Author: Arielle

BOOK REVIEW – We Own Tonight by Corinne Michaels

BOOK REVIEW – We Own Tonight by Corinne MichaelsWe Own Tonight by Corinne Michaels
Purchase on: AmazoniBooks
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Synopsis:

From New York Times Bestseller, Corinne Michaels, comes a sexy new STANDALONE romance novel.

I’m not a one-night stand kind of woman. I’m especially not the woman who has a few drinks at a concert and ends up in bed with my childhood celebrity crush, Eli Walsh.

However, that’s exactly where I find myself.

What’s a girl to do after a drunken mistake? Run. I grab my clothes and get away from the powerful, irresistible, and best-sex-of-my-life superstar as fast as I can. His gorgeous green eyes, rock-hard body, and cocky smile have no place in my world. My life is complicated enough.

Someone forgot to tell him that.

Eli is relentless. Pushing his way into my heart, wearing me down, proving he’s nothing like I assumed, and everything I need. But when my world shatters to pieces, he holds the broken bits together. Unwillingly, I fall desperately in love with him.

He made me think we’d have forever . . . I should’ve listened when he said we could only own tonight.

Review:

“It’s not a line. It’s you. I can’t explain it, but you’re all I think about. The way you hide your face from me when you’re unsure of yourself. How your smile makes my heart stop, and how even now, with speckles of paint on your face, you take my breath away. Don’t you see? I tried to stay away, but I keep finding myself back here.” 

Mmm I am very torn on this book. I finished it last night and have since decided on rating it a 3.5. The tricky thing about these books and these characters is that while there were a lot of *different* aspects for me, there was also a lot of run-of-the-mill plot points and characteristics, too. There were times that I was tearing up and had giddiness fizzing up inside of me..but then other times were I found myself skimming through cheesy lines and the steamy scenes—which is never a good sign lol. It was in no way bad, but I wouldn’t say that I would consider it a great romance either by any means.

I tell myself, and everyone else, that there’s nothing here, but when he’s close, I can’t pretend. Eli breathes life into a heart that was deflated.

We start the generic plot line with there being a famous musician, Eli, who was/is still part of a boy band that was huge back in the day and who currently is doing a reunion tour with the rest of his band members. Other MC, Heather, is dragged to the concert by her best friend (thought it isn’t that much of a hardship because she’s had a HUGE crush on Eli since the band was first popular. Of course, the group of girl friends have front row tickets and OF COURSE the two lock eyes. She’s called on stage, serenaded by Eli, and is asked to join him backstage….we can all guess what happens. Sexy times and then she runs from him. WHICH NEVER HAPPENS TO THIS SEX PANTHER! Lol but really. Obviously the fact that she ran piqued his interest enough for him to chase after her and I think we all can guess what happens after….the pursuit.

As I’m typing this I realize I’m making it sound worse that it was but you know, it did take me an abnormally long time to finish so I guess there were some parts that really just didn’t rub me the right way *shrug*.

Being vulnerable is a scary thing. It’s hard to give anyone, let alone Eli, unfettered access to my biggest fear. I’ve been alone for a long time, and I’ve learned to handle it. This, though? I have no idea how to handle. Having a taste of Eli’s affection is enough to make me an addict.

The biggest part of this book that was different to me (based solely on the romances that I normally read) was their ages. Both of them were either late thirties or early forties and had obviously *lived* more than me. They had seen a divorce, a failed engagement, and just weren’t immature and dealing with issues that I normally see in the books that I read. There was also a pretty unique storyline about Heather taking care of a sister with Huntington’s and maybe another illness of some kind. I loved seeing how nurturing Heather was and it completely made sense why she was as vulnerable as she was. Other things going on with Eli, along with that older age also made it realistic that he was as sweet and as caring for her as he was. I mean, yeah it all happened so fast but they also weren’t in the beginnings of figuring out who they were as adults. Like I said, I understood it BUT there were also many times where their words of passion just kind of had me rolling my eyes. I love my husband with all of my heart and he is 100% my soul mate and I am a HUGE romantic BUTTTT there’s no way in hell I could imagine us having those conversations together lol. Too too much.

