The Sum of All Kisses by Julia Quinn

Goodreads Summary:He thinks she’s an annoying know-it-all…

Hugh Prentice has never had patience for dramatic females, and if Lady Sarah Pleinsworth has ever been acquainted with the words shy or retiring, she’s long since tossed them out the window. Besides, a reckless duel has left this brilliant mathematician with a ruined leg, and now he could never court a woman like Sarah, much less dream of marrying her.

She thinks he’s just plain mad…

Sarah has never forgiven Hugh for the duel he fought that nearly destroyed her family. But even if she could find a way to forgive him, it wouldn’t matter. She doesn’t care that his leg is less than perfect, it’s his personality she can’t abide. But forced to spend a week in close company they discover that first impressions are not always reliable. And when one kiss leads to two, three, and four, the mathematician may lose count, and the lady may, for the first time, find herself speechless…

I love Julia Quinn. Her books always, without out fail, make me laugh out loud even if I’m out somewhere public causing everyone to stare at me like I’m a lunatic. She uses the perfect mix of humor and sappy that I really can’t get enough of. I love the relationships between her characters. They banter and they fight and they love each other. It’s perfect. It never seems unrealistic. Sisters act exactly as my sisters and I act. Friends act just like Amanda and I are together. I always want to be best friends with the heroine and the hero always makes me swoon (well, he would if I knew how to swoon). I’ve read every one of her books and always await the next with as much patience as I can manage when books are involved. Her newest book (my Christmas present from Amanda) did not disappoint me.
I’ll begin by explaining the duel which is also explained in the other two books of the series. Approximately three years before the events of this book, Hugh, Sarah’s cousin Daniel, and a couple of their friends were drunkenly playing cards. Hugh accused Daniel of cheating, they argued, and Hugh challenged him to a duel. Still slightly drunk at dawn they meet and are still determined to go through with it. Neither actually wanted to shoot the other and were fully expected to just shoot past the others shoulder and be done with it. Except Hugh accidentally shoots Daniel in the shoulder. And Daniel accidentally shoots him in the legging, hitting an artery and almost killing him. Daniel’s forced to leave the country by Hugh’s father threatening to kill him until Hugh manages to convince his father to back off. Because of this, Sarah hates Hugh for causing her family so much pain.
I’ll start with Lady Sarah Pleinsworth. She knows how to act like a lady when she needs to, but when she’s with her friends or her family she’s dramatic, sarcastic and tends to exaggerate. I hadn’t been entirely sure how much I liked her at the beginning of the book. Then she met Hugh and my opinion did a complete 180. He really brings out the worst in her and vice versa. The conversations that ensue are nothing short of hilarious. They’re forced together for a few weeks for Sarah’s two cousins’ weddings. After spending time with him, Sarah begins to realize he isn’t the complete asshole she thought he was. He’s actually a decent person. And has nice eyes. And he’s very handsome. And Sarah is absolutely horrified that she’s thinking any of this purely because it’s Hugh and she’s supposed to hate him.
After the duel, Hugh becomes crippled and struggles to walk even with a cane. Between the duel and his disability, he holds an awkward place in society; he indirectly forced a popular member of the aristocracy to flee the country, it’s unlikely anyone would be willing to marry a cripple, and he can’t dance or hunt or do much of anything physical. Hugh feels terrible that he couldn’t keep his father from trying to kill Daniel and feels responsible for everything that occurred because of the duel, even the parts that weren’t his fault. He doesn’t want to hate Sarah, but he thinks she’s dramatic and silly and she was really quite a bitch when they first met. Until he realizes he’s attracted to her and she’s sort of cute when she’s dramatic and she’s actually pretty clever.
I loved Sarah and Hugh as enemies. I loved Sarah and Hugh as friends. And I love Sarah and Hugh in love. They’re adorable and funny and I just really want to be best friends with them. Hugh just wants to protect her even though he can’t even catch her from falling out of a carriage because of his leg. Sarah just wants to help him and make him happy because she doesn’t see him as a cripple at all.
I loved this book. It had the perfect amount of everything. I can’t wait to read the next book in the Smythe-Smith Quartet. I would recommend this book to anyone who enjoys romance or books that make you laugh. As always, I’d love to hear your own thoughts and feedback.
-Antonia

Gameboard of the Gods by Richelle Mead (Antonia’s review)

Goodreads Summary: In a futuristic world nearly destroyed by religious extremists, Justin March lives in exile after failing in his job as an investigator of religious groups and supernatural claims. But Justin is given a second chance when Mae Koskinen comes to bring him back to the Republic of United North America (RUNA). Raised in an aristocratic caste, Mae is now a member of the military’s most elite and terrifying tier, a soldier with enhanced reflexes and skills.

When Justin and Mae are assigned to work together to solve a string of ritualistic murders, they soon realize that their discoveries have exposed them to terrible danger. As their investigation races forward, unknown enemies and powers greater than they can imagine are gathering in the shadows, ready to reclaim the world in which humans are merely game pieces on their board.

I don’t even know where to start. Every single part of this book intrigued me. Every time I got used to a new concept, another was thrown at me. Every time a question was answered it gave me five more. The first couple chapters were a little slow, but as soon as I got past that (around where Justin and Mae met) I could not put it down.
The main reason I read this book was because of Richelle Mead. I adore her books and was so happy when I learned she started a new series. However I think I might have picked this book up regardless. I love books about mythology. I love books about magic. And although they’re not autobuy subjects of mine, I really enjoy futuristic and dystopian books too. This book has all of it. Mead managed to throw so many different subjects and concepts into this book; and managed to make them work really well together. Quite often so many topics are overwhelming and confusing. This book was overwhelming in a “I wish I could read this faster I just want to know what happens!” kind of way. And the only confusion I had was when Mead deliberately made me want to know more and more and more.
As for the characters, I loved all of them. Mae is my favorite. She’s so strong and independent which I completely respect. But she still has vulnerabilities that she hides because she’s too proud to show anyone that side of her. I think that’s what annoyed Amanda a little bit, but that side of Mae was what made it easy for me to relate to her.
Now I’ll talk about Justin. Oh, Justin… I could never keep track of how I felt about him. Half the time I was just so aggravated with him and the other half I was violently in love with him. He was an asshole; he was arrogant; he was caring; he had a strong sense of self preservation; he was funny. He was such a well-rounded character that I couldn’t help but be invested in his story even when I didn’t like him all that much.
There were quite a few secondary characters. Tessa was the young girl that Justin brought back to the RUNA with him on a student visa. She was cute and sweet for most of the book. Then before I noticed it happening, she became confident and grew into herself. I can’t wait to see her grow more. Mae’s friends Val and Dag were a great addition to add humor into different sections. Every time I read about them I was laughing. I also really enjoyed what Justin’s friend Leo added to the story as a technical genius, though his boyfriend Dominic was rather annoying.
There were only one or two things I wish had been different. I think I would have liked it better if there was slightly less religion. I’m not one of those people that hate to see religion in books. I actually like it because you don’t see it too often. And it worked as such an amazing contrast to the mythology and magic. However, there were some parts where it was a bit too much for me and I would have rather had more of the myth or magic.
The other is that I really wish I had more answers to my questions. It’s just so goddamn hard to wait. I need to know everything right now!
Overall, I would recommend this book to pretty much everyone. Since it has a little bit of everything in it, I think anyone who likes dystopian or paranormal or romance or scifi would enjoy this book.
As always, let me know what you think and if you’ve read it I’d love to hear your opinion.
-Antonia

*Please be aware that the book cover on this post is a link to purchase this book through Amazon. Feel free to purchase with our affiliate link (just click on the book cover) to support us!

