Wednesday, February 21, 2018

Review: So You Want to Be a Wizard by Diane Duane

So You Want to Be a Wizard So You Want to Be a Wizard by Diane Duane
My rating: 1 of 5 stars

Nita's life is a bit rough. A classmate, Joanne, has made it her life's mission to beat the snot out of Nita, almost a daily basis. On one particular day, Nita ran into the library to hide from Joanne and her goonies - the library where she practically grew up reading all of the books inside of that building. She was walking down memory lane when she came across a book that she didn't read when she was a child: "So You Want to Be A Wizard".

After this peaked her interest, she checked it out and took it home to read through it, thinking it was a joke. But when she met another classmate, Kit, who was also practicing magic and doing spells outside the school, she realizes that it may just be real life!

Both kids are learning about the spells they can cast and are practicing some, when they bring back another being from a different dimension. They call him Fred and find out that the balance of magic is in peril because the two books of magic are located together, which will end in catastrophic events if they are not where they are supposed to be.

Nita and Kit must figure out a way to get the Book of Night with Moon back to it's place, and they must defeat many obstacles in their way to succeed in their mission.

Okay, I have read my fair share of magical YA books and this was just didn't live up to the others that I have loved and read... I don't know if it's because this was written in the 1980's and is "older" than the other YA magic books I've read, but I just could not get into it, sadly.

Nita and Kit baffle me because they practically found a book about magic, read the book, and then they were suddenly wizards and could do spells?! There is no adult to help them contain the magic and figure out how the spells work? Just a book taught them? I mean, that's cool in a way because you definitely do learn a lot from reading, but I feel like learning about magic and spells requires a bit more effort than reading a book and things happening right the very first time.

And if that is the case, I think that the kids should be a little bit older before messing around with the universe without adult supervision. I mean, Harry Potter went to SCHOOL to learn about magic. Just saying.

Besides the kids, I also thought that the way they communicated was odd. They were able to talk to each other THREE DIFFERENT WAYS. It was a bit confusing for me to keep track of what font meant what dialogue, and I'm pretty good and keeping track of different things.

The talking machines, animals, white holes (Fred), and the world that Diane Duane created was just a bit much for me. I wish I could say that I loved this book, but I'm just glad that I got to the end to see how it ended up. Which I didn't really like the way that it ended, but I made it there to be able to talk about it at my bookclub!

I would say that I could try again later, but I don't think I could go through another novel like this one, sadly. Maybe one day I will, but not anytime soon!

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Pre-order & Chapter 1 of MOONLIGHT SEDUCTION by Jennifer L. Armentrout

Pre-Order Moonlight Seductions!
Read Chapter 1 right now!

Moonlight Seduction by Jennifer L. Armentrout
Release date: June 26th, 2018

The second book in Jennifer L. Armentrout's new, adult series, is coming out in 4 MONTHS! And when you PRE-ORDER an eBook or print copy of Moonlight Seduction, you will get an exclusive de Vincent bonus story sent via email!

This is open Internationally!

Once you pre-order the book, you can screenshot your purchase and upload your receipt to be eligible.

The de Vincent bonus story will be emailed after the release of Moonlight Seduction (6/26/18)

Here is the link to upload your screenshot: 

Here is the synopsis of Moonlight Seductions:

The de Vincent brothers are back—and so is the intrigue that surrounds them—in New York Times bestselling author Jennifer L. Armentrout’s sizzling new novel...

Nicolette Bresson never thought she’d return to the de Vincents’ bayou compound. It’s where her parents work, where Nikki grew up... and where she got her heart broken by Gabriel de Vincent himself. Yet here she is, filling in for her sick mother. Avoiding Gabe should be easy, especially when so much of Nikki’s time is spent trying not to be stabbed in the back by the malicious hangers-on who frequent the mansion. But escaping memories of Gabe, much less his smoking-hot presence, is harder than expected—especially since he seems determined to be in Nikki’s space as much as possible.

Gabriel spent years beating himself up over his last encounter with Nikki. He’d wanted her then, but for reasons that were bad for both of them. Things have now changed. Gabe sees more than a girl he’s known forever; he sees a smart, talented, and heartbreakingly beautiful woman... one who’s being stalked from the shadows. Now, Gabe will do anything to keep Nikki safe—and to stop the de Vincent curse from striking again.

