1 star, alex-rolled-her-eyes-way-too-often, all-reviews, contemporary-romance, darker-than-my-soul, don't-think-with-your-dick, double-POV, romance

The Bad Ones by Stylo Fantome

The Bad OnesThe Bad Ones by Stylo Fantome

My rating: 1 of 5 stars


“Little red riding hood fell for the wolf.”

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DNF at 44%
There are so many levels of no that this book made me feel. I could not possibly even begin to put this review into any systematic sense; so endure this one with me…

_____________


The Characters

I feel like stating that if I had to give a star to anything – anything at all, it would be how the two main characters met and the first maybe 3 (more like 2) chapters panned out.

Constantine and Dulcie are… an enigma

Probably not in the sense you’re thinking, folks. I’m talking if Ted Bundy gave a TED (ever so welcome for the pun) talk – these two would be the only two fucking psychopaths sitting front and center wearing “Make America Dead Again” hats.

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“She thought maybe she didn’t need oxygen anymore. He could just breathe for her.”

There are multiple trigger warnings given by the author, and it would be wise to read them before you read this book. Con Masters and Dulcie Travers meet unexpectedly, but both of them have noticed each other before. It seems he is one of the only people that actually does notice her. Both of them fester a creature of darkness inside them that sparks and lights on fire when they are together.

Do they know this is harmful? Yes.
What do they do? Kill people.

There a couple things I found that I hated besides the gore and the toxicity. Not that those weren’t overkill because they are – even for my tastes. I enjoy dark romance because the author is explicitly stating that the novel that the reader is about to venture in is going to be something you must go in clear- minded and not looking to judge on the thinking processes of (most times than not) fucking sociopaths.

The Bad Ones was something else entirely. There’s this shade called vantablack:

“Vantablack is the trademarked name for a chemical substance made of vertically aligned carbon nanotube arrays and is the darkest artificial substance known, absorbing up to 99.965% of radiation in the visible spectrum”

If ever there were to come a shit show that could uphold that kinda shade of fucked up – let me tell you about The Bad Ones…


“She wanted his darkness to swallow her whole. She wanted to be a part of it. She wanted to give her own darkness back to him.”


The Bad and The Ugly (It Was A Buy 1 Get 1 Free Kinda Thing)

Now don’t get me wrong if this is you’re kinda jam, then jam it out. Unfortunately, it was not mine. So to make everyone’s life easier; I’m going to list some things that made me want to chug a Gordon’s straight from the bottle.

– Dulcie the Doormat. God this one was so bad.If anything this aspect of the book took away at least 3 stars. It felt like the author was making up for how weak and constantly chasing she was with Con, by making her seem strong in other places. But all it ended up doing was having a flat and poorly executed character. Everytime Con left and came back 234o2912379 years later. There she was standing with a home-baked pot roast, and a massive “Welcome Home” smile on her face as if I didn’t just read infinite number of chapters of her bitching about Con leaving her.

– The whiplash that I got from these characters nearly, just nearly made me rip my hair off. One minute they were yelling and the next they were dirty talking each other after nothing got resolved. It was like poorly written fan fiction that needs to give readers some angst and “ooh he’s so mysterious” and “damn, i want to be her right now”…. Shut the fuck up. Honestly, shut the fuck up. (Was that petty? That was probably petty – especially because I can totally imagine a 13 year old me hiding and reading smut and thinking those exact things…)

– It felt like the author was trying to one up herself each time with shock value. In a sense, their was too much of trying to make it as dark as possible, and that took away from any sort of storyline, plot or character development. I felt zero reliability with anything that happened, and everything – including the sex scenes were drier than the Sahara.

– The time jumps pissed me the fuck off. Time Jumps piss me off anyway if they have no significant meaning to the plot at hand. But this book had neither a plot, nor any sense to it – so it ended up making me want to scream.


“Dulcie,” he whispered, and for a moment, she wondered who he was talking to. Dulcie? Dulcie who? No Dulcie here. She’s buried in a ditch by an abandoned train station.”

..

