Category: Review (page 1 of 228)

BOOK REVIEW: Hitched: The Bachelorette (Hitched #1) by G.K. DeRosa

BOOK REVIEW: Hitched: The Bachelorette (Hitched #1) by G.K. DeRosaHitched: The Bachelorette (Hitched #1)
by G.K. DeRosa
Purchase on: Amazon
Add to: Goodreads

Synopsis:

One innocent human girl. Twenty-five supernatural bachelors. Six weeks to choose The One.

When struggling actress Kimmie-Jayne Starr discovers she’s snagged the starring role on the next huge reality TV show, Hitched, she thinks all her dreams have finally come true. But as soon as she lands on the beautiful island of Mystic Cove, something feels wrong.

Sure, the twenty-five bachelors are heart-stoppingly gorgeous, but she’s certain they’re all hiding something—something supernatural. As she gets to know the guys, protecting her heart proves impossible when she finds herself irresistibly drawn to more than just one.

As a string of strange accidents on set grow deadlier, Kimmie realizes there’s much more to this dating show than she ever could’ve imagined. If she can’t figure out who’s behind these incidents, she’ll end up risking more than just her heart.

Review:

Hitched was absolutely charming and so easy to devour.  With a richly imagined world and characters that stood out brightly, I have to discover the rest of G.K. DeRosa’s books!  Especially since the writing was so additive that I binged this whole series is under a week.  So if you adore reality tv or books with paranormal creatures, you should check this one out!

I draw in a breath of sultry air and still my racing thoughts. What’s a girl to do with so many choices?

Kimmie-Jayne Starr got the coveted role of playing the Bachlorette on a new tv show, Hitched.  She was whisked away to the beautiful island of Mystic Cove, where the filming was to take place.  But not everything was at it seemed.  You see, Kimmie-Jayne was a human, but the bachelors were all supernatural creatures.  She was being set up for the shock of her lifetime to learn that that not only do paranormal creatures exist, but she was falling for some of them too.

The twist. I smack myself for being so stupid as I pace the balcony. After watching so many reality TV shows, I should’ve known there had to be one. Now here I am playing a game that I’m not sure I can win.

There was so much that I loved about this book.  Trix and Bash were like her own fairy godmothers.  They got her ready before screen time and their playfulness and huge hearts made me like them both from the start.  They were ones I’d love to have as friends!  Plus I loved watching Kimmie meet all of the bachelors.  I was just as overwhelmed as she was, and I was thankful for that first elimination round right away.  Then there were fewer guys to remember.  Confession time – I made a cheat sheet of the bachelors left after that first elemination.  She got one, so why not me too lol!

There’s something weird going on around here and no matter how attractive these guys are, I can’t let it distract me from discovering what that is.

Next came the group dates, and I loved getting to know the bachelors a lot better.  I was happily surprised that there were a quite a few of guys who stood out as my favorites, such as Fenix, Flare, Luciano and Cillian.  Ohhh I even liked one of the camera guys *smacks self in the forehead*.  What can I say?  This author knows how to write men that you just want to steal from the book!  And I’m super intrigued by Ryder, since I always feel pulled towards the bad guys.  But I’m pretty sure we aren’t supposed to like him, whoops.  But during the group dates, crazy and unexplainable things happened.  It left Kimmie questioning what exactly was going on.  And as it progressed and got more deadly, I was glued to the pages.

“You see, Ms. Starr, there’s something you don’t know about all of these men. Something the majority of the world doesn’t know. There’s nothing ordinary about the ten remaining bachelors. They have all been keeping a big secret from you.”

With another elimination round, towards the end of the book, we were left with 10 bachelors.  And a huge cliffhanger.  That cliffhanger had me scrambling to grab that next book right away.  Thankfully the whole series is already complete, so I don’t have to wait to see what happens next, phew.  So if you love paranormal creatures and a fun story that has some twists and turns, then definitely add this one to your tbr.

BOOK REVIEW & GIVEAWAY: Helix (International Sensory Assassin Network #2) by Mary Ting

BOOK REVIEW & GIVEAWAY: Helix (International Sensory Assassin Network #2) by Mary Ting

I. LOVED. THIS. BOOK! I'm so grateful I got to be on this tour and I devoured this book oh so fast! So please check out my 5 Star Review below and enter in a fabuous giveaway. Enjoy!

