A blog dedicated to reviewing and promoting the books I love.
I have a history with this book, which is surprising considering how much I enjoyed it this time around. I ended up DNFing it in April of 2018 because things were moving too slowly for my taste.
The audio book helped immensely with that problem. I'm an impatient person so if I'm physically reading a book that's slow moving I tend to skim ahead and barely get a sense of the story. The audio book obligated me to slow down and just listen. I'm happy to say the ending even got my heart racing!
In the werewolf society that was set up, the outward image people have of you, your actions and other peoples actions towards you or a situation you're involved in matters a great deal. It's all about honor, prestige, and whatnot.
Winter's father put her through a lot in order to find her mate. I liked how she took it in stride and after that ordeal became who she truly was with Sterling. That is, a bad*ss with a backbone who will do whatever is in her power to protect the people that in return protect and defend her.
Sterling was a great guy that sometimes had a temper. I figured there was nothing special about him until the last chapter of the novel. Now I'm intrigued and I definitely want to know more. I would also love to know how this can/will(?) eventually come into play in future novels.
The world the author started fleshing out in this first book in a future series has proven to be fascinating! I don't know if this series is going to have a couple per book or continue on with Winter and Sterling. What ever direction she chooses to go is fine by me! I just really just want to know what happens next at this point. I hope that things move at a faster pace in future novels though.
The Audio Book:
I love Nicole Poole's narration! She has an amazing and realistic range of accents and voices (both male and female). She does any book she reads justice!
With every new book in this series Annette Marie seems to outdo herself! Every book that I've read so far becomes a favorite after I finish it!
This was the most action-packed and fast-paced adventure yet! That was probably due to the circumstances Tori found herself in but it was amazing none the less! Tori continues to be her snarky and sassy self in this story. She also has an astonishing amount of things go wrong and work in her favor at the same time. I also loved how she's finally found her second family!
The guys were awesome as always! Zak still stood out in this novel even with everything that was going on. He's growing on me. I hope we see him in a future novel. I'm still firmly on team Erza. I just want to know more about him and his secrets. We've gotten to know all the other guys in different ways. Erza needs his turn!
I loved the ending! I also loved how the author finally made Tori kinda-sorta official (I can't say more than that because it's a huge spoiler). I also laughed out loud when the Zak plot twist was revealed! I can't wait for their next adventure!
The Audio Book:
The narrator did a good job overall! There were a few voices that started to blend into one another in the end but it was fine. She has a nice range of voices but her male voices don't go as deep as I would like them to.
My Review Of Book #1:
This started off iffy and then grew into something I couldn't put down! I loved the concept with the powers and the different universe they came from. Though the six male characters did blur together for me, with the exception of Foster and Max.
Skylin is thrust into a not-so-steller situation when her parents disappear. Even though she only has a few months until her 18th birthday she's being obligated to move in with a family she's never even heard of. Her attitude, anger, and bitterness are understandable from the beginning. I liked how she developed a backbone of steel throughout the story. I also liked how she was still unsure about Foster after all the new information that was thrown at her in the first book.
I wasn't a fan of Foster from the beginning. The reason Max was one of the guys that stood out to me was because I liked how he treated Skylin and welcomed her even though the circumstances weren't ideal. Foster was standoffish and a complete jerk for at least the first half of the first book. It's later revealed the reason behind that but I'm still on edge about it. He also turned into a different person through those revelations. So we'll see how I feel about him in the next book.
Overall I liked this story! I love that the author released a non-reverse harm version of it. Reverse harm novels aren't for me. I always find myself liking the overall storylines of reverse harm novels so it was great to read the story and not have all that in between.
My Favorite Quotes:
"The truth sort of hurts like a b*tch, though."
"You're about as chill as a god damn pixie jacked up on faerie dust."
My Review Of Book #2:
This was a great continuation of the initial story! Everything felt like it started moving at a faster pace. Though I would have liked there to be more story in between Sky getting attacked or in trouble.
Sky still has her backbone in this novel. Though as kick*ss as she's supposed to be, things work in her favor way too many times by sheer dumb luck. I would love to see her get a handle on her powers and start living up to what everyone loves to say about her being so damn special and unique.