Yeah me too, after reading this killer. 😉

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3 stars, alex-rolled-her-eyes-way-too-often, all-reviews, contemporary-romance, cute-and-cuddly, double-POV, guilty-pleasures, romance, sexual tension, slow-burn

Rebel Heir by Vi Keeland and Penelope Ward

Rebel Heir (Rush Duet, #1)Rebel Heir by Vi Keeland

My rating: 3 of 5 stars

 


“You ever just look at someone and know that if you let them, they could turn your life upside down…completely ruin you?”

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Ever got yourself a massive pizza with stuffed crust and extra carbs on the side to go. Placed it on the kitchen counter top, stared at it and thought, “You are no good to me whatsoever, I have experienced your effects multiple times and have seen what you do to me.” Then, just when you’re about to close the box and outsmart that fucking pizza, you say damn it all to hell… and you stuff your “I deserve this” mouth.

That was a brief summary of what this book was like to read.

___________


Alex Explains the Pizza Symbolism

Now, although a lot of the tropes and the cliches in this book were done before – I do want to go ahead and start this by saying this was a massive guilty pleasure. In fact, it was the epitome of one – because I know for a fact if I read this again and sit down and think about it, I would list out a whole bunch of reasons why this book and me wouldn’t gel well.

However, beyond the cliches and the predictable plot lines lay a page-turner. True to every sense of the word. I don’t know if it was because it was a slow burn romance or because it was humorous at times or even because I was stuck on a 5 and a half hour flight. I kept reading and I couldn’t stop myself.

That being said, it does end in a cliffhanger and I feel no push to read the second book. It’s a weird predicament I’m in. I found more wrong with this than right but I still really enjoyed myself. I can follow every literary criticism with a point that went well, yet that doesn’t negate the fact that there is a plethora of those critiques.

See, it’s weird!!!


The Plot

Rebel Heir is centered around Rush and Gia. Both of them are sass queens and both of them fuel off each other – the minute they meet, sparks seem to fly and once the realization sets in that Rush is Gia’s ‘boss’, the sexual tension rises to an all time high. A summer in the Hamptons is set in store for both characters as Gia tries to finish writing her upcoming romance novel and keep her mind off her new boss. Both of which, she fails terribly at doing.

I really enjoyed seeing the control that Gia had and how her demands for a serious relationship were actually taken… serious. I liked that the authors embedded a sense of realness in the relationship and didn’t set it out to be artificial and ‘perfect’ like most NA writers do.

Then again, there were some instances were the dialogue was awkward and chipped off and could have really done with some heavy re-thinking.

I wouldn’t be me if I didn’t provide with example(s):

i)


“Of course, I was also borderline obsessed with being inside her—not just getting her off and finishing myself off either. I wanted to fill every orifice of that damn woman.”




every
orifice???
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ii)


“If I didn’t already dig this chick, she had to go and tell me she threw a baby doll into a fire. Something about that whole twisted story just warmed my black heart.”

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iii)


“My cock twitched. Down boy.”

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^^^
get it, I used a
Woody
gif.

Wow, I need sleep.

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3 stars, all-reviews, arc, contemporary-romance, cute-and-cuddly, friends with benefits, romance, sexual tension

(ARC REVIEW) Disgrace by Brittainy C. Cherry

DisgraceDisgrace by Brittainy C. Cherry

My rating: 3 of 5 stars


“When you find you, come back to me.”

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Earlier last year, I read a singular Brittany C. Cherry book that completely stole the air from my lungs. When I found out that she was writing a new standalone, I all but tore the whole house down. Disgrace was most parts beautiful, some parts substandard and all parts heart-breaking.

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The Plot

I was in a conundrum on whether I should rate this 3 or 4 stars, because in truth it was both. The writing was lyrical and the characters were multi-dimensional. Above all, this was more than just a romance, it was a story about blossoming. At the end, I found myself leaning more towards the 3 star rating only because I’ve seen what this author can evoke, and I felt like that sense of magic wasn’t all that there with this one.

That does not go to say that it was any less beautiful, because it was. Before anything I will say this as a warning to any safe -seeking readers out there: there is a crap ton of cheating in this book. (Maybe not in the sense you might vision, but there nonetheless.)

