Montag, 21. Dezember 2015

Last Wish (Remembering Kyle #02) - Erin Butler

Title: Last Wish (Remembering Kyle #02)
Author: Erin Butler
Rating: 4.5/5

Thanks to Erin Butler for letting me receive a digital copy of this book before it official release date.
Nothing feels right. Not since my best friend died and I fucked up the one promise he asked me to make. The past follows me everywhere, tangling me up like weeds, reminding me that my life is empty. So fucking empty.

Then she walks into the bar, all bright beauty and sweet lips made for kissing.

Em Stewart is a I need to avoid. She’s got heavy secrets of her own, ones she hides from her friends—and lies about to herself.

No matter how hard I try, I can't resist her, and our unexpected road trip sure as hell isn’t helping my cause. But I’ll be damned if I screw up my first chance at something real...

If you haven't read the first book in this series, How We Lived, I suggest you do that before you start reading Last Wish. Granted, it doesn't really matter, they can be read as standalones, but first things first... And I'm trying to promote Erin's books, so please do yourself a favour and read both books. If you read my review for How We Lived, you'll know how much I loved it.

And I loved Last Wish just as much, if not a little more. I can't decide. What I know is that I couldn't fall asleep after I finished it. I tossed and turned and just couldn't stop thinking about it. Images of Em and Ronan/Bear would always pop into my mind, unable to let me sleep in peace.

Before that day, I always pictured Em and Ronan, whose nickname is Bear, differently. I thought they were bitter, closed-off, hardly loveable. But of course Erin found a way to make me fall in love with them right in the beginning. Sure, I needed a page or two to get myself into the world of Remembering Kyle again. However, when I did, I didn't want to leave. I just wanted the characters' stories to go on and on (I secretly hope for something like a novella after reading the last chapter *hint*).

I felt sorry for both of them. They had to deal with so much pain. I don't even now whose past is worse, but that isn't the question here anyway. The important thing is how they move on, how they decide their future will be. And Em and Bear help each other so much. They're definitely one of my favourite couples ever. And also, Bear is about one of the sweetest guys ever created, same as Chase in How We Lived.
"I am fiercely loyal. When I love, I love. When I care, I will go to the ends of the earth and back. I'll do anything."
Oh, that reminds me - will Finn, Bear's brother, get his own story? I got curious about what's going on between him and Tina. Please, please, please.

Suddenly, I don't know what to write, afraid I'll give away too many spoilers. I can reveal that I cried while reading Last Wish. I cried and Erin offered me virtual tissues, haha. Bear told Em about his past and I just couldn't keep the tears in check, they kept pouring down my cheeks. So this is why I didn't read the book in one session, but needed two of those, almost three.

The second break would have happened if I wasn't too shocked, I wanted to know what happened next. Em's ex-boyfriend appeared and then something happened that I never would have guessed. Gosh, I can already feel the tears building in my eyes again. Seriously, this book messes with my emotions. And strangely, I enjoy it.

Today isn't a good review-writing-day for me, I'm sorry. That won't stop me from repeating how much I loved Last Wish, though. I know I'll order a phsyical copy, because I have to have this one on my shelf and I won't ever delete it from my eReader, either. I want to be able to read it again and again if I feel like it. It will happen. I'm sure of it.

Just because this is the only thing that bugged me a bit, I'll mention it. After the incident with Em's ex-boyfriend (the one that will leave you in shock), I would have liked to read more about how she dealt with that situation, what it did to her mind. Don't get me wrong, I'm glad it didn't go on for about a hundred pages, as in some novels. Only, I would have liked to read more about Em's opinion on that. I didn't mind reading about Bear's point of view on that, though.

Lastly, I want to thank Erin Butler. Sometimes, she reads my tweets about writing and she'd always encourage me to go on. And when I tweeted about not being accepted for an ARC of Last Wish, she didn't hesitate to send me one herself. I'm really thankful, Erin. Your actions make me feel loved, like I'm a real writer and a real blogger. You treat your readers with so much respect, it's impressive. Thank you for being such a wonderful lady.

Mittwoch, 16. Dezember 2015

Rikki (Hart University #01) - Abigail Strom

Title: Rikki (Hart University #01)
Author: Abigail Strom
Rating: 3.5 - 4/5

Thanks to NetGalley and Abigail Strom for letting me receive a digital copy of this book.
Ever since junior high and an ill-fated game of seven minutes in heaven, Rikki Eisendrath and Sam Payne have hated each others’ guts. But when they end up at the same college—and the same dorm—they figure it’s time to declare a truce.

They even become friends . . . sort of. But when Sam asks Rikki to model for his sculpting project, they start spending more time together—and her feelings for him get more complicated.

She tries to focus on the guy she’s been crushing on instead. But Sam’s the one she can’t stop thinking about, even though their arguments are starting to heat up as much as the chemistry between them.

With antagonism and attraction this intense, there’s bound to be an explosion. But when the dust settles, will Sam and Rikki be enemies, friends . . . or something more?

My request to read Rikki was approved in September, right after its release. But it took me until December to finally read it. I guess I didn't expect much of it, though when I saw how many positive reviews there were on NetGalley, I decided it was time to read it. And I am so glad I did, because it's such a sweet book.

Rikki has always been some kind of nerdy girl, spending her free time studying instead of partying like her friends. She's been okay with that, but then in junior high, she decided to join a party for once, wanting to get her first kiss as she's the last one of her friends to still be unkissed. Her crush just moved away, so that leaves her ending up with Sam - for seven minutes in heaven. Sam is just like Rikki, only male. He's the boy who always challenges her - both of them having kind of a competition going on about who's the better student.

After Sam gives Rikki her first kiss, they somehow end up so mad at each other that they go through the next school years without really talking to each other. It's only when a family drama involves Sam that Rikki does something selfless and they talk to each other again. On top of that, they're going to the same college as in they probably have to see each other a lot more often now. Eventually, they settle on friends-terms, but pretty soon Rikki's feelings toward Sam aren't friendly ones only.