And now, CHAPTER ONE of Moonlight Seductions!!

Moonlight Seduction by Jennifer L. Armentrout

Chapter 1
Six years later . . .
It took every ounce of self-control for Gabriel de Vincent to stand back and do nothing. Just stand there and watch him being led away, but that’s what he had to do, because that’s what he’d promised and Gabe tried to be a man of his word.
Sometimes he failed at that. Failed at that in ways that haunted him late at night, but he wouldn’t go back on this.
He’d promised them three uninterrupted months.That’s what he was going to give them.His jaw ached from how hard he was clenching it as the Rothchilds walked back into the restaurant. He didn’t take his eyes off them, not until he couldn’t see them anymore. Only then did he look at the slip of paper.
Looking down at the drawing of puppy on a piece of blue construction paper, he felt the worst mix of emotions. Sadness. Pride. Helplessness. Hope. Fury that he’d never tasted before. He had no idea how one person could feel all of that at once, but he did.
A wry smile tugged at his lips. There was definitely talent in the drawing. Real skill. The de Vincent knack for the arts was still kicking around it seemed.
His gaze flickered over what was written in a blockish handwriting. He’d already read in three times, but couldn’t bear to read it a fourth time. Not right now. He didn’t want to fold the paper and created creases in it, so he was careful as he carried it back to where he was parked.
“Gabriel de Vincent.”
Frowning at the vaguely familiar voice, he turned around. A man stepped out from behind a truck. Dark, square sunglasses shielded half the man’s face, but Gabe recognized him.
He sighed. “Ross Haid. To what do I owe the honor of seeing you in Baton Rouge?”
The reporter for the Advocate gave one of what Gabe assumed was a trademark half grin; the kind that probably got him into a places and events he sure as hell didn’t belong in. “Headquarters are here. You know that.”
“Yeah, but you work out of the New Orleans office, Ross.”
He shrugged a shoulder as he neared Gabe. “I had to come up to headquarters. Heard through the grapevine that a de Vincent was in town.”
“Uh-huh.” Not for one second did Gabe believe that. “And you just happen to hear that I was at this restaurant?”
The smile kicked up a notch as he ran a hand over his blond hair. “Nah. Seeing you here was just luck.”
Bullshit. Ross had been sniffing after his family for about two months now, trying to get to one of them when they were out at dinner or at an event, showing up at nearly every damn function one of them was attending. But back home, in New Orleans, Ross had trouble getting near them. Well, he had troubled getting to the one he really wanted to talk to which was Gabe’s older brother.
Didn’t require any leap of logic to figure out what was going on. Somehow Ross had heard that Gabe was here, and that’s why Ross conveniently ended up here. Normally he could tolerate Ross’ incessant questioning. Hell, he sort of liked the guy, appreciated his determination, but not when Ross was here and something he didn’t want a reporter finding out mere feet away.
Lowering his sunglasses, Ross eyed Gabe’s ride. “Nice car. Is it one of the new Porsche 911s?”
Gabe raised his brows.
“Family business must be going well. Then again, the family business is always going strong, isn’t it? The de Vincents are old money. The one percent of the one percent.” Gabe’s family was one of the oldest, linked all the way back to the days the great state of Louisiana was being created. Now they owned the most profitable oil refineries in the Gulf, coveted real estate all around the world, tech firms, and once his older brother married, they’d be in control of the one of the largest shipping industries in the world. So, yeah, the de Vincents were wealthy, but the car and nearly everything Gabe owned, he bought it with the money he worked for. Not the money he was born with.
“Some say that your family has so much money, that the de Vincents are above the law.” Ross straightened his sunglasses. “Seems that way.”
Gabe really didn’t have time for this. “Whatever you want to say, can you stop beating around the damn bush and get to it? I’m planning to head home sometime in the next year.”
The reporter’s smile faded. “Since you’re here and I’m here, and it’s damn hard to talk to you all any other time. I want to chat about your father’s death.”
“I’m sure you do.”
“I don’t believe it was a suicide,” Ross continued. “And I find it also convenient that Chief Cobbs, who openly and publicly wanted your father’s death investigated as a homicide ended up dead in a freak car accident.”
“Is that right?”
Frustration hummed off Ross about as loud as the damn locusts. “Is that all you got to say to me about this?”
“Pretty much.” Gabe grinned then. “That and you have an overactive imagination, but I’m sure you’ve heard that before.”
“I don’t think my imagination is nearly vast enough to compete with all the things the de Vincents have had their hands in.”
Probably not.
“Okay, I won’t ask you about your father or the chief.” Ross shifted his weight as Gabe opened his driver’s door. “Also heard some interesting rumors about some of the staff at the de Vincent compound.”