BOOK REVIEW & GIVEAWAY: Helix (International Sensory Assassin Network #2) by Mary TingHelix (International Sensory Assassin Network #2)
by Mary Ting
Purchase on: AmazoniBooks
Book Depository
Add to: Goodreads

Synopsis:

ALLIANCES ARE FORMING. THE RESISTANCE IS GROWING.
EVERYTHING IS ABOUT TO CHANGE.

With her memory still fragmented, Ava returns to the International Sensory Assassin Network (ISAN) to find the twin sister she never knew she had.

But as Ava hunts for information, she finds herself tangled in a web of yet more lies and conspiracy. The Helix serum may not be required to access her superpowers, and the number of male assassins-previously considered too volatile to tolerate Helix-is growing in every territory.

The more Ava uncovers, the more of a threat she becomes to ISAN. Her only salvation may be to join the rebels-if she isn't killed first.

Review:

Helix was an action packed ride that had me on the edge of my seat.  The story was rich and intricate, the characters had my emotions pulled every which way and I loved how the stakes were even higher!  This book was just as addicting as the first, and I loved being back in this world.  If you love dystopian and books that play out like a movie, then you have to pick up this series!

I wasn’t just a daughter whose father had experimented on her. I was the very thing ISAN should fear.

 

✮ A Different Take:

There was nothing I wouldn’t do for her, even give up my own life. She was my world. No matter how long it took to get her memory back, I would be patient. But we were running out of time.

This story started out with Rhett’s point of view!  And we switched back and forth between Ava and Rhett throughout the story.  I was dying to get into Rhett’s head, in ISAN, and now we got to hear every single thought of his.  It added so much emotion and allowed us to learn about Rhett inside and out.  I absolutely loved how much depth it added to the story!

 

✮ Love is Powerful:

I love you with every breath, with every fiber of my being. My favorite place in the world is next to you. – Rhett to Ava

This story held the most beautiful love story.  With little pieces of the past coming back to Ava, it filled my heart with so many emotions.  There were moments that made me smile, made me have tears in my eyes and others that gutted me.  We got to see every single side of Ava and Rhett, and it made me love them that much more.  What they would do for each other?  It. Was. Breathtaking.  If you like to read about a power couple with an ever lasting love story, Ava and Rhett are it!

 

✮ Friends are your Family:

I ran to a hole in the floor and caught a glimpse below. Gunshots echoed and red Taser beams flashed across the darkness. I had no choice. My team needed me.
I jumped in just as the floor sealed.

The side characters in this series had so much life and shined so brightly!  We got to spend time and learn even more about Brooke, Tamara, Ozzie, and Reyna.  And while yes they were two groups of friends, they felt more like family to me.  They had each other’s backs.  They trusted each other.  They would even sacrifice it all for one another. 

 

✮ Action and Twists:

“You’re a traitor. You’re a monster. You made me do what I had to do. I had to … You made me forget Rhett . Forget Ozzie. Forget Reyna . This is all your fault. My father. My sister. My mother …” My lips quivered as the words died on my tongue, and I couldn’t hold it any longer. I choked on my words and sobbed.

The action and peril was intense, and I loved how this story continued to build and grow from the first book.  It became even more intricate and I soaked in every single tiny detail I could.  Especially since we were starting to get pieces to the bigger puzzle.  We still have a lot to learn, but what we did learn in this book?  It was exciting!  But there was one twist I never saw coming.  My mind was blown!  And it made me want to go back and skim certain parts of the first book and parts of the second book too.  So I did.  And ohhhhhhhh it was such a tricky and genius twist, I loved it!

Breathless. Speechless. His words filled me. A warm tingle traveled through my veins. His featherlight fingers journeyed up my arm to the curve of my neck, and then his thumb glided over my mouth.

Helix ended at the perfect spot.  I loved that we could finally have a moment to breathe, but at the same point I’m dying to know what happens next.  Especially since I’m not exactly sure how everything is going to play out.  So if you love action packed stories, intricate characters and a story line that’ll keep you glued to the pages, definitely add this series to your tbr!