Whiskey Beach by Nora Roberts

Goodreads Summary: For more than three hundred years, Bluff House has sat above Whiskey Beach, guarding its shore – and its secrets.

To summer tourists, it’s the crown jewel of the town’s stunning scenery. To the residents of Whiskey Beach, it’s landmark and legend. To Eli Landon, it’s home…

A Boston lawyer, Eli has weathered an intense year of public scrutiny and police investigation after being accused of murdering his soon-to-be ex-wife. And though there was never enough evidence to have him arrested, his reputation is in tatters as well as his soul. He need sanctuary. He needs Bluff House.

While Eli’s beloved grandmother is in Boston, recuperating from a nasty fall, Abra Walsh has card for Bluff House, among her other jobs as yoga instructor, jewelry maker, and massage therapist. She is a woman with an open heart and a wide embrace, and no one is safe from her special, some would say over-bearing, brand of nurturing – including Eli.

He begins to count on Abra for far more than her cooking, cleaning, and massage skills, and starts to feel less like a victim – and more like the kind of man who can finally solve the murder of his wife and clear his name. But Bluff House’s many mysteries are a siren song to someone intent on destroying Eli and reaping the rewards. He and Abra will become entangled in a centuries-old net of rumors and half-truths that could pull them under the thunderous waters of Whiskey Beach…

Passion and obsession, humor and heart flow together in a novel about two people opening themselves up to the truth – and to each other.

What I love most about Nora Roberts is that even though a lot of her books follow the same basic storylines, I always feel like I’m reading something new. I fall in love with her characters and settings. How her books always seem so bright and bubbly by the end. Whenever I’m looking for a book to put me in a good mood, I usually pick one of hers.
Whiskey Beach didn’t disappoint me. There were murders, an abusive boyfriend, a psychopath, etc. But Abra was literally so full of energy that her attitude just took over the book. Not in a bad way.
I’m not a huge fan of mysteries but I really enjoy the way Roberts writes them. She doesn’t focus solely on the murder or whatever else the source of danger might be. She focuses first on the characters and adds the mystery as something that happens to them. This is what I believe I tend to not like about mysteries. I always end up feeling like I don’t know the characters well enough and that’s my favorite part about reading books. If I can fall in love with the characters or want to be best friends with them then I couldn’t care less about the storyline.
So I want to start with Eli. I didn’t think I was going to love him at first. I figured I would like him well enough but he didn’t seem like the kind of guy I would love. He was a little too nerdy, a little too weak. But then he started getting back to himself after everything that happened to him and I realized how wrong I was. He was just the right amount of nerdy to make him endearing and right in the middle of weak and strong so he wasn’t pathetic nor was he overbearing. I ended up really loving Eli. He was smart, caring and funny. He was the perfect male character to go with Abra. He was reserved enough to balance her craziness but never tried to change her.
Which brings me to Abra Walsh. Energetic is really the best word I have to describe her. She does so many different things; yoga, masseuse, housekeeper, jewelry, etc. But she doesn’t work so many jobs because she has to. She does it because she enjoys doing so many things. I’m still not sure if Abra’s someone I’d want to be friends with in real life because I think she would be a little exhausting to be around. But Abra has such a strong presence that I wouldn’t be able to dislike her and I would have to respect her. However, I loved her in the story. She’s so perfect for it that there’s no way I couldn’t.
Overall, I loved this book. I would recommend this to anyone who likes mysteries, romances and especially if you like both.
Thanks so much for checking out our blog. As always, let me know your own opinions. And I hope everyone had a happy Halloween.
-Antonia

Origin – Jennifer L. Armentrout

Summary:
Daemon will do anything to get Katy back.
After the successful but disastrous raid on Mount Weather, he’s facing the impossible. Katy is gone. Taken. Everything becomes about finding her. Taking out anyone who stands in his way? Done. Burning down the whole world to save her? Gladly. Exposing his alien race to the world? With pleasure.
All Katy can do is survive.
Surrounded by enemies, the only way she can come out of this is to adapt. After all, there are sides of Daedalus that don’t seem entirely crazy, but the group’s goals are frightening and the truths they speak even more disturbing. Who are the real bad guys? Daedalus? Mankind? Or the Luxen?
Together, they can face anything.
But the most dangerous foe has been there all along, and when the truths are exposed and the lies come crumbling down, which side will Daemon and Katy be standing on?
And will they even be together?
Review:
How should I start this review? Oh, right, how about with HOLY FUCKING SHIT, HOLY FUCKING SHIT, HOLY FUCKING SHIT…I work at a tourist store, so now that summers over I do a lot of sitting around. The perfect opportunity for some reading. Origin came out recently and Antonia and I HAD to have it. She was nice enough to let me read it first. So, I started it when I got to work at 9:30am, it’s now 1:30pm and I might have a mental breakdown at work. Four hours to read 364 pages, while helping the occasional customer, eating my lunch and texting Antonia freaking out without giving her any details. EVERYONE needs to read this series just so you can read Origin. It was without a doubt the best book in the series, which is subject to change after the fifth book comes out.
Okay, now onto the actual reviewing of the book rather than just fangirling. This series holds a certain sentimental value to me because it is partially where the idea for this review blog came from. The main character, Katy, runs a video book review blog. The storyline that Jennifer L. Armentrout came up with is amazing. I thought it was going to be another paranormal romance series, and boy was I wrong. Armentrout puts her own twist on every aspect of this story. She makes it unique and spectacular. Origin was suspenseful, VERY suspenseful. And if any of you have actually read my reviews you’d know I’m terrible at guessing what comes next. That was no different with Origin. I was shocked with all the twists, turns and surprises Armentrout threw in. I loved every single thing about this book. It made me laugh, made me smile, gave me butterflies; it also made me cry and infuriated me. Origin made me feel any and every emotion in the period of four-ish hours. I literally sat at work going between laughing and crying. That’s how you know it’s seriously good. So read it, because I said so.
The fictional characters that have stolen my heart are next. This series is pretty much 100% about Katy and Daemon, but I’ll start with Katy. I kind of seriously adore her. She takes absolutely no bullshit from anyone, especially Daemon. She’s stubborn and very independent, although Daemon tries his best to shelter her from everything and anything. Kat would do anything for the people she cares about, even some people she’s not fond of but knows Daemon cares about them. She’s fiercely protective of whats hers. Katy’s brave and loyal and gives her all with everything she does. She’s an amazing female lead.
Daemon is the typical asshole with the typical excuse that it’s for her own good. I didn’t like Daemon at the beginning of the series, but he seriously proves himself in Origin, as well as the second and third books. He really loves Katy so much. At the beginning of Origin Daemon says, “I’ll burn the world down to save her.” If I ever find someone that loves me half as much as Daemon loves Katy, I will be the luckiest girl in the world. Daemon shows that his love for Katy is more important than literally anything else. He makes some pretty irrational decisions to save and protect her. In the end, he would do everything exactly the same. Daemon is very protective of his loved one, the people he considers his family, but his loyalty is only to Katy. He makes quite a few really difficult decisions and has to deal with a lot of seriously not okay shit. Katy makes everything better for him. He is strong, but stronger with her. If Daemon existed in real life, I would find him, kidnap him and marry him. But only is Katy didn’t exist as well, because she wouldn’t have any of that.
There are so many other characters I want to mention but they would give too much away. I can mention Archer though. He’s with Katy pretty much every minute while she’s being held captive. I kind of seriously adore him and my adoration just kept growing the more I read about him. He’s technically the enemy, but it’s obvious that he struggles with the beliefs of “his side”. Archer looks out for Katy while she’s captive. He seemed like a good guy in shitty circumstances. If I had him looking out for me, I’d be set for life. I seriously hope to see him in the next book.
Overall, you guys can probably tell I liked this book very much. If I rated the books I review with stars, Origin by Jennifer L Armentrout would get all five stars. It has an amazing plot. A strong female lead (to an extent), romance, a deadly gorgeous male main character, suspense, danger, and action. I would love to be able to tell you, readers, that it has a happy ending, but HOLY FUCKING CLIFFHANGERS. Armentrout has done this to me four times now. Ridiculous cliffhangers, then she makes me wait FOREVER to get the next book and find out what happens. Every reader’s worst nightmare. The Lux series is an amazing series that I suggest to anyone and everyone. But really, go to the bookstore and buy them. Right now.