We are put right into the heart of Grace’s heartbreak and the story sets sail when she reaches her old home town Chester in order to move on from her husbands infidelity and lack of concern of her wellbeing. Where she meets Jackson, a man who is truly in his heart a kind and caring creature but is forced to be the town monster because of past happenings. It’s a tale about two broken people in dire need of fixing themselves and each other but finding out who they are along the way.


“We were so close that I felt her uneven breaths against my skin, and I was certain she felt mine.”

Another thing to add that I think is brilliant is that this must be the year of men saying it how it is.
Jackson, our hero was so real that it hurt. I love that women will pick this up and get lessons that every Romance and New Adult book should have. For example:


“Don’t be so fucking dramatic. No dick is worth falling apart over.”

There were some areas of cringe-worthy dialogue and material that threw me off a bit, but I found myself coming back for the plot. It was so unique and the culture beyond the context of the book was wonderful to get into. All in all, I think what fell with those two stars is that lack of out of this world feeling you get when you read a book by her, that enchanting world consuming atmosphere.


“I’d only been with one man in my lifetime, and it was no secret that Finley wasn’t working with the same type of equipment that Jackson had.”


The Romance

Jackson and Grace will steal your heart if you let them.

They will steal your heart individually and they will steal your heart together. If there is one thing that Brittainy C. Cherry can do with no problem is create characters that make your heart skip and flutter a little louder than usual. I enjoyed reading this and I really do feel like so many people will enjoy it just the same, if not more.


“They’re gonna bleed you out till you’re nothing, and then they’re gonna ask how you died.”

A lot of her books can be difficult to read because they are so heart breaking, I feel like this was more on the mellow side and although you’re in for a rollercoaster of emotions – at the end of the day, this is a feel good story. Nevertheless, I didn’t cry while reading this but that doesn’t mean it wasn’t upsetting. You feel what the characters feel through the writing and you long for them to find their happily ever after.

The romance in this book get very real. The case behind the start of Jackson and Grace’s story was one that can be related to on an earthly level because its so disturbingly relevant in today’s society. Saddening as it is, it’s a story that will touch a lot of hearts.


“I don’t know how to say goodbye,” he spoke softly, staring at the empty bowls. “Then don’t. Just say good night until tomorrow.”

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2 stars, alex-rolled-her-eyes-way-too-often, all-reviews, arc, contemporary-romance, new-adult, pop-that-cherry, young-adult

(ARC REVIEW) One Small Thing by Erin Watt

One Small ThingOne Small Thing by Erin Watt

My rating: 2 of 5 stars

 


“What’s your small thing for today?”
“You.”

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Here are three small things about One Small Thing:
1) It was a guilty pleasure.
2) It was pretty cute (at times)
3) It was pretty bland (at times)

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Please note that this review is purely my own opinion, and I do not want nor intend for anyone to be swayed into not reading this book. If you want to give it a chance – it might be turn out beautiful for you.
_________


The Plot

Whenever I have read ‘Erin Watt’ in the past, I always find myself coming to the same conclusion. I love reading the story because I need to find out what happens, yet somewhere or something falls short and it just feels mediocre in all. This does not go to say, that it takes away from the strengths of both the writing and development. However, it does make the storyline tedious at times.

I went into this story with no predispositions about the author(s) and the story. I read the blurb and I want to say that the blurb gives nothing away. Which worked in my favor, because it added the little bit of mystery value while reading. The story albeit cliche at very many occasions held it’s own throughout and I read this in one sitting!


“Then I stumble midstep when I catch another glimpse of Blue Eyes. It’s fate. We’re supposed to meet tonight.”

I don’t want to give much away about the plot because I’d rather advise people to go into this blind and see where the characters take you instead. The pace is fast, sometimes extremely so – where I just sat there thinking “Didn’t they just meet?? Haven’t they known each other for approximately five minutes.” I thought the storyline was fragmented and forced at times, but there is truck loads of angst and drama for all those that love high school romances with a soap opera atmosphere towards it!