 

PS There was a line in Chapter 4 of ISAN that made me think I knew something about Ava’s past and I can’t wait to see if I guessed correctly or not in the next book.  Because I know we’ll get our answer in there, eeks, I can’t wait to find out!

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

 

 

About Mary Ting:

International Bestselling, Award-Winning Author Mary Ting writes soulful, spellbinding stories that excite the imagination and captivate readers all over the world. Her books run a wide range of genres and her storytelling talents have won her a devoted legion of fans and garnered critical praise.

Becoming an author happened by chance. It was a way to grieve the death of her beloved grandmother, and inspired by a dream she had in high school. After realizing she wanted to become a full-time author, Mary retired from teaching after twenty years. She also had the privilege of touring with the Magic Johnson Foundation to promote literacy and her children’s chapter book: No Bullies Allowed.

Mary resides in Southern California with her husband, two children, and two little dogs, Mochi and Mocha. She enjoys oil painting and making jewelry.

Website / Goodreads / Facebook / Twitter / Instagram / Bookbub

 

Giveaway:

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BOOK REVIEW: The Girl the Sea Gave Back (Sky in the Deep) by Adrienne Young

BOOK REVIEW: The Girl the Sea Gave Back (Sky in the Deep) by Adrienne YoungThe Girl the Sea Gave Back (Sky in the Deep)
by Adrienne Young
Purchase on: AmazoniBooks
Book Depository
Add to: Goodreads

Synopsis:

The new gut-wrenching epic from the New York Times bestselling author of Sky in the Deep.

For as long as she can remember, Tova has lived among the Svell, the people who found her washed ashore as a child and use her for her gift as a Truthtongue. Her own home and clan are long-faded memories, but the sacred symbols and staves inked over every inch of her skin mark her as one who can cast the rune stones and see into the future. She has found a fragile place among those who fear her, but when two clans to the east bury their age-old blood feud and join together as one, her world is dangerously close to collapse.

For the first time in generations, the leaders of the Svell are divided. Should they maintain peace or go to war with the allied clans to protect their newfound power? And when their chieftain looks to Tova to cast the stones, she sets into motion a series of events that will not only change the landscape of the mainland forever but will give her something she believed she could never have again—a home.

Review:

Ohhhhh boy that ending. Of all of the books to have an open ending WHY DOES IT HAVE TO BE THIS ONE?!?! Even though it actually makes perfect sense with how the rest of the book was set up, that doesn’t mean I have to like it!!!

Okay, soooo I only recently, and yes, finally, got around to reading Sky in the Deep. I obviously LOVED it and immediately ran to request this ARC. The cover is SO gorgeous and I was so excited to read anything else that this woman had to offer, especially if I was able to get any kind of glimpse at my other babies. I was a little skeptical when I saw quite a few so/so reviews and wondered how that could be. Now that I’ve finished, I get it.

Don’t get me wrong, this is a very solid 4 stars for me. Like a few of the other reviewers out there, the actual story didn’t grab me like the previous one did. As I mentioned in that review, I waited to read SITD so for long because Viking stuff makes me nervous. I do NOT like reading about excessive, gory violence at all. When that story was more about two groups forming a peace and two people from each side slowly falling in love, I couldn’t have been happier. This on the other hand, had allllll kinds of blood, violence, and gore. It hurt. It was hard to read. And while you could tell that the story would probably end with Tova and Halvard getting together, it was not a main thread of this story.

No, this story, even though it had viewpoints from both Tova and Halvard, was about Tova. It was about fate, and her past, and their future. I thought that the way Young set up Tova’s Truthtongue heritage and abilities was super interesting and well done. I have always loved reading about Fate and how different people thing it rules their life. Look at this quote:

“Why did you help me?” I asked, my voice softening.
She looked surprised at the question, studying my face before she answered.
“Because you’re not supposed to die.”
“If I’m not supposed to die, then I won’t.”

She searched my eyes, making me feel unsteady on my feet again. “That’s not how fate works.”