“I’m started to feel like you might be stalking us.” Gabe placed the drawing facedown on the passenger’s seat. “If you want to talk about staffing, then you need to have a chat with Dev.”
“Devlin won’t make time to talk to me.”“That doesn’t sound like my problem.”“It seems like it is now.”Gabe laughed, but the sound was without humor as he reached inside, grabbing his sunglasses off the visor. “Trust me, Ross, this isn’t my problem.”
“You may not think so now, but that’ll change.” A muscle twitched along the man’s jaw. “I plan to blow the roof of every single damn secret the de Vincents have been keeping for years. I’m going to do a story that not even your family can pay to keep quiet.”
Shaking his head, Gabe slipped his sunglasses on. “I like you, Ross. You know I’ve never had a problem with you. So, I just want to get that out of the way. But you have got to come up with some better material, because that was clichĂ© as shit.” He rested his hand on the frame of the car door. “You’ve got to know you’re not the first reporter to come around thinking they’re somehow going to dig some skeletons out of our closets and expose us for whatever the hell you think we are. You’re not going to be the last to fail.”
“I don’t fail,” Ross said. “Not ever.”“Everyone fails.” Gabe climbed in behind the wheel.“Except the de Vincents?”“You said it, not me.” Gabe looked up at the reporter. “Some unasked for advice? I’d find another story to investigate.”“Is there where you’re going to tell me to be careful?” He sounded oddly gleeful by the prospect. “Warn me off? Because people who mess with the de Vincents end up missing or worse?”
Gabe smirked as he hit the ignition key. “Doesn’t sound like I need to tell you that. Seems like you already know what happens.”  
Nikki stood in the center of the quiet and sterile kitchen of the de Vincent mansion, telling herself that she was not the same little idiot that almost drowned herself out in the pool six years ago.
She sure as hell wasn’t the same idiot who had spent years making an utter fool out of herself, chasing after a grown man. An act, which resulted in one of the worst ideas she’d ever had in the history of bad ideas.
And Nikki had a remarkable history of making not the brightest of all decisions. Her dad said she had a bit of wild streak in her, taking after Pappy, but Nikki liked to blame the de Vincents for the recklessness. They had this really bizarre talent of making everyone around them stick one toe into Recklessville.
Her mother claimed that most of Nikki’s bad decisions came from having a good heart.
Nikki had the habit of picking up strays—stray cats, dogs, a lizard here and there, even a snake, and humans, too. She was a bleeding heart, hating to see anyone she cared about in pain and she was oftentimes a bit overly affected by the troubles of strangers.
It was why she avoided the TV around the holidays, because they always played those heart-wrenching videos of freezing animals or children left to starve in war-torn countries. She hated everything about New Year’s Eve because of that and spent the week between Christmas and the first of January moping around.
There was a lot of Nikki that was the same as she was the last time she walked through this house. She still got emotionally invested in animals that didn’t belong to her—that was why she volunteered at the local animal shelter. She still couldn’t turn away from someone who needed help, and she still found herself in weird situations but reckless? Wild?
Not anymore.
Not since the last time she’d been in the house, right before she left for college. That had been four years ago and now she was back, and nothing and everything had changed.
“You okay, hon?” her father asked.
Turning to find her father standing just inside the large kitchen, she pulled herself out of her thoughts and smiled widely for him. Goodness, her dad was starting to look his age, and that scared her—truly terrified her. Her parents had her late in life, but she was only twenty-two, and she wanted another fifty years or so with them.
Nikki knew that wasn’t going to happen.Especially now.She forced those thoughts from her head. “Yes. I’m just . . . it’s weird being in here after being gone so long. The kitchen is different.”“It was remodeled a few years back,” he replied. The mansion was constantly being remodeled it seemed. After all, how many times had this place caught fire since it was built? Nikki had lost count. Her father drew in a deep breath, and the lines around his mouth became more pronounced. He looked so tired. “I don’t know if I’ve said this to you or not, but thank you.”
She waved him off. “You don’t need to thank me, Dad.”
“Yeah, I do.” He walked over to where she stood. “You went away to college to do something better than this—better than cooking dinners and running a household. To become something better.”
Offended on his behalf, she crossed her arms and met his weary gaze. “There’s nothing wrong with cooking dinners and running a household. It’s good, honest work. Wok that put me through college. Right, Dad?”
