A blog dedicated to reviewing and promoting the books I love.
This is the second novel by this author that I've read and I've come to the conclusion that her books don't work for me. The writing style makes everything slow and longwinded. There are a few parts here and there that remind me why the story was interesting in the first place but it goes back to walking through quicksand a little bit later. The concept of this universe the author created was so interesting, but the way it was written threw me off.
Bryar Rose started off interesting but became annoying throughout the story. She seemed to be the exception to impossible rules. There were times when I wanted to strongarm her into getting a grip and asking the important question that would move the story along instead of her taking time to think things through and have something catastrophic coincidently happen. There were a few situations where some basic common sense would have done her some good and would have made that situation not happen or have it go by faster.
Knox was standoffish in the beginning and eventually won me over throughout the story. He turned out to be sweet and caring, but his inner wolf was one annoying beast. It kept repeating obvious actions to certain situations during the story and by the end I wanted to punch him myself.
Everyone that wasn't Bryar and Knox felt one dimensional. Most of the adults in this novel were either evil or spoke in riddles (which only added to my frustration with the slow-moving plot). This is a trope I'm not fond of and would like to never encounter in any novels.
Overall I'm disappointed with this book because it had so much potential. The concept is unique, but it was too slow paced for me to enjoy. I don't know if I'll be picking up the next book in this series.
The Audio Book:
This was the first audio book that I had to set the reading speed higher for me to finish listening to it. The narrator (who is also the author) does a good job with the narration. My problem was the combination of a very slow-paced novel with a narrator who naturally reads with larger pauses. I was ready to give up by hour 6. My aversion to how slow-paced this novel was probably made me more antsy than necessary with the narration.
I liked this book more than I was expecting to. Though the events of this novel seem like coincidence after miraculously dangerous events on repeat. Overall, it was a straightforward story with nods to past and future storylines in this series.
Baylor was protective and sweet but had a mean side when dealing with infuriating situations that required a heavier hand. Though the cover threw me off and I still haven't gotten over it. The way he's described doesn't reflect in the eyes of the cover model, in my opinion. It was one of the reasons why it took me so long to read this novel.
Lark's situation broke my heart. She was set up from the beginning to fail and not have a chance at an actual life without her knowledge. It hurts to know that her situation isn't uncommon around the world and that not everybody finds help in time. I liked Lark's personality. She's introverted and isn't the most easygoing person you'll meet, but she'll help friends in any way she can even though she may not be open about how she feels most of the time.
This was a good novel! It started off slow and built up into something worthwhile. I was expecting a different kind of conclusion (based on a few other novels I've read by this author), but I was pleasantly surprised with this ending.
"I learned to protect myself the only way I knew how. By walking away."
"I love sarcasm. It's like punching people in the face with your words."
"You can't blame yourself for other peoples sins [...]. I've tried. It doesn't turn out well."
I can't say that this book was worth 16 hours of my time. The sad truth is that the first 8 hours or so started off amazingly well. The writing style wasn't a favorite of mine and helped this story drag along in certain moments. At times it was unnecessarily descriptive and other times it skimmed certain details that had me feeling left out. That was my fault and only got exacerbated by my brilliant idea of starting this series off as what feels like a crucial point that I didn't have enough of a backstory to fully grasp.
Silver started off as a very interesting character but proved to be predictable and a carbon copy of her "alpha" grandmother. I disliked how she started referring to herself as Silver insert f-bomb here Mercant after Valentin said it. I also didn't like how people would praise her for standing up for herself where her mate was concerned. What was she supposed to do? Cower in a corner and ask him to maybe hold her hand? I'd also like to mention how almost everything went back to her being a "Mercant". I didn't understand why she and other characters would bring it up randomly throughout the story in a few high-stakes situations.
Valentin was an interesting character, but his arrogance and "dominance" (AKA pushy-ness) were annoying and overpowering. The only thing that saved him from being hated was the way he respected Silver enough to let her stand up to him without having his ego bruised.
The world of paranormal creatures and technology that this author created is incredible! This story didn't do it justice. I suspect if I read this series in chronological order I would have understood everything in more detail, but after this experience and the length of this audio book I'm somewhat skeptical of it all. This story could have been cut down into a 10 to 12 hour audio book easily considering how the last 4 hours dragged because barely anything was happening. In conclusion, I was overwhelmed with how much was going on in the background (plotwise) and that ended up affecting the overall story for me.
