BOOK REVIEW: Sinful Like Us (Like Us #5) by Krista & Becca Ritchie

BOOK REVIEW: Sinful Like Us (Like Us #5) by Krista & Becca RitchieSinful Like Us (Like Us #5)
by Krista & Becca Ritchie
Purchase on: AmazoniBooks
Add to: Goodreads

Synopsis:

HOW CAN IT BE WRONG
IF IT FEELS SO GOOD

Dating an American princess comes with a massive amount of baggage–all of which I’m willing to carry strapped on my back in quicksand and through seven hells. But Jane Cobalt’s baggage, I’m unprepared for. It comes in the form of her five equally famous and notoriously hard-to-please brothers.

I want Jane.
Completely.
Unconditionally.

But when there’s a trip scheduled that I can’t be a part of, I only have one option. It’s immoral.
Something I’d never consider until now.

But, hell, there’s got to be some perks to being a twin. So I’m doing it. I’m switching places with my brother.

Done and done.

It should have been easy.

There were little consequences.

Until the storm hit.

I set the trophy on the table and hear Farrow, his voice picked up on Oscar’s radio. “Cobalts are extra as fuck.”
He’s not wrong.


The reason why I fly through all of these books came to me last night. These characters are home to me. And not just Moffy, Janie, Sulli, and the next generation but the Core 6, too. I have read every book in this series, some a few times over, and I will honestly never get sick of them. Even though the money they have and most of the problems that they face will NEVER be something I have to face, each character has a kernel of something that is relatable.

Take Jane for instance. She has spent this entire series thus far trying to find what she is passionate about. She has lived in the shadow of her parents and her aunts and uncles and feels deep inside her that she has to pick one thing to be good at. To excel at. To conquer. I love that before she does realize what that might be in this book, that she comes to terms with the fact that she doesn’t have to just find one thing to ~do~ that will make her special. I think that so many of us struggle with that every single day. I LOVE working in my library and most days can be pretty fulfilling but there are a lot of other days where I question if I’m doing enough. If I’m doing my part to help people and serve the community to the best of my ability. The older I get, the more I think its bullshit that teenagers fresh out of high school are forced to decide what they want to for the rest of their life. I’d say 9/10 young people have no fucking clue. AND THAT SHOULD BE OKAY. I personally have figured out what I have liked so far by actually having different jobs and trying them out and working with a myriad of different people.

Jane’s situation might be different because unlike most of us, even if she fails at something, she doesn’t have any kind of financial burden or stress on her back. But that shouldn’t even be focused on. The struggle in general should be. The fact that she has found an equal in Thatcher and that he supports her in every aspect of her life should be.

Did it hurt to see her struggle with fully accepting the fact that she loved Thatcher? Sure. Did it make sense after being in her mind and knowing WHY she was struggling? Yes. I mean she is ROSE CALLOWAY COBALT’S DAUGHTER. Rose, as mentioned several times, is a fucking queen and I could see how Jane might have thought that she needed to be entirely independent by herself and not realizing that she could just take Thatcher’s love and support and have that bolster her up even more than she already was doing herself. The ending was perfect in every way.

I enjoyed seeing everyone and getting to know a few of them more. Loved Kit’s solution for things at the end. Loved seeing more Banks. Still not sure about the future triad but whatever, Imma roll with it. The one thing that I keep feeling like I’m still left in the dark about a tad is the entire Cobalt clan. All of the boys are so………..much………..and I want to get inside all of their minds and figure them the fuck out. Like to me, the Meadows’s and the Hale’s are all pretty straightforward. Not any of those boys. Very curious to see more in the future….

Either way I’m still going to follow this crazy ass family to the ends of this earth and am DYINGGGGGGGGGG to get my hands on the wedding book ANDDDDD Willow and Garrison’s story.

