Reading Challenge: New to Me Challenge

Review: Blind Date with a Book Boyfriend by Lucy Eden

Posted July 31, 2020 by Holly in Reviews | 1 Comment

Review: Blind Date with a Book Boyfriend by Lucy EdenReviewer: Holly
Blind Date with a Book Boyfriend by Lucy Eden
Publisher: Self-Published
Publication Date: February 23, 2020
Format: eBook
Source: Purchased
Point-of-View: First
Content Warning: View Spoiler »
Genres: Contemporary Romance
Pages: 91
Add It: Goodreads
Reading Challenges: Goodreads Challenge, Holly's 2020 Goodreads Challenge, Holly's 2020 New to Me Challenge, New to Me Challenge
Amazon | Barnes & Noble | The Ripped Bodice | Google Play Books
four-half-stars

Hi, I’m Jordyn. I flew from New York to Culver City, CA to interview for the job of a lifetime.

When I walked into The Bookstore, I only wanted a steamy romance or two to help pass the time before my big meeting.

I walked out with a gorgeous and sweet, cinnamon roll who was more funny and charming than all of my favorite book boyfriends combined, which definitely wasn’t the plan.

But Mike was irresistible, and the time we spent together exploring Culver City was more fun than I’ve had in a long time.

But I’m smart enough to know if something feels too good to be true, it probably is.

I mean, Happily Ever Afters are just for fairy tales and romance novels … right?

Ames recommended this novella to me. It was super cute. I was hooked from page one, and found myself smiling through the entire story.

Jordyn has flown to Culver City, CA to interview for her dream job. She’s been playing it safe her whole life and she’s ready to make some major changes. When she meets a handsome guy in a bookstore, she takes a chance and joins him for lunch…which then turns into a full day of talking, dancing and…falling in love? This is the craziest thing she’s ever done, but she’s pretty sure Mike is worth it. Only, there’s more to Mike than meets the eye, and she may have to choose between her dream job and her dream guy.

This is a short story, but it packed quite a punch. I was drawn in by the witty banter to start, then ended up sighing my way through the story. It helps that I’m familiar with Culver City and have visited a lot of places mentioned in the story. I loved the way Mike and Jordyn opened up to each other, even though they had

“So, if this isn’t a date, why would you care if I brought other women here?”

I opened my mouth to answer, then I closed it because I didn’t have a good answer. I felt like I was free-falling. Mike was cute, funny, and charming. I wanted to know more about him. I wanted him to know more about me. Also, I wondered what it might be like to kiss him and— Shit. I think we’re on a date. “Is it weird that this feels like a date?” I asked.

“No, because I’m pretty sure this turned into a date when you started flirting with me in the bookstore.” I burst out laughing.

The witty dialogue and banter, the story itself and the characters were all very well done. I’m looking forward to read more from Eden.

Rating: 4.25 out of 5

four-half-stars


Tagged: , , , , ,

Review: Beauty and the Clockwork Beast by Nancy Campbell Allen

Posted July 20, 2020 by Holly in Reviews | 1 Comment

Review: Beauty and the Clockwork Beast by Nancy Campbell AllenReviewer: Holly
Beauty and the Clockwork Beast by Nancy Campbell Allen
Series: Steampunk Proper Romance #1
Also in this series: Kiss of the Spindle , The Lady in the Coppergate Tower
Publisher: Shadow Mountain
Publication Date: August 2, 2016
Format: eBook
Source: Library
Point-of-View: Alternating Third
Cliffhanger: View Spoiler »
Content Warning: View Spoiler »
Genres: Fantasy, Steampunk
Pages: 318
Add It: Goodreads
Reading Challenges: Goodreads Challenge, Holly's 2020 Goodreads Challenge, Holly's 2020 New to Me Challenge, New to Me Challenge
Amazon | Barnes & Noble | The Ripped Bodice | Google Play Books
four-half-stars
Series Rating: four-stars

Jane Eyre meets Beauty and the Beast.

When Lucy Pickett arrives at Blackwell Manor to tend to her ailing cousin, Kate, she finds more than she bargained for. A restless ghost roams the hallways, werewolves have been reported in the area, and vampires lurk across the Scottish border. Lord Miles himself is clearly hiding a secret. He is brash and inhospitable, and does not take kindly to visitors—even one as smart and attractive as Miss Pickett. He is unsettled by the mysterious deaths of his new wife, Clara, and his sister, Marie. Working together, Miles and Lucy attempt to restore peace to Blackwell Manor. But can Lucy solve the mystery of Miles? Can she love the man—beast and all?

Tracy turned me on to this author. I’ve been in the mood for Gothic romances lately and this one was just what I was looking for. This book is labeled as Steampunk, but I would call it Steampunk-lite. I easily fell into the story and didn’t want to put it down.

