Author: Chelsea (Peril Please) (page 2 of 101)

BOOK REVIEW: Call It What You Want by Brigid Kemmerer

BOOK REVIEW: Call It What You Want by Brigid KemmererCall It What You Want by Brigid Kemmerer
Purchase on: Amazon
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Synopsis:

When his dad is caught embezzling funds from half the town, Rob goes from popular lacrosse player to social pariah. Even worse, his father’s failed suicide attempt leaves Rob and his mother responsible for his care.

Everyone thinks of Maegan as a typical overachiever, but she has a secret of her own after the pressure got to her last year. And when her sister comes home from college pregnant, keeping it from her parents might be more than she can handle.

When Rob and Maegan are paired together for a calculus project, they’re both reluctant to let anyone through the walls they’ve built. But when Maegan learns of Rob’s plan to fix the damage caused by his father, it could ruin more than their fragile new friendship...

This captivating, heartfelt novel asks the question: Is it okay to do something wrong for the right reasons?

 

**ARC sent to me by the publisher in exchange for an honest review**

I won’t lie to you guys-I begged for this book. It wasn’t classy. It wasn’t dignified. And it was honestly a bit pathetic-but IT WAS TOTALLY WORTH IT. This book? It’s gold. I loved every minute of it.

I was sitting in Tennessee, on vacation, and legitimately had zero time to read. My daughter has always been a peculiar sleeper, and the circumstances of our vacation led to my husband and I’s sanity to be tested. She’s turning two this month-don’t make me cry-and really only began sleeping in her own crib every night in October. It was a miracle-I never have questioned it, and I refuse to look back. But, that being said, we have finally gotten used to sleeping alone again, and it’s glorious, to be honest. What’s not glorious? Sharing a bed with your now used-to-her-own-bed toddler.

To say we got no sleep? Yeah. VASTLY downplayed. SO, seeing as I got a beautiful physical ARC (I took three physical ARCs, don’t know WHAT I was thinking) I was SOL when it came to speed reading at night as I’ve come accustomed to again. But, luckily, my saint of a husband offered to help her nap every day, and I got to read for two hours or so every day off and on, pending my family’s interruptions (there were aplenty)(and let’s be clear-he only offered this because it was MY family and who doesn’t need a break from in-laws lol he’s no saint. I lie).

That being said-I picked this book up and DEVOURED IT in less than three days. Quite a feat, if you ask me, what with all the interruptions and no time to read! But that’s the power of a Kemmerer book-you know you’re in for a morally gray and addicting ride.

I fell so hard for Rob, because how can you not fall for one of this woman’s main leading men? She creates the most tortured and lonely souls I’ve ever had the pleasure to meet, and I love what she did with his character. I literally had to question every motive, every move, every play-yet never wholly disagreed with what he did. That’s a true author-to make you wonder whether something is right or wrong, yet never telling you if it is or isn’t. In all honesty, he was wrong. Every time. But then you would hear his reasoning, see it through his eyes. Live it like he did-and I found myself saying [almost every time] I’d have done that. But that’s the ambiguity of it-It’s for you to decide, and she didn’t make it easy. Each character in this story has a difficult decision to face every day, and I loved reading about these confused and lost souls.

Rob’s father screwed everyone in town over that invested with him, making Rob seem guilty by association since he interned there. Either way, he’s now a social pariah when he used to be the most popular guy in school (it sounds familiar, but it’s done oh so well!). And his home life? It’s terribly sad and without a doubt broke my heart every time he was home or talked/thought about it. Then we have Maegan. ‘Typical overachiever’ and now an outcast besides her best friend. Caught in a scandal and compromising other students in the process, she is deemed lowest of the low, just after one simple mistake when, before, she was simply dubbed a goody-two shoes.

One mistake can change your whole life, the way you’re viewed, and can influence each new decision you have to make, and we get to see what the aftermath is like for both someone who made a one-time mistake that marred their chances of getting into ANY college when they were a shoe-in before, and someone who didn’t do anything wrong, nor know anything about it, yet pays the steady cost of betrayal every day, both at school and, more devastatingly, in his own home.