Please Note: I started reading this book last year and finished it because I had already invested 9+ hours of my life to it so the least I could do was get it over with. With that being said the story building was completely lost on me because I took such a long "break" from this story when it started to go downhill. Also, to say I was overwhelmed with the sheer number of characters and Russian names is putting it mildly!
The Audio Book:
The narrator had an amazing range of believable male, female and child voices with and without foreign accents! This is probably the second or third narrator I've come across that can do all that so well and not become grating in the long term.
* Beware of minor spoilers for this book in this review.
This had a nice overall story, but a few things threw me off. I liked all the characters to a certain degree, but none were memorable enough to make me want to read the other books in this series with their individual stories.
The heroine (Lissa) was kind of strange, in a bad way. She had weird and unrealistic phrasing for things that shouldn't have been brought up in the first place. She also managed to justify her "episodes" as having a tapeworm. Fun fact: tapeworms cause a variety of symptoms but delusions and extreme hunger for rare meat aren't one of them.
The hero (Tank) almost won me over after his stalkerish but well-intentioned actions and then the author threw a wrench into everything. It's mentioned that he's had a true mate before everything happened but she's ultimately nullified because he miraculously also finds a true mate in Lissa. Seriously, what are the odds? ...
Another thing that bothered me is the lack of secret keeping between the "pack" members. They've been through a lot and most have pasts that they won't open up about. Why is it when one person lets another one in on a personal tidbit from their past it, all of a sudden, becomes public knowledge?
The ending was better than I expected after all the things that annoyed me within this story. A few parts were rushed and based on a big coincidence or two. Overall, it was a solid end for the Brother Damien and Lissa plot point. As ranty and annoyed as this review turned out this was a nice book. If you can overlook what I mentioned in this review then this could even turn out to be an amazing book for you, but it wasn't for me.
"I'm perfectly aware that life sucks and it's not pretty. You make the best of it. You fight. Or you crawl into a bottle or a syringe and die."
"You survived. You never stopped believing you mattered, that you were entitled to happiness. No matter how little you had [...]."
My Rating: 3 and a half stars
I love this series, but I took too long to listen to this book in tiny increments and it ruined the experience somewhat. For starters, the beginning wasn't memorable. This is the second time I'm reading this novel and yet I don't even have a vague idea of what happened.
Kat and Bones were a kick*ss duo that I love coming back to read about. Their dynamic is very interesting. I loved how they were always there for each other and would accomplish the impossible to help one another.
The Voodoo Queen was an amazing character that I love and hate. She's all-powerful and the such, but deep down she has a moral code that no one will dare ignore because of future possible consequences. She's also very calculating and I loved every minute of her theatrics with Cat.
The ending was bittersweet when the subject is Dawn. He's such a big part of Cat's story, even though it didn't take me by surprise, it was still sad. I like the part he continues to play in Cat's future adventures though.
The Audio Book:
The narration was great, but I'm finding myself sometimes bothered by Bone's voice and other times not. I can't explain why that's happening.
A Note: I schedule all my reviews months in advance and at the time of reading this book and writing this review there was no mention that it was a reverse harem story in the title or in the description of this novel. This is a review for the first 3 original novella length books in the Bad Boy Rebels series.
I thought this book was going to go in a completely different direction with its characters and storyline. I'm disappointed with the way it all went. I also realized, a bit too late, that this was originally a serialized novel (meaning that for one complete novel there were a series of mini books). Due to that, everything seemed glossed over and rushed. I couldn't connect with the characters because there was barely any backstory provided.
Zhara seemed to have too much of, what I would consider, bad things. She was too meek, too innocent (for being 18 years old), too apologetic, and her story felt too wrong place wrong time. Everything fell into place too conveniently from the start and it ended up aggravating me more than helping me to like the story.
I didn't understand the reason to have a group of guys be "undercover agents". There was never a reasoning behind why this "task force" was created either. Why have 6(?) guys instead of having just one or two was a persistent question in my mind during this novel. Everything was moving so fast that I couldn't even connect with any of them. Everyone was just one huge blur.
Despite the cliffhanger, I won't be reading the continuation to this series. By this point, I simply don't care what happens to any of the characters. I've enjoyed various books by this author in the past, but this one isn't one of them.
My Favorite Quotes:
"(...) as if ignoring what people think is as simple as breathing."
"Sometimes people have to overthink things. [...] It's part of life."
"(...) [I] felt trapped in a life I didn't believe I belonged in."
This book reminded me of how much I initially enjoyed this series! Everything was so interesting and kept me guessing throughout the story. I also liked how the story was told because (from the little I remember) the mercy-verse books don't usually switch character point of views.