I love that in Tova’s world, even if something is supposed to happen, or fated to happen, there are a million different forces at work based on people’s decisions that could change how a certain event could take place or change a person’s life. It’s delicious to wrap your mind around.

Other than kind of being bummed about the romance and also being kind of emotionally burned out by the violence and the way in which Tova was treated by the Svell I was a little…thrown off by the flashbacks. I really felt like I was missing something when I was reading them. I get that Tova’s set up her past and showed some big events but I felt like I was confused about why we also got a glimpse into Halvard’s past at that same point in time. I couldn’t make any connections, personally. Maybe I wasn’t paying enough attention? But I really just felt like I was missing something big.

Either way, even though I was a tad disappointed by the plot of this book, it was still GOOD. Young’s writing is phenomenal and I will continue to read anything she puts out.

Huge thanks to NetGalley and Wednesday books for allowing me to read this eARC in exchange for my honest opinion.
 

BOOK REVIEW: SERPENT & DOVE (Serpent & Dove #1) by Shelby Mahurin

BOOK REVIEW: SERPENT & DOVE (Serpent & Dove #1) by Shelby MahurinSerpent & Dove (Serpent & Dove #1)
by Shelby Mahurin
Purchase on: Amazon
Book Depository
Add to: Goodreads

Synopsis:

Bound as one to love, honor, or burn.

Two years ago, Louise le Blanc fled her coven and took shelter in the city of Cesarine, forsaking all magic and living off whatever she could steal. There, witches like Lou are hunted. They are feared. And they are burned.

Sworn to the Church as a Chasseur, Reid Diggory has lived his life by one principle: thou shalt not suffer a witch to live. His path was never meant to cross with Lou's, but a wicked stunt forces them into an impossible union—holy matrimony.

The war between witches and Church is an ancient one, and Lou's most dangerous enemies bring a fate worse than fire. Unable to ignore her growing feelings, yet powerless to change what she is, a choice must be made.

And love makes fools of us all.

Review:

This book has a plot that I never knew I needed. I mean marriages of convenience do interest me but this kind?!?!? Sworn enemies getting married to each other even though one half doesn’t actually know the other half is a sworn enemy!?!?! Drool-worthy, let me tell you.

Initial thoughts about this book:
-Loved the magic system. I LOVE when magic has balance and can’t be flung about all willy-nilly and this particular system has balance in a way that I’ve never seen done before. The witch literally has to give something up (could be her sight, could be a broken finger, could be a memory) in exchange for the magic coming to life. It seemed to me that the thing the person gives up is about equal to the magic being done, too, which makes even more sense.

-OMG LOU. AND COCO. For anyone who has read this yet, does Lou not remind you of the early assassin version of Celaena Sardothian?!?!?! She dresses up and pretends to be other people to trick literally anyone and steal from them, she’s got a FILTHY mouth which is hilarious especially when she’s trying to embarrass Reid, and she’s just an all around bad ass. I loved her so, so much. I also loved her friendship with Coco, and Coco in general. Great example of female friendship in YA and she was also an all around bad ass, duh.

-REID. Do I really even need to explain myself here? He’s a grump. And so innocent. Kinda like Jamie from Outlander. He may know how to kiss and how to rile Lou up but does that mean he knows anything else about women? Nope. Lol. It was fun watching Lou teach him. And of course he’s really such a sweetheart underneath the gruff exterior (surprise, surprise). Their slow and gradual romance was uhhhh *chef kiss* perfect.

The story here was riveting from the very beginning. It’s the witches pitted again the Chasseurs, a holy order or men sword to rid the earth of witches and protect the people. What surprised me was how truly vicious the witches could be. Yes, some of them like Lou and Coco were hiding in plain sight and wouldn’t hurt a human if they didn’t have to but there were several scenes where the witches attacked and just started killing innocent people. I think at this point I’ve just read too many books where magic and witches are a lot less violet and gruesome as all that. It definitely made things seem more desperate between the two though and of course made things more interesting when Lou was trying to get Reid to understand that just because some witches are horrible creatures, that it doesn’t mean they all are. It’s that delicious gray area of life that makes morals so complicated. 