Foster has melted my heart in this novel enough for me to be open to the idea of liking him. His backstory is presented at the beginning of this book and I can understand where he's coming from and how he's had to live before finding Sky. He's actually very sweet and kind. He doesn't push her into anything she doesn't want and asks for consent on a regular basis.
Overall this is a good story and I'm very curious as to how this family and Sky save their worlds. The world building wasn't as prominent in this book but I still liked what was presented.
My Favorite Quotes:
"Trust. What a strangely foreign word. A strangely foreign word that is frightening to feel."
"But one day, you'll let go of the past and trust yourself."
"She said that love was like this wonderful but chaotic burst of emotions that consumed her."
This series is slowly starting to get better, but it's still barely averaging out as what I would consider a 3 star story. I appreciate how much bigger the world the author created is becoming but it still feels like something is missing somehow.
Mina still has the personality of a wall. Things seem to bounce off her because of how dense she is. Until she has an ah-ha moment and goes after/does whatever it is she intends to do. Though I will say that her conversations/disagreements with Dorian were the closest she ever come to having an interesting personality.
The love triangle seems to be over but I feel like I need to call BS or something. It was resolved WAY too easily and with no apparent consequences. The guy who "lost" almost seemed to have the ability to read minds or see the future. He was calm in an icky way (if that makes sense) and it's still making me apprehensive.
Eli was great as always! I like how he can joke around with Mina and still be serious and command authority when needed. Thebet they have is also very adorable and
I was SO glad to see almost nothing of Alec in this story. I despise the kid. Even more so now with the revelation of what his uncle did/does(?). He does nothing for this story or Mina. There doesn't seem to be all this chemistry Mina keeps talking about between them. It almost feels like wishful thinking of both their parts.
The mystery Mina and Eli have been trying to solve gets a few revelations in this novel. It's not much but it's a start. I think their plan going forward is ludicrous. Though I'm still invested in this series, it feels more like a trainwreck that I can't look away from at this point.
Overall this series and its characters are getting easier to read about because I'm somewhat invested in the mystery that's been presented.
The Audio Book:
This series as a whole continues to be on the list of the handful (as of now) books that I can only listen to sped up to 1.25x. The narrator just isn't for me. She doesn't have a good range of male and female voices. She also loves long pauses in between words that I can't stand for more than a few minutes at a time. Her voice sped up sounds completely normal, if that doesn't speak volumes I don't know what does. [spoiler][/spoiler]
This was a good book, but the synopsis led me to believe this was going to be much much darker than it was. I would categorize this under suspense bordering on contemporary before anything resembling "dark" (which is how a lot of people were describing this for some reason).
I was expecting Laiken's situation to be worse than it ended up being. The way this story gets set up makes it so it's tame nature works against it. Getting the story from Laiken's perspective makes it so you don't know the real impact of her dad's situation with this family. There isn't a sense of urgency from her where her dad is concerned. She's just happy to wait him out until, for her, the unthinkable happens. That's where things start to move somewhere at a very slow pace.
Dominic needed more development as a character. The only thing that kept me interested in him was his "big secret". He barely had a personality in between all that. I would have liked more witty banter between him and Laiken so I could have the semblance of chemistry between them.
The writing style was good but the pacing as too slow for me. The overall story was okay. I had an inkling that this was going to end in a cliffhanger and I wasn't proven wrong.
My Favorite Quotes:
"I know all too well what hope is good for: creating a happy glow that leaves a darker shadow in its wake when it's snuffed out."
"Being strong is all I have [...]. I have to trust that this is all going to pay off. If I don't what do I have left?"
"Your heart can't help you get home [...]."
I first found out about this book because it was nominated in the Goodreads 2017 awards in the Humor category. Before that, I had no idea who Whitney Cummings was or what she did for a living. What pulled me into wanting to read this book was the title. It reminded me of the type of humor I usually go for and like to read about. It's slightly dark and a little bit twisted.
The overarching theme to this book was mental health or more specifically how twisted someone's psyche can get due to how they were raised and society in general.
Before this book, I didn't know very much about the stand-up comedy world. Seeing a glimpse of it through the eyes of a woman who has made a carrier as a stand-up comedian was interesting. The author also hit on the note of life speeding up and how the biological clock ticks away and eventually takes the choice of motherhood from a lot of women who eventually want kids of their own.
