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BOOK REVIEW: Roar by Cora Carmack

BOOK REVIEW: Roar by Cora CarmackRoar (Stormheart #1)
by Cora Carmack
Purchase on: AmazoniBooks
Book Depository
Add to: Goodreads

Synopsis:

In a land ruled and shaped by violent magical storms, power lies with those who control them.

Aurora Pavan comes from one of the oldest Stormling families in existence. Long ago, the ungifted pledged fealty and service to her family in exchange for safe haven, and a kingdom was carved out from the wildlands and sustained by magic capable of repelling the world’s deadliest foes. As the sole heir of Pavan, Aurora’s been groomed to be the perfect queen. She’s intelligent and brave and honorable. But she’s yet to show any trace of the magic she’ll need to protect her people.

To keep her secret and save her crown, Aurora’s mother arranges for her to marry a dark and brooding Stormling prince from another kingdom. At first, the prince seems like the perfect solution to all her problems. He’ll guarantee her spot as the next queen and be the champion her people need to remain safe. But the more secrets Aurora uncovers about him, the more a future with him frightens her. When she dons a disguise and sneaks out of the palace one night to spy on him, she stumbles upon a black market dealing in the very thing she lacks—storm magic. And the people selling it? They’re not Stormlings. They’re storm hunters.

Legend says that her ancestors first gained their magic by facing a storm and stealing part of its essence. And when a handsome young storm hunter reveals he was born without magic, but possesses it now, Aurora realizes there’s a third option for her future besides ruin or marriage.

She might not have magic now, but she can steal it if she’s brave enough.

Challenge a tempest. Survive it. And you become its master.

Okay, so there was A LOT of really cool elements and honestly the sequel is set up to be even better than the first, so I’m not looking forward to a year of waiting. On the same note, definitely some corny elements, which is to be expected. All in all though, it was definitely fun!

I’ll start with Aurora, or ‘Roar’. I actually really liked her. She’s a weak heroine, and to be honest, she DOES grow but her character development is far from finished, so by the end of the book, she still had her weak elements. I think some will get annoyed at her for it, but I appreciated it. Not every heroine has to be 100% badass 100% of the time.

At the beginning, she’s a princess who is held in isolation inside her castle by her mother in order to prevent people from finding out she doesn’t have storm magic, which is a hereditary thing in the royal family. So yeah, kinda a big deal that she doesn’t have it. She’s being forced to marry Cassius (more on this lovely chunk of words later) as quickly as possible so she can keep her kingdom before others find out. But as you can tell by the synopsis, Roar runs away, and I won’t say much more than that. I love the direction the author took her in because book two should be GREAT as I said above. Anyway, she has a cute little temper but a good heart and wasn’t overly spoiled by the whole palace life thing.

Now for Cassius, our resident dark and very questionable prince… YES. I am so here for him. He needed MUCH more screen time and I’m hoping he gets it in book two because asldkfja;lsdkjf. The beginning was SO STRONG when he first met Aurora. Like what even, can we please talk about chemistry? But then Roar overhears him and realizes he only plans to use her to get the crown. Whatever guys, I know that is *kinda true* but there’s also a lot more about him that we don’t understand, and he DEFINITELY has a good side too. I’m labeling him as an antihero and you can’t stop me. I have such high hopes for him. He’s kinda like… a baby Darkling?? Yes? Anyone?? (Dearest Cora… please please more Cassius…and Cassius and Roar…)

I kina have a feeling the author was hinting at something between Cassius an Nova but nooooooo aldskfja;ldkfj I need Cassius and Roar.

I’m also super interested in Casimir an the rest of Cassius’s family.

Once Roar runs away, she ends up with a new gang of storm hunters (which are super cool). Actually, let me stop there for a moment. The whole storm fighting and storm hearts thing was really neat and took this from being a typical fantasy book to a super unique magic system and storyline. As I mentioned above, there are definitely some cliches and cheesy parts that you find in most fantasies (especially in the romance egh) but the A+ world building kept me invested even during those times.

That bring me to Locke (resident head storm hunter broody guy). I liked him, but I didn’t fall head over heels with him. I think it was because he was the sole focus for Roar in, and by the end of the book, he kinda felt like a typical overprotective boyfriend who gets angry at anyone who even looks at his girl wrong. I don’t know. I mean, he and Roar did have some chemistry and I didn’t mind him, and I did feel for him and his story, but Cassius is just so much more interesting and I liked his dynamic with Roar more. I CAN’T HELP IT.

To summarize…

The Good:
-really cool world
-freaking cool magic system
-um the storms have personalities? SO COOL
-CASSIUS
-likeable yet weak heroine
-excellent villain development
-A+ set up for the sequel

The ‘eh’:
-romance got cheesy later on
-cheesy writing in the whole ‘love declaration’ blah blah stuff
-Cassius didn’t get enough book time
-not much resolution for things I wanted to see before the sequel (more below)

Before I get into spoilers below, I’ll just say definitely give this book a go if you’re in for a unique fantasy/world and don’t mind romance being the main focus (because it is) – but even if you aren’t huge on that part of it, there’s for sure hope for the sequel.

