Category Archives: Book Review

I Wanna Play Hyde and Seek!

Untitled design (3)Hellooooooo jello legs.

HOLY HANNAH MONTANA. Looking for a new OTT(over the top) brooding alpha man for your romance collection? Look no further than Layla Frost’s Hyde and Seek series. She’s one of the authors writing in the Kindle Happily Ever After Crossover series with Aurora Rose Reynolds, and she’s writing Until Nox (and I am in desperate need for this book.)

I think my favorite alpha is the borderline-neanderthal kind, and Layla Frost’s Jack Hyde is such a caveman. The book kept me smiling from the very first “Babe” and had just enough twist in it to make me seriously want to cry and scream. But I held myself together enough to read it. Jack is a mechanic and owns his own shop, and Piper Skye is starting her own cake business.

Piper wins over almost everyone she meets by just being herself. Maybe feeding a bunch of huge, mega hunky guys with sweets she bakes to perfection helps too. Normally, when there’s a character that is so charming the people around them can’t help but be protective of them makes me want to gag. But it’s hard to hate Piper. She’s fictional, but I so wish I could meet her and be her friend. She won me over. Her sweet exterior totally matches with her sweet interior, but she knows how to rock. My favorite kind of people.

Jack Hyde makes me want to fan myself while I’m reading. And I’m not a fan of the man-bun or long hair look usually, but thinking about this caveman with long hair? Yeah totally did it for me. His rough, grunting ways are not because he is unable to speak, just that he chooses his words. And when shit hits the fan, he chooses to use more hands-on methods. His insecurities with dating someone ten years younger than him (plus some!) get to him, but he and Piper work it out. With the help of some friends.

If you read my Brynne Asher review, you know that one of my biggest pet peeves in a book is discounting therapy as unnecessary because they are fine, or don’t need it. Well, after some traumatic events, Piper needs therapy. And she admits she needs it! There’s not as much depth as I would have liked, but the acceptance of needing to gather more tools to help cope with something you weren’t equipped to handle, is something I think more authors should be doing.

There were some editing choices at the end that I wasn’t a fan of. There was a lot of quick flashbacks, and back and forth between Jack and Piper’s POV. Most of Hyde and Seek was told through Piper’s POV. Adding Jack in there was something I loved to see, but the back and forth on the timeline was a little disconcerting. It did help to amp up the anxiety and tense situation, but it just wasn’t my favorite aspect.

Untitled design (4)

The love that Piper and Jake find together is truly amazing. It is all consuming. But my favorite part that Layla details, is the parts you don’t think about. It can be hard to detail the little things that make you fall in love with someone. It’s not always the big grand gestures, but the way that someone searches for you in a crowded room, or the way they look and you when no one is watching. Layla manages to effortlessly make you fall in love with characters as they fall in love, while getting glimpses into the life that is hard to detail. As an author, you can’t always show or describe those little things, but Layla slips them in there.

So my rating? FOUR SOLID STARS. I cannot wait to devour everything Layla Frost has to offer. Her books are offered on Kindle Unlimited if you are a subscriber, but I am totally buying them the second I get the chance.

Follow Layla Frost on Facebook!

 

By the way… I’m totally finding amazing books by being in crazy book clubs on Facebook, and Layla has one for her cupcakes!

Welcome to Hell

…well Welcome to Frat Hell. S.M. Shade is back with her second installment of Violent Circle. (If you haven’t read Scarlet Toys yet, then you need to get on it ASAP.) If you’re looking for something deep, moving, or emotional than move along to a different book. Check out S.M.’s Safe Hands series if you’d like (super recommend that series!). This book is full of fun, light romance. It is a romantic comedy at it’s best.

The book just came out today, February 27th, and is on Kindle Unlimited, but I pre-ordered it. I could not wait to get my hands on this book. I have been waiting for Noble and January’s story since Noble catwalked his way into a date.

frathell

Noble and January are introduced in Scarlet Toys, as Noble tries to get a date with Jani, and Jani tries to brush him off. To get that date, Noble participates in a lingerie show, wearing a ball gag and leather underwear. Frat Hell, which is also the nickname for the house Noble shares with his college bros, opens with Noble finally getting his date with January, and their date is something I am now dying to try for myself. Magnet fishing! Please read this just so you can find out what the heck it is if you don’t already know.

