Sunday, May 31, 2020

The Raven King by Nora Sakavic - (Short) Book Review

The Raven King by Nora Sakavic
Publication date: July 10, 2013
My rating: 3 stars

"Some of the strongest people I've known are women." 

This trilogy is way too addictive for my peace of mind. 

Last night it nearly made me pull an all-nighter just to finish this book, and I had to force myself to stop and go to sleep even though it was hard with the adrenaline still coursing through my veins. 

It's like I just... can't... stop... reading. 

Even though I'm aware of its flaws, like the lovely descriptive writing for certain scenes but not enough descriptive for other scenes, or hardly enough page time for Andreil, or how I feel like, due to his condition, so it's not his fault, Andrew doesn't really "care" about Neil, which makes me sad (I know, I know he does it in his own way, but it's still hard to read sometimes), yet it's still just so addictive! 

I still adore Neil, he's just so precious and I love him. 
I also love the rest of the Fox family, and I can't wait to see more of Andreil in the next book. 

He was their family. They were his. They were worth every cut and bruise and scream.

The Foxhole Court by Nora Sakavic - (Short) Book Review

The Foxhole Court by Nora Sakavic
Publication date: January 15, 2013
My rating: 3 stars

The unwavering trust Kevin had in Andrew was amazing. How Kevin thought one psychotic midget could protect him against a family as twisted as the Moriyamas, Neil didn't know.

Ohhhh, this was nice! 

I definitely knew but also didn't know what to expect going into this. 
I wanted to love it because everyone else has, but I also heard from people it's super dark and twisted. 

Good news, I liked it! And I actually love reading dark books - heck, I've read books that were just as dark, even more so, than this. I do think it's going to get even darker in the next books, though, from what I've heard. I'm definitely dreading for these characters to be hurt even more. 

I absolutely loved Neil! That precious, tortured boy who just wants to belong but can't trust anyone - with good reason - and I just wanted to hug him ๐Ÿ˜ญ
I'm also definitely intrigued by the rest of the crazy cast, especially Andrew. 

I'm looking forward to learning more about everyone, and for the relationship between Neil and Andrew that I heard so much about. 

What if a psychotic teenager really was enough?

Saturday, May 30, 2020

Date Me, Bryson Keller by Kevin Van Whye - (Cute, but...) Book Review

Date Me, Bryson Keller by Kevin Van Whye
Publication date: May 19, 2020
My rating: 2.5 stars

I never know what to do at parties. Seriously, what do I do with my hands? Do I shuffle my feet to this song?  

This was cute! 

Unfortunately, my reasons for not liking it have more to do with my personal tastes and not against the book itself.

If anything, I thought the message was great, I found Kai relatable (regarding some personality traits) - and I never related to a male protagonist before, so this was a big yay for me! - and I enjoyed the cuteness between him and Bryson (even though I was embarrassed with some awkward scenes haha).

However, contemporary romances tend to have that same old same old cycle of events that gets... really... tiring. Like, seriously, it's almost always literally the same chain of events only change some scenarios and names. 

I'm especially frustrated when we reach the inevitable "breakup" due to
misunderstanding/jealousy/characters wanting to "protect" the other for "their own good". 

That cycle of events tends to tire me out and it's part of the reason why I am currently pretty much aversed to most contemporary romance books (be them YA or adult). The other reason is that my favorite genre is fantasy romance, and contemporary romance is basically the opposite of that, the patterns they follow being very different from one another.

I'm still giving contemporary romance a try every now and then, but since they mostly end up disappointing me, I don't do it too often.

I would still recommend this book though, it was a fun and quick read, which I'm sure many people would love, I read it hardly without stopping because it was really easy to read, it's just that is lacked for me due to personal tastes, even though I was sure it was going to be amazing because I loved the beginning. Oh well.

*Spoilers from now on*

I honestly thought we were going to skip that breakup trope in this book, it really looked like we were and I was happy about it, but then it did happen (lol), and a character in the story even commented about it (!), by saying: “You know what trope I really hate is when the main character decides to give up on the person they love in the name of protecting them. That’s what you’re doing right now. You’re trying to protect Bryson, but you don’t realize you’re hurting him instead.” Nice touch, I admit, but if the author was aware of it, then why do it at all?