Keep on reading lovelies, Amanda.

*Please be aware that the book cover on this post is a link to purchase this book through Amazon. Feel free to purchase with our affiliate link (just click on the book cover) to support us!

Gameboard of the Gods by Richelle Mead

Summary:
The truth is, when you banish the gods from the world, they eventually come back-with a vengeance.
In a futuristic world nearly destroyed by religious extremists, Justin March is a former investigator of religious groups who was sent into exile after a failed job, a fate that has left the brilliant servitor bitter and free to indulge his addictive personality. Suddenly, Justin is sent home to the Republic of United North America (RUNA) with a peculiar assignment-to solve a string of ritualistic murders steeped in seemingly unexplainable phenomena.
Justin’s unexpected return comes with an even bigger shock: His new partner and bodyguard, Mae, is a praetorian, one of the elite and deadly supersoldiers of the RUNA. Her inexplicably perfect beauty and aristocratic upbringing pique Justin’s avid curiosity-and his desire-though her true nature holds more danger than anyone realizes.
As their investigation unfolds, Justin and Mae find themselves in the path of terrible danger. Mysterious enemies and powers greater than they can imagine have begun to assemble in the shadows, preparing to reclaim a world where humans are merely gamepieces on their board.
Gameboard of the Gods, the first novel of Richelle Mead’s Age of X series, delivers all the elements that have made her bestselling Vampire Academy series a breakout success: sexy, irresistible characters; romantic and mythological intrigue; and breathless action and suspense.
Review:
Richelle Mead became an auto-buy author for me the minute I fell in love with Dimitri from Vampire Academy. When I heard she was coming out with the Age of X series I was intrigued. I looked into it and became unsure. They didn’t really seem like my kind of books. After reading Gameboard of the Gods, I completely a thousand percent take it back. This series may end up becoming one of my favorites.
Gameboard of the Gods was a fantastic book, for many reasons. It had an amazing storyline, one I’d never read before. It was a seriously unique book. It was a mix of mythological, futuristic, romantic, adventurous. Gameboard of the Gods had a little bit of everything. Which is, I think, why I liked it so much. It took me a little longer than usual to finish this book. Partially because it’s a long book, and partially because I just moved and that took up a chunk of my reading time. When I wasn’t reading, all I wanted to do was finish this book. There were a couple slow parts that were interesting but dragged at points. The suspense was probably the worst for me, it almost killed me. I just wanted to know where the story was headed. It didn’t really have a huge cliffhanger, but it definitely ended leaving me wanting more. I don’t think the title for the second book in the series has even been released, let alone a date that it will be coming out. Which is infuriating because I just want to know what’s going to happen next. Isn’t that every reader’s worst nightmare?
Now, onto the characters, which is always my favorite part. Gameboard of the Gods mainly follows Justin March and his life, but it also jumps around a few other important characters. Justin March was a very interesting main character. He has so many secrets that all eventually come to light. I think Justin tries to have his head on straight and his heart in the right place, but he’s only human. In the beginning, we see him indulging in everything that’s bad for him. Gambling, drinking, doing anything and everything he can to deal with being in exile. We get to see more of who he really is when we meet our next important character. He shows who he really is when he’s around Tessa and her family. Justin has a lot of quirks, one of them being the voices in his head. I’m going to try to explain the best I can without giving anything away. The voices are a pest to him mostly, but end up helping him significantly at times. His voices are probably some of the most fun parts of the book, but they also give us quite a bit of information without giving too much away. As a whole, I liked Justin. He does the best he can to do what he thinks is right and I think that’s very admirable.
Mae, the praetorian, is loyal to her government. She does what she’s supposed to when she’s supposed to do it. When we first meet Mae she’s just lost the love of her life. She tries to keep herself collected and together but snaps at one point. The consequences of her brief breakdown are what leads her to be Justin’s bodyguard. The relationship that forms between the two of them is very complicated and describing it without giving any of the story away is pretty hard. Mae tends to bring out the asshole in Justin because it’s what he thinks is the easiest way to handle the situation. Mae tries her hardest to be emotionless and in control of everything, but usually ends up in over her head. I like Mae for the most part, there definitely are some points in the story where she isn’t my favorite. She is sometimes indecisive and never asks for any help with whats going on with her, which is always something that irks me. If she just asked for help everything would be so much easier on her! Overall, I really liked Mae, she stands up for what she believes in, and she does everything she can for those she cares about, even if she won’t admit she cares about them.
Next is Tessa. Tessa is the daughter of someone who helped Justin when he needed it. So when he is asked to come back to the RUNA one of his conditions is that he is allowed to bring Tessa so she can have a better life. Tessa doesn’t really have any options at home, other than marrying. In the RUNA she can go to school, live in a whole different society with a whole different lifestyle. When Tessa moves to the RUNA she’s kind of awkward at first, which is understandable. I think Tessa handles this life-changing event relatively well. She’s considered an outsider at school and is talked about and treated differently by almost everyone. She makes a couple of friends that really end up helping her adapt to her new life. I liked Tessa, she has all these changes thrown at her and she just keeps moving forward, going with the flow, making the best out of whats given to her.
There are a few other characters that play a part in this story, but the three I mentioned are the most important. I liked most of the other characters, except the obvious antagonists because they’re meant to be portrayed as assholes. I loved Gameboard of the Gods so much. I can’t wait for the second to come out and see where Richelle Mead is going to take these characters. I suggest this book to anyone that loves romance, or action, or futuristic settings, or anything mythological because Gameboard of the Gods has all this and more. Something that should be kept in mind is that this is, in fact, an adult series, not young adult. There are some parts that are a little inappropriate for the younger readers.

Keep on reading lovelies, Amanda.

*Please be aware that the book cover on this post is a link to purchase this book through Amazon. Feel free to purchase with our affiliate link (just click on the book cover) to support us!

Towering by Alex Flinn

Goodreads Summary: At first, I merely saw his face, his hands on the window ledge. Then, his whole body as he swung himself through the window. Only I could not see what he swung on.
Until, one day, I told my dream self to look down. And it was then that I saw. He had climbed on a rope. I knew without asking that the rope had been one of my own tying.

Rachel is trapped in a tower, held hostage by a woman she’s always called Mama. Her golden hair is growing rapidly, and to pass the time, she watches the snow fall and sings songs from her childhood, hoping someone, anyone, will hear her.

Wyatt needs time to reflect or, better yet, forget about what happened to his best friend, Tyler. That’s why he’s been shipped off to the Adirondacks in the dead of winter to live with the oldest lady in town. Either that, or no one he knows ever wants to see him again.

Dani disappeared seventeen years ago without a trace, but she left behind a journal that’s never been read, not even by her overbearing mother…until now.