******SPOILERS BELOW******

Anyway, about 70% of the book is Roar traveling with Locke and his crew, and I did enjoy it and the pacing was pretty good, but at the end, I expected a cliffhanger, but I felt like there was way too much left open. I mean, Cassius never even gets close to her or gets any clues, and I was super disappointed because I was totally on board for a cat and mouse thing (I’m so lame) and Locke never finds out who she is… so we literally had no resolution in this book aside from Locke and Roar getting feelsy. We get a glimpse at Roar’s ‘ability’ which is cool, but not much else. Berlghhg I just need the second book please and thank you.

OKAY OKAY AND WHAAAT CASSIUS IS THE FIRST BORN OGMARGHER YESS I AM HERE FOR THIS.
(Are you guys tired of me talking about Cassius? Sorry.)

All the while Locke and Roar and their gang are doing their thing, there’s another villain being set up in the background so I’m super interested in that. Especially with the last paragraph of the book.

Anyway, is it too early to beg for an ARC of book two? Yes? Poo.

BOOK REVIEW: All Broke Down (Rusk University #2) by Cora Carmack

BOOK REVIEW: All Broke Down (Rusk University #2) by Cora CarmackAll Broke Down (Rusk University #2)
by Cora Carmack
Purchase on: AmazoniBooks
Book Depository
Add to: Goodreads

Synopsis:

In this second book in New York Times and USA Today bestselling author Cora Carmack s New Adult, Texas-set Rusk University series, which began with All Lined Up, a young woman discovers that you can't only fight for what you believe in... sometimes you have to fight for what you love.

Dylan fights for lost causes. Probably because she used to be one.

Environmental issues, civil rights, corrupt corporations, and politicians you name it, she's probably been involved in a protest. When her latest cause lands her in jail overnight, she meets Silas Moore. He's in for a different kind of fighting. And though he's arrogant and infuriating, she can't help being fascinated with him. Yet another lost cause.

Football and trouble are the only things that have ever come naturally to Silas. And it's trouble that lands him in a cell next to do-gooder Dylan. He's met girls like her before fixers, he calls them, desperate to heal the damage and make him into their ideal boyfriend. But he doesn't think he's broken, and he definitely doesn't need a girlfriend trying to change him. Until, that is, his anger issues and rash decisions threaten the only thing he really cares about: his spot on the Rusk University football team. Dylan might just be the perfect girl to help.

Because Silas Moore needs some fixing after all.

 

I drop my head against the steering wheel and groan. So much for keeping things simple. “You are in so much trouble, Dylan Brenner.”

And trouble’s name is Silas Moore.

Oh em gee…This is a literal OMG. I started another book that made my eyes burn on the SECOND PAGE and thought shit, what will I read now?? So, on Friday at 10 pm (what…I have a life-I DO!), when my book didn’t work, I went to another that my lovely lovely Jennfier had bought me…and from page one on…I WAS A GONER.

“Are you hurt?” I ask.
A flash of a smile has a field of goose bumps sprouting along my arms. “You worried about me, Pickle?”
I throw my head back and groan.
“I’m going to kill him.”

One word, Y’all…one word: SILAS. I just…I can’t even. This book just popped out at me one day and I couldn’t help but mark it as TBR. I mean…football. But I never thought I’d actually read it, ya know?? I thought it was a filler that would sit there for years and eventually I would delete it on one of my epic TBR sweeps (just did one recently, Hallelujah!). But no, for some reason, on a late Friday night when I needed a pick me up, fate led me to this hidden gem…and I couldn’t be a happier little Silas fangirl. XD

And…fuck.
Just fuck.
I could probably live the rest of my life only using that word and it would sum things up fine.

So, here’s the deal, I’m guna level with you all-I have written a LOT of fangirl reviews lately. A LOT. A LOT A LOT. And I am tired, lol. I HATE when this happens right when I read a wonderful book that was not only well-written and sexy, but surprisingly heartfelt and addicting without being trashy. I had so much to say while I was reading-I mean, from the first chapter I was out of breath from all the butterflies attempting to escape through my throat. There is just something so sweet about a boy that has always had it rough, who is fighting for something he thinks is so out of his reach, and finding the girl of his dreams while trying to achieve greatness. And, better yet, thinking he doesn’t deserve the girl who lights up his whole life.

His lips are still at my ear, and he lowers his volume so that Matt won’t hear. “I promise not to get you dirty. Unless you ask real nice.”
I don’t even…I can’t…Oh my God.