This novel also made me realize how messed up life can get if you don't have the right support system in place at home and school. The damage those early years cause later in life in all departments is scary. I also had no idea there was a disease involving love.
Overall it was eye-opening to see how broken people are. It's also amazing to see them taking care of themselves and still making a point to live life to the fullest regardless.
The Audio Book:
The narration was great! There were moments where she would crack up while reading what she had written, and there were moments where she would tear up and prove how deep what she was saying truly went. She also misread a few sentences throughout the narration and kept her ramblings in the audio book and made fun of herself because for it.
I'm surprised by how much I liked this book and how much sleep I lost while making my way through it! The strange thing is that I usually dislike books that feature love triangles. I think I liked it because it wasn't the focal point in the story. Everything is up in the air at this point and there are more important things to deal with other than deciding who the main character wants.
Alana had her moments. Some kick*ss moments and other very whiny moments. I could sympathize with her enough to let most of it roll off but she pushed her luck on various occasions. I wish Alana had more of a sense of humor, preferably darker and accepting of sarcasm (but that's just a personal preference). The author did a great job at building the mystery up from her perspective. She's just as lost as the reader and it struck the right balance of mystery that didn't become unreasonably frustrating by the end.
I'm not sure which team I'm on but I'm leaning more towards Liam. Even though he's a demon and did really bad things both in the past and present. I like his dark demeanor, overall sarcastic sense of humor and dark outlook of the world. Though the hot and cold thing can go away if I have any say in it.
Thom, on the other hand, is human and I'm not sure how long he'll survive in the supernatural world. That's probably just my pessimism speaking considering he's been entrenched in this world for most of his life and he hasn't died yet, right?
I love the creature concepts and the overall world the author started building in this novel. I hope she continues to expand on it with future novels in this series. I also liked the creature definitions that would pop up when one was mentioned. Though maybe a glossary would be better suited for those in the future if the amount of different creatures starts to grow out of control.
This book ended in a good good-for-now ending, which is a very strange statement coming from someone who hates but has learned to accept any kind of open ending and the slightest of cliffhangers in books over the years. I'm very invested in this story and I want to know what happens next!
My Favorite Quotes:
"Ghosts and demons in fiction were funny or disgusting-looking but never scary."
"I used to watch supernatural teen dramas and hope I'd find my own dreamy hero."
"Starting over was hard but staying in limbo was worse."
* Beware of spoilers for past novels in this series.
To tell you the truth I tried to make the audio book to this novel last. I didn't succeed very well considering I read it in 8 days but I sure tried to string this along and milk it for all it was worth.
I have to say that I didn't dislike the road this novel ended up traveling. It was a departure from the loose formula past books have established. This was one of the more character driven books and considering I'm VERY invested in anything relating to this series I liked it regardless.
Raven just had the rug pulled from under her by a person she trusts. The events in this novel shows how she deals with that while still trying to solve a problem that's come up later on. Things eventually work out but it's a long road to get there. The outcome of everything though was totally worth it!
Christian kind of proved himself worthy in this novel. I don't want to come right out and say it but OMG IT FINALLY HAPPENED! I'm so happy and yet skeptical of everything at this point. I'm scared this may be the calm before the storm just like Gaslight was the calm before the ending to Blackout hit.
I loved the new characters that have been introduced in this novel! So much fodder for even more spin-off novels. If only writing books were an easier and faster process. I'll take cliff notes at this point just to get a possible glimpse into what happens to them in the future!
The ending was so sweet! I can't wait for the next book in this series. It sounds like the next book may resume with the pre-established formula of solving crime and developing characters in the midst of it all.
The Audio Book:
Nicole Poole is at the top of my favorite narrator's list. We got off to a rocky start but I've learned to appreciate her voice with its beautiful range of accents and realistic male and female voices. This narration was no different!
This was a nice quick read with likable characters. The overall narration was great and moved the story at a nice even pace. This author has potential and I'm curious to see how she evolves through the years in her books.
Penny was a nice person. She's been through quite a few bad situations in her short life and they still seem to find her from time to time. She's a hard worker and through connections eventually gets a job at a bar where she meets her mate. Their relationship/courtship was strange. They were very clingy to one another in a very short period of time (which is normal for shifter romances). There was barely any conflict between them but when it did happen it would come out of nowhere and would be resolved in the span of a chapter or two.