Mercy proved to be an intelligent and skilled woman. I love how people underestimate her. I love it, even more, when she proves them wrong. I missed her humor in this novel though. It seemed that this story only included her in fight scenes and escaping places/people scenes.
Reading up on what Adam was doing while everything was hitting the fan with Mercy was entertaining. I adore how confident he is in her as a person and in her uncanny ability to survive what seems to be an impossible feat.
The ending with Bran was a surprise to me. Maybe there were hints dropped along the way before the reveal, but everything went over my head (if that's the case). I haven't read books in this series for a few years now and most of the storylines are one huge blur. Though it did get me thinking about Samuel and how I want a book or a series dedicated to him and his happily ever after.
The Audio Book:
The audio book narration was great! I've found yet another male narrator that doesn't give me a headache. I could tell all the characters apart in both narrations. In George Newbern's narration, I could even tell when females were speaking in contrast to male characters (which, strangely, has been difficult for me to find for the past few years that I've been listening to audio books).
I'm surprised at how long this series has been around. It still manages to keep people interested and that speaks for the quality of the stories the author comes up with. Every book is a different adventure and adds to what happened in the last novel.
Mercy is as kick*ss as ever. She stands up for herself and doesn't take crap from anyone. It's refreshing to read about when I consider the last few books I've read. I also adore her sense of humor, which is showcased at its best at the beginning of the kitchen scene.
I love her relationship with Adam. Though I don't necessarily love Adam himself. I love the level of respect and harmony there is in the relationship. Adam is a very interesting character and, when needed, can put everyone in their place. I like what he represents, but (from the little I remember from the first few books in the series) I was Team Samuel. I don't remember my reasoning behind my decision (because it's been soo long since I've started this series), so your guess is as good as mine.
This adventure was entertaining. I especially loved the car scene with Mercy and the female Fae (whose name escapes me right now). It was very interesting seeing that side of Mercy. It also had me hooked for a separate story for the female Fae and her vampire. The witch (whose name is in a different language so I haven't the slightest idea on how to spell it) was an interesting character with all her premonitions that weren't officially premonitions and her silly one-liners.
The Audio Book:
The narration was good and I could tell every character apart throughout the audio book.
A Note: I schedule all my reviews months in advance and at the time of reading this book and writing this review there was no mention that it was a reverse harem story in the title or in the description of this novel.
This was quite a short book and I don't know how to feel about it. It was overall entertaining, but it wasn't mind-blowing. It was exactly what I was looking for at the time though.
I liked Allura as a character. She tries to be strong but she's not there yet. She makes up for that with intelligence and a little spunk. I'm curious as to what she is and it's complications in future books.
I liked the three men that rescued her, though I couldn't tell them apart for the life of me. They were all helpful and sweet to her, but no one left a lasting impression on me. I hope that changes in the other books in this series.
I found out, a little too late, that apparently this is a reverse-harem series (I.E. one girl, multiple guys). There was nothing romantic in this novel, which made me happy because reverse-harem stories aren't my thing. I'm hesitant to continue on in this series after finding that out, though the author doesn't mention it anywhere. I'm just confused at this point. Overall though this was an interesting book and the story was set up well.
My Favorite Quotes:
"You need to understand that some humans are equally as evil (...)."
"People wander out there, searching for something better, and never find it."
"That's the problem with legends. While sometimes they hold a hint of truth, it's hard to sort through all that nonsense."
* For this review I decided to have different ratings for the story and the GraphicAudio narration.
This series has become the Mageri series all over again for me. It's like I'm about to witness a car crash happen right in front of me and I can't decide whether I want to look away or not. This author is amazing at leaving somewhat big problems unsolved, which makes the curiosity in me foam at the mouth for answers.
Dante is a wreck in this novel. She's reasonably upset by how the last book ended and decides that throwing herself into her work is the best escape, for the time being. I can follow her train of thought, but having Jase (I finally learned her ex's name!) live with her was very strange. I didn't understand the dynamic because she seemed to never have made up her mind about him. One moment she wanted to be comforted by him and the next she would only communicate with him in sarcastic comments and sassy retorts. I wanted to shake her and tell her to grow a pair for h*lls sake (pun intended).
I wasn't upset by how things ended up with Jase. I didn't like him in the first novel and the part he played in this book was lackluster at best. I just wish he hadn't given up the "family business" for Dante out of the blue. She wasn't worth all that trouble and was ungrateful to boot, though let's consider she never even asked him to do anything of that nature much less stay with her.