Lucy Pickett arrives at Blackwell Manor to visit her best friend/cousin, Kate. Kate recently married into the Blackwell family, and ever since she arrived at the manor she’s been feel poorly. Lucy is concerned something serious is wrong, and she’s determined to get to the bottom of what’s ailing her cousin. Between ghosts, werewolves and vampires, her time at the manor is anything but dull. Add the mysterious Lord Miles, Kate’s brother-in-law, to the mix, along with the mysterious deaths of his wife and her sister, and Lucy is in for a wild ride.

I really enjoyed Lucy. She’s a strong character who wasn’t afraid to stand up for herself or do what’s right. She was also very progressive and that worked well in context. I enjoyed her strength and determination, and how that pushed Miles. Their romance was well done and very enjoyable. The mystery behind her cousin’s illness and the deaths of other members of the family was easily solved, but I liked watching the characters work through everything.

Beauty and the Clockwork Beast is an odd mishmash of Gothic, Steampunk and Fantasy Romance, but it really worked. If you’re looking for something a little different, I highly recommend this series.

Rating: 4.5 out of 5

Steampunk Proper Romance

four-half-stars


Tagged: , , , , , , , ,

Review: A Court of Thorns and Roses by Sarah J. Maas

Posted July 10, 2020 by Holly in Reviews | 0 Comments

Review: A Court of Thorns and Roses by Sarah J. MaasReviewer: Holly
A Court of Thorns and Roses by Sarah J. Maas
Narrator: Jennifer Ikeda
Series: A Court of Thorns and Roses #1
Publisher: Bloomsbury
Publication Date: May 5, 2015
Format: eBook, Audiobook
Source: Purchased
Point-of-View: First
Cliffhanger: View Spoiler »
Content Warning: View Spoiler »
Genres: Fantasy, New Adult
Pages: 419
Length: 16 hours and 7 minutes
Add It: Goodreads
Reading Challenges: Goodreads Challenge, Holly's 2020 Goodreads Challenge, Holly's 2020 New to Me Challenge, New to Me Challenge
Amazon | Barnes & Noble | The Ripped Bodice | Google Play Books
three-half-stars
Series Rating: four-stars

Feyre's survival rests upon her ability to hunt and kill – the forest where she lives is a cold, bleak place in the long winter months. So when she spots a deer in the forest being pursued by a wolf, she cannot resist fighting it for the flesh. But to do so, she must kill the predator and killing something so precious comes at a price ...

Dragged to a magical kingdom for the murder of a faerie, Feyre discovers that her captor, his face obscured by a jewelled mask, is hiding far more than his piercing green eyes would suggest. Feyre's presence at the court is closely guarded, and as she begins to learn why, her feelings for him turn from hostility to passion and the faerie lands become an even more dangerous place. Feyre must fight to break an ancient curse, or she will lose him forever.

A Court of Thorns and Roses by Sarah J. Maas is the first book in the Court of Thorns and Roses series. I’ve had this book in my TBR pile for years. Recently I requested a good Paranormal/Fantasy series on Twitter, and this was one of the top recs, so I dug it out. I had the Kindle version with the audio add-on, so I read and listened. The narrator was good. I really enjoyed the writing and the world-building, but I found the story moved slow at times and I had a hard time focusing on it. The second half picked up, however, and I was fully invested in Feyre and her journey.

For hundreds of years the Faeries and Humans have been bound by a treaty that keeps the Faeries from killing humans and/or keeping them as slaves. Feyre and her family live near the wall that separates the two lands, in abject poverty. While she’s out hunting, she kills a wolf that turns out to be faerie and forfeits her life in return. Rather than killing her, Tamlin, the faerie who comes for her, tells her she must come and live with him over the wall in Prythian. Once she arrives in the Spring Court, she’s surprised to learn she won’t be a prisoner, but rather a permanent guest. Her whole life she’s grown up hating the faeries for how they treat humans. As she spends time with Tamlin and the other faeries at the Spring Court, she comes to realize there’s more to the story than she ever knew..and not all faeries are bad.

At the beginning of the novel, Feyre was a hard character to like. Her vain, shallow mother has died, and her father has lost their fortune and retreated into himself, leaving Feyre to care for him and her two self-absorbed sisters. She’s had to teach herself to hunt, how to barter for what they need and how to survive in a world so unlike the one she was meant to inhabit. This has made her hard and a little jaded, not to mention focused solely on herself and her own needs (or those of her family). It’s not that I blamed her, as I understand what poverty can do to a person, but it didn’t make her very likable in the beginning. As she settles into life in Prythian and relaxes her guard, I came to enjoy her more. The novel spans several months, which gives us an opportunity to watch her grow and blossom away from the oppressing burdens of her human life. This is the Feyre she was meant to be, but with a core of steel she may have never grown otherwise.