Now don’t go reading all of this and dismiss this book. It is good. It does touch on subjects like illness in the family and how hard and demanding being a caretaker can be. (I had an uncle who had Down Syndrome that lived with us for three years after my grandma died and I saw firsthand how much of a toll it took on my mom, even though we LOVED having him with us). The writing was good and the dialogue was well written, it just overall wasn’t my complete cup of tea!

“More. I want more.” 
“And what if you realize I’m not worth more?” 

He shakes his head. “What if you’re worth it all?”

BOOK REVIEW – From Lukov with Love

BOOK REVIEW – From Lukov with LoveFrom Lukov with Love by Mariana Zapata
Purchase on: Amazon
Add to: Goodreads

Synopsis:

If someone were to ask Jasmine Santos to describe the last few years of her life with a single word, it would definitely be a four-letter one.

After seventeen years—and countless broken bones and broken promises—she knows her window to compete in figure skating is coming to a close.

But when the offer of a lifetime comes in from an arrogant idiot she’s spent the last decade dreaming about pushing in the way of a moving bus, Jasmine might have to reconsider everything.

Including Ivan Lukov.

Review:

My mom had always warned me that some people would always be eager to believe the worst. That was the unfortunate and shit truth. But I knew who I was and what I did. I couldn’t find it in me to regret it. At least most of the time. Maybe life would have been a lot easier if I’d had my sister’s sweetness or my mom’s personality, but I didn’t and I never would. You are who you are in life, and you either live that time trying to bend yourself to make other people happy, or… you don’t.

THIS BOOK. *incoherent mumbling* INSTANT TOP FIVE FAVORITE ROMANCE OF ALL TIME YOU GUYS, NO JOKE. I feel like I should apologize in advance for the number of lengthy quotes that will be in this review but if we’re being honest, I had WAY more highlighted and these were the ones I felt like I couldn’t live without. If you don’t end up wanting to read this book solely based on the quotes themselves…..then you must not have a heart, lol. But really.

But I wanted to win. I wanted this. I’d always wanted it. I’d bled for it, cried for it, bruised for it, had broken bones, had concussions, pulled just about every muscle in my body, never made friends, never went to a single school anything, never loved anyone, ignored my family, all for this. For this love that was greater than just about everything and anything I had ever known. For this sport that had given me the confidence to know I could get up after every fall I’d ever take.

I don’t even know where to begin here. I feel like this entire review is just going to be word vomit and fangirling and I am entirely alright with that so without further ado, I’ll dive right in. 

This book is about Jasmine Santos. Jasmine is a figure skater with hardcore determination. When we first start the book she’s in a bit of a slump. Her partner of three years ditched her without saying anything and because of her smartass/hardass mouth, she’s inherited the stigma of being hard to work with. Enter Ivan Lukov. Long-time enemy of Jasmine, total babe, world-champion pairs skater, and brother of Jasmine’s only friend (other than her family). It turns out that this tool of a guy (lol he’s really not tho) and his trainer want Jasmine to be the new half of his pair’s team and she’s just desperate enough for a win to agree.

Was I dying? Was this what having you heart broken felt like? Because if it was, I was sure fucking glad I’d never fallen in love before because goddamn. My God.

This was my first book written by Zapata so I really didn’t know what to expect going in other than seeing that it had a good rating already. What I did not expect was to fall so deep in love with these characters and their story that I would be fully immersed for a solid two days.

I’ll start with Jasmine since this book is about her. Right off the bat I loved her. She is so tough and BA and her inner monologues seemed to be pretty similar to my own sometimes (I’m a bit of a potty mouth so if you don’t like strong language, parts of this book might not be fun). You can tell she is SO passionate about figure skating and about her family and all of the sacrifices that she has made/ they have made for her throughout the years. Sometimes she can almost be too stubborn but I never got sick of it. For me, she was too real, too honest to ever dislike. Watching her go through the transformation that she did from cover to cover was incredible. I was so happy for her by the end when she realized that if she was going to win, it was going to be because she finally, truly believed in herself. Ugh what great character development.