I wish this book had focused solely on the Jafermel plot line. The mystery didn't capture my attention. Every other minute I kept thinking about Jaf. As much as this adventure gave me an idea of how traumatic Dante's childhood was, I would rather have had her on a wild goose chase out of desperation for Jaf then have her handed the hint from the Devil himself (which was cheesy at best).
The end felt like she was saying a permanent goodbye to her friends. I didn't understand why the secrecy in relation to Jafermel. I still have no idea what the heck Dante is and it's starting to lose my interest. The only thing that keeps me coming back to this series is the GraphicAudio book.
Book Rating: 3 Stars
Graphic Audio Book Review:
This was just as amazing as the first one. The creep factor got turned up so high with this particular storyline and I loved it. The hyena laughs and the ghostly "You Must Remember!"'s got under my skin. It was very well produced and I look forward to my next adventure with these audio books.
Graphic Audio Rating: 5 Stars
This was a very cute story, but I wanted more than what I got with this. I wanted this story to have more world building. It's inferred and mentioned here and there that this is a very misogynistic society in which women are a commodity to be owned and breed, but other than that I come up blank. I wanted to know more about how their world is run, how the alphas become alphas, how and why they still decide on keeping this strict society in this day and age. I would have loved to have gotten little excerpts of their "law" books at the beginning of each chapter as a fun little tidbit about their world.
Kensy is an awesome character. She's a rebel in their society, but in actuality, she just wants to be free to be herself and to not have to stand up to this perfect image of girls in this society. She also hates how they pit girls against girls for no other reason than it's been done in the last few centuries so why stop now kind of mindset. I disliked how a lot of people would call her crazy. That word shouldn't be used to refer to anyone. So she doesn't fit into their "norm" so she must have something wrong upstairs? Give me a break.
I wasn't buying what Slade was putting down. He was one of the characters that felt very erratic and two dimensional. I understand that him being unpredictable was within the scope of his character, but it never felt real. He would talk about all this trama his alpha put him through in the past, but would never give me enough specifics for me to decide if I could sympathize and justify his actions or not. Everything felt on the surface and that took away from the story for me.
The adults in this novel were horrendously evil and rude. Though one of them did have a change of heart out of nowhere in the middle of the novel. I don't understand or like this trope in books, but it did work for this story considering the world the author was trying to flesh out.
Overall this was a cute and quick read. The story moved along at a nice pace and though I disliked the way the love interest would flip-flop on being all in or not everything ended beautifully.
My Favorite Quotes:
"The things we deal with, the things we go through, change us. Lige shapes us. But I don't believe for a single second that the changes go so deep that we lose ourselves."
"I am worth more than the blood in my veins. I'm not a commodity for you to use in an effort to increase your standing."
"You're not quite the monster you seem to think you are."
This story was way too easily predictable. I guessed the finale plot twist less than halfway through the story. That does not an interesting book make. A few years ago Jennifer Armentrout used to be on my auto-buy list. I can't say that about her in the present. I've tried reading the past few novels she's released and most end up as a DNF.
The heroine (Ivy) was so bland. She had this air of bad*ssness that surrounded her, but she was an open tomb when it came to world-ending secrets to her so-called BFF. She would constantly put herself in dumb and dangerous situations even after being explicitly told not to. If all that was for the sake of moving a plotline along, I'm sorry but I'm not impressed.
Ren was a nice guy overall. He was sweet and caring despite having gone through a traumatic childhood. At times I found myself thinking that he was tooth decay sweet and that only made me distance myself from the story.
I still don't understand what "integral" part Tink plays in this story. It's alluded to that he "knows more than he's letting on", but he only discloses small tidbits after the fact. If he's this well of information why the heck doesn't he bring it up before someone almost dies?
My exceptionally high expectations of this author lead me astray for this novel. It's a nice overall story that ended on a dreaded cliffhanger that I wouldn't necessarily recommend, but I also wouldn't dissuade someone who wanted to read it. In conclusion, this novel, in particular, wasn't for me.
I've read a few other books by this author and I like her writing style. However, when the subject is this book all I can say is that it didn't do it for me. I had too many problems with who the characters were as a whole (personality wise) that made me despise so much of story.
Kennedy was a pushover and I learned to hate her halfway through the book. I don't understand why she would bend over backwards to help people that were obviously using her for their benefit only. By the end, she seemed to have learned her lesson and developed a backbone, but that was too late for me.
Evander started out being a misunderstood guy that the whole town seemed to love to hate. He's been to prison for a crime he didn't commit and at first, I thought he was very well adjusted with it all. Around the last ten chapters of the novel, he did a 180 on his mood and how he treated Kennedy. He became overbearing and domineering. I also don't understand how "I want babies with you" is the ultimate declaration of love according to the heroine.