Alright, I can't write that much about what happens in the book. I'd spoil too much, sorry. Before I start talking about their friendship/relationship, let me tell you about Rikki's parents. I think it's great that an author is brave enough or creative enough to let a character have two mothers instead of the old-fashioned mom and dad concept. The marriage problems are still the same and none of Rikki's friends made any bad comment about her having two moms. I very much liked that.

So... The writing is probably one of the most realistic I've read in a while. I could always understand and relate to Rikki's thoughts, as well as her wish to finally be herself without feeling ashamed or anything in college. Strange enough that students tend to pretend in high school and within a summer of freedom, they find themselves wanting more. And just like that they don't bully other students anymore and just let them be whoever they want to be. The authors captured the truth, but that doesn't mean I have to understand teenager's minds, does it?!

I absolutely loved reading about the seven minutes in heaven scenario and the other times Rikki faced Sam when they weren't in college yet. Those were probably my favourite parts, along with the scenes in which Sam made that sculpture of Rikki. When the book was heading toward both of their first days of college, I got a little bored. That may be the wrong word, but I can't think of a better one. It's me and totally my fault - the author is not to blame - but I'm reading so many new adult books that I get tired of reading about all this moving in stuff, making new friends. Especially the first cafeteria scenes weren't my thing. Luckily, the first confusing of all the names didn't last long and I eventually knew who was who.

Through every chapter, I'd be looking forward to reading a conversation between Rikki and Sam. We don't get to read his point of view and he is pretty charming (and very naughty at the same time, dear boy!), yet he'd make a great book boyfriend. A better one than Justin, for sure. Gosh, I didn't like that guy. He was necessary for the story, I get that. Anyway, he was so annoying and while reading the concert scene, all I wanted to do was punch him in the face. He moved way too fast with Rikki and I wondered how the hell she managed to stay quiet and just let it happen. I guess a good book makes you want to slap the main character in the face sometimes, haha.

Is there any more I can say?! I enjoyed this book very much, more than I expected. It's the kind of book that I'd re-read over and over again, because the story is so great. However, I'm sorry to say that I'm not sure whether I'll continue this series. The next book will be about Claire, a college friend of Rikki's and I'm just not that interested in finding out about her story. Rikki's and Sam's story will be the best in this series, doesn't matter what. That's not supposed to sound harsh or anything, I only say that to express how sweet I thought Rikki was.

Dienstag, 15. Dezember 2015

His Dream Role - Shannyn Schroeder

Title: His Dream Role
Author: Shannyn Schroeder
Rating: 2.5/5

Thanks to NetGalley and Kensington Books for letting me receive a digital copy of this book before its official release.
Free Mitchell loves the theater. In his dreams he's the one taking the spotlight. But so far he's played against character by following in his father's footsteps as an investment banker. When he's masquerading as Dr. Who or Sherlock Holmes to help his brother, he feels he can escape his shy, dorky persona. But nothing's prepared him to play boyfriend to a gorgeous girl like Samantha Wolf.

Samantha isn't quite sure what to think of Free. He's cute, sweet, and quirky, but his outlandish costumes make him seem crazy. However, it turns out Sam has a soft spot for theater nerds. And the more time they spend together, the more their steamy romance begins to take center stage. Only problem is, there doesn't seem to be a script. And it's anyone's guess how this one will end.

I am not sure what happened... Alright, I have no freaking clue. I was so into this series, liking both of the previous books, but His Dream Role missed my expectations. The story idea itself was good, but I missed background informations and depth. Also, with Hunter in His New Jam I didn't notice, but I kind of disliked reading the same scenes from the previous two books from Free's point of view. It was like a deja vu and I'd have just rather skipped those.

However, I feel really sorry for not liking this book better. As mentioned, I liked the first two, so why not this one?! It felt a little forced to me, like the characters themselves didn't know what to do with their lives. I'm talking about Free especially here. First, I got the impression he didn't like joining his father's business and suddenly he got into a fight with Sam because he wanted to?! I didn't understand that.

Talking about Samantha... I was surprised to read about a girl that worked in a shelter. I loved that. It was a really good idea, only we didn't exactly read about her work at the shelter. We did, but only in conversations she had with other people. There aren't any scenes at her place of work. Why not?! I would have liked that. That's the reason I complain about the book's depth. It lacked of it.

One thing I liked was Free's costumes. The characters are supposed to be nerdy and Hunter wasn't much of a nerd, not as much as Adam anyway. I'm glad Adam and Free were so similar. Quoting movies, dressing about as Doctor who, yeah, Free has got a real nerdy heart. I liked that.

Also, it was mentioned that Sam came from a rich family and though there were a couple of conversations with her parents, I would have liked to find out more about her past life, how she grew up with rich parents. Maybe I can't expect that of a short book, but I feel like a lot of things were missing and I am sorry for that.

So, just because His Dream Role wasn't what I expected, I think you should read the other two books I have reviewed, though. They're called His Work of Art featuring my favourite male character of Shannyn's, Adam, and His New Jam for the music fans among you guys.

Montag, 14. Dezember 2015

No Interest In Love (All About Love #02) - Cassie Mae

Title: No Interest In Love (All About Love #02)
Author: Cassie Mae
Rating: 4/5

Thanks to NetGalley and Random House Publishing Group - Loveswept for letting me receive a digital copy of this book before its official release.
When Jace Carver snags a minor part in his buddy's zombie flick, he suddenly starts getting noticed all over the place. Even Hollywood megastar Carletta Ocean—known for her extensive “research” with her male co-stars—wants Jace for her new rom-com. The role could be a game-changer . . . if Jace nails the audition.

As Jace's agent, Shaylene Kwak is all business, and isn't about to let her favorite client blow this opportunity. Since their college years, Shay has been immune to Jace's charm and rock-hard body. But long hours in close company have a way of wearing down even the best defenses, and when their platonic teasing turns into serious flirting, Jace and Shay are no longer able to resist what's been right in front of them the entire time.