“Is that a French bulldog?” We were already on the road and heading toward the nearest major freeway when Ivan nodded, his eyes on the rearview mirror. 
“Yes. The diva in the back is Lacey. She’s in time-out. I should’ve left her at home, but she can’t be in the car with anyone else other than Russ, and today’s his day for a ride.”

WHICH BRINGS ME TO IVAN LUKOV. Guys. He is….so good. The verbal sparring that went on between him and Jasmine was HILARIOUS. Oh man I was dying so many times laughing because of the horrible crap they said to each other..and his nickname for her. Lol, sigh. Really though, I also loved watching his journey, or at least the journey of Jasmine (and us as readers through her perspective) actually discovering who Ivan was as a person. He seems like such a stuck up, pretty boy at first until more of Jasmine’s walls get broken down and we see glimpse of this other Ivan. One that takes care of people when they’re sick and has five rescue pets that he treats like children (omg that part made die it was so cute). He is basically everything and to top it all off, is also the reason that Jasmine is able to have faith in herself—because he has an unwavering faith in her. It’s beautiful.

And after a beat, then five, I said, “We’ll win.” 
His gaze went even more intense as he said, with no hesitation, “You’re goddamn right we will.” He pressed his mouth, so quick, so hard against me, I didn’t have a chance to react until he pulled back an inch and said, hoarsely, his fingers threading through the damp hair right above the nape of my neck, “I’ll drag you back on the ice if I have to, Jasmine. I swear on my life.” Something about his words made me shake on the inside. Maybe it was the conviction. Maybe it was the anger. The passion. The reality that he wasn’t leaving me any room to not do what he said. Mostly though, it was something else completely. I loved him. I loved this man so much that losing him was going to break my cold, dead heart into so many pieces I was just going to have to stick them in the same box I kept my dreams and carry it around with me forever.

My other favorite part of this book was the Santos family. I come from a really close family myself and always love to read about other families that have close and hilarious dynamics such as this one. They all loved each other so much and meant so much to one another. I just about sobbed when Jasmine and Ivan were talking about how every family member has a specific favorite white Jasmine love them all equally, the good and the bad parts. I’m having a daughter (my first baby) mid-April and while the thought of being a mom is kind of scary, I know as long as I do my best to make sure that she knows that she is always loved and supported like Jasmine’s mom did with all of her children, then I know that I’ll be doing something right.

This was my partner. This was more than my partner. He was my other half. And the only thing I could do to thank him for this gift he’d given me, this knowledge that he thought I was invincible, was to make sure we won. I’d give him the thing he had wanted me for in the first place. I’d give him my fucking all.

So here it is. I honestly could probably go on to fangirl about this for another few thousand words but I hope you don’t need more to convince you. ESPECIALLY SINCE THE OLYMPICS ARE COMING UP. It’s relevant and just a damn good book. I honestly can’t wait to reread it again someday.

 
 

BOOK REVIEW – Return Once More (The Historians #1) by Trisha Leigh

BOOK REVIEW – Return Once More (The Historians #1) by Trisha LeighReturn Once More (The Historians #1)
by Trisha Leigh
Purchase on: Amazon
Book Depository
Add to: Goodreads

Synopsis:

If you could learn the identity of your one true love—even though you will never meet— would you?

Years have passed since refugees from a ruined earth took to space, eventually settling a new system of planets. Science has not only made the leaps necessary to allow time travel, but the process engineered a strange side effect—predicting your one true love.

If you could save your one true love from an untimely death, would you be able to resist?

