Wednesday, May 31, 2017

{Book Review} A Vow of Thorns by R. Scarlett



A Vow of Thorns by R. Scarlett
Published: June 1st, 2017
Series: Blackest Gold #3
Source: Received in exchange for an honest reveiw
Genre: Dark Paranormal Romance
{Goodreads}{Amazon}

Never disobey the court.

Never disobey the crown.

And never tame that vicious heart.

In A Vow of Thorns, sacred laws are broken when a beauty holds an iron heart.

{Review}
Words can’t even begin to express my absolute LOVE for this series!  These books draw you in from page one, captivating you with the amazing story telling, dark world and well-developed characters.  Each book in this series keeps getting better and better, with A Vow of Thorns probably being my favorite so far from this series.  I HIGHLY recommend these books and will read (and probably love) anything that R. Scarlett writes!

I have voiced my dislike for books written in third person before, but R. Scarlett’s beautiful, poetic writing makes me absolute love it in these books.  The words flow off the pages and I found myself highlighting large sections because they were breathtakingly beautiful.  The pacing in this was perfect and I LOVED the expansion of world building when it came to the politics and hierarchy of demon society.  It still blows my mind how the plot flows so well, with every bit of information playing some bigger role later on.

I didn’t think it was possible for these characters to become more developed, but R. Scarlett succeeded at adding more dimensions to not only the main characters, but to the side characters as well.  Tensely has got to be one of my all-time favorite male characters.  He is so complex and well developed.  His struggle to fit in with his society and family, as well as battling against his growing love for Molly is one of my favorite parts of the story.  He has the ability to be animalistic, dark and brutal, but still gentle, caring and possessive.  I also really LOVE Molly.  Her character has grown so much from A Vein of Love (book one), becoming strong, independent and protective over what she holds dear.

The romance in this book has got to be one of my favorite aspects.  Seeing Tensely so ruthless and cruel when it comes to all aspects of his life, but kind and caring for Molly would make any girl weak in the knees.  I LOVED all the small loving gestures and touches that Tensely used when they were in the public’s eye to comfort Molly without openly showing affection.  Their love story is one of my favorites and I can’t wait to see how it continues.

I can’t say enough about how much I LOVE this series.  It is epic, beautiful and all-consuming.  Every time I sat down to read it, I was instantly transported into the world that R. Scarlett has created.  It was dark and disturbing, but also beautiful and fascinating.  I really hope this series continues for a VERY long time because I might shed a few tears when it is finally over.  I cannot wait to get my hands on the next book, especially after that crazy cliffhanger!  If you have not read this series yet, PLEASE, go now and start Vein of Love…you won’t regret it!

{Rating}

“I vow to worship you,” he said and kissed her thigh. “I vow to protect you, and I vow to kiss away your pain.”  Her entire body shook against his hold, and he stared up at her, from his knees.  “You will be my equal, my queen, my night sky of darkness.  I would wage war for you.  I would move mountains and steal stars.  Anything, anything,” he spoke with power but his voice laced with find velvet.



Also check out the other books in the Blackest Gold series below!

Monday, May 29, 2017

{Book Review} When It's Realy by Erin Watt



When It’s Real by Erin Watt
Published: May 30th, 2017 by Harlequin Teen
Series: Standalone
Source: Received in exchange for an honest review
Genre: Contemporary NA Romance
{Goodreads}{Amazon}

From #1 New York Times bestselling author duo Erin Watt comes the addictive contemporary tale of a teen rock star in need of an image makeover and the teen girl hired to be his fake girlfriend.

Meet Oakley Ford-teen celebrity, renowned pop star, child of famous movie stars, hottie with millions of fangirls… and restless troublemaker. On the surface he has it all, but with his home life disintegrating, his music well suddenly running dry, and the tabloids having a field day over his outrageous exploits, Oakley's team decides it's time for an intervention. The result: an image overhaul, complete with a fake girlfriend meant to show the world he's settled down.

Enter seventeen-year-old Vaughn Bennett-devoted sister, part-time waitress, the definition of "normal." Under ordinary circumstances she'd never have taken this gig, but with her family strapped for cash, she doesn't have much of a choice. And for the money Oakley's team is paying her, she figures she can put up with outlandish Hollywood parties and a team of publicists watching her every move. So what if she thinks Oakley's a shallow, self-centered jerk? It's not like they're going to fall for each other in real life…right?