Shay knows Jace's love-'em-and-leave-'em history with women. She's not about to be just another notch in his belt. And it's true, Jace has never wanted more than a one-night stand—until now. But at the end of the line, he's got a choice: sleep with Carletta and seal the deal, or risk his career for a shot at true love with Shay.

Writing a review for No Interest In Love is really hard for me, harder than usual. Simply because I can't express how much I adore Cassie Mae and her books. She could write about anything, including stinky socks and I'd still read that and probably love it, too. She's one of my all time favourite authors and so naturally I enjoyed reading her latest novel.

While reading the topic of this novel, you'll probably think it's already out there in the world of books, about a million times as well. Well, you may be right about the topic, but not about the writing. There is no one like Cassie Mae who captures love, humor and friendship like she does. And oh my goodness! I think this is the funniest book she has ever written. I laughed too many times to count.

Shame on me for not reading the first book in this series called Doing It For Love. Mae herself said it's her favourite baby. It's been on my reading list for a while, but when I received an ARC of No Interest In Love, I was so excited, I couldn't wait until I had read the first book. Luckily, the novels can be read as standalones (thank God! No! Thank Cassie!).

Alright, let's bring out the evil in me: I am jealous. Big time. I say this a lot, but seriously... How can you do this to me Cassie?! Your writing is so damn good, why can't you teach me? Teach me! I read some of your articles on how to be less self doubting when it comes to writing, and thank you so much for putting these up, because the second I read them, I do feel a lot better. Until the next day. Or the next week, tops. But honestly, that's none of your fault and this paragraph will only be put online, so you can see how awesome I think you are (and I know hope you'll read this).

Jace is a great guy. Just my type of book boyfriend. He is an actor and thinks of himself as a younger version of Barney Stinson from How I Met Your Mother and never stays with a woman longer than for one night. He learned his lesson after one girl dropped out the L-bomb at him. So spending time with his agent Shay shouldn't be a problem, until it suddenly is and he can't stop thinking about her or how adorable she is. I think I have never read a book that used this word that often, but strangely, I didn't feel annoyed. I just got the impression that Jace wasn't the best with words, haha.

Funny thinking about that, because besides the humor and love, Cassie Mae involves real problems in this story. Jace can't read or write that well and Shay has got family issues. So the book doesn't lack of depth. Definitely not.

I found it refreshing reading the guy's point of view the whole time. I actually just realized that now. Well, except for the epilogue which is in Shay's point of view. There's no way that chapter could have been written in Jace's point of view and relating to the feelings if you're a girl. No way. So, and though you only know what's going on in the guy's head the whole time, you see a side of Shay that makes you want to give Jace a push in her direction.

I am running out of words and I don't even feel like I said anything. My review for this book doesn't do my love for it justice and I am so sorry.

What surprised me is enjoying reading about Hollywood so much, or Hollywood persons. And reading about some sort of "road trip" as well. Normally, authors focusing on creating chemistry between characters for a really long time zone. Like, they know their feelings for each other in January but still end up together in December. Cassie Mae used days as chapters, which is a good idea, I think. The time zone for this book is about a week (excluded the epilogue). It wasn't exactly new to me, yet refreshing. But what can I say?! Cassie Mae makes me love everything she does and all of her ideas.

Famous last words: Read No Interest In Love if you look for a good laugh (or a dozen of them). I'd suggest you read Doing It For Love first. That's only because I want the author to get as much as attention as she can and if it means gaining new fans, I'm totally up for it. I know I'll be reading the first book in this series sometime soon, I hope. Oh, and I almost forgot that my heart wants to declare No Interest In Love as my favourite Cassie Mae book, but my nerdy mind refuses to let anyone else take up on How To Date a Nerd's place, haha.

Sonntag, 13. Dezember 2015

When We Fall (Take the Fall #02) - Marquita Valentine

Title: When We Fall (Take the Fall #02)
Author: Marquita Valentine
Rating: 3/5

Thanks to NetGalley and Random House Publishing Group - Loveswept for letting me receive a digital copy of this book before the official release date.
The last time Piper Ross saw her best friend's sexy older brother, Jase Simmons, he was being taken away in handcuffs. Seven years later, two things haven't changed: Piper is still head-over-heels in love with him . . . and Forrestville's chief of police—Piper's dad—still hates his guts. So when Piper sees a chance to get close to Jase, she makes her move—literally. As his new roommate, and as the office manager of his tattoo shop, Piper won't be satisfied until Jase knows that she wants to be his.

The quintessential good girl, Piper is pure temptation for Jase. The only reason he's always kept his distance is because she's the last person he'd ever want to hurt. But once he realizes that Piper is ready to take the leap, everything just makes sense. Suddenly Jase feels like a new man—until nasty rumors start swirling and Piper's heartless father stirs up even more trouble. Now Jase must convince Piper that she wasn't wrong about him . . . because falling in love never felt so right.

Unfortunately, I wasn't able to read the book by its publishing date, which I am so sorry for. If I had known what a quick read it was, I probably would have found the time to read it by the official release date. Anyway, now that I have read it, I can express my opinion.

Piper has been in love with her best friend's brother Jase for as long as she can remember. Even when he was locked up behind bar, spending seven years of his life in prison. Now that he's out again, she can't believe her luck when he agrees to let her move in with him. Abandoned by her parents because she refuses to settle with someone from the rich side own town, she takes the chance to move in with Jase and decided to finally admit her feelings to him. At first, he tries to keep his loving-all-woman act up, but soon enough realizes that Piper is the only girl he wants. But what about his past and what about Piper's parents?

Excuse my rubbish attempt of repeating the summary in my own words. I always feel bad for only using the official description, so I often want to write my own.

In the beginning, I didn't understand When We Fall at all. That wasn't the author's fault, but mine, since I didn't give much thought to requesting this book. It's a new adult novel, one that includes a bad boy and I was in. However, I can't say that I regret reading this book. That would be a lie.