January has her own issues with dating, since her mom has multiple sclerosis, but Noble tries to overcome them in heartwarming ways. Noble has his own insecurities, one of them being adulthood looming around the corner. But the love these two find is mushy goodness. Noble may come from Frat Hell, but he’s learning to grow up.

frathell1

Overall, this book was exactly what I thought it was going to be when S.M announced the release. It was funny as hell, and kept me smiling and laughing from page one. I enjoyed every minute reading it, and devoured in it almost six hours. Because it wouldn’t be romance without someone screwing up, someone does. But there’s no long drawn out forgiveness, and it keeps with the comedy feel. And the crazy antics that make Violet Circle become Violent are very much alive and well. This book was absolutely, 100% worth it. 5 stars all around.

Now I have to keep my eyes peeled to see if there will be a third, because I am so looking forward to more!

Who Doesn’t Love Big Crazy Families?

In anticipation for the Kindle World’s Until crossover series (also known as the “Happily Ever Alpha Kindle World”), based on Aurora Rose Reynolds’ Until Him/Her series, I’ve gone and read some of the authors crossing over. It’s releasing in April 2018 and I am so excited, because I seriously love the whole Mayson crew. (And Until Harmony comes out March 6th, look for my review after it’s released!)

The first author I picked up was Brynne Asher, and the Carpino series, because Byrnne’s novel, Until Avery, will be a crossover with this series. And Ms. Asher, I NEED MORE! It was a short series, only three books, but there were so many people that could have had a story, and the family is just so crazy, that I cannot wait until Avery releases. I need more Carpino’s in my life.

The first novel is Overflow, starring Gabby Carpino and Jude Ortiz.

BeFunky Design

Gabby is an interior decorator, not designer don’t mess it up, with a huge, crazy Italian family. After decorating her friend’s laundry room, the FBI and ATF come barging in, hand cuff her, and pat her down. Jude Ortiz is the FBI agent that pat her down, and then barges his way into her life when she could be in even more danger. Jude, with his police get up, ability to put Gabby in a Jude coma with his kisses, and his bossy-ness, not-so-slowly moves into Gabby’s life and home, protecting her and going out of his mind with worry. Because as much as Gabby likes Jude’s bossy behavior, she still gets her way when she wants to.

This book started out slow. So slow, I was seriously worried if I would be able to finish it. I loved Gabby and Jude almost from the beginning, but because Gabby is an interior decorator, it seemed the first chapter was dedicated to just the laundry room Gabby had designed. Gabby’s eye for detail certainly made her job a profitable one, but the paragraphs dedicated to just how a room looked, were not for me. I bullied through, and I am so glad that I did. Gabby and Jude’s love story is one that I don’t think I will ever be able to get over. It has the perfect amount of struggle and darkness, and tons of comedy to keep it light, and fun.

After giving Overflow 4 stars, I moved onto Beautiful Life.

BeFunky Design4

This story had some more darker themes to it. Leigh, who is Gabby’s best friend since they were 8, has an abusive ex-husband, whom she left because she got pregnant and he beat her. She miscarried. Tony Carpino, who is Gabby’s cousin, who’s always had a thing for Leigh but waited too long, slowly moves in so he can get his chance to be with her. Leigh, who is still struggling with the four years she spent with her husband, and still coming to terms with how to be Leigh again, tries to ignore her feelings for Tony. Gabby was in a Jude Coma, Leigh had Tony Torture. Little touches, gentle caresses, that Tony gave Leigh to show her that he was not Preston, he would never be Preston, and he was going to wait until she was ready. He pushed, just enough for Leigh.

This book was a little darker in it’s nature. Leigh’s life was a hard one, but Brynne makes expertly navigates the emotional trauma Leigh suffered, and Tony’s struggle to be with Leigh, help her move forward with her life and not be stuck living in her mental prison, but also end up happy with her. The one thing that bothered me, that bothers me about all books that have an extreme emotional and physical trauma, is that everyone says their fine and they don’t need to see a therapist. Like going to therapy is a bad thing. Therapy is not bad! And I’d love to see more authors writing a more accepting view of therapy.