I never really warmed up to Tamlin. He was different than I expected from the way he burst into Feyre’s home and forced her home with him; a bit old fashioned, but very sweet. He encouraged her to find herself and rediscover her love for painting, explore the area and make herself at home. Tamlin had his own agenda. Though he was kind to Feyre, it was obvious he was waiting on something from her. There were also several instances where he came off as very weak, not a warrior, for all his “I kill the bad things” vibes. I didn’t dislike him, necessarily, but I didn’t really like him, either.

Around the 70% mark, Feyre is forced to go Under the Mountain (another Court in Prythian, ruled by an evil faerie) to save Tamlin. This is where the novel really picked up. I loved watching Feyre use her wits and strength to survive and overcome. Still, it was hard to read, because while Feyre survived, parts of her were broken in the process. The latter part of the book was focused pretty much solely on Feyre. She was doing what she was doing for Tamlin, but he wasn’t really involved.

Having said that, I loved how Feyre changed and grew over the course of the book, and I was invested in her romance with Tamlin and her life in Prythian. The world-building and court politics and intrigues were very well done. I loved learning about the different Courts, being introduced to all the Faeries and coming to understand the truth behind Tamlin’s actions. Though this wasn’t a perfect read, I was invested in Feyre and her journey enough to continue reading, even through the slow parts. While it doesn’t necessarily end in a cliffhanger, I did immediately pick up the second book because I needed to see where Feyre’s story headed next.

Rating: 3.75 out of 5

A Court of Thorns and Roses

three-half-stars


Tagged: , , , , , , ,

Review: Devious Lies by Piper S. Huntington

Posted May 7, 2020 by Rowena in Reviews | 0 Comments

Review: Devious Lies by Piper S. HuntingtonReviewer: Rowena
Devious LiesNarrator: Sebastian York
Series: Cruel Crowns #1
Publisher: Self-Published
Publication Date: December 15, 2019
Format: Audiobook
Source: Purchased
Point-of-View: Alternating First
Cliffhanger: View Spoiler »
Genres: Contemporary Romance
Length: 15 hours, 46 minutes
Add It: Goodreads
Reading Challenges: Rowena's 2020 Goodreads Challenge, Rowena's 2020 New to Me Challenge
Amazon | Barnes & Noble | The Ripped Bodice | Google Play Books
one-star
Series Rating: one-star

From USA Today bestselling author Parker S. Huntington comes an enemies-to-lovers, slow-burn romance full of revenge and a dash of fate.

“She could enjoy her pretty, perfect world a little longer. Soon enough, everything she owned would be mine.”

I had a plan to escape the friend zone.

Step one: sneak into Reed’s room.
Step two: sleep with him.

But when the lights turned on, it wasn’t familiar blue eyes I saw. These were dark, angry, and full of demons. And they belonged to Reed’s much older brother.

Four years later, Nash Prescott is no longer the help’s angry son.I’m no longer the town’s prized princess.

At twenty-two, I’m broke, in need of a job. At thirty-two, he’s a billionaire, in need of revenge.

Who cares if my family ruined his? Who cares if he looks at me with pure loathing? Who cares if every task he assigns me is designed to torture?

I need the money. Simple as that.

I’ll suffer his cruelty in silence, knowing there’s one thing he wants more than revenge…Me.

Note: This is a 145,000-word standalone in the Cruel Crown world. Welcome to Eastridge. Enter if you dare.

So, I read this book for book club a couple of months ago and I’m finally getting around to reviewing it. It took me quite a while to get this book read because it drove me right up the wall. From beginning to end, I wanted to smack the shit out of everyone in this book. From the heroine’s parents (except her Dad) to the heroine and the hero and the hero’s brother and the heroine’s boss and just…EVERY SINGLE PERSON IN THIS BOOK.

So this book follows Emery Winthrop from being part of a family that was on top and seeing her now that her family has fallen from grace and are now in the poor house. Emery has always had a thing for her best friend, Reid. Reid’s parents work for Emery’s parents and Reid’s family live in a house on Emery’s family property so they’re basically the help and live in the helps quarters. When Emery finally decides to make her move on Reid, she creeps into his house after he announces that he broke up with his girlfriend (for real this time) and she seduces him. Only it’s not Reid that she seduces and sleeps with, it’s Reid’s older brother Nash. By the time they realize their mistake, it’s too late and the deed is already done so they both swear they will forget it and move on with their lives.

Fast forward, years later and Emery’s all grown up but she’s penniless, homeless and trying to figure things out. Her parents were found out to be some major criminals that were stealing from people, losing the company that they had and all of the money from their clients and employees as well. Emery is living with a lot of guilt because once the news broke about what her family’s company did, the stress on the employees that lost their entire life savings was too much for them. So Emery is in her early twenties and she’s trying to make things right as much as she could. She takes a job working at Nash’s company because of course the tables have turned and the rich folks are now poor and the poor folks are now rich.