As I read the first few pages, read a few chapters, I found myself enjoying to find out more about Jase and Piper. They were a really sweet couple, I think. It was refreshing to learn more about a bad boy who doesn't only think of himself as that, but also spend a lot of years in prison. We don't find out much about what his life in there was like, but I didn't care about that, either. I'm glad the book focused on the present and not so much on the past. That's new for me.

There's no other choice but hate Piper's parents. I often wondered why they'd even bothered to have a child if they only wanted her to become a clone of themselves. Luckily, Piper was described as a strong girl who took good care of herself, working her ass off in order to pay for her classes. Even with Jase by her side, she didn't turn into a lazy woman. And Jase... Well, he is definitely book boyfriend material. Not my first choice, but perfect for new adult obsessed.

Before writing anything else, I want the author to know that I liked When We Fall. It didn't disappoint me or anything, yet I feel like the end was rushed. Somehow, I would have liked for the story to go on a bit before that ending had come. Ninety percent of the the book, it was close to impossible to solve the problems and then the last bit, it all hapened so fast. It was too fast for me. That's just my opinion and also doesn't harm my rating or something. I'd still recommend this book if readers are looking for a good new adult novel that isn't too long and are into self confident women and bad boys in books.

Samstag, 12. Dezember 2015

Ravel - Shari J. Ryan

Title: Ravel
Author: Shari J. Ryan
Rating: 3.5 - 4/5

Thanks to NetGalley and Booktrope for letting me receive a digital copy of this book.
At twenty-three, I’m left with a decision. The outcome could be life or death.

Trent hit me once, and I cried. Then he hit me again. And again. After a while, I got used to it, as I slept on the floor beside his bed, night after night.

Everyone told me to leave him, but I can't. He won't let me.

The moment I wanted to give up on myself and any form of hope, Kemper—a tall, sexy Marine just home from Afghanistan walked into my bar. With one look in his eyes, I saw pain that mirrored my own.

At first, I thought maybe he would be my prince charming, riding in to save me, but all it took was one tragedy for me to remember…fairy tales don’t exist in real life.

When I saw Ravel being up on NetGalley, I didn't even hesitate to request it. I loved Shari J. Ryan's book TAG and so there was no doubt I'd like this one, as well. Even though I get really angry at reading all these protecting the country sayings, I'm glad the book didn't contain of that only. The love story was the main part, as it should be.

Daphne has never really felt loved by anyone. Her parents are too caught up in their own marriage mess that they can't see what her daughter has to struggle with. Her boyfriend abuses her regularly, not only with words, but also sexually. He even makes her sleep on the floor, instead of sharing a bed with him. Used to it by now, Daphne doesn't see an escape, almost accepting her destiny. That is, until one night of homecoming, she meets the army guy Kemper (Shari J. Ryan comes up with the best male names, seriously!). He shows her that there's more to life than refusing to let yourself be loved and getting abused in the most horrible way. As their feelings develope and Daphne ends up speaking up for herself, their love is questioned by several events. Is their love strong enough to survive, especially when Kemper goes back serving for the army?

Let's start with the way Daphne and Kemper meeting, focusing on the thing I didn't like in this book. Daphne's boyfriend is a real jerk and is definitely one of the jealous type, so why would he let her work at a bar?! Even if the visitors stay low, it didn't make sense to me. I know not every abuse is the same, but it seemed really unrealistic to me that he let her go out and she just did it. Like, hey, go out and deal with the consequences later on. Why would she do that?!

Anyway... I liked this book a lot and stayed up late reading page after page. I liked that we got to read both point of view's, Daphne's and Kemper's, because it was good to see what they both had to deal with. While Daphne suffered from her abusive boyfriend, Kemper had all these feelings of guilt inside of him, because his best friend died in Afghanistan. The funeral scene had me in tears. That guy was like a brother to Kemper, so the idea of losing him for good is a hard one for him. Totally relateable. I enjoyed reading about the parts in which he kind of talked to his best friend, thanking him for Daphne and apologizing for letting him down. My heart was sobbing.

So, actually, all kind of topics are discussed in this book. Parents who don't realizie how much their daughter needs their love, a cheating boyfriend who happens to slap his girlfriend across the face if he's in the mood for it, a guy who's in love with a woman he thinks deserves better, a girl wanting to find one true love, and so on... It seems like a lot, but there's just the right amount of all the above in Ravel. I was never overwhelmed by any topic, they all got their fair share.

Usually, I have a hard time reading books about abusive boyfriends. Most of the time, they are rather depressing than anything else. Of course, an abusive boyfriend isn't a joke and a real issue, but I'm glad Ravel included some hope in it, too. It appeared so impossible and yet Shari J. Ryan found a good way of handling things. I'm not sure which book of hers I like best, but I don't have to decide, do I?! I can safely say that I liked this work and I can only recommend it, because it's really good and making you want to continue and continue until the last page.

Dienstag, 8. Dezember 2015

Enamor (Heart of Stone #03) - Veronica Larsen

Title: Enamor (Heart of Stone #03)
Author: Veronica Larsen
Rating: 4 - 4.5/5

Thanks to NetGalley, Veronica Larsen and Patchwork Press for letting me receive a digital copy of this book.
The first step in solving a problem is recognizing there’s one to begin with. Here’s mine. My new roommate is a conceited, womanizing jerk. He pushes my buttons and drives me so crazy I want to strangle him daily.

There’s a million reasons why I should stay far away from him, the most obvious of which being that I hate him with the fire of a thousand suns.

Except that I don’t hate him.

I sometimes wonder if this back-and-forth between us is all just pretend. All part of a diversion, a line of defense against the heat we generate whenever we are near each other.

It's a reckless game we're playing, treading the edge of an attraction so intense it might as well be a grenade.