Sixteen-year-old Kaia Vespasian is an apprentice to the Historians—a group charged with using time travel to document the triumphs and failures of the past—and she can’t resist a peek at her long-dead soul mate in Ancient Egypt. Before she knows it, she’s broken every rule in the book, and the consequences of getting caught could destroy more than just her new romance.

Or would you have the strength to watch him die?

But when Kaia notices a fellow classmate snooping around in a time where he doesn’t belong, she suspects he has a secret of his own—and the conspiracy she uncovers could threaten the entire universe. If her experience has taught her anything, to changing history means facing the consequences. The Historians trained her to observe and record the past, but Kaia never guessed she might have to protect it— in a race across time to save her only chance at a future.

Review:

I actually had read this book for the first time a few years ago, but I feel like it hasn’t reached nearly enough people for how good it is!  Check it out ASAP!


Wowwww. Going into this book I had mixed thoughts. I had read some really great reviews and the premise looked great but I was worried about the time travel aspect. Ever since I started watching Doctor Who I have standards on what I think does and doesn’t work when it comes to time travel–I feel like it mostly can be messed up pretty easily. I was very pleasantly surprised that what Leigh did in this book worked out tremendously.

But I wanted to live moments, not just record them.

The main character, Kaia, is training to be a Historian. She lives in different solar system, Earth having been abandoned at least a generation before due to a depletion of resources. In her lifetime they have perfected things like time travel to the past, calculating who a person’s “True One” is, and how to life in a peaceful society with next to no weapons. As a Historian, Kaia and her classmates are charged with traveling to the past to observe and record certain moments in the past to reflect back on and decide how things could have been different in society (which is way cooler than just reading about certain events in a textbook). 

Kaia is mostly an average teenage girl who mostly follows by the rules. After her brother runs off their planet and joins with a band of space pirates, she and her family are more closely watched. Her first bout of trouble comes when she turns seventeen and finds out who her “True One” is. A True One is essentially the person who is the most compatible to you in every way. The tricky part is that they could have lived in the past, could live in the present, or could be born in the future. Kaia’s is Caesarion, son of Cleopatra and Caesar. She decides that she wants to meet him–just once, just to see. When she does it’s like nothing she has ever experienced before and she in instantly enamored with this young man. She leaves thinking that she will not return, satisfied to at least meet him once.

Meanwhile, she discovers that Oz, a classmate of hers and “True One” of her roommate, is also going along to other time periods and feels that something is not right about it. She begins to realize that something big is going on that the Elders have been keeping them all in the dark about. Something that could terribly impact all of their lives.

“Tell me a story about the sky.” 

Okay feelings timeeeeeeee.

I LOVEDDD this book. Like I said, this was a good example of time travel that makes sense. They can only travel to the past, and they have to make sure to be extremely careful because even bumping or talking to one person could have terrible consequences (WHICH MAKES SENSE!!!). The romantic parts between Kaia and Caesarion were incredibly swoon worthy. Yes, there might have been an insta love connection BUTTTT because they were “paired” as being the most compatible people for each other, you can forgive that. Plus, even though Kaia would like to bring him back with her, both of them realize that that is impossible and accept that. They take the short time that they have together and enjoy it, which I love. 

Kaia in general is also a character that I felt like I could easily relate to. She loves her family and friends and wants to do things by the book but also wants to live her own life and take her own risks. I wouldn’t say she is foolish with all of her decisions (even though she should have known better with returning back to her True Love) because I would have made those same decisions too.

Oz and the whole plot about a return to Earth grabbed my attention right away. Leigh gave us just enough to be hooked on the plot and to ensure we come back for the rest of the series. I really hope we get a lot more back story in book two. I was fine with not having it in this one because I felt like we needed to find out about how jumping back in time can cause such consequences and because we had to find out who the characters were in the grand scheme of things. By the end though, Oz was no less a mystery and I’m excited to learn more.  Overall I was very impressed and I can’t wait to pick up book two.

It was something we’d lost along the way—the ability to be awed by the unknown, to create myths that made sense of the inexplicable, instead of boiling mysteries down to their basest components.