” I could get drunk, but that’s too easy. I could get high, but that’s too dangerous. I need to do something between drunk and high that would make me feel good and piss my parents off. A f lash of movement catches my attention, and I turn to find a very good-looking guy stopping and leaning in the kitchen doorway.”


The Characters

The second most vital part both made and broke this story for me.
Chase and Beth.

Straight off the bat, I could tell that Beth would be a problem for me. Her character was very naive and hypocritical and I wanted to see character development that happened but it felt like a complete cop out.

There’s this greek stylistic device called deus ex machina whereby a character or event that seems to exist just to effortlessly solve a problem that seems unsolvable. There is usually ancient greek gods and motifs involved, but taking that part away and focusing just on the ‘cop out’ former definition.

This felt exactly like that. The ending was just all too little and all too much for me. It didn’t fit or feel right. It felt like there was a word limit to be met and the author(s) needed to get any ending in.

!!HOWEVER!!

I loved Chase. His character was a breakthrough for me, I loved that the stereotypical roles reversed and there was no magic dick syndrome. I REPEAT: there was no magic dick syndrome.
I adored that he told it like it was and didn’t follow that trend in young adult / new adult where the main male is an absolute dick all in the name of being an ‘alpha’.
Chase was this entire books saving grace for me.


“Your home life problems aren’t solved with my dick.”

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4 stars, all-reviews, arc, beautiful-doesnt-even-cut-it, contemporary-romance, mafia, prose-before-hoes, slow-burn

(ARC REVIEW) The Sweetest Oblivion by Danielle Lori

The Sweetest Oblivion (Made #1)The Sweetest Oblivion by Danielle Lori

My rating: 4 of 5 stars

 


“Nico?”
“What?”
“Your come is running down my thigh,” she whispered. Fuck. That was the hottest thing I’d ever heard.
My dick throbbed. I found the wetness dripping down her leg. Running a finger upward, I pushed it back inside her.

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Watch the fuck out for this author. I’m calling it.

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________


♪ The sound of panties dropping ♪

I spent a lot of time contemplating whether I should say yes to the review request when the author reached out to me, and I found myself coming back to that magnificent cover. Then I read the blurb and this seeped into me slowly. I found myself needing to know.

Best. Decision. *gif of Alex dancing awkwardly to The Sweetest Oblivion shrine*

Before I get into the plot, or the writing and even the characters. I want to take a moment and appreciate the sexual tension that resides in this one novel. There are some books out there, like this one that can single handedly make the whole room a sauna. I needed to put my kindle down a couple of times and just splash myself with water because hot damn.

The Sweetest Oblivion revolves around a girl named Elena Abelli. Elena is sweet on the outside because she needs it to survive being apart of a family that is a core member of New York’s Cosa Nostra. Or, simply known as the Mafia. Elena’s sister is set to marry Nicholas Russo, who is a boss of another family apart of the Mafia. When the two meet, sparks fly but both are too stubborn to face it. What happens after is a tale of love, loss, laughter and a whole lot of lunches.


“It was Cosa Nostra etiquette to pretend we were the classic example of a white-picket-fence family. Even if our homes were surrounded by an iron gate and security instead.”

The tension is palpable on the pages, you can practically feel the stares across the room. I wouldn’t necessarily call this a slow burn in terms of romance, but I would say it burns slowly and beautifully so. It’s safe to say that Danielle Lori has now become one of my one click authors and I’m keeping an eye out for any more additions to this series, because god knows I’m thirsty for it.


♛Made Men♚


“My family could be as pissed as they wanted, but I’d appreciate at least one fucking thank-you for stopping a bloodbath from ruining a perfectly good Sunday.”

I forgot how much I missed Mafia Romance, the drama and angst. All those hot to touch men. This book really made me want to say fuck the whole reading schedule and read more Mafia romances, it also restored hope in FM romance for me. So that’s a plus ++

I loved that between the romance and the sexual tension, we also got little nuggets of awesomeness from the families. Although they are fucked up and completely abnormal – what do you expect?? I love the banter that we saw from side characters and all the walk ins on awkward situations. The humor was something I really enjoyed as well. I definitely want to read on and see how the other characters turn out. I’m secretly hoping Gianna and Christian get together, and I want to see Adriana and how she turns out! I’m so invested in these families and all it took was one book.