There isn't much for me to say. I absolutely adored this book, right from the very first page. Although at first I thought it'd be a pretty dark read, it wasn't. Sure, it had some dark sparks in it and isn't much of a light read, either, but it's not totally depressing.

Julia and Giles both had a rough year (or two years) for different reasons. I won't spoil you and tell you what these problems are, but Giles' have to do with his family, and Julia's as well, but only because of something her ex-boyfriend did. Ever since these incidents, both of their lives have changed. Giles tries to deal with things by hooking up with random women (bad boy alert) and Julia escapes it by fleeing to another town. And that's how they meet - Julia signs a room contract with Ava, who happens to be Giles' cousin. And surprise, Giles lives along with the two as well. Alright, my writing is total rubbish, but I hope you understand what I am saying.

Julia and Giles start pranking each other, which is so funny to read. They come up with the most hilarious pranks. Their attractions grows and then Giles' last prank changes everything... When you get to that scene, I hope it'll become one of your favourites, too. Because I feel that way.

Is this review bad or is it just me?! Okay, so this might contain a little spoiler, but I have to mention it... I loved the way the author handled the scene in which Julia visits her family. It was such an important moment. And when Julia saw her ex-boyfriend... We all secretly know we needed a scene like that.

Read Enamor, I even highlighted a conversation between Julia and Giles. I usually never do that while reading a book, but I loved this one so much, I tweeted it, too, haha.
I close my eyes, too, but I hear myself say, "What did you do before? Before I came to sleep with you?"
His voice is strained with sleep when he responds.
"I can't remember. I can't remember anything before you."
That conversation reminds me of how much I loved reading about Julia and Giles' talks in bed, especially when Giles would pull up the sheets and they'd talk under the blankets.

Also, the timings in Enamor were really great. It never felt like any of the scenes were forced. Julia and Giles didn't trust each other too soon, now developed feelings for one another too soon. The timing was always right and I can't help but envy Veronica Larsen for managing that.

The only thing I can't fully understand is the end. I'm glad it ended the way it did, but it was over the top. For me, at least. Here the author's professional work shines through again, because we finally get to read about Giles' talent.

I know I say this a lot, but Veronica Larsen's writing style is one of my favourites. I haven't read any other work by her before and I was so impressed by how well she captured emotions, wrote conversations and so on. For now, I think I found a new writing idol. She's so good. And even if the story had been total crap (which wasn't the case. So definitely not!) her writing would have been enough for me to have a reason to read the book anyway. Which is why, though I am not that interested in reading Lex's story, I'll give it a try.

Samstag, 28. November 2015

Paper Thin - Jennifer Snyder

Title: Paper Thin
Author: Jennifer Snyder
Rating: 4/5

Thanks to NetGalley, Jennifer Snyder and Xpresso Book Tours for letting me receive a digital copy of this book.
Fate has always seemed to mock Charlotte Montgomery, continuously dangling the man of her dreams just out of reach. It isn’t until Charlotte receives word her older sister Emma is getting engaged that she feels fate’s teasing has hit a new high.

Once she begrudgingly decides to return home to the tiny town of Parish Cove, curious to find out who has captured her sister’s heart, fate suddenly seems as though it may have tossed her a bone.

The problem: Charlotte forgot one simple thing…Fate has never been her friend.

Emotions run high. Happiness will be shattered. And tragedy will strike, leaving everyone feeling paper thin.

I requested this book, thinking I had read one of Jennifer Snyder's books before, but I still can't tell. I had zero expectations, I wanted to be open-minded when it came to Paper Thin and so this book totally blew my mind.

Charlotte is a young college student who returns to her hometown, because her sister is set to celebrate her engagement party. A few years ago, Charlotte left town because she wanted to go to college and also couldn't deal with her mother's sickness that started kicking in then. She though that her sister Emma had it all under control. Once she returns to town, she finds herself face-to-face with her long-term crush, Dawson. Old feelings start to grow until some shocking news ruin everything for Charlotte. And just as she makes her way back to college, another dramatic news goes off, changing her whole life.

So much for my retelling of the synopsis. I really adore Jennifer Snyder's writing style. She's all about emotions, which makes it easy to understand the character's motivations. Although I don't agree with the way the story ended (I wonder where all the money comes from?!), I liked the way it developed. Usually, the books about returning to a hometown aren't my thing, so I was surprised to like this one so very much.

At first Paper Thin reminded me of a novel I have written myself, especially because of the Dawson thing. I enjoyed Charlotte and Dawson's scenes a lot! The one in which she watches him take a swim is my favourite. And because I liked him and he seemed like a really sweet boy, I was so sad about the ending. But you'll see for yourself if you decide to read this book (please do, I can only recommend it!).

Then there is Sadie, Charlotte's best friend at college (her name is Sadie, right?). She's the one who catches her when she falls. She comforts her after she returns from home, takes her out to a club and introduces her to a band. Charlotte soon starts feeling a certain attraction toward one of the members, but it doesn't last long. By the end of their concert, both girls walk to their car and that's when Charlotte gets a phone call that changes everything. And also then, Sadie is right by her side, offering to be the friend she needs in that situation.

Charlotte drives back to her hometown, needing to be there for a family. And that's when I started hating her sister, Emma. Alright, I wasn't a big fan of her right from the start, but it only got worse when she started being mean to Charlotte. I can see why she feels that way and is angry at the whole world, doesn't mean I still approve of it. And when she did what she did... I was shocked and disappointed. But it was important for the story, same as the club visit before the shocking phone call, only I didn't understand that at first either.

Honestly, each scene and each chapter is necessary for the story itself. It's like a well-organized puzzle without a missing piece. So even though this review is kind of short compared to other reviews I have written in the past, it's all I can manage right now. I was an emotional wreck for at last two days after I finished Paper Thin, so I suggest you finish it on a Friday or a Saturday morning. That way, you'll have enough time to collect your thoughts and write a review yourself. This book deserves all the support it can get and it's one of my favourite emotional-reads, as well.