Nash grew up to be a cold son of a bitch. He holds the Winthrop family responsible for his father’s death and he won’t ever let Emery forget it. He built a name for himself and his company is now bigger than the Winthrop company ever was. He’s known all over the place as a kind and generous business but he’s ruthless and I hated his stupid ass. He was mean to the wrong people, mad about the wrong thing and he was a terrible boss. I would have gone to jail for knocking this motherfucker out at the way that he thought he could talk to people that worked for him. He was a tyrant that I couldn’t stand from beginning to end and even when he calms his ass down, I never warmed up to his character and I couldn’t understand why Emery fell for him.

The romance between Emery and Nash was super annoying because Nash was such a douche. Emery wasn’t the best heroine either but she was at least trying to be a good person even though she knew that she wasn’t. She did a lot of stupid things that I wanted to wring her neck over and ultimately, she was very young and dumb but she wasn’t a mean person. At every turn, Nash tore Emery down and I just didn’t see anything worth redeeming from him.

Overall, this book was a hot mess for me and I didn’t enjoy much of it. I’m sure this kind of book has an audience that enjoys books with problematic characters and behaviors but that audience ain’t me. I put this book down so many different times that it took me twice as long as normal to finish. I’m glad that I had a doctor’s appointment not too long after I finished because I was sure that my blood pressure was never going to be the same. All is well though, my blood pressure is great and is probably the only thing that my doctor was happy about, haha. Anyway, I wouldn’t recommend this to anyone. I wasn’t a fan and I couldn’t wait to finish the book so that I can be done with it and know what the hell I’m bitching about at book club. I seem to be the only person that bitches about books at book club. Everyone else is always warm toward every book we read but not me. I think the last time I enjoyed a book club book was when I chose the book or when I chose the book for my friends. I think my book club friends need to step up their book club choice game because this book? This book ain’t the move so save yourself and stay away.

Grade: 1 out of 5

one-star


Tagged: , , , , ,

Review: Wife by Penelope Sky

Posted March 10, 2020 by Casee in Reviews | 1 Comment

Review: Wife by Penelope SkyReviewer: Casee
Wife by Penelope Sky
Narrator: Michael Ferraiuolo, Lia Langola
Series: Betrothed #1
Also in this series: Betrothed (Betrothed #1), Husband
Publisher: Self-Published
Publication Date: September 23, 2019
Format: Audiobook
Source: Purchased
Point-of-View: Alternating First
Cliffhanger: View Spoiler »
Genres: Contemporary Romance
Pages: 312
Length: 7 hours and 23 minutes
Add It: Goodreads
Reading Challenges: Casee's 2020 Goodreads Challenge, Casee's 2020 New to Me Challenge, Goodreads Challenge
Amazon | Barnes & Noble | The Ripped Bodice | Google Play Books
three-stars
Series Rating: three-stars

I was 21 when the gypsy read my future:

As punishment for your crimes, you will only love one woman...but she'll never love you back.

I didn't believe a word of it.

Until I met Sofia Romano almost 10 years later.

I fell hard for this woman. Would die for this woman.

But she left me.

Now, years have passed, and Sofia needs a husband. Her father is gone, and her mother is trying to marry her off to a man that can protect their family, protect their company.

She's looking for someone powerful.

Check.

Someone rich.

Check.

Someone handsome.

Double check.

Now, it's my chance to have the only woman I've ever loved...and I'll make sure she feels the same way.

I have a lifetime to make that happen.

Wife is my first book by Penelope Sky. The summary sounded very interesting to me, so I decided to give it a try. I listened to it on audio. The narrators were pretty decent. No complaints on that from me.

Sophia has planned to run her family’s hotels since she was a small girl. When her father died, her stepfather took over. Her mother wants nothing more that for Sophia to marry; and stay out of the hotel business. She tells Sophia that it’s a man’s world and that is no place she should be. Of course Sophia doesn’t listen. She starts working at the hotel under her stepfather. That’s when she learns what the hotel really does.

It’s at the hotel that she meets Hades Lombardi. Hades had his fortune told by an old woman telling him that the woman he loves will never love him back. Hades puts this out of his mind. Until he meets Sophia. He immediately falls for her, but it’s clear that she is not interested in anything other than sex.

I liked Sophia and didn’t like Sophia. Instead of coming across as a strong-willed, capable woman, she seemed more like a bitchy shrew to me. She always fought Hades, she made sure that everyone in her life knew that she didn’t need a man in her life. Until she starts needing Hades. Needing doesn’t equal love and when she shoots Hades down after he suggests a real relationship, he’s had it. Love turns to hate. It left me wondering how the two reconcile. I had to wait for the next book. You do too!

Rating: 3 out of 5.

Betrothed


three-stars


Tagged: , , , , , ,