I always love the star-crossed lover books where a popular guy is paired with an unpopular girl, or vice versa, on a project, so this was right up my alley. Except, here, we have two totally different social groups coming together…but they’re both now outcasts, and I loved the twist on that trope I love so much. And, even more than that, I love that Kemmerer could explore trust among two ‘wrongdoers’, along with betrayal, friendship, attraction-and standing up for what you believe to be right. I loved it. It’s all so convoluted and twisty and turny in the sense that Maegan doesn’t know what to think about Rob, whether he was involved or not, and where his morality is questioned as he finds himself turning into a modern day Robin Hood.

The family relationships and friendships were handled well, in my opinion, and I even thought it was well rounded out…I’m never tough on these situations, though. So long as there is a conflict, characters fighting-both together and separately-to figure out a solution, a resolution to said conflict, and a general mending and moving forward of severed relationships in result to the conflict, I’m happy. And I don’t need the dwelling on it, either, which is where people get mad. They want to hear more, see more, expect more…but it’s YA and relationships are messy-especially with family-people are just too harsh. But to each their own.

There was even a HUGE trigger issue in this book, for me, and it was handled as well and as authentically as I think it could be-that being said, I was satisfied. (view spoiler), thus, a trigger. Literally my only complaint but not really complaint? I wanted a LITTLE more in the epilogue. More HFN than HEA, but I loved it all the same.

So, once again Kemmerer proves why I love her so dearly and makes me a loyal slave and follower. Don’t even question when this comes out if I’ll have it on my shelf-it’s already preordered. And you should do so, too.

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BOOK REVIEW: Vicious (Sinners of Saint #1) by LJ Shen

BOOK REVIEW: Vicious (Sinners of Saint #1) by LJ ShenVicious (Sinners of Saint #1)
by L.J. Shen
Purchase on: AmazoniBooks
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Add to: Goodreads

Synopsis:

Emilia

They say love and hate are the same feelings experienced under different circumstances, and it’s true.The man who comes to me in my dreams also haunts me in my nightmares. He is a brilliant lawyer. A skilled criminal. A beautiful liar. A bully and a savior, a monster and a lover.

Ten years ago, he made me run away from the small town where we lived. Now, he came for me in New York, and he isn’t leaving until he takes me with him.

Vicious

She is a starving artist. Pretty and evasive like cherry blossom. Ten years ago, she barged into my life unannounced and turned everything upside down. She paid the price.

Emilia LeBlanc is completely off-limits, my best friend’s ex-girlfriend. The woman who knows my darkest secret, and the daughter of the cheap Help we hired to take care of our estate. That should deter me from chasing her, but it doesn’t. So she hates me. Big fucking deal. She better get used to me.

 

You were always mine.

Not so long ago a friend insisted I read The Kiss Thief. I’d been ignoring it with good reason (that reason being that I’m always always always let down by contemporary NA, it seems), but decided why not? I trust my friend. Thus began my journey through a book I didn’t think I could possibly love, leading to a curiosity that couldn’t be satiated until I got my hands on another of this author’s books-Is this woman my NA soulmate?

My Grandma once told me that love and hate are the same feelings experienced under different circumstances.

Turns out? This woman is a wizard, and I am under her spell. I was extremely sick with a savage head cold my Little gave me, and I generally can’t read when such occasions occur. The words are fuzzy, my brain doesn’t compute quick enough, feels are lost when they would have slayed me any other normal day. But. BUT. Somehow, even though the words didn’t go to my brain fast enough, this story broke through the fog and STILL gave me feels that were unparalleled to any NA I’ve read in recent memory. THAT is the work of something larger than myself, and I love this author for it. Bravo for being the first and ONLY author to write a book that broke through a sickness induced word coma.

I shook my head quickly. “I’m just not sure how you can be both nice and compassionate and a terrible asshole all at the same time,” I muttered.
He smiled. “It’s a hard job, but someone’s gotta do it.”