I’m quite sure I’ve mentioned this before; multiple times. But it warrants repeating. I absolutely adore Alex Flinn. Each time I read a new book of hers I think I couldn’t possibly love it as much as the previous one. And once again she’s proved me wrong. Towering may be one of my favorites of hers for a few different reasons. One: it’s a fairytale adaptation which is an auto-buy subject of mine. What I love about Flinn’s adaptations is that they’re modern versions. It seems like that would be difficult to accomplish but I think she excels. She changes so many details in order to make it work better in modern times but also to make it her own unique story, and still manages to retain the themes from the originals.
I had no idea how she’d manage to convince me that a girl could be locked in a tower in the middle of nowhere. It turns out it took two things: murderous drug dealers and one very eccentric and paranoid old woman. These twists were ones I absolutely did not see coming and I ended up loving them. It was something new and different that I haven’t seen in a fairytale.
I couldn’t even begin to describe how much I admire Flinn’s ability to incorporate modern themes and technology with magic and happily-ever-after love into a story that sucks you in and makes you fall in love with the characters. One-dimensional characters were something that always left me feeling that fairytales were incomplete. I love that in these stories I get to see the characters as individuals and not just a couple who meet and fall in love instantly. The details and background gives more life to the story and I think they’re the reason I’m so infatuated with these books.
Sometimes I thought Rachel was just silly and spoiled. A girl who did what she was told because she was afraid to think for herself; and then she did. When the moment came for Rachel to act against Mama’s wishes for the good of someone else, Rachel doesn’t hesitate. She’s terrified and knows she’s risking so much to leave her tower, but she’s such a strong character that she pushes all her fear aside in order to save a strangers life. I didn’t realize who Rachel really was until that moment and it made me admire her character so much. And as soon as she understands what she can accomplish when she thinks and acts for herself, she doesn’t hold back and becomes the heroine I hadn’t expected her to be.
As for Wyatt, sometimes I loved him and sometimes I didn’t. I really enjoyed seeing all the reasons he’s the person he is. At the beginning he seemed a bit like a jerk. I thought he was an annoying teenager who’s moody for the sake of it but once I saw events from his past and occasionally the present, I could understand who he was better and that knowledge gave me such compassion for him. He couldn’t save someone in his past and that makes him think he needs to save Rachel when she’s the one who needs to save him.
The only thing I really didn’t like about this book was the love at first sight. I didn’t completely hate it. It’s something I almost expect from fairytales and I think Flinn gave enough reasons i.e. their mental connection, their personalities, and the life threatening first meeting, for it to be plausible in a fairytale. However, I would’ve liked it better if it didn’t seem quite so much like they were just blindly doing it.
Overall, I really enjoyed this book. When I was looking at other reviews for it, I was completely taken aback at how many people didn’t like it. I respect everyone’s opinions, but it seemed like most people’s reasons for not liking it were that it was unrealistic. You know what I have to say to that? It’s SUPPOSED TO BE. It’s fiction. In my opinion, fiction isn’t meant to be realistic. It’s meant to be relatable, yes. But the last time I checked, Towering didn’t fall under the genre Realistic Fiction. It’s just Young-Adult Fiction. As far as I’m concerned, it means it’s probably going to be implausible and that’s something I’ve always especially liked about fiction. That’s what makes it entertaining. I’m not saying everyone’s opinions are wrong. Just try to lighten up, guys. It’s not a textbook. There is no one right answer.
I would love to know what you thought of this book. Also, I am so sincerely sorry I haven’t posted in awhile. I’ve had a lot going on and just haven’t made the time for it. I will try as hard as I can to post more regularly.
-Antonia

*Please be aware that the book cover on this post is a link to purchase this book through Amazon. Feel free to purchase with our affiliate link (just click on the book cover) to support us!

Clockwork Angel – Cassandra Clare

Summary:
Orphan Tessa Gray, sixteen, crosses the ocean from New York to find her brother Nate in Victorian London, her only possession a clockwork angel necklace from her mother. She is ignorant of her power to transform; the Dark sisters are not. They kidnap her for the Magister, who wants to marry Tessa and claim her power.
Shadowhunters, warriors of angel blood, battle demons and keep the peace in the Downworld of vampires, warlocks and other supernaturals. Orphan teen Shadowhunters Jem, Will, and Jess rescue Tessa and agree to help save Nate. Vengeful vampire Lady Camille Belcourt and her current lover, warlock Magnus Bane provide entree to the Magister’s secret Pandemonium Club.

Review:
I just finished reading this book and I’m still slightly undecided on how much I liked it. I’ve loved every book that Cassandra Clare has written. I tore through the Mortal Instruments Series. It wasn’t like that for me with Clockwork Angel. I did definitely like this book even if I am undecided on how much. The characters were some that I absolutely got attached to. The story line was definitely a little unusual, but familiar to me because I’ve already read The Mortal Instruments series, well what’s already out of it. I’m excited to see where this series will go with how Clockwork Angel ended.
The characters were very similar to those in The Mortal Instruments series, some of them are actually in the other series so it was interesting reading about their past. The main character, Tessa, was a really interesting girl. At the beginning of the book she was thrown into a terrible situation and things seemed to only get worse for her. I think she handled herself very well. She was more concerned about her brother than herself. She was a very caring person and I really liked that. She tried to make the best out of whatever she had at the moment. She had this new ability and she learned to control it in terrible circumstances without much choice in the matter. Tessa experienced a lot of new things all at once. Things that would be very overwhelming and she handled everything relatively well. I liked Tessa’s character for the most part, but there were times where I just wanted to reach in the book and smack her. She could be a bit ignorant at times. But it was kind of expected with being introduced into a whole new world she knew nothing about. I admire Tessa for how strong she was through this book. I just hope she continues to be like this through the rest of the series. Then there’s Tessa’s brother Nate. I didn’t particularly like his character. He was kind of an asshole and wasn’t very appreciative of Tessa and her new friends saving his life. Then once he wasn’t dying, all he did was hit on Jessamine because she has money and he’s a douche. I really didn’t like Nate’s character, but who knows you might feel differently.
Next the Shadowhunters, Charlotte, Henry, Will, Jem, and Jessamine. Charlotte was probably one of my favorites in this book. She’s smart, determined, confident, caring, and just an all around good person. She runs the Institute with help from her husband, Henry. Although, he tends to be more trouble then help. Charlotte isn’t really taken seriously as the head of the Institute by other Shadowhunter, but I think she does a fantastic job with what she’s handed. Henry would rather stay in the basement and invent things, mostly things that don’t work. But hey, he tries and that’s what counts. I liked Henry. He was pretty funny, usually by accident, and he just cared about everyone so much. Will Herondale. It was really hard for me to not hate Will, but at the same time I had a really hard time not falling for him. He has so much going on. He wants to save the world, but won’t let anyone in to save him. And boy does he need saving. He has the mysteriousness going on and tries really hard to keep it that way. I just wanna know everything he’s hiding already! Next is Jem, he was another one of my favorites. He’s honest, funny, sweet, and just a genuinely good person. He went through a lot growing up and only wants to make the world a better place. If I could find Jem in the real world I would marry him, immediately. Last is Jessamine Lovelace. I really didn’t like her, at all. She’s stuck up, self centered, and sometimes really rude. She’s a Shadowhunter, but refuses to act like one. She sits at home and tries to find a way to make everyone’s lives difficult. I definitely think the story could have done without her, but I imagine she has a purpose. I’m just waiting to see what it is.
Overall, I liked this book. I liked most of the characters. The story line kept me interested and I’m kind of really excited to see where Cassandra Clare goes with this series. If you’ve read the Mortal Instruments Series and liked it, you should definitely give this series a try. Or if you like the paranormal, supernatural kinds of books these are right up your alley.