Samstag, 21. November 2015

Not Just Another Romance Novel - Lisa Suzanne

Side note: This is my 100th review on Orchids & Amethysts / On The Brightside, yay!  

Title: Not Just Another Romance Novel
Author: Lisa Suzanne
Rating: 4/5

Thanks to NetGalley and Lisa Suzanne for letting me receive a digital copy of this book.
Is it really wrong to have more than one boyfriend? I brought a new one into my bed almost every night. From conference rooms to broom closets, I escaped reality with my leading men. Okay, so they were fictional book boyfriends.

In reality I should have been concentrating on classes while I looked for a living, breathing man to help me achieve my romantic fantasies. It was a friend who suggested combining my passions for romance novels and psychology to generate my Master's thesis research topic: Does the modern day romance novel leading man create unrealistic expectations for a prolonged adult relationship?

To find out, I’d run a social experiment. I’d be the constant. The variables would be my leading men. I’d date every stereotype in the books, from billionaires to bad boys, rock stars to bikers, dominants, athletes, and…my stepbrother?

If my research was successful, I'd end up with a degree and maybe even my very own happy ending.

In the beginning, I couldn't stand the female main character, Piper, at all. I got the impression, she was described all wrong, because she was really good friends with boys, but seemed far too girly for that. I just couldn't see her laughing with the boys, watching movies or shows with them, when all I could think about was her worrying about what shoes to wear the next day. She wasn't that girly, but reading the first few pages, I thought so.

Fortunately, the further I got into the novel, the less annoyed I was with Piper. And eventually, I even started liking her.

It's kinda weird to think of a book that's about a girl trying to make herself set up a date with all the stereotypes there are in other novels. You see, this is another book, so it's kinda funny, don't you think?! Also, the stereotypes such as the biker, the bad boy and the rock star, are being proved right in this book. They are no different from other books.

But that is not a bad thing. In fact, I think Not Just Another Romance Novel is more about finding the right guy for you and making decisions you won't regret afterwards. On top of that, it's just about one of the funniest novels I have ever read. I always wanted to know what happens next and couldn't stop laughing over a couple of hilarious scenes.

Piper's excuse to date all of these different boys is her thesis project for her psychology master's class. To her professor, she explains that the modern romance novels change your exceptions of an adult relationship. Actually, that's kind of an interesting theory. So if this wasn't a book, I'd be interested in asking someone whether they've ever considered such a project as well. And I'd like to know about the result, as well.

Her friends, Austin, Shannon and Scott know all about her plan. Also, Austin is the one who helps Piper get in touch with a bad boy first and then a rock star, who she finds herself every attached to and even developes some kind of relationship with him. The rock star is called Dax and I didn't like him. Sure, he said very sweet things, but about twenty percent into the book, I knew of the end's direction and wanted him out of the picture as soon as possible. You'd think that once she starts seeing Dax, she'll stop dating other boys. Well, but her project isn't done yet, so she keeps up with her plan and lands a date with an athlete, thanks to her professor's help, who is really interested in Piper's thesis project.

While Piper has to wait to hit on her stepbrother until Thanksgiving (yes, the author tried her hardest to include all the possible book boyfriends), she and her friend Shannon go to a biker club, she sets up a meeting with a successful CEO and Piper also tries this whole dom/sub thing. Hey there, Fifty Shades of Grey! That part only exists online though, so nothing too heavy happens (is that a spoiler?!, but the scenes were my favourite! Reading those was so damn funny, I had a real blast!

And though none of these guys awaken her interest the way Dax, the rock star does, Piper suddenly notice she's having feeling for someone else who she's never really considered putting on the list - it could ruin a very important thing.

This review is pretty long already, wow. Uhm... Can I stop by saying I absolutely loved this book?! Because that would be the truth. I didn't intent to love a book about dating that many boys that much, but somehow I did. As mentioned, I couldn't get to the next pages fast enough, always curious to find out what happens next. And just to clarify things, I couldn't be happier about the end of Not Just Another Romace Novel.

Oh, and finally, can someone please enlighten me if Shannon and Hawk create cute babies?! Haha!

His New Jam - Shannyn Schroeder

Title: His New Jam
Author: Shannyn Schroeder
Rating: 3/5

Thanks to NetGalley and Kensington Books for letting me receive a digital copy of this book before its official release date.
Sydney Peters can't wait to finally drop the cymbals in marching band and devote time to her true love: drums. With the semester coming to a close, she's blocking out the cacophony during practice, especially sax serenades from Hunter Reed. But when Hunter offers her a paid gig as a drummer in his band, Sydney quickly changes her tune. The two favor different styles, but they make beautiful music together…in more ways than one.

Hunter is fascinated by Sydney's distant allure. He might be a ladies' man on campus, but the sarcastic cymbalist is impervious to his advances. When Hunter sees how passionate Sydney is behind the drums, he orchestrates a plan to find out if she kisses like she plays. What he doesn't anticipate, however, is falling so hard. But will the repercussions of his past crash down on his chance at something real?

I really like this series by Shannyn Schroeder. I requested His New Jam because I immediately fell in love with her book called His Work of Art. That book will probably always be my favourite in the series, but that's because Adam is one really great nerd, and Hunter, the main character in His New Jam isn't that much of a nerdy guy and those type of boys seem to be my latest obsession in books.

To be honest, I didn't fully understand the music relation. I have no idea about marching bands in college, so I also don't know how any of that works. However, I still liked reading about Hunter's and Sydney's love for music, which I absolutely share, even if I usually have a hard time liking music related books.

I happen to like the guys Shannyn creates more than the girls. The girls always seem a bit of a rebels and unfortunately, I don't enjoy that for whatever reason. Sydney was described as someone with a strange hair colour, and I had this picture of a typical punk girl in my head. That didn't really fit with the marching band part, I think, yet that could be me being totally clueless about marching bands again.

Hunter always seemed like such a tough guy and a former playboy, so I was surprised to find him playing the sax and wanting to become a teacher. He earned a million extra points for that. And another million extra points for always playing a song for Sydney, as a try of flirting with her. That was just about the sweetest thing ever.