I loved The Kiss Thief-more than was safe for my own health-but when I picked up this book? It sang to my soul and dragged me down into the watery grave of obsession, because I literally could not get enough of each word spoken on every page. It was like there weren’t enough words, yet they were all so perfect no more could be said. Which is the best kind of predicament to be in, naturally, for a book DEVOURER such as me. But now, of course, I’ve spiraled into a void I can’t get out of, because literally no other book is going to compare now. Like, ugh.

The bottom line was I hated him. I hated him so much it made me sick to my stomach that I loved the way he looked, on and off the field. Hated my shallowness, my foolishness, at loving the way his square, hard jaw ticked when he fought a smile. I hated that I loved the smart, witty things that came out of his mouth when he spoke in class. Hated that he was a cynical realist while I was a hopeless idealist, and still, I loved every thought he uttered aloud. And I hated that once a week, every week, my heart did crazy things in my chest because I suspected he might be him.

I have to say that this book is way more trigger-happy for people than TKT ever was, which is why I told my friend to probably stay away from this one. What ignites my passion and hunger would surely repulse any sane human being-or, at least, my said friend. Vicious was…well….freaking vicious. He was crueler, less sane, and way colder to reach his goals. And, if I think about it, der??? It shocked me at first, but then I remembered something-Senator Wolfe Keaton was underhanded and dirty, sure, but he was, above all else, a good standing and well-liked politician of the public’s eye. OBVIOUSLY these two characters differ, seeing as Barron (Vicious) was just, well, a spoiled, self-entitled, destructive both physically and mentally, partying rich boy brat.

Vicious was right. I was a liar.
Because I told myself I could do casual.
When there was nothing casual about what I felt for him. Not even one bit.

Clearly a misguided (and yes, I’ll go there-misunderstood) soul, I couldn’t help but fall for him, now could I? This book gave me the closest/strongest vibes that reminded me of one of my favorite books of all time (Yes, I have issues), Punk 57, that I’ve had in a while. They’re nothing alike, yet, the back and forth, the anger, the savageness, the filthy, hot, dirty sex scenes. Come on. I’m a f****** goner, ya know? I’m TRASH for these types of books (not the sex, I just mean the enemies to lovers mixed with the story line and heat), and they are just so few and far between. And, while I loved TKT, that was technically older-ish, whereas this was, too, but we got that HS vibe as well, that underlying layer of why things were the way they were between these two, and I am so here for it. All of it. Even the bad, dirty, nasty. Because of it, even.

I love possessive dickheads in books. I do. I’m sorry. I’m a failure to womankind, surely, but I. Do. Not. Care. It’s alarmingly hot, okay?

Mine.
You’re mine.
You were always mine.
Because she was mine.

Yes to this? All of it? Can I read more of it? And I’m a sucker for it. No shame in my game, and judge as you will, cuz this chick ain’t a changin’.

But, besides all of this, I suppose this is a more ‘sophisticated’ (baha this book as sophisticated) way of me being able to enjoy YA without being considered kind of weird. It’s a past and present deal, which I generally loathe, yet it was done so frikkin’ well that, after my initial disappointment, I totally forgot because the book took me out of my own body and into their skewed version of the world, and I fell so in love none of my peeves mattered. I loved this book, wholly, and I now would not change one thing about it because-be still my beating heart-I consumed it and would re-read it in a second just to get the same feels again.

I realize that this isn’t necessarily realistic-it’s not-and that if a girl were in this situation, she obviously would need to RUN AND RUN FAST…but isn’t that what fiction is? A fantasy? A way to escape the world? No, I would not want a Barron Spencer chasing after me-he’s batshit crazy, okay-but to read about it? To just immerse myself into a nonexistent world? I dig it. It’s fun. It’s addicting as hell. And it’s shameful. But it’s my guilty pleasure read-I hardly read any of these all year long, tending to fall prey to my YA fantasies-and I am entitled to it now and again. No, I don’t think it’s a good book to let my daughter-or any young girl, for that matter-read. But it’s simple. I won’t suggest she read it. There. It’s easy, honestly-monitor what your kid reads as much as you can, and teach them what’s right and what’s wrong. It’s all we can do-the book won’t cease to exist no matter how much some people may will it , so as long as I do the best as I can for my children, then I may as well enjoy what this author has to offer-and it’s pure gold.