Keep on reading lovelys, Amanda.

Call Me Irresistible – Susan Elizabeth Phillips

Summary:
Lucy Jorik’s the daughter of a former U.S. President…
Meg Koranda’s the offspring of legends…
One of them is about to marry Mr. Irresistible- Ted Beaudine- the favorite son of Wynette, Texas…
The other is determined to save her friend from a mess of heartache.
Meg knows breaking up her best friend’s wedding is the right thing to do, but no one else agrees. Faster than Lucy can say “I don’t,” Meg’s the most hated woman in town-and stuck there with a dead car, and empty wallet, and a very angry bridegroom. Broke, stranded, without her famous parents watching her back, Meg believes she can survive by her own wits. After all, what’s the worst that can happen? She’ll lose her heart to Mr. Irresistible?
Not likely. Not likely at all.

Review:
I recently went to the bookstore after getting my first paycheck from my new job. Susan Elizabeth Phillips is one of my auto buy authors and I saw that she had a new book out, The Great Escape. I thought it sounded really good, then I realized it was a sequel of sorts. So I found the first, Call Me Irresistible, where I proceeded to call my dad and make him look at my bookshelves to see if I already owned it. When we decided that I didn’t own it I just had to buy it, I just couldn’t not. So here I am, after spending my entire shift at work finishing this book, this is what I thought of Susan Elizabeth Phillip’s Call Me Irresistible.
I spent most of my time laughing while reading this book. I love books that can make me crack up and look like a maniac if I’m reading in public and this was definitely one of those. The story line kept me interested, the characters were hilarious, and there were some parts that I didn’t expect.
I love books that can make me laugh, which is the main reason I read Phillip’s books. This was a typical love story, I knew who was going to fall in love in the first chapter. There were parts that I didn’t expect, which was a pleasant surprise. Generally, lovey romancey novels like this are completely predictable. So I absolutely loved the fact that there were parts I didn’t guess. Something else I liked about this book is that it took place in small town Texas, so I kind of got a glimpse at what life down there is like. Yes, I know it’s a fiction story. But I don’t live somewhere that’s even remotely like Texas. It was a perspective I enjoyed.
My favorite part to talk about, the characters. Meg Koranda was someone I’d probably be friends with in real life. She’s funny, obnoxious, honest, stubborn, and a lot like my group of friends. Meg was put through a ridiculous amount of completely unnecessary bullshit while she was in Wynette, Texas. She handled herself better than I would have. She has almost too much pride which sometimes made things more complicated for her. I found Meg to be a very admirable female lead. Next comes Wynette’s beloved Ted, who Meg’s best friend Lucy left at the altar. Ted was a really hard character for me to figure out. One page I’d think I had him down, but then he’d go do something crazy and prove me wrong. It took me a while before I started to actually like Ted. He was kind of an asshole at Meg towards the beginning of the book. But he started being nicer, funnier, and sarcastic and I fell for him right along with Meg. Everyone else that lived in town aren’t important enough to be mentioned individually. But I would like to add that I thought they treated Meg very unfairly when she first came to Wynette, but I’m glad they eventually let their grudges go and let her be happy with Ted. The townspeople definitely added more hilarity to the story.
I’d recommend this book to anyone that likes a good romance novel or a book that will make you laugh. This is absolutely both of those things.

Keep on reading lovelys, Amanda.

The Eternity Cure – Julie Kagawa

Summary:
In Allison Sekemoto’s world, there is one rule left: blood calls to blood.
She has done the unthinkable: died so that she might continue to live. Cast out of Eden and separated from the boy she dared to love, Allie will follow the call of blood to save her creator, Kanin, from the psychotic vampire Sarren. But when the trail leads to Allie’s birthplace in New Covington, what Allie finds there will change the world forever-and possibly end human and vampire existence.
There’s a new plague on the rise, a strain of the Red Lung virus that wiped out most of humanity generations ago-and this strain is deadly to humans and vampires alike.The only hope for a cure lies in the secrets Kanin carries, if Allie can get to him in time.
Allison thought that immortality was forever. But now, with eternity itself hanging in the balance, the lines between human and monster will blur even further, and Allie must face another choice she could never imagined having to make.
Review:
The Eternity Cure by Julie Kagawa was no disappointment. It one hundred percent met my expectations. I loved every page. It was suspenseful and surprising. There was a lot going on so I had to pay more attention but when all the pieces fell together I knew I’d made a good decision spending my time reading this series. Julie Kagawa made it to my auto-buy author list because I’ve loved every one of her books, and The Eternity Cure was no different. The plot is pretty unique for being about vampires.
One thing I really enjoyed about this book that doesn’t have to do with the characters was that there wasn’t just one big reveal. There was surprise after surprise through the whole book. We learned little bits and pieces of the whole story at a time. This is something I’ve grown to love. I think that it helps to keep up the suspense and excitement of the story.
I also loved the characters. Probably more than I should, but that’s okay. I feel like I’ve grown with them in these past two books. The main character, Allison, has definitely grown up significantly since the first book. Although she does still have her outburst moments, usually with pretty good reason.
Next is Zeke. The role Zeke played in The Eternity Cure kind of made me dislike him a bit. I mean, I’m all for the sappy romances where nothing can separate them, even though he’s human and she’s a vampire. But to leave a completely human city, the one place you know you’re safe in, to go somewhere that you’ll almost definitely die. That’s just stupid in my opinion, and I’m not a fan of stupid. Don’t get me wrong, I love Zeke, and I love everything that goes on between him and Allie. He’s brave, smart, attractive, compassionate, caring, and sometimes moronically protective. What girl in their right mind wouldn’t love him? There were just times where he aggravated me.
The character that surprised me the most had to be Jackal. I despised him in the first book, The Immortal Rules, and didn’t expect that to change in this one. But it did. I found myself cracking up at the shit that came out of Jackal’s mouth. He kept the mood upbeat and light-hearted to an extent. He was comic relief. I started to hate to love him, but he really grew on me and ended up being not such a bad guy. Sure he was selfish, conceited, and stubborn, but he was also very smart, confident, and honest. At the end of this book, I ended up loving Jackal too.
The last, and certainly not least, of the good guys, Kanin. I adored Kanin in the first book. With his mysteriousness that he had going on. I ate it up. In the sequel, a lot more of the truth definitely comes out. Some of what I learned made me respect Kanin and his actions, but some also left me a bit disappointed in him. Kanin went through quite a bit in this book and still came out a better person. He struggled through being tortured to the point that he wasn’t supposed to return from and he still came back to Allison. That’s what I’d call strength and determination.
Now the bad guys, Sarren and Stick (Mr. Stephen). I mentioned Stick in my last review, how I didn’t like him much because he was just kind of an asshole. Well, Stick turns into a super asshole in the second book. He comes into a powerful position and definitely let it get to his head. Any time I was reading about him I kind of just wanted to reach into the book and strangle him. I’m completely okay with how his fate turns out. Then there’s Sarren. Sarren is pretty much just a sick freak. There’s something wrong in his head and everything he believes is twisted and dark. He was pushed past the point of no return, and he absolutely didn’t return the same like Kanin did. Sarren’s not a guy I’d like to meet walking down a dark alley, that’s for sure.
I think the only thing that I didn’t like about this book was the beginning. I’m really not a fan of books that start however many months later and this was one of those. Overall I thought The Eternity Cure by Julie Kagawa was a fantastic book and I’d suggest it to anyone who likes dystopian or paranormal young adult books.

