*Review* Ignite Me (Shatter Me) – Tahereh Mafi

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Synopsis:

The heart-stopping conclusion to the New York Times bestselling Shatter Me series, which Ransom Riggs, bestselling author of Miss Peregrine’s Home for Peculiar Children, called “a thrilling, high-stakes saga of self-discovery and forbidden love.”

With Omega Point destroyed, Juliette doesn’t know if the rebels, her friends, or even Adam are alive. But that won’t keep her from trying to take down The Reestablishment once and for all. Now she must rely on Warner, the handsome commander of Sector 45. The one person she never thought she could trust. The same person who saved her life. He promises to help Juliette master her powers and save their dying world . . . but that’s not all he wants with her.

The Shatter Me series is perfect for fans who crave action-packed young adult novels with tantalizing romance like Divergent by Veronica Roth, The Hunger Games by Suzanne Collins, and Legend by Marie Lu. Tahereh Mafi has created a captivating and original story that combines the best of dystopian and paranormal, and was praised by Publishers Weekly as “a gripping read from an author who’s not afraid to take risks.” Now this final book brings the series to a shocking and satisfying end.

My Review: 6 Stars out of 5!! ******

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I can’t deal….

I can’t have the end, the last we will read of Juliette and Warner’s story…

I am pouting, stamping my feet and in denial this is truly the end.

I had put Ignite Me to the back burner while I caught up on other books I had bought and shoved aside. I now am certain I made a good decision to wait, why? Was it that bad, was it an ugly conclusion to a wonderful story?

NO…..it was so bloody brilliant, I was taken on the ride of my life. I was like ‘woah’, then ‘eeeek’ then holding my breath, then on the edge of my seat…..then at the end I was face planted. The residual effect of reading the best damn book this year so far, and it’s story coming to an end. I need to find me the nearest SMA group so I can meet with like minded addicts (Shatter Me Anonymous)

I need to find me a Warner, a Kenji and yes even a Juliette (I developed such a girl crush on her but shoosh, don’t say anything)

The ride Ms Mafi takes us on in this book is truly amazing (I will try to keep the review as spoiler free as I can). The growth of Juliette is a delight to read, no more ‘cry baby cry, please someone protect me’ No, she grows some balls, she gets to grip with her ‘affliction’

She becomes badass bitch on the hunt for Anderson.

Adam, oh Adam! His ride was a little more of a spiral off the ledge. That journey when your world falls apart and the bitter monster inside you takes over your blood and reeks havoc.

Kenji….come to Momma Kenji. He is, and will always remain the best book friend I dream of having in real life.

Then there is Warner, I left him until last because seriously, can I have you please. Just for the day, an hour. Okay, I’ll take a minute if it’s going spare. He is an ocean of contradictions, a sea of hidden depths and secrets. I was rooting for him all along, well maybe since book two.

There is a scene, its his mother’s birthday and, well lets just say I had to put down my kindle and go to the bathroom to sob my eyes out. Then there his love for Juliette…..such devotion, such heart break and so endless. I wanting to drown in it, it was so palpable.

Then there was the ending, I have to say I hated it!! Not in a bad way, Ms Mafi has her reasons for having the story end where it did, but no matter how many times I read it, it felt like it wasn’t the end rather than a beginning of more….

A girl can dream. This was utterly fantastic, I’m a void of nothingness now. But I’m happy. Thank you Ms Mafi for a wonderful ride…..Now can we make the movie please?

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*Review* Redemption (Redemption Series) – R.K. Ryals

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Synopsis:

A fateful car accident, a strange Abbey ruled by an even stranger Abbess, an insane Demon, a world where right and wrong becomes dangerously twisted, and a confident, rebellious teenager . . . .

Dayton Blainey is a foul-mouthed, grief-stricken young woman forced to live with a religiously eccentric aunt who favors her moral older sister. But when Dayton’s life becomes intertwined with a dangerous stranger, she suddenly finds herself at the center of a war fought since the beginning of time.

Trapped between what she believes is right, and a forbidden attraction, Dayton must come to terms with betrayal and her surprising lineage to stop a war before it even begins

My Review: 3.5 Stars out of 5 ***

Oakies, I got this book last year and I’m not sure where it went on my kindle but I’ve just gotten around to reading it. I love the blurb, it sounds to intriguing. It is also a long time since I have read a good angel/demon story.

I’d like to say this story wetted my appetite for more but in truth I struggled with the first part of this book. Dayton, and I know she had lost her parents when she was 10 and was now living in a crazy Abby with her even crazier aunt was just so surly. I struggled to like her, there was a lot of repetition with the story and there were times I was rolling my eyes at the author repeating the same thoughts/feelings and story.