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Oh! And a little tidbit for those who hate this kind of thing (It personally has never bothered me): No slut shaming. Well….I didn’t think there was. Maybe I’m wrong? Anyway-My point in all this-I’ve written a lot of reviews for a lot of books in the last three weeks (the majority of them 5’s), and I am officially worn out on writing them lol. So, if this review falls short, in the end, it is not for a lack of perfection in this novel. No, the reason for shorting my poor, tortured Silas is because this bitch be tired. I am just…ugh. So tired.

His eyes really are far too pretty for a guy like him. Dudes who look dangerous should just be dangerous. Period. The end. They should not be dangerous and beautiful all at the same time. It leaves the universe out of balance, and it makes me do stupid things like stare.

I think the most charming thing about this story…is it’s writing. I mean, I don’t judge that harshly on books, really, but I certainly can appreciate a well-written and humorous story. The reason this is so wonderful, to me, is that the book didn’t merely rely on sex and witty banter and a smoldering hot male who only has eyes for our girl (He is a former manwhore-a plot I know most people might be tired of, but that I NEVER grow tired of, tee-hee). There was a lot of that-the sexy looks, the ‘I’m falling for you but I’ll take what I can get’, the broken and torturedness-but it wasn’t the only thing. And that, in NA, is amazing.

I will never be able to turn this girl down. Whatever she wants from me, it’s hers. No matter what she asks for, I’ll find a way to give it to her. She may not be mine, but somewhere along the way, I ended up hers.

The heart and soul of this story, though, is how much Silas wanted to make something of himself, to break the barrier of being just a brat who grew up in non-homes and trailers. He met Dylan in the oddest of circumstances…one might say they were immediately ‘handcuffed’ together


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(LMAO I AM SO NOT CLEVER BUT BAHAHA). And from that moment on, he was intrigued by her. Tied to her. Into her. And, most importantly, protective of her.

His tongue peeks out to worry at his swollen, busted lip, and I feel a wave of heat curl up my spine.
Totally inappropriate. Totally psychotic because he is way out of my league. Or I’m way out of his league, I don’t know. Either way, someone is out of someone’s league.

GAWD his protectiveness just got me. I ADORED HIM. He could get violent, an offense that almost loses his place on the team, but he never got where I think people reading this would get a bad vibe from him. He thinks with his fists first, especially when it comes to his girl, but never in a, hmm, psycho way. And, despite what I implied…no insta-love. Just no. Stop it. Stop thinking that. STOP IT! But boy oh boy…I was pleased with their first….encounter.

I want to make her come so hard that for the rest of her life, she remembers me anytime someone touches her. I’m going to leave my mark on her perfect body, beneath the skin where she’ll never get me out.
I want to ruin her for anyone else.
And I’m pretty damn good at ruining things.


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Dylan was also a character I really enjoyed. She knew what she wanted. She was goal oriented and into helping others who cannot help or speak for themselves. She never blew Silas off because he didn’t grow up like her, and she never felt above him…but this was also a part of the story in ways they need to overcome-Just to be clear. I can’t say she was as good as Silas, but *Scoffs* who is, am I right? However, she was a great heroine and she didn’t make me cringe, roll my eyes, or anger me in a way that endangered my enjoyment of the story. I loved her in a lot of ways, and she was always there for my beautiful broken football player.

Except I’m starting to think that the idea of “belonging” anywhere is false. We go through our whole lives thinking that we belong in one place and not in another. We think certain ideas and actions have to be relegated to the tiny little boxes we place them in. What if we just react instead? What if we take whatever the world gives us and instead of focusing on what it isn’t, we enjoy what it is?

So, you know, my fingers are ITCHING to type more about Silas and his jealousy and his fierce protectiveness and possessive tendencies and his loyalty and his loving nature and his longing to be good enough for her and…oopsy poopsy. My bad….


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But I think this said enough. And hell, if I need to add more tomorrow, I will. I mean, I get to add my quotes next and EEEEPSSSS that is my favorite part. Who wants to be too tired to enjoy re-reading my favorite Silas moments?? Not I. But, I digress-I just recently went on a deleting massacre of my TBR, and Cora’s other popular series, Losing it, was deleted because I knew I’d never read it and it had been on there since, like, 2012. But, you know…I think I might be re-evaluating that decision. Hmmm….is that a pig in the sky?? Because that has NEVER happened before. What? I can admit when I’m wrong.

*********

I will never be able to turn this girl down. Whatever she wants from me, it’s hers. No matter what she asks for, I’ll find a way to give it to her. She may not be mine, but somewhere along the way, I ended up hers.

Ahhh!!! I am beyond excited I decided to give this one a try. Started another book, didn’t get any feels, picked this one up….and ALLL THE FEELSSSSS!!! Silas stole my heart from page one-SO unexpected!


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RTC!!

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