Anwayyyy after that freakin kind-of-sort-of cliffhanger I am DYING to get my hands on the next book! So glad I picked this one up.

Huge thanks to NetGalley and HarperTeen for allowing me to read this eARC early in exchange for an honest review!

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: AmazoniBooks
Book Depository
Add to: Goodreads

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 . . .

In her compulsively readable storytelling, Brigid Kemmerer pens another captivating, heartfelt novel that asks the question: Is it okay to do something wrong for the right reasons?

Review:

Call It What You Want was a beautifully, emotional story.  If you’re looking for something that will consume you, pull your emotions every which way and will stay with you for a long time to come, then definitely pick this one up.  I easily became obsessed with Rob and Maegan’s lives.  And I’m so happy I fell madly in love with another book by Brigid Kemmerer.

We were from two different worlds once: popular boy and nerdy girl. We’re still from two different worlds: cop’s daughter and criminal’s son.

This story started off with an emotional bang and we get brought right into Rob’s life.  His dad betrayed his family in multiple ways and he and his mother were left with the damage and fall out from it all.  There was no escaping it and I could feel Rob’s heart bleeding from the pages.  And in the next chapter we were dropped right into Maegan’s world.  Her sister came home from college pregnant, and if that wasn’t enough to push the tension in her house through the roof, Maegan did something that labeled her a cheater at school.

“I’m sorry,” I say. “Maybe . . . we can start over.”
His eyes search my face. “Fine.” He puts out a hand like a businessman. “Rob Lachlan. Non-slacker.”
“Maegan Day.” I shake his hand. Most boys at school shake hands with the passivity of a trained cocker spaniel, but Rob’s fingers close around mine securely. I can feel the strength in his grip. I have to swallow. “Overly judgmental.”

Rob and Maegan had both been branded at their school.  They became outcasts and their classmates had no problem saying horrible things to their faces.  They were both drowning in their own problems and pain, and it felt like they were both so alone.  So when Rob and Maegan got partnered together in math class, to work on a project, I had so much hope.  But right from the start they got off on the wrong foot and were completely awkward around each other.

I pull a slip of loose-leaf out of my binder and write a quick note to him.
Are you okay
When I slide it on top of his notebook, he stares at the words for the longest time.
I wish I could crawl inside his head and figure him out. Then he gives me a brief nod, folds the note in half, and tucks it into his backpack.
And then, for the rest of the period, he keeps his eyes focused forward and never once turns to look at me.

But as they met more and more, they started to talk with each.  When Rob gave little peaks of his life to Maegan, my eyes would sting with tears.  His world was pain and I hurt so bad listening to him.  But Maegan’s world was extremely emotional too.  Even just a family dinner at her house was a mine field.  The tension was horrific and drama and emotions were always running high.  Rob and Maegan both wanted to escape their houses and who they were.  So when they were next to each other, not even talking, it seemed like they felt a little less alone.

I don’t deserve her friendship. I don’t deserve kindness. Not from anyone.
But her fingers were so warm on mine. The air so quiet between us. The beginning of trust.
Then her friends showed up.
We know who he is.

If you’re a sucker for tortured characters, you’re going to love Rob.  His thoughts were dark, deep and brutally honest.  I quickly connected and was consumed by Rob.  But I desperately wanted to protect him since he was so immersed with his hurt and it felt suffocating at times.  And when obstacles were thrown in his path, I just wanted him to find some happiness or peace.  He deserved it and I hoped he’d find that with Maegan, while also helping her with her pain.

“One mistake doesn’t define you.”
She sniffs and carefully swipes at her eyes. “You’re going to wreck all of Sam’s handiwork.”
That makes me smile. I want to touch her so badly that my hand aches , but I still can’t tell if she feels the same way, or if she’s saying these things out of kindness.

On top of Meagan and Rob, there were two side characters I became attached to also.  Samantha, was Maegan’s sister, and I I loved watching their relationship play out.  And Owen, who seemed like a possible friend to Rob.  Watching both of those relationships transform added so much depth to this story, especially since Samantha and Owen shined so brightly.  So YES, I definitely recommend this book.  If you love YA, emotional stories and deep characters then definitely pick this one up!

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