{Review}
I absolutely, positively LOVED this book!  It is rare to have a book cause me such distress after I am done reading it, but this book definitely did.  I am VERY sad that it is over.  I have fallen into one of the worst reading slumps EVER and the only thing that is getting me through is looking forward to the amazing books that this author duo writes!  I loved every second of this book and am not so secretly hoping that this is not the last we get of this captivating world and charismatic characters!

Although this read was sweeter, cuter and had a bit of fluff compared to the extreme angst, drama and crazy cliffhangers that was delivered in the Royals series, it was still addictive and I was completely consumed by the plot.  I loved that it was written in first person, with the voice alternating between the two main characters.  It really allowed readers to understand the motives and emotions that these characters were experiencing.

I LOVED the characters in this book!  Vaughn, the main protagonist, is one of my favorite leading ladies.  Even though she is young, she is wise beyond her years because of the tragedies she has had to overcome.  A lot of the obstacles she faces in this book are relatable and I loved seeing her growth from them.  Oakley Ford is absolutely amazing!  He was a hard character to love at first, but as his layers began to peel apart, he slips his way into your heart.  I did have a hard time not seeing Justin Bieber when I read certain parts about Oakley’s rock star lifestyle and how it impacted his behavior.  I also loved seeing Oakley’s transformation from the beginning of the book, but I needed more.  He just started to find himself when the book ended and I wanted to continue on the journey with him.

The romance in this book was one of my favorite parts!  It had a bit of everything!  Hate to love, fake relationship, love triangle and friends to lovers.  I loved the slow burn romance with a dash of angst.  It was so cute to see all of the loving mannerisms that Vaughn and Oakley did for each other.  The forehead kisses, holding hands and small touches made their relationship feel more genuine and real.  I really loved where this book ended, but I also wanted to see how their relationship progresses in the future.

I would HIGHLY recommend this book to anyone who loves a good contemporary romance!  It is a bit different than the Royals series, but it was just as amazing in its own way.  I know that this book is marketed as a standalone, but I REALLY, REALLY, REALLY want more from these characters.  I would love more books focusing on Vaughn and Oakley, but if not, at least get a spin-off from a different couple from the book (hint, hint!).  This is defiantly going to be a book that I will re-read again and again!

{Rating}


“Because this is how we’re supposed to look.  Loved up.  Infatuated.  Just one washed-up recording artist and his made-for-the-press girlfriend.”



Also check out some of Erin Watt’s other books below.

Sunday, May 28, 2017

{Book Review} The Watcher by Bella Jewel



The Watcher by Bella Jewel
Published: May 30th, 2017 by St. Martin’s Paperback
Series: Standalone
Source: Received in exchange for an honest review
Genre: Mystery, Thriller, Contemporary Romance
{Goodreads}{Amazon}

NOW YOU SEE HER . . .
Seven years ago, Marlie Jacobson was kidnapped by a serial killer and lived to tell about it. But it was actually her mother who told the story, in a bestselling book that made Marlie famous. Today, she s known as the girl who slayed a killer. The one who got away. Now, there s just one thing Marlie wants to get away from: her past. But when her little sister disappears, her worst fears comes rushing back with a vengeance

NOW SHE S GONE.
Kenai Michelson is a world-renowned investigator. Dark, brooding, and dangerously good-looking, he s the kind of man Marlie would normally avoid at all costs. But Kenai is her only hope in finding her missing sister. Together, Kenai and Marlie follow a trail of clues that leads them toward the truth and into each other s arms. As her trust in Kenai grows, so does their fierce connection. But will their desire turn deadly as they close in on a ruthless enemy who s watching their every move?

{Review}
This book really surprised me.  I thought it was the perfect coupling of contemporary romance and mysterious thriller.  Both elements were well developed, creating a read that was exciting and kept me on the edge of my seat.  I will say that although it did keep my interest and I kept turning the pages, it was predictable.  It was very similar to many thriller/mystery movies that I have seen and followed a pretty stereotypical pattern.  However, I did still really enjoy the journey and this is becoming one of my favorite types of reads.

I thought the writing was good and I really loved that a lot of the character development was told in flash backs.  The pacing of this book was absolutely perfect.  I never thought that it dragged or slowed down for one second.  This book defiantly had a dark edge, especially all of the past trauma Marlie had to withstand when she was kidnapped by a serial killer.  There were moments of pure terror and extreme traumas, but I would not categorize it as scary or horror. 

I LOVED the character development of Marlie, the main protagonist.  I could see how much her character had grown and evolved from the child she was when she was kidnapped to the current woman who was not going to back down and be defeated.  Although Marlie had a sharp edge, she also had a vulnerability that made her relatable.  I also really enjoyed Kenai’s character, but I felt like he was a bit under developed.  I did enjoy that he was hard at the beginning of the book, but then opened up and showed his softer side when he was with Marlie.

