The Competition by Cecily Wolfe

While I did enjoy ‘The Competition’, I thought it was a little slow. Just when I found myself wondering where the plot was heading, there was the climax, the resolve, and then it was over. A writing competition, while exciting for the participant, wouldn’t be very exciting for an onlooker so this would definitely be a challenging topic to write about. I really did love the characters, though. They were well-rounded and realistic, and you could definitely relate to them. I also thought the plot idea was unique, it just dragged a bit for me. The outcome was a little disappointing. I felt I would’ve liked more detail about the antagonist but the conflict was resolved satisfactorily, and the epilogue was exactly what I’d hoped for. I definitely will be checking out this author’s other books as I love her writing style and am interested in seeing how she handles other topics.

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I received an advance review copy for free through BookSirens, and I am leaving this honest review voluntarily.

 

Happy reading!

Char

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I loved this story! The fairytale elements were terrific…

I loved this story! In the beginning, the characters did not really endear themselves to me but, as the story progressed, I came to care about them very much. The fairytale elements were terrific and I really liked how the main female character let her strength come through and took charge, even though, as a woman, it wasn’t expected of her. I cheered for the hero and heroine and was happy how they finally came together. It was a wonderful love story, though I wasn’t really happy with how the story ended. Unfortunately, not every story has a happy ending but it was ​satisfying. I also really liked how the author tied in connections to King Arthur, Camelot, and Morgana in the epilogue. All in all, a very engaging read.

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I received an advance review copy from BookSirens in exchange for an honest review, and am leaving this review voluntarily.

 

Jules by Ellie Penn

It took me a while to write this review because there’s so much to say about this book that I wasn’t sure where to start. It’s a beautifully written story about a shy, awkward woman whose world is opened up by a man who suddenly bursts into her life. Jules takes one look at Kat and, for him, there’s no going back. She’s intrigued but can’t understand why he wants her. He’s worldly and confident, and she is far from those things. Safe in her small existence, she struggles to come out ‘into the garden’ to be with Jules. As she blooms in Jules’ sun, you can’t help but fall in love with him right along with her. I sighed, laughed, and swooned through this book and, though sad to see it end, was very satisfied as I finished the last page. This one’s a keeper and I can’t wait for more from this author.

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I was given a copy of this book in exchange for an honest review.

 

Love by Pranks by Sunniva Dee

Love by Pranks

by

Sunniva Dee

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“A hilarious, crazy romp of a read!!!! I was in stitches through the whole book!—Imaginary USA Today and Wallstreet #1 Bestselling Rom-Com Author.

There were three things I, Kitty Hoskins, didn’t know when I moved into the all-girls, non-sorority house Blossom Field Avenue #246:

1) The house opposite ours, #247, is home to the gorgeous jerks of the Iota Fraternity.

2) Lucian Spencer Anderson lives in #247 and is possibly the hottest stripper-slash-social-science student you’ll ever meet.

3) #246 (The Blossoms) and #247 (The Dudes) have the longest standing, most ruthless prank war in the history of rivalries. The only thing the two houses agree on is that they live and breathe for the next battle.

Funny then that the real challenge is the one I never saw coming: an alliance with Lucian Spencer Anderson. When a cold winter threatens the stray cats of Deepsilver, our mutual love for animals forces us to team up. Bad, right? Well, it gets worse: we’re going to need the cooperation of our two houses to pull this thing off.

My review as posted on Goodreads

This book had me laughing out loud. Two Greek college houses, across the street from each other, are engaged in a longstanding prank war. The girls, or Blossoms, against the boys, or Dudes. The characters are adorable and the pranks are ridiculous!
My only complaint is that the cover doesn’t match the main characters. The main male character has “long, shaggy, dark blond hair” and “seafoam” eyes. The guy on the cover? Not so much.
Other than that, this story is funny and sexy, with a bit of sweet romance. Thoroughly enjoyable!!

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Arsen: A Broken Love Story by Mia Asher

This book ruined my Saturday.
I had planned all this stuff to do but woke up really early and decided to read a few chapters first.
Bad idea.
I couldn’t put it down. I tried. Twice.
I just HAD to find out how it ended. It was driving me crazy!

This story is not my usual read. It’s a very emotional story about a couple who are deeply in love and happily married, but the wife, Catherine, has several miscarriages and sort of loses her sanity. She’s always struggled with low self-esteem and believes she’s not woman enough to give her husband a child and therefore, not worthy of love or happiness. She slips into a deep depression and, though her husband, Ben knows she’s spiraling downward, he doesn’t really know what to do. They grow apart and their marriage begins to crumble.