Yet here he was, in my house, in my room, near my bed. Even if he’d come here just to threaten me some more, he’d still made the trip. I got to him.
He was in my veins.
But I’d managed to crawl under his skin.

Now that that’s out of the way-this woman writes the hottest intimate scenes ever. At least, the hottest I’ve read in a while. And the ones from this book? They made me a total and utter mess. It was sick and depraved and I do not give one crap about it. It’s been a long time since I’ve been affected by a book in such a manner, and I’m almost (but not really) ashamed to admit…this one got to me. And I’m not even one to generally enjoy these scenes, because they scarcely measure up. But this woman? Wow. That’s all I can say without sounding like a total pervert lol.

All in all this book had it’s ups and downs, I suppose (for some), but I never once lost enjoyment, even through my hazy fog days. I looked forward to it every minute of the day I wasn’t reading it and didn’t want to put it down until I absolutely had to. To say this book gave me life when I was down and out would be an understatement, so I’ll go as far as to say it brought me back to life. There. BOOM. I said it. It made me unsick, and if that’s not worth a read, I don’t know what is.

***********

So. Fucking. Good.

RTC

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BOOK REVIEW: The Lost Sisters (The Folk of the Air #1.5) by Holly Black

BOOK REVIEW: The Lost Sisters (The Folk of the Air #1.5) by Holly BlackThe Lost Sisters (The Folk of the Air #1.5)
by Holly Black
Purchase on: AmazoniBooks
Add to: Goodreads

Synopsis:

Sometimes the difference between a love story and a horror story is where the ending comes . . .

While Jude fought for power in the Court of Elfhame against the cruel Prince Cardan, her sister Taryn began to fall in love with the trickster, Locke.

Half-apology and half-explanation, it turns out that Taryn has some secrets of her own to reveal.

The Lost Sisters is a companion e-novella to the New York Times bestselling novel The Cruel Prince by master writer Holly Black.

Let’s start with a love story.
Or maybe it’s another horror story. It seems like the difference is mostly in where the ending comes.

LOOK. We all know this girl is OBSESSED with her boy Cardan, her homegirl Jude, and this wonderful world of twists and turns, lies and betrayals. Is it really so shocking to know I loved this story, too? Even if it was about that-that-Ugh, That GIRL Tarryn? I did like Tarryn-frankly, I still do. Especially since I get what it’s like to be enraptured by a guy and all the stories he’s woven around you. I get that part-even sympathize.

Be bold, be bold, but not too bold.

HOWEVER. HOWEVERRRRR. I hate Locke-and I HATE something about WK to do with Tarryn. I know. I KNOW. That’s not fair to this story! But, alas, life is not fair and I didn’t get this review done before finishing WK, so SUE ME OKAY. I HAVE FEELINGS, OKAY.

Fairy tales have a moral: Stay on the path. Don’t trust wolves. Don’t steal things, not even things you think no normal person would care about. Share your food but don’t trust people who want to share their food with you; don’t eat their shiny red apples, nor their candy houses, nor any of it. Be nice, always nice, and polite to everyone: kings and beggars, witches and wounded bears. Don’t break a promise.

SO, I was debating giving this a 5 because…well, why not? I really enjoyed it. It kept me satiated while I waited to get back to the main show, Cardan and Jude. But what I WILL NOT and CANNOT forgive is what is in book three, and I have to say that this book only slightly helped her plight…in that sense. Before WK, I was kind of extremely sympathetic. Now I’m like…burn in Hell with Locke, B****.

Be good, but not too good. Be pretty, but not too pretty. Be honest, but not too honest. Maybe no one got lucky. Maybe it was too hard.

So. Yup. My feels are, once again, scattered across the wind and spread across faerie where my heart truly lies. Cardan <3

************

Annnndddd who’s finally ready to DEVOUR Wicked King tomorrow??

Guiltyyyy.