Granted, it wasn't as bad of a "breakup" scene as it usually is, it was more of a "put on hold" due to wanting to protect the other person, but I was still slightly annoyed at it.

They eventually make up, of course, but often the story ends there and we never see what, you know, happened after. In this book, the case was especially strong as it was more of an HFN than a HEA, and I probably shouldn't complain because this seems like what the author wanted from the story, to make us see how to live in the moment, BUT the romantic in me tends to disagree *sigh* what can I say, I love love. 

Another point I may add, is that some of the reviews I read here mentioned the story pretty much erasing bisexuality. I have to admit, thinking back, there's truth to that. It really did feel like, if you were going to introduce a character that was potentially bi - Bryson - you should do more than have them throwing it as a possibility in a moment of panic. Also, Kai pretty much always asked himself "Is Byrson gay?" without seeming to consider the possibility that Bryson could be bisexual...? Or Pansexual...? 

Tempo - Margaret

Lying to those closest to me is exhausting, but at any hint at my possible sexuality, I become a knight protecting his kingdom—armed and ready to defend my secret until the very end, or at least until I’m away at college.

Defy by L.J Shen - (Short) Book Review

Defy by L.J Shen
Publication date: October 18, 2016
My rating: 2 stars

Well, this wasn't horrible... but also not great. 

I actually wanted to read the first book in the series first, but then this prequel novella piqued my interest, and it was also recommended to read it first for some background information about the characters, so I decided to start with this. 

Though now I'm not so sure I really want to continue. 

What bothered me wasn't actually the insta-love insta-lust, considering we were pretty much warned about it from the get-go, but rather how a lot of the dialogue or situations felt unrealistic/disbelievable. It was really weird, and it bugged me throughout the book. 
Like some of the things the characters said or the way they acted made me raise an eyebrow and wonder "do people really say/do that in that situation?" because it didn't seem very plausible to me. 

Considering this is a novella, I usually don't judge insta-love or insta-lust or even lack of character development too much, but combined with all that and unrealistic events - heck, even the sex scenes gave off a weird feeling - and I'm just now engaging with the story. 

I also felt the epilogue was really rushed and could have used some more scenes. 

I might still try out the first book in the series, as I saw it was a lot of people's favorite one, we'll see. 

“Why the anchor?"
"Because sometimes, it's nice to feel like there's someone who can save you.”

Best Knight Ever by Cassandra Gannon - (Short) Book Review

Best Knight Ever by Cassandra Gannon
Publication date: December 2, 2019
My rating: 3.5 stars

*This is the fourth book in the A Kinda Fairytale series. I HIGHLY recommend this series if you're looking for fun romance/action/fantasy stories. You can check out my review for the first book here.* 

Ayren began talking to Trystan in the gryphons’ language, still arguing that Galahad should be killed.  Galahad was only picking up every fourth word, but some of the reasoning actually seemed pretty compelling.

In this re-read review of mine, I must say one thing: GALAHAD IS ADORABLE. 
Like, seriously, he's just... so... adorable. 

He's so precious I can't even. 
No wonder Trystan fell so hard for him, honestly. 

I'm so happy Cassandra got those two together, I literally squealed in excitement and ran around the house when this book first came out and I realized it was about Galahad and Trystan together

The only reason why I didn't give it a higher rating was because the book dragged a bit in the middle, but aside from that I absolutely adored every second of banter and adventure between the sighing Gryphon and the Best Knight Ever ;) 

Besides, Trystan could be “nice” to anyone.  Even asshole knights.  He was nothing if not gracious and fair.  He’d be the first to tell anyone that fact and then fight them to the death if they disagreed.

Friday, May 29, 2020

The Kingpin of Camelot by Cassandra Gannon - (Short) Book Review

The Kingpin of Camelot by Cassandra Gannon
Publication date: July 31, 2017
My rating: 3 stars

*This is the third book in the A Kinda Fairytale series. I HIGHLY recommend this series if you're looking for fun romance/action/fantasy stories. You can check out my review for the first book here.* 

He just hoped to kill them without his wife noticing. A stack of dead bodies would be a terrible way to start a honeymoon, when your bride thought you were "kind" and "gentle". 