The story alternates between the past, when Catherine and Ben first got together, and the present where their relationship is falling apart. You get a real feeling for their true personalities and of them as a couple, and it’s terribly sad to see how things have changed them.

Ben is a wonderful character. I absolutely loved him and, even though Catherine ends up cheating on him, I couldn’t help feeling sad for her. She lost four babies, blames herself, and is in a very dark place. She feels like she has no one to turn to so, when she thinks she’s found someone that understands her, she grabs on tight. She begins to justify her actions by telling herself that she deserves to be selfish for once but really, she knows she’s being a horrible person. She’s just too emotionally broken to stop herself.

I hated the man that Catherine cheats with. His name is Arsen, and he’s arrogant, self-centered, and childish. At one point in the story, he even says about Catherine that he saw something he wanted, so he took it. Though he knew she was very happily married, he used her guilt and vulnerability to pressure her into the affair. Once he had her, he ran hot and cold all the time, hurting her emotionally but then begging her to forgive him.

The ending was very satisfying, exactly what I’d hoped for, but the last chapter broke my heart. I won’t go into detail but I will say that it changed my feelings about one of the characters, though I was still very happy with the resolution.

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Arsen: A Broken Love Story

 

Also posted on Goodreads and Amazon

Tragic but Beautiful ~ I love, love, loved it!

This book…

Where do I start?

I read the first two books in the ‘Boyfriend’ series by Christian Benjamin and really enjoyed them. Of course, I’m going to read the third book. Right? Without really reading the blurb, I got right into it. All I have to say is that I had to stop reading several times because of the tears. To make it even worse, I’m a teenage cancer survivor, myself, who started dating my boyfriend, now husband, right before my diagnosis. Wow. What a trip to the past. I’m not going to spoil anything but, if you’re planning to read this book and have looked over the reviews, you probably already have an idea of what happens.

Do not let that stop you from reading it!

It’s a beautifully written story that reminds the reader how short life is and that none of us know when it’s our time. Enjoy life, no matter what your circumstances, and cherish every day with the people you love. Along with this heartfelt message is lots of humor and cuddly moments. You will absolutely love the main male character, Nate. He is the ideal of ‘book boyfriends’. Handsome, hunky, funny, adorable, charming, etc…. etc… I think even the coldest reader would fall in love with him. And the main female character? She’s the tragic heroine, Camille. She’s so closed off and independent at first but her inner strength will humble you, and she’s adorable, in her own right.

If you can handle some tears, and I mean make sure you have a new box of tissues, you love young adult romance, and a tragic but beautiful love story melts your heart, give this book a go. I don’t think you’ll regret it.

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P.S. This book does have a (kinda’) happy ending and I loved that about it. You can make me cry but give me something to smile about, especially at the end, as well.

Love, love, loved it!

The Prince with Amnesia by Emily Evans

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Despite the fact that the title could be a little more alluring and that the reader has to suspend all reality for this book, (because no way is a hot, seventeen year old, European prince, second in line to his county’s throne, going to go to a public high school in Texas. That’s just stuff of fairy tales, not real life.) (Damn it!) this is a surprisingly good story. In fact, in my opinion, if it had been fleshed out a little, with more character development, more insight into the hero, Kai’s family, and had not left the reader hanging at the end, I would’ve given it 5 stars.

**Spoiler Alert**

Kind of…

The ending is not really a cliff hanger, per se, more like it just ends without any elaboration. We get the bones of the plot but not the meat. We’re given little hints about things, such as Kai’s grandmother’s involvement in the cause of his amnesia but no further explanation. There’s the whole reality show set up that we’re led to believe is to bring attention to the small country, but seems to just be an elaborate cover up for Kai’s… assassination? (It’s not spelled out but that’s what I concluded even though he’d been in Texas for most of it.) And what’s with Violet’s overbearingly strict parents not letting her date all through high school but allowing her to run all over Europe with a group of her classmates, with just her eighteen year old male cousin and one woman teacher as chaperones? See? Just not enough build up and transition from one plot point to the next.

I know it sounds like I didn’t like, The Prince with Amnesia, on the contrary, I liked it a lot. I think that’s why I’m leaving such a critical sounding review. I’ve read other books by Emily Evans and I know this one could’ve been something great.

Best wishes for great books,

Charli