I really liked the romance in this book.  I loved the banter between Marlie and Kenai at the beginning of the book.  Their relationship started with friendship and then slowly evolved to more.  Both Kenai and Marlie are strong, hard characters, but they both had a deep pain that each other understood and bonded over.  Although I wish their relationship would have evolved a bit more during this book, it still felt authentic.

Overall, I really enjoyed this book and thought it was a fun read.  It had the perfect amount of darkness and disturbing to make it interesting, but it never crossed the line of becoming gory.  Although this book was a bit predictable, I think the same is true about a lot of other books and movies in this genre.  I enjoyed the process of reading this and think it would be a great read for someone who wants a thriller, but nothing too scary.

{Rating}

Also check out some of Bella Jewel’s other books below.

Sunday, May 21, 2017

{Book Review} Scandal by Isabella Starling & Piper Hart



Scandal by Isabella Starling & Piper Hart
Published: March 2nd, 2017
Series: Dirty Money #1
Source: Purchased
Genre: Contemporary, Romance
Pages: 317
{Goodreads}{Amazon}

Little secrets always grow up to be a big scandal...

ASHER
Everyone’s got secrets.
Dirty little secrets.
But not like this.
Chloe Carlyle is totally off-limits.
The one girl I can’t touch.
Her mother is about to marry my dad, her father is in prison for murdering my mom…and I want her more than anything. Yeah, I never said this wasn’t fucked up.
And things are about to get a whole lot more fucked up.
This town has seen a lot of scandals, but this one’s gonna blow them all out of the water…

CHLOE
A wealthy city like Claremont Bay is accustomed to sinful scandals, but this latest one has shaken everyone to the core.
My father has been accused of murdering his mistress, and my mother is marrying the man who put him in prison — Robert St Clair.
Despite how messed up that is, it's not exactly Robert I'm worried about. It's his son.
Asher St Clair.
He’s insufferable. Intoxicating. Impossibly handsome.
I can’t fall for him. Can’t let him get under my skin.
I have bigger things to worry about, like my father’s imprisonment, because I’m the only one who believes he didn't kill that woman. So who did? The answer may lie closer to home than I know…

{Review}

This book was okay, but it did not blow me away.  My lack of connection with the characters was the downfall from completely falling in love with this read.  I think that this could have been a DNF for me if it was not for my curiosity to find out who the killer was.  I think that the mystery was my favorite part and I was not disappointed when the big twist as revealed, but the rest of this book fell flat for me other than some occasional moments.

I thought the writing was okay and it flowed well.  The pacing of the plot was very good and created a lot of tension.  I will say that one VERY smart thing in the writing was one of the chapter headers.  {Slight Spoiler} Near the end of the book, there is a chapter in the killer’s perspective and it was labeled ‘killer’.  I thought it was weird since the identity of the killer was already revealed, but then I realized it was done so that readers who look at the chapter headers before reading would not get spoiled.  Brilliant!  I would have never thought of that.

The characters are where I had a very difficult time connecting with this story.  Chloe was okay, but she was nothing special.  I felt like she was very average and ordinary.  I wish she had a bit more spunk and sparkle.  But Asher was my biggest pitfall.  His personality at the begging of the story was bi-polar.  One moment he was a complete douche and then he would become caring and sweet the next.  I am okay with male characters that start out mean/rude and end up being sweet, however, there needs to be a catalyst for the change in behavior and Asher lacked that.  I also wish there would have been more interaction/connection with the side characters.  They all just seemed to be there with not purpose other than being a potential suspect.

The romance in this book was good, but I wish that I would have felt the connection more.  Chloe and Asher’s feelings seemed to appear out of nowhere and I am a big critic of insta-love unless it is done perfectly.  I will say that by the end of the book, I was invested in their romance.

I will say the mystery aspect in this story gave it a BIG plus in my book.  I kept changing who I suspected as the book progressed.  I thought it was done amazingly.  There were also a lot of twists and turns.  However, I did have a hard time being convinced at how the characters were able to put the pieces together to find out who the killer was.

Although I did not enjoy all the elements of this book, it still had its moments of greatness.  I am interested in reading a different book by both of these authors to see if I enjoy it more.  I would recommend trying this book if the synopsis sounds interesting since it seems like I am in the minority with my review. 

{Rating}

“I was the big bad wolf and she was my Red Riding Hood-and I was going to break her.”



Also check out some of Isabella Starling’s other books below.
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