BOOK REVIEW – To Kill A Kingdom by Alexandra Christo

BOOK REVIEW – To Kill A Kingdom by Alexandra ChristoTo Kill a Kingdom by Alexandra Christo
Purchase on: AmazoniBooks
Book Depository
Add to: Goodreads

Synopsis:

Princess Lira is siren royalty and the most lethal of them all. With the hearts of seventeen princes in her collection, she is revered across the sea. Until a twist of fate forces her to kill one of her own. To punish her daughter, the Sea Queen transforms Lira into the one thing they loathe most—a human. Robbed of her song, Lira has until the winter solstice to deliver Prince Elian’s heart to the Sea Queen or remain a human forever.

The ocean is the only place Prince Elian calls home, even though he is heir to the most powerful kingdom in the world. Hunting sirens is more than an unsavory hobby—it’s his calling. When he rescues a drowning woman in the ocean, she’s more than what she appears. She promises to help him find the key to destroying all of sirenkind for good—But can he trust her? And just how many deals will Elian have to barter to eliminate mankind’s greatest enemy?

Review:

“You should pay less mind to fairy tales, Elian, or that’s all you’ll become.”

When he leaves, I think about if that would be awful, or beautiful. Could it really be such a bad thing, to become a story whispered to children in the dead of night? A song they sing to one another while they play.

I’ve gotten extremely lucky with my ARCs so far this year! While the writing in this one wasn’t exactly my cup of tea at first (I felt like there was a lot more telling than showing until later on in the book) that changed quickly. By the end of the book I was flying through the pages because I couldn’t get enough of the adventure or characters.

“That’s the thing about risks,” Kye says. “It’s impossible to know which ones are worth it until it’s too late.”

Coincidentally, even though I was named after the Little Mermaid, I have never bothered to read any of the books about mermaids that have been published in the world of YA. The ones that I have seen, seem to be a little too cheesy or have contemporary aspects that don’t appeal to me in any way. This book though, was about blood-thirsty sirens and pirates and was pure fantasy–just the way I like them.

Everything is muted and Lira swoops her blade down on mine once more, I let it all fall away. My mission, my kingdom. The world. They exist somewhere other than in this moment, and now there is only this. Me, my ship, and a girl with oceans in her eyes.

Without giving too much away there were vicious sirens who rip the hearts from princes, a curse that leaves one siren in particular with two legs (doesn’t that always seem to happen), a dashing prince who moonlights as a pirate, and an adventure to a faraway kingdom to change the world as said siren-turned-girl and prince know it. I very highly recommend to anyone who is a fan of nautical adventures and can appreciate a good enemies to lovers story thrown into the mix as well. I loved that while there was centuries worth of animosity between the sirens and mankind, Lira was able to break free of the preconceived notions that her horrible mother had pounded into her basically her whole life and rise above them. She learned to respect Elian’s crew and care for all of them and as a result…well you’ll see!

As far as I know this is a standalone and that’s okay. I usually love long YA fantasy series (other than waiting for the books to actually come out) but everything was wrapped up very nicely at the end of this one and you know without having to actually read about them that Elian and Lira will have plenty of adventures at sea for a very long time.

Become the queen we need you to be.

*ARC kindly provided by Feiwel & Friends via Netgalley in exchange for an honest review*

BOOK REVIEW – Furyborn by Claire Legrand

BOOK REVIEW – Furyborn by Claire LegrandFuryborn (The Empirium Trilogy #1)
by Claire Legrand
Purchase on: Amazon
Book Depository
Add to: Goodreads

Synopsis:

The stunningly original, must-read fantasy of 2018 follows two fiercely independent young women, centuries apart, who hold the power to save their world...or doom it.

When assassins ambush her best friend, the crown prince, Rielle Dardenne risks everything to save him, exposing her ability to perform all seven kinds of elemental magic. The only people who should possess this extraordinary power are a pair of prophesied queens: a queen of light and salvation and a queen of blood and destruction. To prove she is the Sun Queen, Rielle must endure seven trials to test her magic. If she fails, she will be executed...unless the trials kill her first.