I did like her friends Connor and Monroe, actually I liked Monroe the best I think. I liked how they looked out for her, the way they protected Dayton. On her seventeenth birthday her aunt racked her crazy up a notch and held Dayton against her will and forced her into drinking the blood of a demon!

To be honest at this point I was ready to throw in the towel, the story was slow to get going and it felt like it went in circles many times. Then we meet Marcas, the demon bound to Dayton. After he comes for Dayton to try and find a way to break the bond was when the story took a turn for the better, a whole lot better. It was like reading two different books.

Not only do we find out more about why Dayton was bound to Marcas, but we uncover a much bigger story of lies, intrigue, betrayal and loss. When Dayton and Marcas arrive in Italy is when the story takes the best turn, it is action packed, full of back stabbing betrayals along with plots and sub plots. I have to say I was glad I had taken a deep breath and pushed on.

If you like your heroines surly and your demons hot as hell this is the book for you, be warned however the story doesn’t pick up until half way in

*Review* Wraith Enchanted (Wraith #2) – Melissa Fox

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Synopsis:

Celia Brian is a witch—and that’s not the worst of her problems.

She’s been in love with spell-catching Wraith warrior Jonas Grey her entire life. Sparring partner, friend, confidante—that’s all she expects from Jonas. Beautiful golden gods aren’t meant for mere mortals, even if she does entertain fantasies every once in a while.

After demons murder his wife, the only focus Jonas has is killing his enemies. He lost his Amorta, his soul mate, and doesn’t deserve to be interested in another woman, especially not his good friend and boss’s daughter.

When Celia unearths an ancient riddle that triggers a series of attempts on her life, Jonas’s protective instincts are roused. Bound by a prophecy that could grant their deepest desires or take their lives, Jonas and Celia engage in the age-old battle between good and evil, life and death, and male and female.

Celia’s a spell caster, Jonas a spell catcher. Opposites attract.

Right?

My Review: 4 out of 5 Stars ****

Um! I’ve mulled and digested over the star rating for this book. I got this last year but never got round to reading it until now. I love, love, love the cover and along with the blurb I thought it sounded great.

I’ve decided to round up the rating but it took me a day to get there. It’s not that it doesn’t deserve a 4 star, it’s, well read the review.

It starts of super good. Celia, a spell castor is attacked on her way to the Organization, by a demon. She thwarts that attempt and goes on her way. She is researching an ancient legend that so far is alluding her. So the story is sort of set, something is after Celia yet no one knows why.

Enter Jonas Grey, yummy delicious Jonas, he is a Wraith, an angel so to speak that is on Earth to fight demons. There are only 9 Wraiths and each are destined to love and marry one woman, their Amorta. Alas, poor Jonas’s Amorta was brutally murdered 4 years ago and Jonas is a broken man.

Celia has loved Jonas all her life.

So we get the picture. I liked the story in general, it flowed, it had demon action and it had our hero tortuously denying he was falling in love with Celia, after all he had his one love. He’d failed to save her, he didn’t deserve another chance. Did he?

That was the part of the story I loved the most, the way he wanted to protect her at all costs, he angry angst when she was in the presence of her former boyfriend Rory, his moody broodiness trying at all costs to resist his feelings to Celia. Got to admit I do love a little bit of love angst.

What I struggled with the most was the story seemed to repeat itself, and you are constantly being told why things were the way they were, why Jonas was how he was and Celia continuing to question whether or not he could truly love her. It was repetitive enough to become a little annoying and that’s where I struggled with the star rating.

However, the story was good, the whole legend of them being together to produce a power so strong that the Demon King wanted Celia and Jonas dead was enough for me to keep reading. Then there was the sex, there was plenty of sizzling steam in this book. That’s always going to keep me reading lol.

So over all it was a good read, if you like your Wraiths hot and moody, your spell castors lusting and lots and lots of wanting sex then this is the book for you. I also liked that Celia was a regular girl, she had lush curves and a proper body and Jonas went wild for her.

I also loved the epilogue, it made me laugh.

*Review* Just Remember to Breathe (Thompson Sisters) – Charles Sheehan-Miles

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Synopsis:

Alex Thompson’s life is following the script. A pre-law student at Columbia University, she’s focused on her grades, her life and her future. The last thing she needs is to reconnect with the boy who broke her heart.

Dylan Paris comes home from Afghanistan severely injured and knows that the one thing he cannot do is drag Alex into the mess he’s made of his life.

When Dylan and Alex are assigned to the same work study program and are forced to work side by side, they have to make new ground rules to keep from killing each other.