I’ll probably write a small review on this one…probably ha I don’t much care to read anything more on Locke, so eh

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BOOK REVIEW: The Winter of the Witch (Winternight Trilogy #3) by Katherine Arden

BOOK REVIEW: The Winter of the Witch (Winternight Trilogy #3) by Katherine ArdenThe Winter of the Witch by Katherine Arden
Purchase on: AmazoniBooks
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Synopsis:

Following their adventures in The Bear and the Nightingale and The Girl in the Tower, Vasya and Morozko return in this stunning conclusion to the bestselling Winternight Trilogy, battling enemies mortal and magical to save both Russias, the seen and the unseen.

Now Moscow has been struck by disaster. Its people are searching for answers—and for someone to blame. Vasya finds herself alone, beset on all sides. The Grand Prince is in a rage, choosing allies that will lead him on a path to war and ruin. A wicked demon returns, stronger than ever and determined to spread chaos. Caught at the center of the conflict is Vasya, who finds the fate of two worlds resting on her shoulders. Her destiny uncertain, Vasya will uncover surprising truths about herself and her history as she desperately tries to save Russia, Morozko, and the magical world she treasures. But she may not be able to save them all.

 

**ARC Provided via netgalley in exchange for an honest review**


Many say, better to die, until the time comes to actually do it, Morozko had told her once. He was right.

So, this series was a true love-hate thing for me. Yet, as a month and a half has passed since I finished it and have had sour thoughts about since, I can’t help, as I start writing this review, to have fond feelings for this story-so I guess that tells more than any nasty feelings that lingered. I hated the first, but loved the setting, the vivid storytelling (when it wasn’t talking about something totally triggerish for me), and, of course, Morozko. So I read the second-And I just plain adored it. Many times it’s not enough for the guy to be the only appealing thing to me, but, for this one, I really just had to know more about the mysterious Winter King and his oddly protective personality-even though, over the course of the series, he said time and again that he couldn’t always be around to protect Vasya, that it was taking him away from his duties, and that he wouldn’t ever do it again so be warned. Yet, every single time she was in danger…a certain freezing cold and rain or snow would assist our daring Vasya, and we just knew who couldn’t help himself from not letting her die. How romantically thrilling.

“I do not like him.”
“I fear,” said Sergei, “that he does not care in the slightest.”

And I finished this book around Christmas, or right before, what-have-you…and couldn’t find the words to write the review. After everything, this is what we were left with? Yeah, it was good. But, gone was what made me fall in love with this series, which was how Vasya was so strong, and how Morozko picked up the pieces and was relentless when she couldn’t be. I loved that. No matter how trigger-happy, nor how angry I got, I always loved that about this series, which is why I finished in the first place. Morozko had sacrificed so much over the course of this series, therefore he was at his weakest in this book-so we didn’t get to see many of theses moments (Though, he still continued to sacrifice all he had, in the only ways he could). It hurt me deeply, even though I know the goal was to show Vasya’s growth and what she can do to save her city on her own. But, with all the bullcrap surrounding these epic moments, the lack of Morozko was hard to swallow.

“…that is the only way you can play for everything, when you do not fear to lose.”

For all the triggers in all the lands of these books, one thing has stood out above all that that I just….just…could not stand, and that’s that bastard priest that was a thorn in my side from book one on. Can he just not, like, DISAPPEAR?! Go. Away.

YOU CAN’T SIT WITH US. He ruined so much and caused so much pain, heartache, and desperation that I could barely stand the series because of it. But, alas, he’s gone nowhere, and here we are.

Raising her head, she snapped at him, “Did you bring me here to watch me bleed to death? You are going to be disappointed. I am getting used to spiting people by surviving.”

TRIGGERS: Death, animal death (TRAUMATIC), child deaths, scary moments for weaklings such as I, and, like, so much more? What am I forgetting? Abuse at the hands of a misinformed and angry mob? And, for book two, which is what really hurt me most out of this whole series…a baby death. I have never been okay with this moment and, had it been erased from this series and book two, I think I could stomach it more.

“I knew you couldn’t do without me!” cried Ded Grib, triumphantly. “Even if now you have allies that are bigger.” He gave the Bear a very hard look.
“This is going to be a terrible war,” the Bear interjected. “What damage do you expect to do with a mushroom?”