P.S. And I feel like it’s incredibly dumb I need to add this but after reading some of the “reviews” on the next two books I felt like I had to. I read these books for the RELATIONSHIPS and PEOPLE not for the sex that “the middle aged soccer moms get off on.” Like I can see both sides, I really do but damn the amount of one stars and bashing I saw was pretty off the charts. I guess I just haven’t seen enough of the…drama and deleting of comments and whatever. So basically I just don’t want to see anyone being bashed about enjoying the books when they can be so much more than the sexual parts of the relationships. Sighhhhhhhhhhhh

“I’m going to protect you. Sempre toujours.”
I breathe in, shock and something stranger crashing into me.
Sepmpre toujours.
The first word is Italian, the second French.
It means, always always.

BOOK REVIEW: The Burning Shadow (Origin #2) by Jennifer L. Armentrout

BOOK REVIEW: The Burning Shadow (Origin #2) by Jennifer L. ArmentroutThe Burning Shadow (Origin #2)
by Jennifer L. Armentrout
Purchase on: AmazoniBooks
Book Depository
Add to: Goodreads

Synopsis:

#1 New York Times, USA Today, and internationally bestselling author Jennifer L. Armentrout returns to the world of the Lux with The Burning Shadow, the steamy, shocking second installment of the Origin series that will leave readers reeling.

When Evelyn Dasher crossed paths with Luc, she was thrown headfirst into the world of the Lux―only to discover that she was already far more involved in their world than she ever suspected.

Because the Luxen aren’t the only ones with a hidden past. There’s a gap in Evie’s memory, lost months of her life and a lingering sense that something happened, something she can’t remember and nobody is willing to tell her. She needs to find out the truth about who she is―and who she was. But every answer she finds only brings up more questions.

Her search for the truth brings her ever closer to Luc, the Origin at the center of it all. He’s powerful, arrogant, inhumanly beautiful, extremely dangerous…and possibly in love with her. But even as Evie falls for him, she can’t help but wonder if his attraction is to her, or to the memory of a girl who no longer exists.

And all the while, a new threat looms: reports of a flu-like, fatal virus that the government insists is being spread by Luxen. A horrifying illness that changes whoever it touches, spreading panic across a country already at its breaking point.

Review:

The Burning Shadow was absolutely brilliant.  It started out slow and steady and grew into an intricate story that was deep and emotional.  I loved the ties into the Lux Series and that we got to see all of our old friends.  It felt like coming home.  But this book toyed with my emotions in the best way ever!  Lies, love, betrayal, friendship and secrets splashed across the pages and it was beyond impossible to put this book down.

“Evie.” Luc said my name as if it were a prayer and a curse.
I took a breath, but it went nowhere. His forehead touched mine, and I swore my heart stopped right then and there.

Within those first few pages, I was already laughing so hard.  That’s because the story started right where The Darkest Star ended.  With Evie’s mom, Sylvia, making lunch for Evie and Luc.  Sylvia and Luc butted heads in the most horrific ways.  They were a disaster in the making and I couldn’t look away from that train wreck or stop the laughs that were bubbling out of me.

I wanted him to kiss me. I wanted to lose myself in him. I wanted to forget, and I wanted to remember.

From there, we were taken on the most epic adventure.  So I was beyond grateful that Evie and Luc got moments where they could sit back for a few minutes and enjoy each other.  Their banter was smile inducing, but they also had these deep, emotional conversations that gutted and elated me.  Especially when Luc gave Evie little pieces of her past.  It felt like we truly got to know everything there was about them and they brought so many emotions out of me.  It wasn’t a surprise that I kept finding myself with tears falling down my face.

“Tell me what you want.” His lips brushed mine in the darkness. “You need to say the words, Evie.”
“You,” I whispered into the space between our mouths, while my heart beat so fast I didn’t understand how it could keep going. “I want you.”

But there was also heart pounding action that made it feel like I was standing on the edge of the cliff.  I was so scared I was going to fall with them down into the abyss, so I was that glued to the pages.  And as the story unfolded, we were given little clues.  When those clues started to come together I literally had chills.  And while some of the twists I figured out, a few of them knocked me on my butt.  My mind was blown.  So hold on because this book turned into a wild and twisted ride.

“You,” he spoke. “It’s only ever been you. Before. Now. Later. There’s been no one else. There . . . just can’t be.”