Keep on reading lovelies, Amanda.

*Please be aware that the book cover on this post is a link to purchase this book through Amazon. Feel free to purchase with our affiliate link (just click on the book cover) to support us!

Looking for Alaska – John Green

Summary:
Miles “Pudge Halter is done with his safe life at home. His whole existence has been on big nonevent, and his obsession with famous last words has only made him crave the “Great Perhaps” (Francois Rabelais, poet) even more. He heads off to the sometimes crazy, possibly unstable, and anything-but-boring world of Culver Creek Boarding School, and his life becomes the opposite of safe. Because down the hall is Alaska Young. The gorgeous, clever, funny, sexy, self-destructive, screwed-up, and utterly fascinating Alaska Young, who is an event unto herself. She pulls Pudge into her world, launches him into the Great Perhaps, and steals his heart.

Review:
My dear Lord this book. Looking for Alaska is my all time favorite book and has been for the four years. I’ve read this book six or seven times and my reaction hasn’t changed for any of them. Every time I read this book I laugh, I cry, I hurt, I love along with all the characters. This time reading it was no different. I always get so emotional with the book. I love the storyline, the characters and the fact that it makes me think. I love everything about this book.
I guess I’ll start with the storyline. Yeah, there’s a countless number of books about kids that go to a new school and want fun adventures. They want exciting stories to tell. But the way John Green writes his books makes it so much more than what it is. This kid Miles is inspired to “seek a great perhaps”. How awesome is that? And of course, he does. But the friends that he makes at his new school aren’t the popular kids. He joins a group of what seems like troublemakers. Miles and his friends are normal boarding school kids with a whole lot of secrets. The plot twist in this story was one I never saw coming the first time I read it. I had no idea of the heartbreak that headed my way as soon as I opened this book. So many things that I read in this book made me think about some seriously intense things. It made me reevaluate a bit. I love every thought John Green’s words cause.
Now, on to the characters. There’s Miles “Pudge” Halter, Takumi, Chip “The Colonel” Martin, Lara, and, of course, the wonderful Alaska Young. Nothing can ever compete for the amount of love I have for these five characters. Which might be slightly frowned upon and probably not very healthy, but that’s okay. I’ll start with Pudge. I adored Pudge from the first page. He’s the typical slightly awkward high school boy who’s forever in love with a girl he’ll never get. But regardless of that, I loved him. He’s so sweet and innocent at the beginning of the book. By the end, Pudge has been through so much and changed because of it. I love that we get to see Pudge change. And I know that I definitely grew and changed with him. I love Pudge because he never loses hope throughout the whole book. With everything he goes through, he always has hope and that’s why I love him.
Let’s talk about Takumi next. The one thing that would have made me love Looking for Alaska more was that if Takumi had played a bigger part in the whole story. (The same goes for Lara, but we’ll get to her.) but I really liked Takumi’s character. He was always cracking jokes about everything. He was a very upbeat kind of guy. And I really liked that. Another thing was that Takumi gave Pudge and The Colonel their space when he knew it was needed. He also helped Lara with everything that was happening. I just found Takumi to be a stand-up guy. Someone who I’d love to be friends with.
We can go to The Colonel next. The first couple of times I read this book, The Colonel was my favorite. The guy knows every capital of every country in the world. How fucking cool is that? But there’s more. He also knows each country’s population as well. How ridiculous is that? I wish I was that smart. I also love how much of a no bullshit person he is. He’s very proud of what he has, even though it’s not a lot. The Colonel is very stubborn in his ways. Which isn’t really a bad thing because his values are basically, “Don’t rat anyone out ever. We look out for our own, even when it’s someone we don’t get along with. You don’t rat. It’s simple.” He has such loyalty even to those he doesn’t like. He has such strong morals and I love that.
And to Lara. Another character I really would have loved to see more of. She played a good part but there should have been more of her. She just plays this quiet little girl and all she wants is for Pudge to like her. But he loves Alaska. She deals with so much of his crap and still sticks around to be there as his friend when he needs one. Lara’s just so innocent and pure and just truly kind. I wish I knew her as a real person.
Last, but nowhere near least, my dear friend Alaska Young. Alaska Young is that girl that everyone secretly wants to be. She’s basically the most badass girl you’ve ever seen. Imagine yourself, a boy in small-town Florida, going to a new school, better yet a boarding school, and you’ve never really had many friends. Especially girlfriends. So you’re immediately infatuated with her. Then the more you get to know her, you start to fall in love with her. This kickass person who loves books, pranking people, and crazy adventures. This girl that makes you say “you can’t just make me different and then leave. Because I was fine before, Alaska. I was fine with just me and last words and school friends. And you can’t just make me different … Alaska, because now I’m irretrievably different, and I’m sorry I let you go, yes, but you made the choice. You left me. Perhaps-less stuck in your goddamn labyrinth.” Imagine feeling all the things this high school boy was feeling with everything this girl caused. I love her the way that Pudge loves her because that’s the only way I know Alaska. Alaska Young will be my dream girl for the rest of my life. There’s no way for us to not understand how Pudge feels because we feel everything with him. I fell in love with Alaska just like Pudge did.
As a whole, I love this story more than life itself. Looking for Alaska is one of those books that I need to share with the world and make everyone be as crazy about it as I am. So my only suggestion is to buy this book, read it, and fall hopelessly in love like I did.

Keep on reading lovelies, Amanda.

*Please be aware that the book cover on this post is a link to purchase this book through Amazon. Feel free to purchase with our affiliate link (just click on the book cover) to support us!

Eona by Alison Goodman

Goodreads Summary: Eon has been revealed as Eona, the first female Dragoneye in hundreds of years. Along with fellow rebels Ryko and Lady Dela, she is on the run from High Lord Sethon’s army. The renegades are on a quest for the black folio, stolen by the drug-riddled Dillon; they must also find Kygo, the young Pearl Emperor, who needs Eona’s power and the black folio if he is to wrest back his throne from the selfstyled “Emperor” Sethon. Through it all, Eona must come to terms with her new Dragoneye identity and power – and learn to bear the anguish of the ten dragons whose Dragoneyes were murdered. As they focus their power through her, she becomes a dangerous conduit for their plans. . . .
Eona, with its pulse-pounding drama and romance, its unforgettable fight scenes, and its surprises, is the conclusion to an epic only Alison Goodman could create.

I just finished reading Eona by Alison Goodman and, just like Eon, I couldn’t put it down. Eona continuously surprised me. I honestly couldn’t guess what would happen next and every time I thought the characters were safe, the next page I was scared for their lives again.
I really liked these books. I thought the characters were built up well. Eona pissed me off a lot in the first book. She was trying so hard to do what was expected of her but she was constantly doing the wrong thing. It was wicked aggravating. During the second book, she FINALLY steps up and doesn’t mess up every five seconds. She starts listening to her instincts more instead of always doing what everyone tells her to do. She’s also finally learning how to be a girl and I loved seeing her grow into herself.
I adore Kygo. Mostly. He can be irritating at times but usually just when he’s doing something he HAS to do as emperor. Eona might not like it, but he is the emperor. He doesn’t always have a choice. As (understandably) annoying as he can be, I still love him. He genuinely wants what’s best for his people and he makes the right choice in the end.
I still love Dela and Ryko. Dela is just fantastic no matter what she’s doing. Ryko drove me a little nuts every time he and Eona were around each other. He was so mean to her, but, like with Kygo, I understood why so I can’t really be mad at him.
What I couldn’t stand about this book was Eona and Ido’s relationship. I hate him. He’s an asshole. He will never stop being an asshole. I understand he was necessary for teaching Eona how to use her dragon, but he made me so angry, especially at the end. Every time he opened his mouth I just wanted to punch him.
The end of the book was crazy. So much was happening all at one time and I really just wanted to cry. In a mostly good way.
I really like these books. They’re fast-paced and suspenseful. They have action, betrayal and love. I would recommend them to anyone who liked fantasy books and maybe even if you don’t. Amanda’s not usually a big fan of fantasy but she really liked them so, in this case, don’t judge a book by its genre.
-Antonia

*Please be aware that the book cover on this post is a link to purchase this book through Amazon. Feel free to purchase with our affiliate link (just click on the book cover) to support us!