I am a very sensitive soul, so when a mother is weeping for her child (book one) or an animal is slaughtered (1, 2, and 3) or burnt to death (2) or a baby dies traumatically and because of a selfish heroine (2) I cannot. I cannot I cannot and I will not. Yet, again, here we are. I feel fondly of this series…even after all this. All the tears. All the heartache. It all hurts. But I still, in a weird way…imagine skimming all that to get to the bright and amazing and shining parts. So I guess, again, that speaks louder than my angry reviews.

Which leads me here-Do I want these absolutely STUNNING books on my shelf? Yes. Will I get them? I don’t know. Is it worth it? There is so much heartache and sadness. Despair. But then-Morozko. Romantic peril. My baby Solovey. And those gorgeous covers. Here we are. Again. And again. And again.

None of the tales spoke of both wanting and resentment, of grand gestures and terrible mistakes.

Most enjoyable, to me, in order:

The Girl in the Tower (Favorite, might even just buy this one)
The Winter of the Witch
The Bear and the Nightingale

******************

ARC from Netgalley!!!

If I’m being frank, this series was one of the most confusing I’ve ever read-My emotions were all over the place. One minute I would hate the books, then next I would love them. I was sad. I was angry. I was annoyed. My heart would beat fast for Morozko. My heart would leap when Solovey was around. Back to angry again. It was a mess. I was a glass case of emotion. And, if I’m being honest, here is the order of enjoyment of these books:

A Girl in the Tower
The Winter Witch
The Bear and the Nightingale

And I’m not sorry about it.

RTC.

********************

I figured, why not walk straight into the fire? My soul is already broken anyway

Also, BR with the lovely Candace who has kept me sane through all this!

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BOOK REVIEW: Sky in the Deep by Adrienne Young

BOOK REVIEW: Sky in the Deep by Adrienne YoungSky in the Deep by Adrienne Young
Purchase on: AmazoniBooks
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Synopsis:

OND ELDR. BREATHE FIRE.

Raised to be a warrior, seventeen-year-old Eelyn fights alongside her Aska clansmen in an ancient, rivalry against the Riki clan. Her life is brutal but simple: fight and survive. Until the day she sees the impossible on the battlefield—her brother, fighting with the enemy—the brother she watched die five years ago.

Faced with her brother's betrayal, she must survive the winter in the mountains with the Riki, in a village where every neighbor is an enemy, every battle scar possibly one she delivered. But when the Riki village is raided by a ruthless clan thought to be a legend, Eelyn is even more desperate to get back to her beloved family.

She is given no choice but to trust Fiske, her brother’s friend, who sees her as a threat. They must do the impossible: unite the clans to fight together, or risk being slaughtered one by one. Driven by a love for her clan and her growing love for Fiske, Eelyn must confront her own definition of loyalty and family while daring to put her faith in the people she’s spent her life hating.

My heart pulsed in my veins as the fear pressed down on me, making me feel heavier. It was terrifying—that feeling—like there was something tying me to him. Because if one of us fell into the darkness, the other would too.

Ugh, Guyssss, I keep writing other reviews before this one!!! WHAT. IS. MY. DEAL. Has to be the weather-that’s the only plausible excuse, honestly. Lol. But, really, how can I put into words all the wonderfully conflicted feelings I..ahem..felt while reading this book?

I tried to summon her to me—that Eelyn who would choose her people over anything else. I searched for her within myself, but she was different now. I was different. And it was something that was already done. Something I couldn’t change.

I’ll admit that it took me a minute to truly give myself over, to really immerse, because I didn’t really know what to expect. I’ll say up front that I hate the animal sacrifice shit. I HATE THAT. No matter how small the part, it always twinges my heart-it’s not okay, it’ll never be okay. But, as you can see, I gave this a 5, so I’ll shut up now.

It was what we’d been taught our entire lives—vegr yfir fjor—honor above life.