What I liked: 

  • Avalon was just the sweetest thing ever.

  • Gwen was hilarious with her all of her logic and thinking Midas is a marshmallow.

  • Midas was sooooo cute (and, okay, maybe a marshmallow after all).

  • Trystan was just EPIC, and I need more of him ASAP!

  • I also desperately want to meet perfect Galahad.

  • And I need Ezmeralda's book in my life please! 

What I liked less: 

  • Had a bit of trouble connecting to Midas & Gwen as a couple. It's not that they didn't suit each other, it's just that I didn't feel the sizzling connection between them I had with other couples in this book. Probably just my personal taste. 

All Gwen wanted to do was seduce her idiot husband, like any loving wife. 

Beast in Shining Armor by Cassandra Gannon - (Short) Book Review

Beast in Shining Armor by Cassandra Gannon
Publication Date: August 12, 2013
My rating: 3.5 stars

*This is the second book in the A Kinda Fairytale series. I HIGHLY recommend this series if you're looking for fun romance/action/fantasy stories. You can check out my review for the first book here.* 

Avenant sighed. He definitely should’ve skipped the lawsuit and gone with the bloodshed option.

Gosh, I forgot how much I love Avenant.

This is a re-read review, since I didn't review it the first time I read it.

Anyways, yep, I love Avenant! Cassandra Gannon always writes such complex tortured and loveable characters (literally, they're complex, tortured and loveable all at once, and it's just amazing to witness).

“Who the fuck could need you more than I do?  Look at me!  Everyone hates me, I’m barely holding it together in this tiny little space, and I’ve just escaped from a mental institution!  Obviously, I’m a very needful guy.”

The only reason I didn't give it a higher rating was because I had some trouble connecting to our heroine, Belle. I love Avenant so damn much, and even though I liked Belle's fiery nature, I just had trouble falling for her too.
I guess part of me just felt like Avenant loved Belle more than she loved him...? I mean, I know she loves him! But for some reason the portrayal was a bit lacking compared to his. 

Still, this whole series is SO good, and I love it so much. The characters, the plot, the banter, the mixed up fairy tales (I absolutely love what she's doing with the fairy tales, and how she portrayed the rabbit holes in this story was just awesome), just... amazing

Avenant’s brain experienced a full system shutdown.  That happened every time she said something even remotely flirtatious.  He lost the ability to think and became a gaping moron.

Friday, May 8, 2020

The Worst Romance Novel in the World: Eternal Passion at Sunset - Book Review ๐Ÿ˜‚

Publication date: March 20, 2020
My rating: 2 stars (but that's a good thing!)

“You don’t drink blood?” “Well, I do do that.” “You don’t kill people, though?” “Sometimes I do that, too.”

Gotta admit, I did not expect Cassandra Gannon to give us THIS ๐Ÿ˜‚

Oh, don’t get me wrong, this book wasn’t bad- Well actually it was bad, but it's supposed to be "bad" (it’s right there in the title). 

If you're eyeing this book thinking what the heck is this about, please read Not Another Vampire Book by Cassandra Gannon first, it would make so much more sense. I urge you to read her books, I love them!

So basically, Cassandra has totally succeeded it what she set out to do, bringing us a "bad" supernatural romance by taking every clichรฉ in romance/erotica/fantasy and making them even more ridiculous. Ironically, it means my rating is actually good, because the book succeeded in being appropriately ridiculous.

Purposely writing such a book takes skills. Seriously. I applaud Cassandra!

Though part of the reason why I couldn’t fully enjoy the ridiculousness of it all, was because I was feeling so bad for Slade and Demian throughout it all!
It was like watching an alternate universe version of themselves given this horrible script. Which is, eh, exactly the purpose of this book, I know, but all I wanted was for them to be happy with their real mates.
I was half craving for Karalynn to make her appearance and save Damien :’) Or for Slade to come to his senses and leave Melessa what’s her name to find Jane!

“Don’t try any of your tricks on me, Damien. You might be kinda sexy, but I see right through you.” “I’m invisible right now, so I’d certainly hope so.”

Anyways, I’m truly thankful for Cassandra for giving us another story by her as we await her next book in The Elemental Phases series (I WANT IT SO BAD). I simply adore this author, and I’m ever so excited for literally anything she writes.