Ben was aloof and stoic for the first few encounters but recognized when he was being unreasonably possessive (which was a breath of fresh air compared to a lot of other novels). His animal was known for being unstable and more dangerous than average so it's understandable. Though it was strange how he went from stoic to touchy-feely in the span of a few hours. He was also quite the gentleman when it came to dating, which was a different approach than what I was expecting. I'd also like to mention that he came off as WAY creepy before he and Penny were a couple.
I would have liked the romance and the ending conflict to have been interwoven much earlier throughout the book. I didn't like that the conflict was built up and resolved in the last 3 chapters of the book. I'm so used to that not being the case in most of the stories I read that it caught me off guard in a not so good way in this story. I'd also like to mention all the girl on girl hate in the second half of this novel. All because of a few rumors someone was spreading. What's wrong with society that women feel the need to put down other women because of a rumor, a guy, or a misrepresented situation? The plotline that featured that didn't even go anywhere other than to make Penny feel like less of a human being and start hating her job.
Overall, this story was good. This author is talented and has a lot of potential but, in my opinion, still needs to hone her skills a little more. Then again, maybe I'm used to a certain way of a story told/written and that made me not love this story.
My Favorite Quotes:
"For the first time in, maybe, forever she felt calm. At peace. Whole."
"[...] sometimes when something is done, it's done. Only you get to choose when something is over and that should be closure enough."
I don't know why, but I simply couldn't connect with anything or any character in this novel. This book features a good well-paced story with somewhat interesting characters. It felt like something didn't click between me and this story.
Danica was a headstrong woman who knew what she wanted from the start. She was used to drawing a line in the sand and having people respect that. The "mystery" she was involved in was very janky and not set up all that well throughout the story. I liked her dynamic and eventual relationship with Zed.
Zed was a sweet and caring guy. It was a nice change of pace compared to the last few books I've read. Character's like him are few and far between, especially when most novels feature "alpha" douche bags as the hero. I loved how he respected her space but at the same time was straightforward about what he was looking for/wanted and how they could compromise.
The ending was sweet and predictable (which wasn't a bad thing for this story). I would have liked the secondary characters to have been more memorable and to play a bigger part in the story.
The Audio Book:
I disliked Jonathan Davis's voice for Zed on SO many levels. At times he made it hard to understand him in basic conversations. Amanda Ronconi chapters were fine as far as understanding what the characters were saying. I listened to this audio book while trying to fall asleep so I don't really remember her accents or if she even had to do any at all.
I loved the initial concept of this story. The author found a very good way of meshing together paranormal romance with MC romance. I wish there was more of a detailed hierarchy for the MC that was presented. As fascinating as the concept was I would have also liked to have had more world-building aspects to the story as a whole.
Reading about soul mates is fun every once in a while, but I can't help that I wanted more of a connection between both couples before the explosion that is creating the "mate bond". At first, the mating seemed more like an assault rather than both parties participating willingly.
Eliana was a nice character to get to know. She definitely has a backbone and isn't afraid to call out BS when she's in the presence of it. Personally, I would have liked more of a fight from her before accepting the mating. It would have made for an even more entertaining story. I did enjoy the few nods from the author in cliché situations. It was a nice touch to the story!
Alastair was a hellhound shifter which was a first for me! Even after all these years reading paranormal romance there's still room to be surprised. I liked how in control he was but always did his best to treat Eliana respectfully. There was an instance or two that he became domineering too enough to expect Eliana to drop her human life and be with him 24/7. I don't know whatever happened to that plotline but I didn't like it.
There was a second mating in this novel right at the beginning and it threw me for a loop. I was expecting to have dual point of views but it never happened. It became clear after a few chapters that the second mating was there to progress the story in a certain direction.
The resolution to the "big bad problem" was too easy. It was way too straightforward with barely any problems. For a "big bad" that was powerful and that had stayed below everyone's radar for so long, I find his demise a little hard to believe.
Overall this had a nice story concept but wasn't without its flaws. It did end with a happy ending for the main couple but left quite a few possible future storylines open.