“We take great pride in our job. Don’t get me wrong, but what your mother and I did all these years was so you could do something else.” He sighed. “So, it means a lot that you would come home to help us out, Nicolette.”
Only her dad and mom called her by her full name. Everyone else called her Nikki. Everyone except a certain de Vincent who shall remained nameless. He and only he called her Nic.
Her parents had worked for the de Vincents, one of the wealthiest families in the States and possibly the world, since long before she was born. It was weird growing up in this house, being privy to a lot of strange stuff—things the public has no idea about and would probably pay a large sum of money to learn. And personally? It was like she had a foot in two different worlds, one absurdly wealthy and the other middle working class.
Her father was basically a butler, except she always had a small suspicion that her father had . . . taken care of things for the de Vincents that no normal butler did. Her mother ran the day-to-day functions of the house and prepared the dinners. Both her parents loved working for the family and she knew both had planned to continue to the day they died, but her mom . . . .
Nikki’s chest squeezed painfully. Her mom was not well and it had happened so fast, coming out of nowhere. The dreaded C word.
“Honestly, this is perfect. I got my degree and this will give me time to figure things out.” In other words, figure out what the hell she wanted to really do with her life. Get to work or go for her master’s? She wasn’t sure yet. “And I want to be here while Mom is going through everything.”
“I know.” His smile wobbled a little as he brushed a strand of blondish-brown hair out of her face.
“We could’ve hired someone else to step in while your mother—”
“No, you couldn’t have.” She laughed at the mere thought of that. “I know how weird the de Vincents are. I know how protective you two are of them. I know how to keep my mouth shut and not see what I’m not supposed to. And you two don’t have to worry about someone new not keeping their mouth shut and not seeing what they’re not supposed to.”
Her dad arched a brow. “A lot of things have changed, honey.”
She snorted as she took in the white marble countertops with gray veining. Mom had filled her in on some of those changes during one of her chemo treatments. After all, what else did they have to talk about while she was being pumped full of poison that would hopefully kill only the cancer cells building in her lung?
Things in the de Vincent mansion that had changed.
For starters, the patriarch of the family, one Lawrence de Vincent, had hung himself a few months back. An act that had shocked her because she figured that man would’ve outlived a nuclear bomb. And Lucian de Vincent apparently had a live-in girlfriend and they were about to move into their own place. That was even more insane, the idea of Lucian settling down.
The Lucian she remembered put the play in player. He’d been an incorrigible flirt, leaving a string of broken hearts across the state of Louisiana and beyond.
She hadn’t met his girlfriend yet since they were away on some kind of trip; the rich rarely seemed to have much of a schedule. She just hoped whoever his girlfriend was, she was nice and nothing like Devlin’s fiancĂ©.
Nikki might not have been around the de Vincents in four years, but she remembered Sabrina Harrington and her brother Parker.
Sabrina had just begun seeing Devlin the year before Nikki had left for college and that had been a year’s worth of snide comments and rather impressive disdainful looks. Nikki could deal with Sabrina though. If she was the same woman as she was before, she could be as mean as a cornered rattlesnake, but Nikki normally didn’t even register on her scale of people to pay attention to.
Parker though?
Nikki suppressed a shudder, not wanting to worry her father who was watching her like a hawk.
Parker had often stared at her the way she’d wanted Gabe to look at her, especially when she had grown brave enough to move from a one-piece bathing suit to a two-piece.
And Parker . . . he had done more than look.
She drew in a deep breath. She wasn’t going to think about Parker. He wasn’t worth a single thought.
What happened to Lawrence, and Lucian’s new romance weren’t the only things her mom had told her. She filled Nikki in on the whole sister reappearing and then disappearing again thing. Something that she knew the general public had no idea had even happened. She didn’t know the details around it, but Nikki knew that in typical de Vincent fashion, it had to the most drama-llama-est thing possible.
And she also knew better than to ask questions about it.Her father stepped back. “The boys are all out.”Thank God and baby Jesus.“Devlin should be back this evening for dinner. He likes dinner to be ready at six. I believe Ms. Harrington will be joining him.”Well, thanking God and baby Jesus lasted all of five seconds. She resisted the urge to roll her eyes and make a gagging sound. “Okay.”“Gabriel is still in Baton Rouge, or at least, that’s the last I heard,” her father continued, ticking off the brothers’ schedules while she wondered what Gabe was doing in Baton Rouge. Not that she cared. She totally didn’t care whatsoever, but she wondered if it had anything to do with his woodworking business.