A thousand years later, the legend of Queen Rielle is a mere fairy tale to bounty hunter Eliana Ferracora. When the Undying Empire conquered her kingdom, she embraced violence to keep her family alive. Now, she believes herself untouchable--until her mother vanishes without a trace, along with countless other women in their city. To find her, Eliana joins a rebel captain on a dangerous mission and discovers that the evil at the heart of the empire is more terrible than she ever imagined.

As Rielle and Eliana fight in a cosmic war that spans millennia, their stories intersect, and the shocking connections between them ultimately determine the fate of their world--and of each other.

Review:

Welcome to my first review of the blog–the second and best book I’ve read so far this year! You’ll find that my reviews usually feature a lot of fangirling, capital letters, and all of my favorite quotes. I try to be as coherent as possible but when you find a book that you’re really passionate about, that can be hard sometimes. So without further ado, here it is, hope you enjoy!


OMGGGGGGGGG. This book. So far my 2018 read list, though only five books deep, has thoroughly impressed me. BUT THIS ONE ESPECIALLY!!!!!!!!!! As I mentioned above, you know that I generally like to add my favorite quotes from the book. Sometimes I find that even in a book with AMAZING writing, I will become so caught up in the story that I get to the end only to realize that I have highlighted nothing. That was the case here and it bummed me out super hard…guess I’ll just have to re-read it again soon to come up with some.

The basis for this story is a prophecy that has been told about a coming Blood Queen and Sun Queen. We learn right away in a crazy prologue that one of the main characters, Rielle, is the Blood Queen while her daughter will be the Sun Queen. You don’t see this super often in books but starting the book off knowing what Rielle’s fate was going to be along with still having 100 different questions about how things went to crap so fast had me on the edge of my seat for the entire book. So yes, like I said, we find out right away what role each has/will play and we also see the young princess being taken away to a safe place by a young boy named Simon while Rielle dies in her attempt to buy them enough time to escape *end scene*.

The rest of the book is told from the perspectives of Rielle, pre-Blood Queen and of her daughter Eliana, future Fire Queen (who we find out actually was thrown into the future a few hundred years during her jump with Simon as a baby). After an ambush on the prince, Rielle exposes the immense power that she and her father have tried to keep hidden the first half of her life and is then required to go through a series of trials to prove she is in control and could fit the role of Sun Queen as the prophecy has predicted (see I told you it’s interesting knowing ahead of time that that WON’T be how things play out…). Hundreds of years after the fact we follow her daughter, Eliana, who is basically a hired assassin for the Empire and knows nothing of her royal heritage. She may or may not eventually join up with some rebels and she may or may not end up finding a certain time traveling man again.

I don’t want to spoil anything else, just know that the book is chock-full of adventure, gruesome death, a dash of romance in both times, AND A LOT OF MAGIC AND SUSPENSE. I personally enjoyed reading about Eliana’s journey more because I was interested to see why the world ended up becoming how it was between her mother’s death and the present. I also wasn’t a huge fan of just how powerful Rielle was and the attitude that ensued because of that power. Though I was a HUGE fan of the forbidden romance between Rielle and a certain prince. Yum. I need to know how he dies though (not a spoiler, in the prologue). There also a great cast of supporting characters, LOVED Remy and Lu and basically everyone else that was introduced. Hated the villain with a passion, though I’ve seen some people liken him the Darkling—he seemed way slimier than that to me, *shrugs*.

The only warning I will give is that there is no major blow up at the end of this book so don’t be expecting one—which I was fine with. As I said, the entire book was so fast paced and intense, I was glad that the ending more or less was a gradual set up for more bat-shit craziness to ensue in the next book. HIGHLY RECOMMEND.

*ARC kindly provided by SOURCEBOOKS Fire via Netgalley in exchange for an honest review*

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