My Favorite Quotes:
"I don't think there is anywhere in the books about what you're capable of. That's something you have to find out as you go."
"Each of us protects all those around us who we love and can't live without."
The good news: This book was better than the first book. The bad news: Not by much. The story did a much better job at keeping me intrigued and moved along at a nice pace. The main character, however, just dragged everything down with her.
Mina seems to be getting worse. She over complicates things that shouldn't require all that much to deal with. Mina is unreasonably overprotective of her sister but only knows how to bad mouth her when she gets a puppy. Mina second guesses her so-called relationship with Alec but can't bring herself to step back and evaluate her feelings for Eli. Mina has proven to be dense and too stupid to live at this point.
Eli was great in this novel. He was the perfect amount of understanding and caring towards Mina. When things hit the fan he's there taking charge to deal with it. At this point, I think he'd be better off without her.
I still dislike Alec. A few of his friends are creeps and he still hangs around them. He doesn't mesh with the paranormal side to this story and, for the most part, gets left behind in the dust or has a scene or two weaved in for the sake of it.
This novel did a great job at getting me hooked on the mystery. Though I saw the ending coming from a mile away and it was also too convenient I still want to know what happens next. I wonder how many books Alec will last at this rate.
The Audio Book:
I'm still not a fan of this narrator. Nicole naturally reads slowly and loves to pause at weird intervals in sentences. I listened to this audio book sped up to 1.25 and her voice sounded normal (and that's coming from someone who doesn't necessarily love speeding up audio books). I'm still hoping for a change in the narrator for future books in this series.
It looks like I was expecting too much out of this book because I can't say it was worth the time and money I, essentially, invested in it to come out the other side with no new information whatsoever. I assumed (NOTE: assuming is where I went wrong) that this book was going to be similar, in style, to Mark Manson's The Art Of Not Giving A F%$* (which I adored!). What I mean by that is I thought it was going to have a set structure of 1. Facts from experts in the "field"; 2. How the author liked to think of it in a simplified manner; 3. How the author tried to work what the expert said would yield the best results and how it worked or didn't work for her; 4. Any funny or heartbreaking story about what was just said from either her life or a friend's dating life.
The synopsis oversold the content in this book quite a bit. I expected to read about, at least, a few laugh-out-loud stories of dates that went wrong and maybe a heartfelt relationship that was doomed from the beginning. What was actually present in the book was maybe a handful of barely fleshed out stories or small tidbits that were never brought up again.
However, the overall message in this novel was awesome. It empowers women to not settle for the first guy that treats you like a human being. It encourages having a healthy relationship lifestyle by making time for friends and family as well as the relationship. It's repeated throughout the book how everyone is human and how everyone deserves to be treated kindly and with respect.
This book, in essence, was a rather big article on how to be in a relationship and/or online date with common sense and safety. I understand that maybe someone who wants to start online dating would rather read a book on it than research a few basic terms. So in that regard, I'm not the right audience for this book.
My Favorite Quotes: (This book is SO quotable!)
"My philosophy is that putting positive energy into the world is a good thing. And eventually, it will pay off."
"Sometimes our instincts guide us toward something because, deep down, we know we may need it someday."
"Try. Celebrate. Commiserate. Live. Learn. repeat. You'll reach your goal eventually."
"Whatever you do, don't give up. You're worthy of having whatever is it you dream of."
OK. Here I am waving the white flag. I take back what I said at the end of the last Vlad book when talking about how Ian got the short end of the stick (check that out here).
I went into this novel with very little expectation of anything. My resolve to read this, in the first place, was because I liked Ian enough as a character in all of Jeaniene Frost's other books that I'd be open to "taking one for the team" as they say. Color me surprised when I actually started to *gasp* like their story.
Ian was dirty minded and ladened in innuendo humor as ever! He's a very entertaining character to be around and it made the dull moments in this story colorful, to say the least. I liked how he initially fought his interest in Veritas. It made for quite a few hilarious situations!
Having read most of the novels in the Night Huntress World universe I had a somewhat strong dislike of Veritas. It took me even longer than Ian to warm up to her. Getting to know her background, everything she's gone through and what she still does under the guise of being a Guardian I understand her side of things a lot better now. I love her dedication to Ian in the end and how selfless she was in her mission to protect him.