“I only spoke Italian when I wanted to curse. I hardly ever swore, except for damn, hell, and maybe ass with a hole on the end now that I’d met Nicolas.”

I didn’t want this one to end, I wanted to stay in Elena’s world and see how the rest of the story unfolds. The pacing was so intricately galvanized that you needed to read on. I stayed up reading till 4AM one night and I didn’t even realize until I looked at the clock.

Goes without saying, but this is one for the shelves.


“Burn that shirt.” He then left without another word. I glanced down at my pink Yankees t-shirt. I guessed Nico was a Red Sox fan. We really wouldn’t work out now.”


🂱 The Romance 🂱

The writing in this book was what made the love story stand out. The prose was straight off the bat stellar and once I was in the world, I couldn’t get out. Even though this was a new author for me, I’m so glad I gave this a chance!


“He took his time licking me, like he was doing it for himself and not me.”

I think the only thing that threw off that one star, although I’d say it’s closer to 4.5 stars (thanks Goodreads) was that some dialogue threw me off. Without going into too much detail, there was some instances between some of the men and other girls that made me go “Okay… but no??”. Maybe that’s just the feminist side to me – regardless, I can’t lie when I say that was the only small thing that fell short.

(view spoiler)

Looking beyond that, the romantic elements between Elena and Nico were damn near perfect. We got to see the growth of the relationship emotionally and physically.

I enjoyed that we got to see both POV’s because it was essential to know that it wasn’t just one sided. There was a distinct voice of character that each had. Overall, it was a really good read and I enjoyed myself!


“I wanted to fuck her and ruin her for anyone else. I wanted to crush her wings and then put them back together again so she’d become dependent on me. I wanted her to need me. That dark, possessive, and dangerous feeling crawled through me every time she crossed my path. Elena Abelli was my vice, and fuck if I’d let it kill me.”

 

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1 star, all-reviews, arc, dnf, don't-think-with-your-dick, love triangle, no rating, recommended-to-me, romance, unpopular-opinion

(ARC REVIEW) Survival of the Richest by Skye Warren

Survival of the Richest (Survival of the Richest, #1)Survival of the Richest by Skye Warren

My rating: 1 of 5 stars


“I don’t want to die, but I want to live. People call that having a death wish.”

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DNF at 51%

As much as I wanted to love this book, both of us just did not get along. There was too many cliches and lately, I’ve been noticing that those seem to get on my nerves the most. This (short) review will be of my own and does not take away from the fact that everyone who is thinking of giving this book a try – should do it!!

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P.S This review is filled to the brim (staring now) with sexual innuendos. I’m making up for all the pent up sexual tension that this book did not deliver for me.
______________


Things I Shall Take Away From This Book

– Try Skye Warren again, Alex.
Perhaps this book just did not rub you the right way (all the sexual innuendos for my romance hoes out there) and you needed something….more.

-Many of your friends have loved her books, Alex.
Perhaps her past work in dark romance will in fact hit all the right spots. (2 for 2, baby)


“A gentleman would add my name to the guest list.”
“Did I give you the impression that I was a gentleman? My apologies.”


Things This Book Has Taken Away From me

-My ability to tolerate love triangles.
I thought I could do it folks, I really did. I used to enjoy love triangles and when this ARC traveling its way onto my kindle, I did a little happy dance because who doesn’t want some angst and drama in their romance every once in a while?

-The amount of shits I give for overused tropes and cliches.
Daddy issues, money vs. money, popping the cherry (pick me, pick me!!!), etc etc etc.

-PLAYING HIDE AND SEEK WITH THE PLOT
’nuff said.

Overall, I think this was a stellar case of “it’s not you, it’s me” and I want to go out and say that the blurb, the author and the cover reeled me in from the get-go. Had it been any other time I read this when I hadn’t already read a myriad of other books with cliche and cringe – I wouldn’t have minded and perhaps actually enjoyed.