The man was talented with his hands.Really talented.Her cheeks flushed as an unwanted memory of how his calloused palms felt pierced her straight through the chest. Nope. Not going there. Absolutely not.There were examples of Gabe’s skill all around the house—the furniture, chair rails, and trim, even in the kitchen. All of the woodwork was designed and created by Gabe. As a little girl, she’d been fascinated with the idea of picking up a piece of wood and turning it into something that was truly a work of art. That fascination had turned into quite the hobby for Nikki.
It had started one long, fall afternoon when she was ten and she’d found Gabe outside, whittling away on a piece of wood. Out of boredom, she’d asked him to show her how he did it. Instead of shooing her off, Gabe had given her small scrapes of wood and showed her how to use a chisel.
She’d gotten pretty good at it, but she hadn’t picked up a chisel in over four years. Nikki refocused on what her dad was telling her.“We’re a little understaffed right now,” her dad continued. “So there’s a lot of dusting in your near future. Devlin is very much like his father.”
That was not a compliment in her book.“Is it the ghosts?” She half joked. “Scaring off the staff?”Her father shot her a look, but she knew damn well that her parents believed this
house was haunted. Hell, they wouldn’t even come here at night unless it was a dire emergency. None of the staff would and everyone in town knew the legends about the land the de Vincent mansion sat on. And who hadn’t heard about the de Vincent curse more than a time or two?
Being in this house as much as she had been in the past, she had seen some weird things and heard some stuff that couldn’t be explained. Plus she grew up within minutes of New Orleans. She was a believer, but unlike her friend Rosie, whom she met in college, she wasn’t obsessed with all things paranormal. Nikki operated on the whole if- you-don’t-acknowledge-ghosts-they-can’t-bother-you theory and so far it had worked so far wonderfully.
Then again, Nikki had only come here at night once in her life, and that had not turned out well at all. So maybe ignoring ghosts didn’t work, because she liked to think
she was possessed by one of ghosts that supposedly wandered the halls, and that was what provoked her to do what she’d done that night.
Nikki was well aware of how the house was run because she’d spent most of her summer vacations in the house watching her mom, so she got to work pretty quickly once her father left her.
First thing first was tracking down what staff they did have at the house. Understaffed her butt! The only staff they had left was her dad; the landscaper who was constantly mowing grass it seemed or re-mulching; the de Vincent driver; and Mrs. Kneely, an older woman who’d done the laundry services since Nikki was a little girl.
Beverly Kneely actually owed her own laundry business and only came to the house three times a week to take care of the linens and clothing.
According to Bev, whom she found in the large mudroom at the back of the house, packing up clothing that needed to be dry-cleaned, over the last couple of months, nearly everyone had quit.
“So, let me get this straight.” Nikki smoothed back a few strands that had escaped the knot she’d pulled her hair up in. “The waiters are gone, as are the maids?”
Bev’s buxom chest heaved as she nodded. “It’s just been your parents for the last three months. I think all that work was wearing poor Livie down.”
Anger flashed through Nikki. Hadn’t the de Vincents noticed how thin and tired her mom had been getting? How quickly she got out of breath? “Why didn’t the de Vincents hire someone to help?”
“Your father tried, but no one around here wants to come close to this place, not after what happened.”
She frowned. “You’re talking about Lawrence? What he did?”
Bev tied up the bags. “Not like that wasn’t bad enough, but that wasn’t the straw the broke the camel’s back around here.”
Nikki had no idea what she was talking about. “I’m sorry. I don’t think I’ve been updated on all the crazy. What else happened?”
Looking around the room, Bev arched her brows as she headed toward the side door. “Walls got ears. You know that. You want to know what’s been going on here, you ask your father or one of the boys.”
Her lips pursed. She was so not asking the boys.
Bev stopped at the door and looked back. “I don’t think Devlin is going to be happy when he sees what you’re wearing.”
“What’s wrong with what I’m wearing?” It was jeans and a black tee shirt. No way was she going to dress like her mom or her dad. Her willingness to help her parents did not extend to wearing uniforms.
She looked down at herself and saw the hole just below the knee.Nikki sighed.Devlin was probably going to have a problem with the hole, but what Nikki wanted to
know was what the hell had happened in this house to drive almost all the staff away?It had to be something.Not just because the de Vincents paid extraordinarily well, but also because her father hadn’t told her.And that meant it was something really bad.