I felt sorry for Sydney in a lot of scenes. It appeared as though she thought of everybody else first and never of her. That may have been linked with her past but it didn't seem fair. It was as if she denied herself so many things, although she shouldn't.

So how do these two people meet? Through marching band, yes, but marching band isn't Syndey's passion. Some day, Hunter hears her play the drums and so he asks her to teach him how to play. Turns out he knows how to play, but what he really needs to learn is how to teach his future students. Sydney's his solution to that and in exchange for her help, he offers her a spot in his band. That's also the only reason she agrees to this, but soon enough they both find themselves looking forward to their lessons.

I'm afraid that this review won't help readers pick up the book, simply because I offer too less information. If you feel that way, please look up my review for His Work of Art and decide whether to give this series a chance or not. I recommend you do, because I can't wait to read the next book in line, called His Dream Role, which already awaits for me on NetGalley. Hopefully, my review mind is working better again until I have to write about that one.

Dienstag, 17. November 2015

More Than Comic (Chasing the Dream #02) - Elizabeth Briggs

Title: More Than Comics (Chasing the Dream #02)
Author: Elizabeth Briggs
Rating: 3.5 - 4/5

Thanks to NetGalley and Victory Editing for letting me receive a digital copy of this book.
They're best friends online - but can they be more in real life?

Writer Tara McFadden has been best friends with artist and drummer Hector Fernandez for years, long before his band became famous on reality TV – yet they’ve never met in person. They finally have a chance to connect offline when they’re both sent to Comic-Con to promote the graphic novel they collaborated on.

Hector's secretly been in love with Tara for as long as he can remember, and once they meet, she sees him in a new light. All the years of longing lead to an incredible night of passion after one of his concerts, but neither is sure if their online relationship can translate into a real life romance – or if this will ruin their friendship forever.

Over four crazy days at Comic-Con, Hector and Tara must decide if they want a future together. But when their story seems to be over, it’s up to Hector’s entire band to make sure he and Tara get their happy ending.

First off, I have to admit that I didn't read the first book in the Chasing the Dream series. Also because, if I remember it correctly, my request on NetGalley wasn't accepted. Reading More Than Comics now and reading about the other characters in this book, I think the declined request was a good thing, though. I'm not sure if I would have continued this series, if I read about another couple first. They just didn't seem as interesting to me as Hector and Tara did.

I keep asking myself why I am wishing for more books about comic obsessed people. I am not a fan of comics myself, so what is it about stories like More Than Comics that I love so much?! Is it the sweet nerdy way people are described in those books? Is it my obsession for The Big Bang Theory? I have no clue, but I happen to enjoy these stories a lot.

The author, Elizabeth Briggs, seems to be a really creative mind. I am jealous! The idea of inventing Tara and Hector deserves an award. Giving Tara a voice as a writer and Hector as somone who draws... Wow. And then they create this graphic novel together but never met in real life, which fits perfectly into the nerdy world, don't you think?! The plot is so well figured out and thought-through. And all the time, I felt like I was a part of the Comic-Con, though I never happened to be a part of it (also because I live in Germany, ugh).

Hector, who is the drummer of a now famous band, always knew that he was in love with Tara, even when they only had their online meetings and Tara was in a relationship with her boyfriend. Now that they meet in person, Tara can't deny the attraction she feels toward Hector. Over their weekend at Comic-Con, various things happen between them, including lots of misunderstandings and heartbreaks. Both want their relationship to be more than just a professional business between the two of them, but both have some things to figure out first. And then Tara's ex-boyfriend appears at the event, messing not only with Tara's feelings, but also with Hector's (not in a romantic way between Tara's ex-boyfriend and Hector, no! Gosh, my English is so bad if you just had that picture in mind, haha).

I'm repeating myself by saying I suck at writing good summaries for the tenth time or so. I feel like sending this review out as soon as possible, so I apologize in advance. I don't even really know how to tell you how good More Than Comics was by using a few sentences only.

I imagine it to be difficult, writing about the writing world, but also about the music world. Both creative genres and I never would have thought they fit, also because I am not a huge fan of reading about members of band, but Elizabeth Briggs made it work just fine. It's a good thing Hector isn't the lead singer, because that story might have not worked out the way it did with Hector being a drummer. He just isn't that kind of guy to be in the spotlight and I think it wouldn't have made this whole writing-drawing thing for his and Tara's graphic novel work. The fact that Hector speaks Spanish is only the cherry on top. Swooning-alert, haha.

Misfit Squad, the graphic novel, should be for sale. I would totally buy it! I'm a bit sad we don't get to find out what will happen concerning sequels, though it's obvious Tara and Hector will continue working on those. In the beginning of the book, I enjoyed reading about this project so much. I loved their panel and the signing they had. Also, surprisingly, the speed of their relationship didn't feel rushed to me. How weird is that?! They only have a weekend together, but never once did it seem like that. So many well-written scenes. It just felt like they knew each other so well, which I would have never thought. Of course, you read their thoughts and know they know each other for about three years, but I've read other books with a similar idea, and almost every time it seemed like the characters just got to know each other.

So, though this review is one of my worst, I believe, I'll leave you to purchase this book now. I can only recommend it. When I had to put it down, in order to get sleep, I was so sad. I wanted to read it in one session, it was that good. And though the positive things rule this review, I don't think I'll read the others in this series, as the other characters aren't that interesting to me. Hector and Tara are just so perfect together and they are most definitely one of my favourite pairings ever. Thank you for writing this amazing book, Elizabeth! I envy your choice of words. Your writing style is so perfect and inspiring!