Luc is still holding onto my number one spot for favorite book boyfriend ever (sorry Daemon!).  The lengths he would go to protect the ones he loved was astronomical.  He did everything to keep them safe, and while sometimes it was selfish, I loved him more for it.  I also loved that he had no idea how to be modest lol.  With hysterical t-shirts, cheesy pickup lines, and being naughty and listening into Evie’s thoughts I seriously loved everything about him.  Even when he was a little too matter of fact or being violent.  His actions shouldn’t have made me laugh, broken hand scene cough cough, but it’s Luc.  I couldn’t help smiling and laughing every time he was around.

“Because I’ve already waited forever for this— for you. I’ve done nothing but watch and wait, and I am not walking away again. If I kiss you, if I touch you again, I will not be able to go back to the way things are now.” The next breath he took trembled as much as I was. “I won’t be able to pretend that you aren’t my everything.”
I couldn’t breathe.

Evie was on a huge emotional journey and grew so much!  She definitely struggled trying to figure out who she truly was.  She had her past and Evelyn Dashed mixed into who she was and my heart hurt for her.  But Evie was strong, resilient and she grew in leaps and bounds.  I was rooting for her every step of the way!  And I loved that she never once lost her confidence, snark or sassiness!

Daemon was quiet for a long moment. “Luc and I would do anything to protect the people we love.”
I stilled, unable to take more than a shallow breath as I stared at the male Luxen. I didn’t know how to respond to that.
“I would beg, plead, barter, and kill to protect Kat,” he continued, voice low, but every word struck me like thunder. “Nothing in this world would stop me, and there’s nothing that I wouldn’t do— and it’s the same for Luc when it comes to you.”

The side characters rounded out this story perfectly.  Zoe was the ultimate bff, I loved Heidi too and everyone from The Lux Series.  You guys.  My heart was elated with how many we got to see, I was screaming.  Ohhhh and be prepared because when Luc and Daemon go head to head, I didn’t know whether to laugh or hold my breath because of what would happen next.  So yes, I loved this book!  It definitely didn’t suffer from second book syndrome.  I loved every twist and turn and I couldn’t wait to see what happened next, The Burning Shadow will definitely keep readers hooked and become an instant favorite!

“Evie.” Luc’s voice was quiet but strong.
Drawing in a deep breath, I nodded. “I’m okay. I’m ready.”
And then I stepped forward, hand in hand with Luc, into the unknown.

PS Diesel gets a part in this book and it was so perfect!

PPS I love their Halloween costumes!

*I voluntarily read and reviewed an advanced copy of this book, provided by the author. All thoughts and opinions are my own.*

Reading Order & Links:
Amazon (click on covers), iBooks (click on titles) & Book Depository (click on book #)


The Darkest Star   #1
Reviews:
Jen
 
The Burning Shadow   #2
Reviews:
Jen

GIVEAWAY: 10 Blind Dates by Ashley Elston

GIVEAWAY: 10 Blind Dates by Ashley Elston10 Blind Dates Purchase on: AmazoniBooks
Book Depository
Add to: Goodreads
Synopsis:

One broken heart, ten blind dates—and a whole lot of confusion!

Sophie wants one thing for Christmas—a little freedom from her overprotective parents. So when they decide to spend Christmas in South Louisiana with her very pregnant older sister, Sophie is looking forward to some much needed private (read: make-out) time with her long-term boyfriend, Griffin. Except it turns out that Griffin wants a little freedom from their relationship.

Heartbroken, Sophie flees to her grandparents’ house, where the rest of her boisterous extended family is gathered for the holiday. That’s when her nonna devises a (not so) brilliant plan: Over the next ten days, Sophie will be set up on ten different blind dates by different family members. Like her sweet cousin Sara, who sets her up with a hot guy at an exclusive underground party. Or her crazy aunt Patrice, who signs Sophie up for a lead role in a living nativity. With a boy who barely reaches her shoulder. And a screaming baby.

When Griffin turns up unexpectedly and begs for a second chance, Sophie feels more confused than ever. Because maybe, just maybe, she’s started to have feelings for someone else . . . Someone who is definitely not available.

