Friday, March 10, 2017

Wesley James Ruined My Life

Wesley James Ruined My Life
by Jennifer Honeybourn

It's summer and Quinn has nearly reached her goal to fund her band trip to England. She's always wanted to go there and, with her English grandmother now in a hospice so that she can get care as she suffers from Alzheimer's, Quinn feels the need to go more than ever.

But Quinn's simple summer of band practice and working at Tudor Tymes becomes complicated when the boy she blames for ruining her parents' marriage returns to town after five years away. Not only is Wesley James back, but she can't seem to get away from him. He's everywhere.

Things go from bad to worse when her gambling father borrows her money to pay back a bookie and ends up making another bad bet instead. Now Wesley James is in band, making tons of money in tips at Tudor Tymes (while Quinn does all the work), and he's going to England, while Quinn stays home.

Basically, the guy who ruined her life is taking her life and leaving her behind to suffer.

But Quinn won't let him get away with it...

Final thoughts: Yet another cotton candy rom-com book. It's cute enough, but the ending feels rushed, like the author reached her word minimum at some point and just jammed in the last chapter or two with little regard to detail. This is an early ARC, so things might change, but that ending just felt a little off from the rest. On a separate note, that cover is really wrong. The food truck shows up only in the second half and it's a Tudor Tymes truck, so it's decorated to be medieval and Quinn even complains about having to wear her velvet costume inside, which means the 60's trailer vibe and current clothes aren't right. It's nit-picky on my part, but it bugs me all the same.

Rating: 3/5

Thanks to NetGalley for the ARC

Wednesday, March 8, 2017

Geekerella

 Geekerella
by Ashley Poston

Elle lives for her favorite show, Starfield. Whenever she misses her parents, especially her father, she goes back to the Prospero and her crew for solace. And she really needs that solace. Her stepmonster is always making her do every chore in the house and her stepmonster's oldest daughter does everything she can to make Elle's life miserable outside the home. Word that Starfield is going from the small screen to the big screen has Elle ecstatic until she finds out who gets cast as the Commander.

Darien Freeman relies on Starfield to get him through the tough times filming the show that shot him to teen stardom. When's he's cast as the Commander of the Prospero, he knows that he has big shoes to fill, but he also knows that he's probably the best person to cast, simply because he knows the show so well. Unfortunately, there's a blogger out there who seems to be out to get him and hate everything he does. And now he's being told that he has to shake hands and sign autographs at the one con he's sworn to avoid.

When Elle meets Darien, she doesn't even know it. A few innocent texts begin a relationship that neither can believe is real, but both want to keep forever.

However, there are forces determined to block them, like an old-friend-turned-enemy, a stepmonster and her monstrous child, an interfering father, a blog, and the real world.

Final thoughts: Another cotton candy book. Nothing serious here except for serious geeking out over fan references. The geek is strong with this author. This being an ARC, there were a number of errors that I'm sure will be fixed in the final galleys, but I was confused by a few issues. For one, the house was left to Elle who is nearly of age, but her stepmonster is able to sell it?? I'm not sure that's actually legal. Also, there's a point where Darien doesn't finish filming until early morning, but he has an early call the next day; that's actually against SAG rules. There is a time gap required after night shoots. Those notes aside, this is just a fun Cinderella retelling with a few choppy moments that bring it down a little. A final note about how the "villains" turn out would be interesting.

Rating: 3/5

ARC courtesy of NetGalley

Wednesday, February 15, 2017

Follow Me Back

Follow Me Back
by A.V. Geiger

Tessa is trapped in her bedroom with no way of leaving because her mind won't let her. After something happened to her months before, she's be unable to trust the world. She has developed agoraphobia and there is nothing that makes her feel safe.

Nothing but Eric Thorn and Taylor.

Eric Thorn is a major pop star and Tessa's one vice. She follows him religiously on Twitter and keeps an eye out for any and all news. She feels like she knows him. He seems so afraid and unhappy; she just wants him to feel better.

Taylor is Tessa's Twitter friend and the one person who understands both her need to hide and her desire to make sure Eric is happy.

What Tessa doesn't know is that "Taylor" is actually Eric Thorn himself. He started following Tessa in order to attack her and try to stop the hashtag that she created, but he began to see Tessa as the one person who really understands what he's going through.

Together, maybe they can get out of the prisons that they've built for themselves.

Final thoughts: This one is ok, but the police interrogations spotted throughout were more distracting than tension-building. The story had moments, but it just wasn't too believable. The therapist is an idiot. And that ending, the last couple pages, was just completely out of left field. I did like the twist, but I really worry about this book as an inspiration to stalkers out there. I can just see a few very easily swayed people deciding that something like this, the love story part, could happen to them. If they could just get Biebs to read their Twitter, they could get him to understand that they belong with him, etc... Not great, but it did its job. Not sure if I'll read the next one.

Rating: 3/5

Thanks to NetGalley for the ARC.

Wednesday, February 1, 2017

The Black Witch

The Black Witch
by Laurie Forest

Elloren Gardner has been raised in seclusion with her brothers by her uncle after her parents died in the last major war. She believes that she has no magic and that her only future lies in apothecary medicines. When she is old enough, her uncle sends her off to university to study in the hopes that she will one day be able to run her own apothecary.