Moonlight Seduction is out June 26th, 2018!

Tuesday, February 20, 2018

Review: Nox by Randi Cooley Wilson

Nox Nox by Randi Cooley Wilson
My rating: 5 of 5 stars

I received this eARC from Red Coat Publishing and the author. This is my honest review.

I am going straight into my thoughts without doing a synopsis overview.

Serena and Tristan are two of the most stubborn characters I've ever met, and I have definitely had my fair share of stubborn characters. I wanted to strangle them both because they just won't communicate with one another! Seriously, if they would have just talked to each other about what they were planning, life would have been so much better and this book wouldn't have taken so much time going around in circles.

But that doesn't mean I hated the book. In fact, I LOVED it! It could have done without so much drama, but then how would that have been any fun, right?

Both Serena and Tristan had their hearts in the right place, and they both had excellent plans. But because they weren't cluing the other one of their ideas, they kept screwing everything up.

The back story about the side characters got a bit convoluted, but I was able to figure it all out to make the story flow better and understand what was happening.

Overall, I really love this series, I love the characters, and I loved the ending. I can't wait to see how the next part goes, cause I'm going to guess that there is more from this author about this world after that ending.

For all of those who have read this series - you are going to love this ending.

For all of those who haven't read this series - you desperately need to get all three and devour them like I have just done in the past few days. You won't regret it!

Now off to find more books by this author and get sucked into her fan world :D

View all my reviews

Wednesday, February 14, 2018

Review: Aequus by Randi Cooley Wilson

Aequus Aequus by Randi Cooley Wilson
My rating: 5 of 5 stars

I received this eARC from Red Coat Publishing and the author. This is my honest review.

Caution - this synopsis and review will contain spoilers from the first book, Vernal. You have been warned!

Serena found out that her one true love, Tristan, is engaged to be married. And she even knows his fiancee - Freya. But when Freya was talking about her fiancee, Serena thought she meant Zander, not Tristan.

With this new information, Serena feels that she can't possibly ruin the peaceful union between the woodland people and the water people. But the more her and Zander think about the who's and the why's, the more they realize that things are not lining up the right way.

Serena convinces Zander to have her be his plus one to Tristan's wedding so they can figure out what is really going on and try to stop the wedding before it's too late.

The more that Serena learns about the wrong doings going on, the more she realizes that things need to get fixed, ASAP. And after cluing Tristan in on their plan, they have created their own plan to right the wrongs that are happening.

But their actions are going to have consequences - major, terrible ones. And the won't know what is going to happen until it's too late. And even then, things won't end up the way that they want.

True love is amazing, but it could also be the thing that ends them...

Wow. Seriously, I don't know where I have been that I have never 1. heard of this series and 2. never heard of this author. I am kicking myself so much because I love this series so much and I cannot wait to re-read them again already!

Plus, there is another series about the grown ups in this series so I can get even more!

Serena is one strong, kickass girl. She realized that things aren't really going the way that they should be and decides to fix it herself instead of wallow in self-pity. She is an action girl and I love that so much about her.