1st to Die – James Patterson

Summary:
Enjoy the riveting debut of The Women’s Murder Club-James Patterson’s most exciting series ever. In San Francisco newlyweds are being stalked-and slaughtered. Enter four unforgettable women, all friends..Lindsay, a homicide inspector in the city’s police department…Claire, a medical examiner…Jill, an assistant D.A….and Cindy, a reporter who has just started working the crime desk of the San Francisco Chronicle. Joining forces, pooling their talents, courage, and brains, they have one goal: to find, trap and outwit the most diabolical and terrifying killer ever imagined.

Review:
1st to Die by James Patterson cause me to have a slight mental breakdown today. Patterson writes wonderfully and had me hooked from the very first page. The way this book was written was probably my favorite part about this book. He wrote it from two different perspectives, the main character, Lindsay Boxer, and the killer, who I’m not going to name. Throughout the whole book you know what is going on with both sides. You see how the killer is doing what he’s doing, and you also see the process that Lindsay goes through to catch the killer. The thing I liked most about this book was the fact that while I was reading I found myself yelling at the book because I didn’t expect things to happen the way they did. You can even ask Antonia, when I got to the end of the book I yelled very loudly and a lot with how it ends. I was on the edge of my seat the whole time I was reading, and I finished the book in a couple of hours. Every time I tried to predict what was going to happen next I was completely and totally wrong. The story twists and turns with every page and will leave you in shock once it’s over. I would read this book again and again, and probably will.
Onto the characters, their always my favorite part to talk about because I get so attached to them. The one’s I’m going to mention are the four best friends, Lindsay, Claire, Cindy, and Jill, then there’s the last on my list, Lindsay’s new partner Chris Raleigh.
I love Lindsay the most. She’s strong and determined and doesn’t let anything or anyone get to her. She goes through more than just the stress of finding the murderer and she comes out stronger than ever. She never loses her sense of what’s right and what’s wrong and always does what she thinks is best. Lindsay, unlike many other characters I’ve come to love, doesn’t lie to her friends about anything going on in her life. She finds things out and may wait a day or two to think about it, but always confides in those she cares about and trusts them to help her through. I really don’t think there was anything I didn’t like about Lindsay.
Now we get to talk about Chris! He comes into the book as Lindsay’s new partner. Neither can deny the attraction that’s between them. Chris always supports Lindsay in any way that he can. He helps her every step of the way, and doesn’t hesitate to let her know when she’s wrong. He has two sons that he very obviously cares about more than anything. Chris just is the perfect man throughout the entire book and I think I love him more than Lindsay does.
Next comes the girls, Cindy, Clair, and Jill. Claire is the first we meet in the story. She’s strong and dependable. She knows when she needs to be there for Lindsay and when to back off. She never criticizes Lindsay even when she thinks she’s wrong. She trusts Lindsay and because of that trust Claire helps solve a key piece into who the murderer is. We meet Cindy next. Cindy starts off as an annoying reporter that Lindsay doesn’t want to deal with and ends up becoming part of their circle and also helps instrumentally in the police case. I think I would be the Cindy of the group. She seems focused and caring but also doesn’t want anything to get in the way of her career. She’s fun loving and very clever, seeming to find a different way to almost every situation that arises. Jill comes last and kind of way later in the book. We didn’t get to see much of Jill, but from what we did see I think she’s a lot like Antonia. She’s very stubborn, but cares for her friends and is willing to give in for them and what they want and need. I love all of these girls, and that they remind me of my group of friends.
Overall this book was fantastic. Exactly what I expected from James Patterson, funny, suspenseful, heart wrenching, and well written. I’m very excited to continue reading this series and suggest that you go and pick up this one.

Keep on reading lovelys, Amanda.

Crystal Cove by Lisa Kleypas

Goodreads Summary: Justine Hoffman has made a comfortable life for herself on the island of Friday Harbor. She is the proprietor of a successful boutique hotel, and she has the safe, predictable life she has always wanted. Growing up with her flighty, nomadic mother, Marigold, has instilled in her a deep longing for stability. But in spite of everything Justine has achieved, there is still something missing. Love. And after years of waiting and dreaming, she is willing to do whatever it takes to change her destiny.
What Justine soon discovers is that someone cast a spell on her when she was born, with the result that she will never find her soul mate. Determined to change her fate, Justine finds a way to break the enchantment, never dreaming of the dangerous complications that will follow.
And when Justine meets the mysterious Jason Black, she accidentally unleashes a storm of desire and danger that threaten everything she holds dear . . . because Jason has secrets of his own, and he wants more from her than fate will ever allow.

Hey, everyone. Sorry I haven’t written a review in awhile. My reading’s been a bit slow lately, due to my mildly unhealthy obsession with Charmed. I’m working on balancing my Charmed and reading obsessions equally, so hopefully I’ll do better in the future.
Lisa Kleypas is one of my favorite romance authors and I’ve always enjoyed her books, both contemporary and regency era. Crystal Cove is no different. It has a lot of humor, romance, and wicked hot sex scenes. I was so happy when I found out Kleypas was going to write Justine’s book. This is the final book in the Friday Harbor Series. The first three center around three brothers and the women they fall in love with. During those books, you meet the women’s friend Justine. I’d always liked her. She’s outgoing and funny and extremely unlucky in love. She’s also a hereditary witch.
Well, it turns out that a geas (a curse), has been cast on her that prevents her from ever loving anyone. Angry, she dispels the geas, not realizing the consequences. Hereditary witches have long ago been cursed to lose the men they love to early deaths. Trying to protect Justine from being hurt, her mother, Marigold, and her coven, had placed the geas on her when she was a baby. Now she’s met Jason and, with the geas lifted, she’s falling fast.
Unfortunately, Jason has secrets of his own. He doesn’t have a soul. This doesn’t make him evil or incapable of human emotion. It only means he won’t go anywhere when he dies. He won’t go to heaven or hell, or be reborn. He simply ceases to exist. Because of this, people without souls tend to live very short lives, like they’re unconsciously trying to compensate for that missing part. Jason once met a witch who promised to help him try to change his fate and they made a plan to steal Justine’s grimoire (book of spells). The Triodecad is very old and very powerful, having been passed down through Justine’s family and can’t be separated from the witch who owns it. So Jason planned to gain Justine’s trust and steal the book once he was close enough to her. What he didn’t count on was falling in love.
What I didn’t like about this book was the timeline. It goes so fast that Justine and Jason fall in love in only a few days. I understand it’s supposed to be love at first sight, and I would’ve been fine with that, but after she finds out he stole the grimoire it only takes her a few days to get over it. They still went through all the usual emotions; falling in love, betrayal, remorse, acceptance, forgiveness, etc. but it seemed like they were rushing through them, and I would have preferred if it’d been drawn out a little bit longer to make it more realistic.
Jason irritated me a little bit as a male lead. He’s controlling in an obsessive-compulsive kind of way. You understand why he’s like that but it bothers me when that behavior transfers into his relationship with Justine. She’s pretty good at putting him in his place and making him see that he can’t treat her like that, but it’s a trait I find really annoying in a man and, personally, there were a few times where it was hard for me to get past that and just enjoy their relationship.
Overall, I quite liked this book. I liked the magical concepts Kleypas used to make the plot exciting and the way she had them overcome their problems in the end really surprised me. Usually with romance novels, where the plot tends to be very straightforward, I can guess how the characters will fix everything at the end, and with this one I really couldn’t figure out how they would manage it until it was actually happening.
This is definitely what I would call a (slightly) trashy romance novel. It’s not just sex and there is a plot, but it’s more of an unsurprising quick-read with a happy ending. If you tend to like stories with complicated characters and plotlines that leave you falling off a cliff, then this probably isn’t your kind of book. But if you’re a hopeless romantic like I am, then I’d suggest you give this book (or one of Kleypas’ other novels) a try.
-Antonia

*Please be aware that the book cover on this post is a link to purchase this book through Amazon. Feel free to purchase with our affiliate link (just click on the book cover) to support us!