But best laid plans and all... Elloren's aunt steps in and tries to get Elloren to wandfast to an eligible soldier, who is also the man most sought after by Elloren's worst nightmare and most dangerous enemy. Things are worsened further when Elloren's aunt also refuses to pay Elloren's fees, forcing Elloren to work in the kitchens, and also live in the worst of the rooms with the most dangerous of students. 

The prophecy is coming. Elloren may be the one named. And time is running out.

Final thoughts: Ugh. Let's just RAM ideas into the reader over and over and over again. Racism! BAM! Prejudice! BAM! Religious intolerance! BAM!!! It's relentless and unending. No one understands anyone else. No one listens to anyone else. When one person does listen, suddenly everyone becomes friends. It's basically the Christian Right (the Mages/Gardnerians) vs. the world with Fae, Kents, Urisks, Lupines, Icarals being every other race and religions on this earth. We vilify and lie about what we don't know or understand just like the Mages make up stories and deliberately misinterpret things to put the worst spin possible on the other people.
The world was pretty decently created and I liked most of the characters, but that message was just too strongly shoved up my nose again and again. 

Rating: 2/5

ARC courtesy of NetGalley

Thursday, January 26, 2017

Blade Bound

Blade Bound
by Chloe Neill

The wedding of the century is coming and Merit is the bride-to-be.

Also coming is some sort of evil that people are struggling to identify and it's threatening everything that Merit and her groom, Ethan, have fought so hard to protect.

And when werewolf Gabriel stops by to remind them of the impending prophecy, Merit just knows that the honeymoon will have to be cancelled.

Time is running out to save Chicago from the supernatural powers that threaten it and the humans who think that they can handle it.

Final thoughts: After all of the many books that seemed to drag this story out, it now feels rushed. It's almost like Neill was so eager to start a new series (probably with a certain prophesied child) that she pushed this one to an awkward end. I still love Merit and Ethan, and I definitely love how Ethan has finally accepted Merit as his equal, deserving of the chance to make a difference, but the luster has gone. I'll miss some of Chicagoland, but I'm really not too sad to see it end.

Rating: 3/5

ARC courtesy of NetGalley

Friday, January 13, 2017

Eleventh Grave in Moonlight

Eleventh Grave in Moonlight
by Darynda Jones

She can't look in on her daughter for fear that demons will follow her light and destroy her precious Beep to curry favor with Lucifer for ending the life of an infant who is prophesized to one day destroy him.

She can't figure out why her uncle wants her to stay home and/or why he's basically ignoring his wife and her bestie, making sadness abound.

She can't understand why her almost too-hot-to-handle-hubby wants her to drop a case.

She can't come up with a way to release the souls trapped in a hell dimension that she wears around her neck.

She can't figure out how to help her bestie's daughter to learn how to control her prophesizing powers while also catching the stalker who's sending her truly evil texts.

And she definitely can't figure out how to get rid of the angels that are following her everywhere.

With all the things that she can't do, will she ever be able to get used to the idea that she is a god?

Final thoughts: Yet another entry and still more amazing Charley. I really love this character and her sassiness. I REALLY wish there was a place to buy all the t-shirts mentioned at the chapter headings. My only issue... and it's pretty darn big... is that this one is a freakin' CLIFFHANGER!!!!  Ugh! Why couldn't the last chapter of this book have been the first chapter of the next instead? Why do I now have to sit around and wait to find out what happens?!?!?!  Sooooooo cruel!!!

Rating: 4/5

Thanks to NetGalley for the ARC!

Wednesday, January 4, 2017

Phantom Kiss

Phantom Kiss
by Chloe Neill

In between the proposal and the wedding are all those planning sessions, showers... and exorcisms.

Final thoughts: It's short, like a couple of chapters from a regular Chicagoland novel, so it doesn't have a lot of "meat" to it. It added some depth to the characters and the story, but it's not unforgettable. More than anything, I'm just worried about how this will all finally end in the next book, especially because we've had no further information on a Merit/Ethan kid, despite that being pretty dang important in the early books.

Rating: 4/5

Moonshadow

Moonshadow
by Thea Harrison

Months after she was shot, Sophie Ross is still recovering both physically and emotionally from the event. She needs a change of scenery STAT.

She gets her opportunity when the daughter of the man who rescued Sophie from a human trafficking ring offers her an amazing mansion, tons of land, and an annual stipend... IF she can get in the door.

Upon arriving in the U.K., Sophie meets Nikolas and sparks fly. It's hate at first sight, but Sophie has what Nikolas needs to save his people and get back to those he was separated from years before.

Can they survive each other long enough to get what they both need?

Final thoughts: I was hanging in there pretty well until about 35% of the way through. I'm not sure what happened at that point, but I do know that it was a struggle to finish. Sophie and Nikolas have horrible chemistry, but we're told that they can't keep their hands off each other; it doesn't make sense. Additionally, I know that many say this book can be read separately from Harrison's other series, but I really feel like I was missing something. It felt like I was being left out of half the story. Maybe if I'd read her other series, I would feel more comfortable with this one.

Rating: 2/5

Max

Max
by Sarah Cohen-Scali

Ok. No book talk on this one. According to my Kindle, I made it to 36% (finished chapter 13). I'm not even sure why I pushed that far. I just can't seem to care about this. Max is unsympathetic and just not relatable to me. Maybe some people love this, but I'm not one of them.

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