This is going to be the worst Christmas break ever . . . or is it?

10 Blind Dates Giveaway

I am so happy to be partnering with the Disney Book Group to provide you guys a chance to win a romantic prize pack including a copy of 10 Blind Dates by Ashley Elston and a $50 Visa gift card to plan your own date night!

10 Blind Dates Prize Pack

 

a Rafflecopter giveaway

10 Blind Dates is a romp-y romance with a dash of hilarious family chaos is part of the revival of fresh, high-concept YA rom-coms in the vein of Jenny Han and Morgan Matson.

Extra Order Links

Barnes & Noble

Books-A-Million

Indiebound

About the Author

ASHLEY ELSTONAshley Elston is the author of several novels including: The Rules for Disappearing (a finalist in the Best Young Adult Novel category of the International Thriller Writers Thriller Awards) and This Is Our Story. She has a liberal arts degree from Louisiana State University in Shreveport and worked for many years as a wedding photographer before turning her hand to writing. Ashley lives in Shreveport with her husband and three sons.

BLOG TOUR + REVIEW: The Witchlands Box Set (The Witchlands #1-3) by Susan Dennard

BLOG TOUR + REVIEW: The Witchlands Box Set (The Witchlands #1-3) by Susan Dennard

I am SO excited to be part of the blog tour promoting the new covers for The Witchlands Box Set. These books are so amazing and fast paced that it makes sense that the covers reflect the exact essence of what is inside each book.

BLOG TOUR + REVIEW: The Witchlands Box Set (The Witchlands #1-3) by Susan DennardThe Witchlands Box Set by Susan Dennard
Purchase on: Amazon
Book Depository
Add to: Goodreads

Synopsis:

For the first time, experience the first three volumes of Susan Dennard's New York Times bestselling Witchlands series--Truthwitch, Windwitch, and Bloodwitch--now together in the Witchlands Hard Cover Boxed Set.
Magic. Adventure. Romance. War. ... Welcome to the Witchlands.

On a continent ruled by three empires, many people are born with a “witchery”, a magical skill that sets them apart from others. Some command the wind, some the water, some fire, some metal. And some can master the truth, or time, or even death itself.
Now, as war breaks loose and magic is dying, two young women--a Truthwitch and a Threadwitch--may hold the key to a centuries old prophecy that could control the world...if they can survive.

Review of Truthwitch (The Witchlands #1):

It wasn’t freedom she wanted. It was belief in something—a prize big enough to run for and to fight for and to keep on reaching toward no matter what.

AaaaaahhhHHHHH. <–this is a telltale sign that I loved a book if you haven’t noticed. I don’t even want to know how many reviews I’ve started like that ahahaha. Anyway, what the hell? Why didn’t I read this book YEARS ago?! I am obsessed right now. I went on a Tumblr stalking spree last night and kind of regret it, just like I always do because I’ve already spoiled a few things for myself. I can’t help it. It’s really a problem. So yeah, I am FIRMLY in the camp of people that LOVE this book and while it saddens me to know that a lot of people just felt “meh” about it, I think I get why.

“I’ll be fine, Safi. You forget that I taught you the art of evisceration.”
Safi scoffed, but her Threads flared with with amused pink. “Is that so, dear Threadsister? Have you already forgotten that it was me they called The Great Eviscerator back in Veñaza City?” Safi flung a dramatic hand high as she twirled toward Ryber.
Now Iseult didn’t have to fake a grin. “Is that what you thought they said?” she called. “It was actually The Great Vociferator, Safi, because that mouth of yours is so big.”


It’s no secret that this series is super heavy on complex world building and even has a complex magic structure. In YA, when a lot of the books are read for quick pleasure, that can obviously throw people off guard. For me, though, I grew up reading high fantasy and happen to love those complex worlds. I mean, I don’t know how you can love LOTR if you don’t love this series. Tokien even created an ENTIRELY new language based on the world of LOTR. If that isn’t intense and complex, I don’t know what is. Normally as long as there is a map that I can use to visualize the different places, I’m good to go. Did it take me a few chapters to get to know the characters and their powers and try to figure out which country they kept mentioning? Yes. Did that bother me or take away from the story? No. I was much too entranced by the storyline and the characters and in the back of my mind I knew that eventually my questions would be answered.