The romance started off as a slow burn, which was what kept me interested in the story. Halfway through the book, the relationship was established and then it felt like the author started scrambling for another plotline. The vengeance storyline was resolved way too easily and had no suspense considering these are standalone novels and the book was almost ending.
My Favorite Quotes:
"My level of sarcasm has gotten to the point where even I don't know whether I'm kidding or not."
"Don't break anybody's heart. They only have one. Break bones instead. They have two hundred and six."
"Second best was what I always seemed to be, yet never wanted to experience."
If I had to rank this particular story within this series, it'd probably be in the top 2. This is one of the more intense plotlines to this series. Even though this was a reread I was still on the edge of my seat throughout the book.
I like Cat a little more as this series progresses. I adore how feisty and sarcastic she can be. She also doesn't take anyone's crap, but she does know when to take no for an answer. She understands that she may not win every battle, but she will, eventually, win the war.
Bones almost became an a**hole in this book. I was ready to cut ties if everything proved to be true. I'm glad it didn't (considering that I didn't remember much of what would happen). Though he can be overprotective and domineering, I can understand where he's coming from.
The ending had my heart beating faster than usual and my blood pressure rising. It was a very good conclusion to an amazing story.
The Audio Book:
The narration was great with an exception that shouldn't come as a surprise to you (if you've read my other reviews of this series): Bones' voice. Just because I got used to it doesn't mean I like it.
I think my expectations made me stick my foot in my mouth where this novel is concerned. I was expecting something a little bit darker and life or death driven than what I got. I was on the edge of my seat waiting for something to happen and nothing drastic ever did. Everything fell into place way too perfectly and that didn't make for an out-of-this-world story.
I liked Perrie as a character. She was doing what she had to, to provide and protect her daughter. I can't blame her for the decisions she made. I loved her sassy retorts and how she didn't beat around the bush in conversations.
Adrian was a nice guy overall. He took pity on her when they first met and things seemed to work out too perfectly from there. I would have liked to see something unexpected happen to force the characters to deal with an emotion other than the cliché I-want-you-but-I-can't-have-you bulls*it.
I usually stay away from novels that have kids in them, but I decided, early on, to trudge forward with this one. This wasn't an exception to my so-called "rule". The kids were around 7 or 8 years old and in some conversations seemed much older (because of the vocabulary usage) or much younger.
Overall, this was a nice story but it wasn't incredible. One thing I will mention that started getting to me was all the grammatical errors. I can usually overlook grammar, but I was finding mistakes (miswritten words, sentences missing words to show the action being performed by the character to make everything make sense, etc.) that were pulling me out of the story because I had to stop and think about what was written.
My Favorite Quotes:
"Payback was a b*tch. So was I when I wanted to be."
"Some things n life were meant to be kept close to your chest. My life was an entire deck of cards meant to be played closely to myself."
"Things don't happen just because you want them to."
This book broke me in so many ways. I don't think I could articulate how much I loved and despised this book. This was one of those books where I thought I could see a plot twist coming, but in reality, I was just scratching the surface and what would eventually come to be was much more devious than my imagination could come up with. The author did a fantastic job on this novel (and this series)! Her writing and story building keep getting better with every book.
When I finally thought that Raven had concurred all the evils in her world and could possibly look forward to being happy in Keystone with Christian this book happened. Towards the end, it felt like Raven reverted back to her old self and I'm not sure how I feel about that when she seems as bloodthirsty as ever. When the ultimate plot twist happened (around 4 hours to the end of the audiobook), I was sure things were going to fall apart and I hated every single minute of it.
Christian proved his love so many times in this novel. He was so understanding when things were so bleak. Even though it could have possibly been Raven's decision (the memory plot twist), he was still willing to stay by her side and help her in any way he could. For almost every scene involving Christian after that, I could feel a little piece of my heart breaking off.
The secondary characters in this novel/series felt just as real and developed as the main characters. I would love to have even more of a glimpse into their lives. It looks like Shepard's and Niko's stories are slowly being introduced. I hope Shepard's story gets resolved in the next book so I can at least get some closure.
Though this novel ended with a faint light at the end of the metaphorical tunnel, we were left with too many questions and not enough answers. I'd also like to mention that this novel would have been even better appreciated (detail wise) had I been reading this series back to back. The next novel can't come soon enough!
The Audio Book:
The narrator was great! All the voices were believable. Nicole Poole has a nice range of male and female voices with and without accents.