Bloodlines by Richelle Mead

Summary:
Sydney Sage is an Alchemist, one of a group of humans who dabble in magic an serve to bridge the worlds of humans and vampires. Alchemists protect vampire secrets-and human lives.
When Sydney is torn from her bed in the middle of the night, at first she thinks she’s still being punished for her complicated alliance with dhampir Rose Hathaway. But what unfolds is far worse. Jill Dragomir-the sister of Moroi Queen Lissa Dragomir-is in mortal danger and the Moroi must send her into hiding. To avoid a civil war, Sydney is called upon to act as Jill’s guardian and protector, posing as her roommate in the unlikeliest of places: a human boarding school in Palm Springs, California. The last thing Sydney wants is to be accused of sympathizing with vampires. And now she has to live with one.
The Moroi court believes Jill and Sydney will be safe at Amberwood Prep, but threats, distractions, and forbidden romance lurk both outside-and within-the school grounds. Now that they’re in hiding, the drama is only just beginning.
Review:
This book was nothing short of the wonderfulness I expected from Richelle Mead. Although, this is my second time reading Bloodlines (so that I can refresh my memory to read the third, Indigo Spell) I enjoyed it the same amount if not more. Richelle Mead just has a way of sucking you into her books and spitting you out when its over. Leaving you wanting so much more. I love everything about this book. The plot, the characters, everything.
My favorite thing about this book is probably Sydney Sage herself. She’s around eighteen and all she does is take responsibility for everyone else. I don’t know many eighteen-year-olds that are like that. She’s selfless; she doesn’t even see that in taking care of everyone else she sometimes forgets that she needs to take care of herself too. But what makes me love her so much is that even though she’s not supposed to ‘sympathize’ with vampires, the whole reason she takes care of the group is that she’s come to care about them. They’re her friends regardless of the fact that she’s supposed to hate them. Which brings me to something else that I like about Sydney. She does what she’s told, most of the time. But she knows when she can get away with being her usual sassy self and how much sass to give. She follows all the rules, but only if she thinks it’s the right thing to do. Sydney never does anything unless its the right thing to do. There’s only one thing that I don’t like about her and that’s the fact that Sydney is almost always berating herself for doing something wrong. She could have done it better, differently, even when everything worked out perfectly. She’s so hard on herself and I didn’t like that. I just wanted to yell at her! But, despite that one thing, Sydney’s my favorite.
Then there’s Adrian, Jill, and Eddie, the gang. They all add perfectly to the story in their own way. Adrian with his sarcastic remarks and all his quirks. I fell in love with Adrian while reading the Vampire Academy Series, but I fell deeper with this book. You see so much more of him and I love it. Jill’s quiet and kind of timid nature. I like Jill well enough, but sometimes she just irritated me. She never stuck up for herself and was always too concerned with being different than everyone else. Yeah, Jill, you’re different. You’re kind of a Moroi fucking princess, ACT LIKE ONE. Toward the end of the book, Jill is definitely better about her poor me attitude, not until after Sydney yells at her of course. And then there’s Eddie. Eddie’s also someone I got to know in the Vampire Academy books. But in Bloodlines, his character is developed a lot more., which I liked. The way Eddie thinks is duty over everything. Even if duty means watching the girl you love hangout with a guy that looks like a dead friend of yours. You can tell Eddie cares about all the people in his life, even if he doesn’t say it, I love this about him. Basically, I love all the characters in this book.
All in all, I really loved this book and its one I would definitely suggest to everyone, everywhere. Go get it, and read it. Now. Although, if you really like vampire/love stories, you should probably read the Vampire Academy series first.

Keep on reading lovelies, Amanda.

*Please be aware that the book cover on this post is a link to purchase this book through Amazon. Feel free to purchase with our affiliate link (just click on the book cover) to support us!

Swear by Nina Malkin

Summary:
It’s been six months since ghost-turned-golem Sinclair Youngblood Powers confessed his love, stole Dice’s heart, and disappeared from Swoon, perhaps from existence. Despite the hurt, Dice has been moving steadily toward ordinary. Dreams of Sin still plague and pleasure her sleep, and the mark of Sin’s love remains on her skin, still sore. But Dice had been throwing herself into music, finding solace in song and sometimes even in the arms of her bandmate Tosh. Life seems almost…normal.
The last thing Dice wants is to mess with anything remotely supernatural. But when her best friend’s boyfriend goes missing, Dice has no choice but to become very much involved. She knows that his disappearance was no accident, and it somehow has everything to do with Sin. Because Dice can feel it: Sin is back. And the promises and deceptions he left in his wake have returned to haunt him.
What do you do when an oath of devotion threatens to destroy the one you love?
Review:
Swear by Nina Malkin, the only reason I read this book was that Antonia read it as well as the first, which I did not care for, and she informed me that the second is better than the first. And I agree with her on this, but only slightly. The sequel to Swoon is only slightly less terrible than the first. There were quite a few things I didn’t like about this book.
Let’s start with the plot. It improved immensely compared to the first. In Swear, there is an actual plot and it’s relatively creative. Although, the way the books are written it takes forever for anything to become interesting. I was also still confused while reading the majority of this book. The story doesn’t give anything away until the “big reveal” moment in the story. I didn’t like this because I like to be able to know little bits and pieces as the story unfolds rather than having all the information that connects everything thrown at me all at once.
The next thing that I did not like about this book was the love triangles, yes that’s plural, as in more than one love triangle. Now, don’t get me wrong. I enjoy a good love triangle as much as the next girl, but in this book, they just irritated me. First, it was Dice wanting Sin and Tosh. Like, you can’t just stick with the first super hot guy you met? Then that kind of just goes away in the background. It just doesn’t get brought up again until Tosh and Pen ask for Dice’s blessing. I mean, it would have been a bit nicer to have the story delve into all the characters stories, not just Dice and Sin. Then there’s the second love triangle, although, this one isn’t so voluntary. Dice now has to deal with a crazy kind of ex of Sin’s. The ex, Antonia, is a psycho ghost that basically wants Sin to love her so she starts kidnapping people from the real world. This just, I didn’t like this.
A lot of this story just seemed thrown together, as if there was parts that were supposed to be added in, but never got there. All in all, I probably wouldn’t recommend this series to you. I will admit that Swear was absolutely better than Swoon, but that’s not saying much in my opinion.

Keep on reading lovelies, Amanda.

*Please be aware that the book cover on this post is a link to purchase this book through Amazon. Feel free to purchase with our affiliate link (just click on the book cover) to support us!