But I think that’s more my personal issue than an actual issue with the book. I have never been the victim of physical abuse so I don’t know how it feels to be abused by someone, and I can’t tell if this accurately portrays that. I do know, that it was believable.

My one question: for all that Gabby and her friends complained about Preston being an asshole, and never seeing Leigh, how could they not know that he was being abusive?! It seemed pretty obvious to me.

Still 4 out of 5 stars!

The last of the series is my favorite installment, Athica Lane.

BeFunky Design5

This is the story that, start to finish, kept me smiling and laughing. Paige Carpino meets Cam Montgomery after literally bumping into him at a burger store. After they’re both a mean to each they’re both mean to each other, they go their separate ways thinking they will never see each other again. But, Paige is watching his kids while her sister Sophia is on her anniversary vacation. While Cam would love to never see her again, and vice-versa, Cam’s kids quickly fall in love with her. Cam and Paige struggle with some crazy events, and Cam struggles with his ex-wife Bekki with an i (please read this novel so you can understand that reference), and the damage she did to him when she left him with two kids.

The third installment of the Carpinos includes two crazy families, a lot of psychos, and some more darker themes. This is probably the craziest of the three books when it comes to struggles, but it is also my favorite. I was engaged from beginning to end, constantly waiting for the next part, the next crazy antic that would happen. My favorite part? There’s something that Paige wants that Cam can’t give her, and she sticks with it. She agrees there’s things she has to do, to stay safe; she agrees there’s things she has to do for the kids, and will do everything she can to protect them; but she will not give up her dreams. And she doesn’t force Cam.

I do love a strong heroine.

This book? 5 stars. Hands down.

You’re going to go down in the books as a first class donkey face with a pile of shit on your head.” – Jen Montgomery

Quotes like the one above are what made me laugh out loud, literally. Brynne’s writing is amazing. And she truly brings the Carpino family to life. I cannot wait to continue reading more of Brynne’s work.

How to Date a Douchebag Review

**SPOILER ALERTS BELOW!!**

Early February Sara Ney came out with another stunner in her How to Date a Douchebag series. This time, it’s the Coaching Hours.

This addition to the series was a little different. First, we get to see Elliot, Sebastion “Oz” Osbourne and Zeke Daniels’ roommate from the first two books in the series. I, for one, was so excited to see Elliot’s return! But, Elliot is not a douchebag.

Elliot’s love interest? The wrestling coach’s daughter, Anabelle. And Anabelle is not a douchebag either.

Now, I know what you’re thinking. But where are the douchebags?

The douchebags come in the form of Rex Gunderson, wrestling team manager, and Eric Johnson, member of the wrestling team. These two knuckleheads bet on who can get into Anabelle’s pants first. But Anabelle isn’t having it.

BeFunky Design2

Anabelle moves in with her father, the Coach. Although she loves him, she wants to get her own place. While searching for an apartment, she overhears the wrestlers talking about Gunderson and Johnson’s bet. Anabelle and Elliot meet in the library, after Anabelle overhears some guys in the gym talking about the bet. Then Elliot meets her again at a party when she gets very drunk. Elliot, the sweet guy that he is, takes care of her. He helps her when she’s sick, and helps drive her back to her house in the morning. Anabelle realizes he has an extra room in his small apartment, so asks to move in.

Elliot’s thoughts? “What if she decides to walk around the house with no pants on and I have to see her ass cheeks? What if I like it?”

They move in together, and Anabelle gets her revenge on the boys, while she slowly falls for Elliot, and Elliot falls for Anabelle. The problem? Elliot is leaving once he graduates. He’s moving to another state for school.

Sara Ney has done it again with this installment. She also says it’s the final one. *sigh* I so would love to see another douchebag story! The writing, the comedy, the story. Everything about it is fantastic.

And oh the twists and turns! There were some WICKED plot twists that I was not expecting, but were fully appreciated!! This read was 5 stars for me!