Speaking of characters, I also really need to talk about how much I love both Safi and Iseult..and Merrik, and Ryber, and Aeduan, and literally everyone else. But ESP my gals. Safi was freakin hilarious. Not only was she a BA fighter, she cares about the people she loves so deeply AND she has hilarious sayings, usually reserved for when she’s in trouble (I might have to steal goat tits for myself, lol). Iseult is obviously also a BA fighter too and had some pretty great dry humor. The main thing I loved about them was how they loved each other. This is best friend GOALS. They would literally die for one another and I just loved the concept of them being Treadsisters because I have always thought that family doesn’t just have to be those who are blood related to you but those you choose to have as your family.

And the ships! Oh the ships! I mean I guess I should technically only say ship for now but you better believe I know what’s coming for Iseult and a certain someone. SAFI AND MERRIK FOR LIFE. Like wtf wow. I don’t know if you’d exactly say there is a hate-to-love kind of a situation but..kind of? Basically they had no trouble butting heads throughout the entire book and still Safi came through for him in the end, BIG TIME. Oh my heart. And then when Iseult was witnessing their threads interact. I loved every second.

The ending was so intriguing and intense and I am SO GLAD I had the foresight to snatch up the entire rest of the series while they were all miraculously checked in at my library. I will be starting Windwitch ASAP.

“Yes,” Safi breathed, swaying into one of the men holding her up. She flashed a grin at him and said, “I’m Safiya fon Hasstrel, and I can do anything.”

✩✮✩✮✩✩✮✩✮✩

New Covers: –[[AHH LOOK AT THEIR BEAUTY]]

Box Set

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About the Author:

Susan DennardSusan Dennard has come a long way from small-town Georgia. Working in marine biology, she got to travel the world—six out of seven continents, to  be exact (she’ll get to you yet, Asia!)—before she settled down as a full-time novelist and writing instructor.

She is the author of the Something Strange and Deadly series, as well as the New York Times bestselling Witchlands series, and she also hosts the popular newsletter for writers, the Misfits & Daydreamers. When not writing, she is slaying darkspawn (on her PS4) or earning bruises at the dojo.

She lives in the Midwestern US with her French husband, two spoiled dogs, and two grouchy cats. Learn more about her on her twitterinstagram, or newsletter.

About the Cover Artist:

Cliff Nielsen is best known for his work on projects such as Star Wars, The X-Files, Chronicles of Narnia among many projects including advertising campaigns, designs, and magazines. He studied in both traditional and digital illustration and graduated as valedictorian from Art Center College of Design in CA. His illustrations have been recognized for their excellence by the Society of Illustrators, Print, and Spectrum among others. Feature articles focusing on his work appear in design publications and fanzine magazines alike. Cliff has been an international speaker on digital art and has served as a judge for the Society of Illustrators and a variety of professional illustration award programs. He lives and dreams in Los Angeles, California.

About the Map Artist:

Jessica Khoury wrote her first book at age 4, a fan fic sequel to Syd Hoff’s Danny and the Dinosaur, which she scribbled on notebook paper, stapled together, and placed on the bookshelf of her preschool classroom. Since that day, she’s dreamed of being an author.

In addition to writing, Jess is also a fantasy cartographer, and spends far too much time scribbling tiny trees and mountains in fictional worlds. She is very passionate about orcas, Spanish soccer, and choosing the perfect font.

Jess currently lives in Greenville, South Carolina. She is the author of Origin, Vitro, Kalahari, and The Forbidden Wish.