And Tristan is so swoony and so brooding, but also such a completely different guy when it comes to Serena. He was going to do his duty as the next heir of the woodland realm, but when sketchy things happen, he decides that his love for Serena wins out. I mean, that is so sweet!

I love the world that these character live in and I love all of the characters.

The cliffhanger ending is the worst, but thank goodness I have the next book and I am about to dive right in to see how everything gets all wrapped up!

If you have been under a rock like I have this whole time, I strongly recommend that you read this series! It's amazing!

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Sunday, February 11, 2018

Review: Vernal by Randi Cooley Wilson

Vernal Vernal by Randi Cooley Wilson
My rating: 5 of 5 stars

I received this eARC from Red Coat Publishing and the author. This is my honest review.

Serena, princess of the London gargoyle clan, is tired of being special. She wishes she was just a regular gargoyle protector training to prepare for her future. Instead, she is being protected and watched constantly because she has a destiny to fulfill. But that doesn't stop her from acting out and causing trouble for the people who are watching her. She's made it her life's mission to make their job as hard as possible.

When Tristan first sees Serena, he was struck senseless. It didn't help that she didn't have a stitch of clothing on and was dancing in the rain. But he loves her rebelliousness and always needs to put her in her place.

The connection between the two of them ignites instantly, and neither Serena nor Tristan know how to stop themselves from caving in. Serena thinks that her being with Tristan will help her case to be free from responsibilities, and Tristan has a dark past, and also a deep secret that may ruin them both.

Because both are royalty, and royalty does not get a choice on their future. They are destined for two opposite futures, and yet they cannot help but go to each other because of their instant, red-hot passion for one another.

When the secrets come tumbling out, both get hurt in the process and they go back to their original lives. But, as fate would have it, they keep bumping into one another. Pretty soon, their lives and their decisions will forever effect their future.

Wow. Am I ever so glad that I was able to read this book through the Red Coat Publishing group! I seriously loved it so much and flew through this first novel. The storyline was great and the chemistry between Tristan and Serena was off the charts! There were so many secrets, so it was so gut wrenching when some of them were revealed!

I read some reviews where readers were mad that Serena went from a headstrong, break the rules girl to a submissive, meek girl when she was with Tristan. I can see that, but that, to me, shows that she is really invested into Tristan and knows that he will forever be there for her when she needs him, so she can put down her walls just a little bit.

The tension between these two blew my mind. I loved seeing them banter and I loved when their banter went into sexual tension that they weren't able to control. It showed that sometimes you can't help how you act when you find the one that is meant for you.

I cannot wait to read the next book and see how things progress with these characters. Now that all (maybe? I think?) of the secrets are out, it will be interesting to see how it will unravel and how it will end with them.

I am also really enjoying the world that Randi Cooley Wilson has created. It took a little bit for me to get into the setting of the story, and I realize that is because this is a different series in the same world with different characters! I am going to have to finish this series and possibly get my hands on the Revelation series to get the full package of this world!

I'm so glad I read this and will definitely be raving about it to my reading friends! :D

(Also, gargoyles? Love it! So different, and it reminded me of Jennifer L. Armentrout's series, White Hot Kiss :D)

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Saturday, February 10, 2018

Review: Playmaker by L.P. Dover

Playmaker Playmaker by L.P. Dover
My rating: 4 of 5 stars

I received this eARC from Red Coat Publishing and the author. This is my honest review.

Maddox, a famous hockey player and a popular bad boy, is done waiting. He got married in Vegas to an amazing woman, and then she left him the morning after their Vegas wedding.

Then he saw her at his cousin's wedding two years later. He played it off as if he didn't know her, hoping that she will end this little game of staying away. But after 11 months of pretending she doesn't know him, Maddox is done. He wants his wife back and he is going to do whatever is necessary to get her back.

Lacey knew marrying Maddox wasn't the best decision of her life. Sure, she loved him, but she knows how hockey players are - seeing as how her brother and her best friend are professional hockey players. Plus, she knows that Maddox doesn't get along with her brother, Dallas, that well, so it would just cause tension on the hockey team.

But when Maddox confronts her about their secret, saying that he knows who she is and he wants to be real husband and wife, Lacey is scared. She doesn't want her heart to get broken by him, and looking at the past 2 years, it seems like he didn't miss her one bit.