Only problem is, they keep breaking the rules.

The first rule is to never, ever talk about how they fell in love.

My Review 5 Stars out of 5 *****

Oakies, I think I’m almost through with all the romantic downloads I did last summer! There is a cliched line there somewhere, but I won’t use it!

I think I inadvertedly left the best until last. Just Remember to Breathe was a gem, an eye opener and one hell of a story. I didn’t realize at the time, but this book is written by a man. Forgive my obvious sexist retort, but the title alone is beautiful, and I’m not saying a man can write romance, it just isn’t something I think about when I think about romance books.

That said, I think it gave it an edge, and edge you son’t usually get from the genre. There was a gritty realism to the story and that only enhanced the whole story. I loved Alex, the broken, yet “I will still get up in the morning” heroine.

A few years previous she had been an exchange student to Tel Aviv and had fallen madly, passionately and whole heartedly in love with Dylan. Dylan wasn’t only broken, he was flawed and fragile. He came from a completely different background than Alex and never quite felt he was somehow good enough for her.

Because of that he kept his feelings inside and that had caused a split between them, one full of misunderstandings and regret. Something that would change their lives forever, as well as the people around them.

So, Dylan is out of the army and Afghanistan. Recovering from a bomb attack on his humvee he is nursing wounds that go deeper than the scars on his leg. He is now in New York, back at the same school as Alex, hoping and praying he doesn’t meet her. But their paths are to cross…

What I loved about this book the most was the gritty reality of war, what it does to everyone who has fought, who stays at home to wait and the friends & family you go through this with.

I also loved the slow, deliberate way the story unfolded. It would be in the present, then flash back to the past explaining why Alex and Dylan were the way they were. Dylan’s story brought a lump to my throat on more than several occasions. I was so involved with them I was rooting for them all the way.

The one night, a party was to change everything. A frat boy from Alex’s past was to set Dylan on a course of down would spiral to soul redemption. I had a lump in my throat. The subject matter I think maybe a little too adult for the book to be considered YA, but it was refreshing to have a romance set around the realities of war and sexual assault (I know that sounds weird). That’s what gave it it’s edge.

When Dylan finally came to his senses and realized his only hope of a future was to confront and accept the past I was cheering, his “I thought I’d stop by” line to Alex when he showed up on her doorstep in San Francisco from New York had tears in my eyes.

This story was truly wonderful. Any romance lover should read this book. I loved it…..

*Review* Tamed by You (A Laurel Heights Novel) – Kate Perry

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Synopsis:

First rule of matchmaking: Don’t fall in love with your client.
Second rule of matchmaking: Don’t fall in love with your client!

Valentine Jones has never been good at following rules, especially the one that matters most: following the family tradition of being a matchmaker. She’s tried, but she happens to suck at it. So when her mother swoops in to help, Valentine is determined to prove she doesn’t need a babysitter.

Enter Ethan “The Predator” Hunter, ex-fighter and all-around hunk. Career on hold because of injury, his sole focus is to get back in the ring. He has no interest in the people until Valentine sets her matchmaking sights on him. Suddenly Ethan’s world is filled with nonstop commotion and lessons on attracting women. Only Ethan doesn’t want a random woman. He wants his matchmaker rules be damned

My Review: 3.5 Stars out of 5 ***

So, as I liked the previous Kate Perry Looking for You I saw this one was also offered for free on Amazon, got to dive right and and get that super sweet deal. I was really looking forward to this story because I do enjoy Kate’s style of writing.

After I was finished I wasn’t sure where to place the story with the previous one, or if it were fair to even compare them to each other. Why? I liked the story, it was cute and warm and Ethan has to be the funniest, surliest hero that I’ve read in a long time. He wanted Valentine and he was damn well going to have her…..family business/tradition be damned.

I like Valentine, in the main. She wasn’t your usual heroine and was definitely quirky. What I didn’t like was the repetitive reminders that the first born girl in the family became a match maker, why? I also wasn’t that fond of her mother Venus, who was clearly manipulating her daughter. Strange for a woman who was also a matchmaker.

I would’ve liked to see Valentine stand up to her mother more, heck if I’d a man like Ethan drooling over me, loving me the way he did I’d have stood up like a Spartan in 300 yelling “I am Sparta”

What worked was the interaction between Valentine and Ethan, you could taste the chemistry, the desire and the love long before they knew it themselves.

I also loved Sophie, she was a hoot, and Tony and their little side story. In fact there were times I liked their story a whole lot more. I also loved, loved the friendship Sophie struck up with Julia the florist. Very entertaining. All in all this was a cute romance, it was easy to read and a good way to spend an afternoon sitting in the garden by the pool.