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2 stars, alex-rolled-her-eyes-way-too-often, all-reviews, contemporary-romance, cute-and-cuddly, insta-love-bug, new-adult, pop-that-cherry, romance, sexual tension

(ARC REVIEW) A Wish for Us by Tillie Cole

A Wish for UsA Wish for Us by Tillie Cole

My rating: 2 of 5 stars


“I never dared hope for a love such as you”

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♫ i ♪
♩predicted ♬
♭everything ♮
♪ that ♬
♫ happened♭

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______________


The Writing

I’ve read Tillie Cole before.
Maybe that’s a wrong way to start.

I’ve read Tillie Cole’s dark romance before.

I never read “A Thousand Boy Kisses” and right from the synopsis, and the reviews I could tell that this was going to be somewhere along those lines. So I knew I was in for sap and mush and lovey dovey romance. I was genuinely looking forward to it.

A Wish For Us is centered around two people that have music running through their veins. Think of it like a life source, and both these ‘patients’ are attached to it through an IV drip. Cromwell and Bonnie meet through a series of coincidental events and when Cromwell signs up for the same university that Bonnie does, a whole lot of shit goes down.

I’ll give nothing more, and I suggest you read it and formulate your own opinion! This review is purely my own and I would really love if I could lie and give this a high rating because the cover is mouth-watering, the blurb is hooking enough and even the first 40% of the book was a solid 3-4 star read. But then I read on.

The imagery and the color synesthesia was something that I actually really enjoyed, it was unique and beautiful and I completely understood how vital it played a role in the plot. However, the first main problem for me was the dialogue.


“You get pussy by the truckload, huh?”
“I do all right.”

See, I understand the whole ideal of narration through the characters voice, and because this character is a guy – THERE JUST HAS TO BE ‘locker room talk’….
So even though it made me cringe and a massive stamp with the word “stereotypical” was right next to my kindle waiting to be used. I held off.


The Romance

But then there was the chemistry. (or lack there-of)

I felt like we were told Cromwell and Bonnie had tension – but I couldn’t necessarily feel it. Which paired with now really cliche and cringey dialogue can be a bit hard to swallow.

Yet still, I persevered like the true romance reader I am.

It did get better. The middle quarter of the book was filled with pathos and emotional scenes. It made me want to throw away any ‘stamp’ I had on the book and just keep reading it with no past ideals about it.


“Cromwell doesn’t speak much with his voice, but he screams what he feels with melodies and notes and the change of keys.”

I love romance books that integrate a form of art in it. Be it music, theater, art, literature etc. A lot of the time it’s like adding magic to magic – I love the atmosphere and the desperation, which all in all can create some serious heavy tension between the two MC’s.
This was a star in itself for this book. So if there is another thing I would like to point out, it’s that Tillie Cole very beautiful stitched in the element of music with romance – so much so that I felt like I was falling for the art more than the romance.

Even though both were main plot lines in the story, the artistic element of it shone brighter than the chemistry between the Bonnie and Cromwell.


“Her voice was violet blue. I closed my eyes. It was my favorite color to hear.”

So even though it made me cringe and a now massive stamps with the words “stereotypical” and “cliche” were right next to my kindle waiting to be used. I held off.


The Plot

But then there was the plot.

Ooh my.

I’m not going to stretch this one out.
But I would like to just….

♫ i ♪
♩predicted ♬
♭everything ♮
♪ that ♬
♫ happened♭

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3 stars, all-reviews, arc, childhood lovers, guilty-pleasures, my-heart-is-on-the-carpet, new-adult, romance

(ARC REVIEW) The Girl and Her Ren by Pepper Winters

The Girl and Her Ren (The Ribbon Duet, #2)The Girl and Her Ren by Pepper Winters

My rating: 3 of 5 stars

 


“Come find me on the meadow where the sun always shines, the river always flows, and the forest always welcomes.”