Witchlands Covers

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Extra Preorder Links:

Publisher Page

ChaptersIndigo

Barnes and Noble

BOOK REVIEW: Hidden Bodies (You #2) by Caroline Kepnes

BOOK REVIEW: Hidden Bodies (You #2) by Caroline KepnesHidden Bodies (You #2)
by Caroline Kepnes
Purchase on: AmazoniBooks
Book Depository
Add to: Goodreads

Synopsis:

THE RIVETING SEQUEL TO THE HIT BOOK YOU, NOW A NETFLIX SERIES

“Kepnes hits the mark, cuts deep, and twists the knife.” —Entertainment Weekly

“Delicious and insane...The plot may be twisty and scintillating, but its Kepnes’s wit and style that keep you coming back.” —Lena Dunham

“Hypnotic and scary.” —Stephen King

“Obsessed.” —Jessica Knoll, New York Times bestselling author of Luckiest Girl Alive

In the compulsively readable sequel to her widely acclaimed debut novel, You, Caroline Kepnes weaves a tale that Booklist calls “the love child of Holden Caulfield and Patrick Bateman.”

Joe Goldberg is no stranger to hiding bodies. In the past ten years, this thirty-something has buried four of them, collateral damage in his quest for love. Now he’s heading west to Los Angeles, the city of second chances, determined to put his past behind him.

In Hollywood, Joe blends in effortlessly with the other young upstarts. He eats guac, works in a bookstore, and flirts with a journalist neighbor. But while others seem fixated on their own reflections, Joe can’t stop looking over his shoulder. The problem with hidden bodies is that they don’t always stay that way. They re-emerge, like dark thoughts, multiplying and threatening to destroy what Joe wants most: true love. And when he finds it in a darkened room in Soho House, he’s more desperate than ever to keep his secrets buried. He doesn’t want to hurt his new girlfriend—he wants to be with her forever. But if she ever finds out what he’s done, he may not have a choice…



Honestly? I’m a bit shocked and disappointed. No, I DID NOT FINISH…but, hear me out, I just think-with a book/subject matter like this-less is more. The first book floored me. So many requotable quotes. Hilarious inner monologue. I LOVED Joe (as much as you can love a psycho who kills women who don’t adhere to what he believes a girlfriend should be ). I loved his take on life. On America-‘Fucking America, Beck.’. On pop culture and the idiots radiating through the streets of New York. The way he addressed Beck as ‘You’. Brilliant. And he slayed me with his humor.

But here…it hurts to say it…it just. It does not work. Not again, anyway. It was jarring, to say the least-to read about the untimely demise of Guinevere Beck. I was shocked that it happened, that he went through with it, that he killed someone he thought he loved. It was painful and cringy to read, honestly. But…it fit. It worked. It wasn’t shocking as much as it was heartbreaking.

Here? It’s tired. Overused. And I tire of him judging every woman he loves. I get wanting an epic, amazing love. Don’t many of us crave that? But disposing of all the women? My God it’s such an exaggerated overreaction and an overused formula. Okay. He’s a total freaking lunatic now. I think he really, truly didn’t intend to become a legit serial killer in the first (just a raving crazy stalker, of course :P), and he always *seemed* to find remorse for ‘having to do what needed to be done’. In Hidden Bodies, he kills like…without blinking. His rage blinds him. His lust for revenge drives him. And it’s just….annoying. Repetitive. And I don’t have that horribly wrong and misguided urge to sympathize with him. I found myself thinking [when something went wrong] ‘Well, bet he’ll kill [her/him] now.’ Shocker.



Where’s the fun of the mystery? The wondering if he really will go through with murdering the girl he wanted so much that he rearranged his whole life for her. I really and truly enjoyed the tone of the first book. It was almost like a fucked up version of a romance and I just loved it so much. I loved almost secretly rooting for them to make it, for Joe to get the girl he *thought* he loved. The sweet moments to flourish and become more. Sick as that is. This? This was a bloody witch hunt and I couldn’t emotionally connect with nor find the parallel of the Joe who made me feel as though he had a heart.



Robotic. Monotonous. Heart-breaking. I loved the effed up first book-but perhaps that’s what it should have stayed. A one book series that left a punch, readers enthralled, and the story wide open for our interpretation. This is definitely a case of knowing too much and there not being enough new (or interesting) material to justify the continuance of his story.
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