If you like your romance easy, cute and a little sugary this series is one to take a chance on.

*Review* Caught Up In Us (Caught Up in Love #1) – Lauren Blakely

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Synopsis:

A second chance at first love…

Five years ago, Kat Harper fell into a dizzying summer romance with her brother’s best friend Bryan. It was a mad, crazy love full of kisses all through the night—but he broke her heart and she had to move on. Five years later, Kat is finishing her graduate degree and building her business as a jewelry designer, when Bryan, head of his own successful company, walks back into her life. Bryan has been assigned to Kat as her new business mentor and the rules are clear. No hanky panky permitted. Kat can handle that because she’s totally over him… right? Except, he still makes her laugh, and he remembers all the things she likes. Not to mention that he’s even more handsome now than he was then. Then there’s the spark between them—the simply undeniable chemistry, and the tender ways he shows he still cares for her. Can they resist each other the second time around or will first love trump all?

My Review: 3.5 Stars out of 5 ***

I downloaded this book when it was offered free on Amazon. I am seemingly going through a romance quest!! I liked the premise and loved the cover so it felt like a no brainer. I have to say I did like a lot of this book, I loved Kat and her quirky way. The way she had a love affair with Hello Kitty and unashamedly didn’t hide it.

I loved Jessica and her thespian ways, she was ballsy and stood for no nonsense. I also loved Bryan, he was sexy and in charge, yet he had a complexity that gave him an edge. Where I felt the book let itself down slightly (and okay, you can shoot me because romance is not what I usually review, I am the YA Dystopian sort of reader) was the story was a little too perfect!

Yes, I did say perfect. Bryan had walked out of Kat’s life 5 years earlier with nothing more than “I have to go” She had her heart ripped right out, yet somehow she managed to put the pieces of her heart back together and was studying for her MBA at NYU.

The last part of her degree called for her to have hands on experience with a mentor. Guess what? the mentor was Bryan!! Don’t get me wrong, if he hadn’t been there would be no story, but if some guy had ripped my insides out the way he had he wouldn’t have gotten the smooth ride Bryan got.

Sure Kat stood up to him, a little but overall she was a little bit of a pushover. That said there is some steamy, hot sex scenes. The phone sex is great and they did have amazing chemistry and the bigger picture of it all, is if you love romance that flows with ease, characters you can fall in love with from the get go and a nice happy ending, then this is the book for you.

For me, Lauren Blakely’s writing style and story telling will go to the beach with me. It’s sunny and fun but I need to get back to more grit and gore.

*Review* Looking for You (A Laurel Heights Novel) – Kate Perry

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Synopsis:

Gwendolyn Pierce has a secret. A big secret.

No one knows that the gourd artist is really the missing Grape Princess—the wine heiress who ran away fourteen years before. And that’s the way Gwen likes it. No paparazzi recording her every mistake, no stern family disapproving of her life. She has her gourd shop in Laurel Heights and lives in peaceful bliss.

Until she meets Rick Clancy.

The last person she should get involved with is a private investigator who finds her as suspicious as he does sexy. Only she can’t help herself, and she can’t help wondering if she can trust him with her secrets—and her heart

My Review: 3.5 Stars out of 5 ***

Oakies, I’m slowly but surely working my way through the Chick Lit books I downloaded last Summer. Most all of them have been happy reads with warm, funny stories. This book doesn’t quite fit into what I call Chick Lit but I got it because I knew it would have romance in it, and who doesn’t want some romance while they are on vacation? (That’s what I got it for)

Though I didn’t read it while on vacation, instead it was read over two of the coldest days in South Texas it did warm my heart.

The story was a little implausible, a missing wine heiress living in disguise in San Francisco, only to hook up and casually date a private eye. Who just happened to want to know her secrets, but agreed not to dig for them while they were in the throws of having hot, passionate sex.

Then there was the journalist, Camille. So desperate to please her mother she for goes her dreams of being a writer and her chances of snagging her crush Dylan, she gets the unenviable task of covering the story of Gwen (the runaway heiress) who is now a gourd artist that has been chosen to show her pieces in the local museum. It is her that uncovers Gwen’s secret and outs her to the world.

What I loved the most about this book was its easy pace and style, there was nothing that didn’t draw you in no matter how much you thought the story wouldn’t play out the way it did. The characters were likable, and the men deadly sexy. Isn’t that what you want in a romance novel?

I do. I, at times wished the story had a little more depth or dimension, but overall when I reached the end I was smiling. This is the perfect beach read, there is nothing better than sun, sea and hot, hot seduction.