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This review is about 4 days late. Truth is, when this little gem made its way over to my kindle – I stopped every single thing to read it. After the mess I was in from the first book, I needed to read about the Wild’s.

I really wish I didn’t pick this up.

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____________


Confession #1: I don’t know if I want to give this 3 or 4 stars.

And because of Goodreads wonderfully painful rating system, I’m stuck with a conundrum.

Whenever I look back at some of those books that I have given 4 or 5 stars too, I always want to slap myself or sit down and have a …. bottle…. of wine. More times than not, I find myself giving books that I read a higher rating if it has emotionally touched me. If it made me cry – you fucking bet I’m riding over with 4 stars. If it made my heart skip a couple beats – Look, there’s Alex wearing a cowboy hat and 4 stars on her jacket.

If it did both. No one and No thing can stop me from reaching up to the damn sky and bringing that last star down.

The Girl and her Ren is something that I regret reading, because it shattered my heart into twenty thousand tiny pieces. But it is something that will stick with me nevertheless. It was beautifully and intricately fabricated to take your heart with every page, and each time I think about Della and Ren, I feel the ache inside me from the missing organ.


“If I touch you, I’ll never be able to stop.”


Confession #2: I nearly DNFed this at 22%

This is what happened with the first one as well.

The last quarter of the book felt like a 4/5 star read but the first quarter felt like a cop out. It just felt like I was pushing myself to keep reading, but don’t get me wrong I am glad I did. Once I got to the halfway mark, I was so invested – someone would have to had to rip my kindle from my hands to get me to have dinner.


“I’ll always be inside you, Della.”

So this is why I have my conundrum.

But let me not bore you with the details. Instead if you haven’t already read this duet. Do yourself a fucking favor and get your heart shattered.


Confession #3: Pepper Winters is a force to be reckoned with.

This was more than just a romance.

This was a psychological thriller.
This was a parenting book.
This was a bildungsroman.
This was a cookbook for life.
This was a beginners guide to getting your heart repaired.

This was everything and anything in the middle.

Pepper Winters dealt with so many beautiful assets of literature and pulled together this fucking heartache. Lead by an unreliable narrator, and dealing with philosophical theories of Nature vs. Nature, I have fallen in love with the whole premise of this book. I cannot begin to explain how much I kept thinking about it after that epilogue and that’s just half of what I can say about it.

It reminded me so much of Les Miserables. Because any realistic romantic book will remind me of Les Miserables, where the direct translation of the story is “The Miserables.” Because love is sticky, and painful, and beautiful and broken. And anyone and everyone that falls into is miserable.


“I promise that every breath I take is for you. I’ve never loved anyone else and I never will.”

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4 stars, contemporary-romance, new-adult, novella, romance, sexual tension

Filthy Gods by R. Scarlett

Filthy Gods (American Gods, #0.5)Filthy Gods by R. Scarlett

My rating: 4 of 5 stars

 


“I examined the risks and you’re worth the fall.”

description
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I swallowed this whole.
___________


American Gods

Ms. Scarlett is perhaps one of the cleverest authors with the publication of this prequel. She has safely guarded a fanbase for three characters, who we met very briefly but most likely have already fallen in love with. This novella is brilliant in its purpose.

There are many authors out there that set prequels in order to build the hype around the rest of the series. So that there is a readership before the read. I find, more times than not – that can go severely bad for me. There are times when I completely lose interest in the prequel and then once the first of the series is published, I’m not anticipating it at all. Because I have already met the character that it’s about and don’t connect.

So, she gives us Nathaniel and Juliette.
Let’s break down the level of brilliance.

i) Same world = in which we meet the other three characters. Gabe, James and Arsen.

ii) Different Story = in which we fall in love with Nathaniel and Juliette, so either way we are reading the series to see them again.

❮ cue the damn applause ❯


The Romance


“His ocean eyes, dark and hard—held the universe in them. A universe he was offering to me.”

This was a brilliant read and the romance was scorching hot. After seeing the whole goodreads buddy read this and end up giving it 5 stars, I refused to go with missing out.

So granted, there is only so much legroom for an author to work with when it comes to novellas and short stories. You have to gain your readers attention, build the world, achieve characterization and make two people fall in love all in a short page span.

