Lia, she makes it quite clear who she has feelings for early on in the book. The only downside for me was this took a while to pick up and was sometimes repetitive. I’m big believer in less is more. And sometimes this got a little overly descriptive for my taste. While it was entertaining, not much action takes places until about 70% in. But as with most series, the first book tends to lay out facts and sets up the plot for the rest of the books.  So I’m still really excited to see where this goes and definitely will be continuing with the second book!


Sweetest Sorrow by JM Darhower – my rambling review ❤

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Sweetest Sorrow by JM Darhowe – 4.5 Stars

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Well, shit.

There really isn’t anything I can say on the plot, because well, anyone who follows me knows I am not a fan of giving too much of any book away and it would spoil this book and especially the first, By Any Other Name. And if you haven’t read the first…..what the hell is wrong with you? Do you have any idea how much I loved that book? Do you have any idea how many times I had to re-read it just to get my fix of these characters while I not-so-patiently waited for this book to release? DO YOU??? Do you have any idea how many times I had to physically restrain myself from screaming while I read this No? Well let me tell you.

I LOVE THIS BOOK AND BY ANY OTHER NAME AND THESE CHARACTERS AND JM DARHOWER AND GAVIN NEEDS HIS OWN BOOK AND IF WE DON’T GET IT SOMETHING BAD WILL HAPPEN WELL PROBABLY NOT I’LL JUST WEEP IN A CORNER BUT I LIKE REALLY NEED IT.

So. this is my review. This is all you’re getting from me. READ THIS FREAKING SERIES. Not enough yet? Ok, fine fine. Look what you’re missing:

Her back arched further, his free arm snaking beneath her, again pinning her hips in place against him as he slammed into her from behind.
“This what you wanted?”
“Oh God,” she gasped. “Yes.”
“Wrong,” he growled, a harsh edge to that word that made Gabriella shiver. “If you can still talk, I’m not fucking you hard enough.”

“The world tried to tear us apart in the worst way, but we didn’t let it, and I know I’ll never let it, because you are my world now. No matter what happens, I’ll always be here for you. I’d follow you to the end of the Earth and back again, if I had to, if you needed me to, I wouldn’t hesitate. I love you.”

“You’re practically aligned with the enemy now.”
“Practically? I was aligned with the enemy the moment I felt what it was like to be inside of you. There was no coming back from that.”
“What did it feel like? Being inside of me?”
He considered that. What did being inside of her feel like? Everything. It was Heaven. It was Hell. It was the most beautiful torture he’d ever felt.

DO YOU SEE?? All joking aside, I am utterly obsessed with these characters and and am IN LOVE with this story. I assume everyone knows of my undying love for JM’s writing already. The humor, the romance, the heartache, this book and series had everything and then some.

                                                

Review: Turbulence by Whitney G

Just going to hide in a corner since I’m the only one who seems to dislike this book….
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Turbulence by Whitney G – 2 stars

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If Fifty Shades of Grey and Ugly Love had a baby, it would be this.

The similarities:
*An emotionally unattached hero claiming he won’t and can’t do “more” and doesn’t have girlfriends
*A sex only relationship between the MCs
*Hero/heroine defining a set of rules to make sure the sex doesn’t turn into more
*A heroine agreeing to the sex only relationship, but eventually falls for the hero
*The hero who also has a disturbing past and has issues sleeping

Was this entertaining? At first, yes. I found the first few chapters really very funny. But as I continued to read, I found this to be riddled with very typical erotic clichés, outlandish, unrealistic situations and circumstances, the plot was a bit all over the place, and it all felt very surface level; probably because I didn’t see any real /substantial conversations between the MCs. Even their “volatile arguments” were nothing of importance. It was mainly bickering over the simplest of things. Then sex. Lots of sex. The blurb, to me at least, made it sound like it would be a very emotional and angsty read. I did not find it to be this.

I am sure people will find this more appealing than I did. There was nothing necessarily wrong with the story itself. But it feels like a book I have read many many times before, and nothing in it stood out to me. Personally, reads like this just don’t appeal to me much anymore. Sure, I like an erotic novel just as much as the next person, but something in it should stand out, be different, make me perk up and want to devour the book and refuse to put it down. Instead, I started to skim some parts and didn’t really have that all consuming urge to see what happens. It pains me to write all this, considering how much I loved her last book, Sincerely, Carter.

As I said, I am sure some will enjoy this much more than I did and I wouldn’t let my review dissuade anyone from picking it up. It did have Whitney’s signature witty dialogue, and I did enjoy a few parts. But overall, it just wasn’t a WOW book for me.