The ending had me fuming for a solid hour (I listened to the audio book). I swore if the author had coped to the cliché(show spoiler)
plot point I would have given up on this series then and there. I was SO glad for what that epilogue revealed (which was a first for me). Now it's a waiting game for the next novel in this series to get released.
The Audio Book:
The overall narration was good. There were times when certain characters sounded too much alike so I did get lost in conversation from time to time. What took me off guard and had me grinding my teeth was Bone's voice. I initially despised the accent Tavia Gilbert chose for him in the Night Huntress Series. I eventually learned to relate her accent for him with him as a character. This book was narrated by the same person who narrated the Night Huntress Series and yet she changed his accent! Would I have liked this accent to have been in the original series? You bet I would have. But it's not. So why did it get changed!? So even though this was Ian's book, all I could think about was how wrong Bone's accent was (even though he didn't play a big part in the story).
I've said it before and I'll say it again I love the writing style and overall pace of the stories this author writes! Something just clicks for me with most of the books (with exceptions of course) I've read by her. I don't know how she did it but she made me become impartial to a trope I usually dislike in books: the insta-love/lust.
Calandra was a great character to get to know! I don't usually read books about royalty so this was a nice and strange change of pace for me. Her overall demeanor was fun to understand and watch as Tyler took down her walls layer by layer. I also loved that she questioned how instantaneous her relationship was.
Tyler has popped up in a few of this author's other stories. It was great to see him as the main character for once. He's sweet, respectful and protective. I really liked seeing him showing human emotions with him being so "alpha" and all. It was a good change of pace for the "alpha male" stereotype. I'm also very intrigued with all of his brothers. I would love a series on them in the near future!
If I'm being honest, I would have liked the stalker reveal to have been more strung along. It happened way too fast and everyone was way too conveniently there for there to have been any real stakes involved. Overall, this was a great read! I especially like how the next book is already set up!
My Favorite Quotes:
"If you let fear rule you, you're as good as dead."
"I'd lived my whole life with one foot in the oast and one in the future. I was tired of straddling that impossible line."
"Life wasn't based on merit, and justification was for the weak."
This novel was TOO long-winded and was not worth 15 hours of my time. The basic concept is interesting but the way this was written doesn't do the story justice. The only way I finished this novel was by speeding up the audio book because things weren't moving and I was too far into the novel to justify not finishing it.
Layla makes SO many bad decisions and it always goes bad but she has yet to learn any lessons from the things she goes through. She's too naive and predictable. It's only gotten worse in this novel. All the rash and dumb decisions she makes has reached its quota for me. She's become more and more unlikable with every chapter.
This may or may not be an unpopular opinion with this trilogy, but how in the world is this love triangle even worth it at this point? Both "teams" are so bad in different ways and for different reasons. All the lying, making things up and secrets piling up only serve to make everything more dramatic and long-winded. Zayn seems to have a death wish in the form of trusting someone that can't even control her abilities (and those abilities can actually get him killed). Roth with all his lies and his noble justifications can't make everything that happened as a consequence to that all go away just by saying sorry.
The demons the author includes in this series (which was emphasized with the dance club scene with Roth) makes it seem like the demon world is a whole other complex universe, but it doesn't come across in the story. The wardens, especially, have an archaic system and think of themselves as "saviors" of some kind. Truthfully, they just keep getting worse and worse as a group. The other demons aren't even explored. They're just declared monsters to be killed or creatures to be run off. The story would have been more interesting had there been more of a focus on them instead of all the drama and "danger" surrounding Layla.
What the heck was that ending? I saw that coming from miles away (just like the twists in the first book). I'm starting to think that maybe it's what the author was going for. There weren't enough "twists" to this story to make this novel keep my attention.
My Consensus: This story only happened because everyone lied to someone about some important thing at one point in time. I wish it went deeper than that because the world the author created could have made for a really good story.
A Note: I'd like to mention how glad I was to see that the girl on girl hate has lessened (compared to the first novel), but the slut-shaming is at an all-time high (especially in the beginning).
The Audio Book:
This narrator isn't for me. There was barely any distinction between male and female voices this time around. There was also a few parts where I couldn't tell what was story narration and what was a character speaking.