Faith (Hades Angels #01) - Elizabeth Hayes

Title: Faith (Hades Angels #01)
Author: Elizabeth Hayes
Rating: 3/5

Thanks to NetGalley and Limitless Publishing for letting me receive a digital copy of this book.
My life changed in an instant when I was diagnosed with breast cancer. I was only eighteen, and suddenly my once clear path was racing a hundred miles an hour out of control. I was in the driver’s seat, but completely unable to steer my life back on course. I lost friends and didn’t bother to make new ones. I refused to let anyone in…

When the doctor uttered the word “remission,” my path changed yet again. That new path led somewhere I never expected—somewhere most people would look down on—but it’s where I finally found myself, and where nobody treated me like a piece of fragile glass. It’s also where I learned other people had scars to hide. This is the story of how I met…him.

This is the story of how I became Faith.

If you're reading my reviews from time to time, you know that I am not a huge fan of reading about diseases and illness and all that stuff. So, in the beginning, I was disappointed to find out that the main character in this story, Faith/Laura, once was a victim of a terrible disease. However, I am glad the author didn't highlight it so much. I mean, of course you get to read about her fears and her past, but you never feel pressured by it, like the thoughts are forced.

Unfortunately, it took some time for me to get into the book. At first, Faith seemed like a really dark novel. I was sure of reading about dark secrets, the past following her up to the present and a dramatic ending. And then the story changed was Bryce came to view, which took a really long time, to be honest. But I can see that making sense. You want to explain the main character's story to the reader first, so it's all good.

Bryce and Faith's/Laura's relationship grows serious pretty fast. You wouldn't even feel a real connection between them, but that's probably my mistake because I'm so used to reading new adult or young adult romances, where it takes a hundred pages to let sparks fly and with adult romance books (or at least with this one), it happens so much faster. I wasn't used to that.

Also, there are more scenes of Faith and her friends, including Melody (who needs her own book, so we'll find out who the mysterious Gage is) than there are of the lovebirds, Bryce and Faith. That seemed really odd to me and may be the reason why I didn't really feel chemistry between the two of them.

Gah, I feel like I can't express myself. I am not, NOT, saying that this book is bad. It's a quick read, which I strangely prefer these days, and it was definitely not bad. I read far worse books, let me tell you. I just think that this book wasn't exactly right for me. And now to name a few good things, I'd like to mention that I adored Laura's cats, they were so cute. Also, I would have loved to read more scenes with her parents in the beginning. I would have liked to read about how they dealt with Laura's illness.

I'll leave this review short (compared to others I have written in the past). If you think I'm saying this book isn't worth a read, then I am sorry to have made you feel that way. I think it is worth a read, if you like this kind of genre and the story behind it. And please note the stars I gave this book - three stars. That's still a high rating, I think. So something about this book must have hooked me so I kept reading it. I can't really tell you what that certain thing was, I can't name it myself. Yet, Faith is a nice read and if you look for a novel that doesn't need two hundred pages to somehow reveal a story, it might be the right book for you!

Samstag, 24. Oktober 2015

Slate (Breaking the Declan Brothers #02) - Kelly Gendron

Title: Slate (Breaking the Declan Brothers #02)
Author: Kelly Gendron
Rating: 3/5

Thanks to NetGalley and Book Enthusiast Promotions for letting me receive a digital copy of this book before its official release date.
First loves, we all got them. Mine is Slate Declan. He was kind, gentle, and caring. Still, he managed to break my heart. So I put miles between us, and eventually, my heart healed.

I haven't seen Slate in years, but a couple friends and I are going back to the Bayou for the summer. While I'm visiting my hometown, I'm going to look up Slate Declan. And I plan to break his heart, just as he did mine. I'll remind him of what he has lost, and then I'll prove to him that I've moved on.

It should be real easy, right?

Well, let me tell you, Slate Declan is not the same guy that I left behind. And there's another problem. How do you break someone's heart when they no longer have one?

I requested Slate, not knowing it was the second novel of a series. To be honest, I don't think I'll read the first one, because I didn't really felt a connection with its characters that I met through the second novel now, however, I will definitely, so definitely read the third book. I can't even wait for it.

This is one of the few novels I read about fighting, other than Beautiful Disaster by Jamie McGuire. I can't say I'm a fan of it, simply because I'm not a fan of boxing sport or fighting clubs and such, but it was okay. I could deal with it.

In my other reviews, I mostly repeat the synopsis and explain a bit more. I won't do that with this book. Let's just say Slate has had a really traumatic past, which followed him right to the present. He and Rayna always shared a special bound and eventually got together as teens. Some time later, they break up and never see each other again. Rayna moves and thinks the worst of Slate and Slate just finds himself in bad situations, dealing with bad things.

You get to read about how their relationship grew from when they were kids up until when they ended up together. I seriously loved these parts, they were really great, and absolutely great-written. I would have liked to read more of these parts. They are always inbetween the regular chapters, they're flashbacks, so to speak. The regular chapters are about Rayna and Slate meeting again after all these years. She wants to help him get back on track with his life, which seems out of control. He's in a really bad condition and Rayna wants to be his saviour, because he has also always been her Superman (Awwww!). They end up locked inside his home with a limit: Slate has to stay there with Rayna three days and after that, she'll disappear from his life again.

I guess, either I gave too much away, or I just repeated the synopsis and added a bit more, as I said I wouldn't do but did, gah. I seriously don't know where to stop now. I think I'll just leave you with the locked-inside-his-home-situation and make you read the book yourself. The book is short, so you won't need long to finish it or even get the chance to get bored. That won't happen. But maybe this shortness is also a negative aspect, because I would have liked to read more about the incident that happened to Slate (you'll know what I mean when you get to that point). The three days between them seemed over so fast, like nothing even really happened. Of course, it did, but maybe there should have been more. Or maybe I should have read Slate a bit slower, haha.

Whoever is fan of friends-to-lovers romances and second-chance romances, will most likely love this book. I am not a fan of second-chance romances and I still liked it, so that has to say something. If I happen to purchase the third novels of this series, I will decide whether to write a review for that as well, so I can compare the two books. Let's see which one I like better. Have fun reading Slate, everybody. It's worth it!