So why a 5? Easy. Enemies to lovers. Perilous. Hero saves heroine (damsel in distress woot woot!) multiple times. Family bonds. EPIC FINAL BATTLE SCENE OMG (how do so many authors screw this up?). And…I’m sorry…that slow burn romance. I AM TRASH FOR IT, OKAY?! It all added up into a symphony of chaos of epic proportions, and, at some point, I was hooked.

I sat down on the cot, curling up on my side and tried to stay quiet as I wept. But the thing writhing inside me was too angry to be calmed. It was too hurt to be hushed. It was a living, breathing thing and it was trying to swallow me whole. And maybe it would. I cried until I couldn’t cry anymore and only the sound of the fire remained.

I also have always loved books that have that day to day activity stuff. I really have. Especially recently: This. Outlander. The Wall of Winnipeg and Me. KIND OF Diviners. I just have really taken to it. Back a few years ago I’d have been sooooo booooored with all these books where not enough happens and we have to rely on character fueled story-lines. Now, if I find a fantasy where there’s action and then day to day stuff? I am SO SO SO addicted and done for. It’s the weirdest freaking thing.

Something sounded deep inside my chest. Something grinding, breaking against me, like the crack of an avalanche. Something so desperate and angry that it could tear me open.

I don’t think I’m doing this book justice, but I just have so many feelings, yet I can’t explain them. I want to be clear that it had its issues (see above), but just shined too bright for me to not fall hard for it. Like, okay, the brother situation. She needs to grow up a little-after a certain point, it is what it is-take the opportunity and run with it-or pout and lose him in a different way. I think people would disagree with me, but it got repetitive and it was a bit much at times. Then, also, the way she talked about being loyal to her God, like it’s even her choice? At some point, again, I got tired of hearing about how she would be forsaken because she was forced into doing things she didn’t want to do. I couldn’t relate to that. And, at times, the writing, when it was descriptive…lost me. I can’t explain it-I just didn’t always flow with it correctly, and I do that sometimes. It’s a reader error, and I know that, I just have a specific type of writing I love. And, while this bordered on close to perfect to what I like, it lacked the flow I love most.

I stared at the floor. “Is there anything Fiske wouldn’t do for Iri?”
“He loves Iri more than he loves himself, but this isn’t about Iri anymore.”

But, TRULY, these were my only complaints, because everything else was so epic. Fitz was so wonderfully loyal to his family. So kind-hearted. Fierce. Devoted. Heroic. Vengeful on her part-he seeks justice in a way that…ugh, be still my heart. He saved her even when he hated her and feared she’d take a member of his family. The amount of love I have for him is immeasurable, even as I’m too tired to write this review-I’m doing him a great injustice, and it breaks my heart. But, just know, the way he falls for her and does everything in his power to protect her from those who mean her harm-even people he has known his whole life-it makes my heart swell.

He was right. But I wanted to say no. To ask why. I wanted to run as far from Fela as I could. As far from the deep whisper inside of me that spoke when Fiske looked at me the way he looked at me now. The way he did at the river. Like he knew something I didn’t.

And, finally, that last battle scene. Not only was it super well-written, but the way the heroine and hero try to watch out for each other, as they fight separate sides on the battle-I can’t even. Hands down one of my top favorite scenes in this book. I won’t mention the ones that make me sound masochistic, but I will say-one scene, where we (Haha SHE-we knew, a while ago) find out he is in love with her, is one of the most heart-stopping and beautiful scenes I’ve ever read. The vivid imagery and the breathlessness of the moment make your heart yearn and ache, and the vulnerability-both of the heart and of the ice they stand on-it’s indescribable, the feeling you get. So you just have to read it.

And that was the way of it. Things belonging where they didn’t. Like two night skies on a frozen lake. One looking down from above and one looking up from the deep.

It took me forever to read it, but I’m so glad I did. Epic beyond words with a wonderfully dense, yet not overdone, story-line, I’d be happy to read another of this author’s books in the future. I just hope the next hero can be like Fitz, too! And, ya know, enemies to lovers again!

*********************

Action-packed, slow-burn, enemies-lovers romance, and a story where even the strongest heroine can be a damsel in distress (like, fav thing EVER)…this book won me over whole-heartedly.

RTC!

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