This was honestly so close to perfect.

I felt that the characters were a bit two dimensional at times, and some of the lines were slightly cringey. I love me some dirty talk though, and damn did Nathaniel Radcliffe deliver.

The whole premise of the secret society of the elite and wealthy reminded me a lot of “The Riot Club”. The premise of wealth, power, and fame is a trope that has been done before but she brings a whole new freshness to it. Where we don’t get assholes and cocky bastards. But kind and loyal ones??? (See? Brilliant)

Another thing that got on my nerves a tad was the commands that Nathaniel kept giving to Juliette. The whole “sit”, “open”, “close” etc. did not do it for me. At first it was a bit infuriating because no woman should be spoken to like a dog. (this is not a pet play erotica, please don’t mistake it for one). However, later on it just got funny. I get the premise of two controlling people on the streets and one controlling person on the sheets. But that was just a tidbit that rubbed me the wrong way.

That does not go to say that it took away from the romance at all! I loved witnessing Nathaniel and Juliette fall in love together and honestly cannot wait for the first of the series to release!! Arsen is my new fucking favourite and just my luck that he’s book three.

Thankfully, all of them are set to be published this year apparently so !!!!!!!

“He stared at me like I was precious, like I was the stars he had searched for and I couldn’t breathe”

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2 stars, arc, darker-than-my-soul, double-POV, erotica, Mental health, psychopaths-what, romance

(ARC REVIEW) Birds of Paradise by Anne Malcom

Birds of ParadiseBirds of Paradise by Anne Malcom

My rating: 2 of 5 stars


“My stomach was full of butterflies. With knives instead of wings.”

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I saw the cover of Birds Of Paradise one day on my Facebook Feed and what happened after that was a series of butterfly effects. I read the blurb, saw the teasers on the authors page and then somehow I was so enthralled with wanting to know more about the story, I requested an ARC.

I’m extremely conflicted on what rating to give this and whether or not I should give it a rating at all. I feel like there should be three things I explicitly state before getting into the actualities of the review.

i) This book is filled to the brim with heavy topics, and know that I cannot think of a trigger warning that will do any of them justice.

ii) This book is not for everyone. Seriously.

iii) This book, at least to me was more than just a dark romance. It was a comment on life and both the socratic and platonic way in which we live it.

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“May you see that broken is beautiful. The most beautiful of them all.”

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The Writing

Dear Ms. Malcom,

If I could find the words to describe your words. Then maybe this review would turn out differently.
There are phrases and sentences in your book that I can imagine paintings being based on and writers only dreaming of having written them themselves.
This is more than a talent, and if there was one thing that kept me reading on – it was your ability to keep both your character captive and the reader too.


“A hollow shell with shards of my soul rattling around inside.”


The Plot

I lost interest.
I have been trying to find a polite way to say this the reason for my lack of interest after the 50% point could be due to reasons on me, not on the book.
This was the first book that I read after going through a major book slump and believe it or not, sometimes that can affect your desire to read even the most beautiful of books.
Secondly, the time jumps started to get under my skin, it felt very surreal and dissociative and maybe that was the point – Regardless, it did not work for me.

I felt like the plot dragged on in the latter 75% of the book and It was hard to keep myself invested.
So to quantitatively put it into words.

– First 25% ⇒ 5 stars
– Later 75% ⇒ 1 star


“You want to know your captor’s name?” I nodded once, even though the motion was near impossible with the weight of his stare. “Elizabeth Helen Hades is the name of your captor,” he said, his voice smoothing over the name fluidly. My name.”

It’s so hard for me because I know that I am going to be the black sheep. This book really has the potential to embed itself in so many hearts out there and it already has. It puts you in the heart of the action from the first chapter and you can see the careful and meticulous motifs and metaphors scattered around the paragraphs.

The author really put her heart and fucking soul into this book and I wish her nothing but the best on her future works.


“Some stories aren’t beautiful. Some lives aren’t beautiful. But those stories need to be told. And those lives need to be lived.”

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