Thank you, Cassandra, you’re amazing! 

P.S: I wonder if Cassandra was having fun thinking up all the pet names Slade and Melessa were calling each other. They were so… creative ๐Ÿ˜‚

P.P.S: I love the cover and how much it reflects the whole theme of the novel! From the half naked guy/girl embracing on the cover, to how that cover seems old and well used. Love it.

Last one I promise: I don’t think I’ve ever loved the author’s notes as much as I do in Cassandra Gannon’s books. I absolutely adore her author’s note and I read them like an addict. Seriously, she’s a wonderful author. 

“Ouch!  What are you doing, you pervert?” “You did that. I’m not even moving.” “You’re doing this all wrong and you’re not even doing anything.  How is that possible?” “How would you know if I’m doing it wrong?  You just said this was your first time.”

Deadly Little Scandals by Jennifer Lynn Barnes - (short) Book Review

Deadly Little Scandals by Jennifer Lynn Barnes
Publication date: November 5, 2019
My rating: 3 stars

This is the second book in the Debutantes doulogy.
For my review of the first book, click here

This was like watching a telenovela with secrets, betrayal, stolen identities, fake pregnancies, real pregnancies, who is whose real father/mother/sister/cousin, murder... and yet, despite all the ridiculousness of some events, it never actually feels ridiculous because it's quite thrilling and you can't stop reading ๐Ÿ‘€

And while I can't say this doulogy was my favorite of the author - I personally liked The Naturals and The Long Game more - it was still really good and much enjoyable!

My favorite part of this author's books is how she puts estranged family members and frenemies together and makes them a family.
Which is why, in this doulogy, I especially enjoyed the relationship between Sawyer & Lily and Sayer & Campbell.

So yeah, I will definitely check out more of Jennifer Lynn Barnes books! 


I just loved that last scene with all four of them together.

Towards the end there I was totally losing track with who is related to who during all those revelations, and I was just like "Okay, I don't care, they're all best friends, they're already family" and that really was the most important part.

I do wish we had a bit more to the romance subplot between Sawyer and Nick. I think it was expertly done, but was kind of left "unfinished" even though their exchange at the end did make it seem they're going to get together, but the romantic in my just wanted more :')

At the same time though, I was aware I wasn't reading these books for the romance. Yes, I really liked the very slight subplot of romance, but I actually picked this doulogy up because I was growing tired of my usual genre of reading - romance and fantasy - as nothing seemed to excite me anymore.
I was really glad for the change in genre as it really helped me get excited over a book again.

"Just remember," she cautioned, "what we're about to tell you doesn't change who you are. It's just like musical chairs, but with parents."

Little White Lies by Jennifer Lynn Barnes - (short) Book Review

Little White Lies by Jennifer Lynn Barnes
Publication date: November 6, 2018
My rating: 3 stars

Poor Mackie ๐Ÿ˜‚

Rookie Officer Mackie must be traumatized by white dresses and teenage girls after just one hour with them.

I quite enjoyed Little White Lies!
Though it had a slow buildup, I did find myself intrigued throughout.

I just love how Jennifer Lynn Barnes focuses on relationships, especially female relationships like the ones between mother and daughter, cousins, aunts, grandmothers.

If you're new to Jennifer Lynn Barnes, I would definitely recommend you to pick up her books. I would especially suggest starting out with her The Naturals series.
She also wrote one of the books that totally blew me away, The Long Game (part of The Fixer doulogy). 


I gotta admit, the twist at the end was definitely ๐Ÿ˜ฎ We were so convinced we knew what was up, who was whose father, but then... wow, so "uncle" J.D huh? I wonder how that's going to go down.

First of all, there's the whole mother-daughter thing, things were just starting to patch up between them and now it seems we're back to square one. And of course, then there's Lily, who is actually Sawyer's half sister *and* her cousin? Wow. How will that go down when she finds out? For that matter, how will it go down when Olivia finds out? Welp, I guess now I must read the second book!

“You're not the type to natter, are you?" David Ames said in response to my silence. I said the first thing that came to mind. "Kind of a sexist way to describe someone talking." He blinked. "You wouldn't describe your grandsons as nattering," I elaborated.”