After awhile, both are caught up again in their strong feelings for one another and things seem to be working out. But because they are keeping their marriage a secret, there are people who are interested in both Maddox and Lacey, and they will have to decide how to proceed further and what they really want in life.

This was a sweet book! I was a little annoyed at the beginning because it was obvious that Lacey still liked Maddox and she was using his past (that she had no solid proof of, btw) to push him off. And she was doing it poorly. She would cave in and then be like, oh no, we can't, etc. etc. So annoying for me. If you like him, then start over again! Stop playing games!

Which she did, eventually, but it took way longer than I thought it should have.

I did love Maddox, though. He was so sweet and understand and persistent. He is definitely the whole package that most girls want to have forever. He is determined to have what he wants, and who wouldn't want that?

I also loved that he did other things besides just hockey. His landscaping is so cool and it is something he can do after hockey, which is always good to have a backup because hockey is so straining on a person.

Overall I really enjoyed this book and I know that fans of L.P. Dover, romance readers, and sport fans will enjoy this new installment of her series! :) I'm so glad I was able to read it!

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Wednesday, February 7, 2018

Review: Simon vs. the Homo Sapiens Agenda by Becky Albertalli

Simon vs. the Homo Sapiens Agenda Simon vs. the Homo Sapiens Agenda by Becky Albertalli
My rating: 4 of 5 stars

Being a teenager is hard. Being a teenage boy who is gay but hasn't told anyone yet? That's way harder. It's not that Simon is ashamed of being gay - he just doesn't know how to tell anyone. No one who is straight has to make a huge announcement, so Simon doesn't have anything to go off of to make a public spiel about it.

When a classmate, Martin, sees his emails that he writes to Blue, another fellow gay person, and blackmails him into trying to set him up with his friend, Abby, Simon is forced to realize that he is stuck in a really terrible place. Blue is very personal and private, so Simon doesn't tell him that someone else knows they are talking to one another. And Simon doesn't like being blackmailed, so he isn't trying very hard to hook Martin up with Abby.

Plus, it seems that Abby might be interested in Simon's friend, Nick, which makes his other friend, Leah, made because she likes Nick as well... Again, being a teenager is hard.

The more Simon talks to Blue via email, the more he wants to meet him in person. Because he is falling for this person, and hard, but he has never seen him nor does he know who it is. Not even an inkling.

When Simon's secret gets told to everyone on the internet, he has to tell his family and friends and suffer the insufferable immature classmates who give him crap about him liking guys. And because Blue is so secretive, Simon is worried that Blue will stop talking to him.

Simon's life is about to change - and Simon is going to have to figure out how to deal with all of these changes - both good and bad. And some things might not go as he wanted...

Okay, I'm one of those people who got this book because there is a movie coming out in March 2018 and it looks hilarious and I had to read the book to see how good/bad the movie is compared to the book. And the funny thing is that I have read "The Upside to Unrequited", which is a spin off where Simon and Blue show up in that book, and yet I've read them out of order.

And I'm so ashamed to say that I didn't read this when it came out, because I loved it! It is such a great novel! I love the questions that Simon asked, such as how come homosexuals have to come out and why it's such a big deal to be gay instead of straight. And the way that he had to listen to his father make fun of gays his whole life would make it extremely hard to come out to his family.

I loved how this book, while it talked about gays and homosexuality, also showed that Simon was a normal teenager and lived a normal life. He was in theater, had awesome friends, got annoyed with his siblings, had a crazy unusual family (which I thought was AWESOME!), and had a crush. It shouldn't matter if that crush was for a boy instead of a girl, but sadly when everyone found out, they became jerks.

Simon is extremely brave for everything that he went through, and he was still proud of who he was. He didn't let the pettiness and terrible things change his mind and play it off as a joke so they would leave him alone. And that is awesome.

He was also pretty set on how much he liked Blue, and I'm pretty impressed because most people aren't even sure when they meet people in real life.

I can't even express how much I loved this book and how much I love Simon. I am so glad that I finally got a chance to read this book. And I am very excited to see the movie next month! I hope it depicts the book as well it should because if they mess it up, I'm going to be pretty angry!

I am definitely going to be recommending this to my friends!

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