And I can’t wait to read more from Sara Ney!

BeFunky Design3

Review Time!

Ok, I am so behind when it came to this book. My cousin (shout out to Felicia) lent me her book after I told her I was looking to read more books that weren’t romance novels. I tend to stick to what I know and love. I am so glad she gave me this book.

The novel itself is short, only 163 pages, but the overall messages this book delivers are both great and impactful.

For those, like me, who have never heard of the book before, it is about a young shepherd Santiago. While traveling with his sheep, he has a dream of going to the Egyptian pyramids and finding treasure. But before he can find out where the treasure is, he wakes up. He decides to go to a gypsy woman to help interpret the dream. Her advice is simple: go to Egypt.

Santiago debates on what to do, because he has his sheep to take care of. While debating, he meets a king, who tells him of a Personal Legend. The king tells him he needs to follow his Personal Legend, now while he has been gifted an omen, before it is too late. Not everyone realizes their legend, but if they do, they must follow it. But he must remember, everything comes at a price.

On Santiago’s journey, he meets more people, including an alchemist, a crystal merchant, a thief, and eventually he meets the love of his life. Over the years, he struggles with whether or not to continue on his journey, whether or not to fulfill his Personal Legend.

The novel was originally written in Portuguese and translated in the 90s. Though translated books are usually not as good as the original (due to certain things being lost in translation) The Alchemist holds its true meaning. The moral of the story: if you want something you need to go and get it.

But I got so much more out of the novel. Some of my favorite quotes:

BeFunky Design1

“It’s this: that at some point in our lives, we lose control of what’s happening to us, and our lives become curried by fate. That’s the worlds greatest lie.” – The King of Salem

“Even though I complain sometimes, it’s because I’m the heart of a person, and people’s hearts are that way. People are aftraid to pursue their most important dreams, because they feel that they don’t deserve them, or that they’ll be unable to achieve them. We, their hearts, become fearful just thinking of loved ones who go away forever, or of moments that could have been good but weren’t, or of treasures that might have been found but were forever hidden in the sands. Because when these things happen, we suffer terribly.” – Santiago’s heart.

For me, this was a 4 star read. I give it 4 stars, because although I really enjoyed reading this, it was kind of hard to get through. The translation of the novel was really good, but the writing was stilted. The sentences were smaller, and were uncomplicated. The language was simple, and it was repetitive. This is probably more a Young Adult novel than one for adults.

But still good!

Have you read The Alchemist? Did you have favorite quote? Comment below and tell me!

Carter Reed by Tijan Review

UM HELLO CARTER REED.
I’ve read many of Tijan’s books, but I think Carter Reed is my favorite. It’s not *exactly* a second chance romance, since Emma and Carter were never together when they were younger, but they wanted to be together.The novel begins with Emma killing her roommate’s boyfriend because he is raping her. After getting Mallory, her roommate, to a safe place, Emma has to figure out her next steps. She can’t go to the police, but there’s a dead body in her apartment.

Oh, and the now-dead boyfriend was the son of a mafia boss. This pushes her to do something she’s wanted to do for 10 years, but has never done. Emma goes to Carter Reed, her brother’s best friend, her one-time crush, and the only person she can go to for help. Carter is also the current head of a different mafia family.

Can I just say I don’t know if I could have handled everything the way Emma does? She has her moments, with panic attacks and questioning her decisions, but she is strong. Emma makes decisions her friends are not able to make. She has to decide and war with her own morals and values, rationalizing the life she is now apart of. Emma has to fight, not only for her own safety, but to be a part of Carter’s life.

And Emma was never known to be a quitter.

Emma is not the only one who struggles though. Tijan teases the readers with glimpses into Carter’s mind, showing his struggles to bring Emma into an inherently violent world. This is the woman he would go to war for, and do anything to protect. His entire life is and was always devoted to keeping her safe. And Carter coming to terms with feeling something other than the thrill for killing is beautifully shown.

Overall, this was a 5 star novel. I would HIGHLY recommend this for those that love dark romance. NO CLIFFHANGER!! There is a second book but this book does NOT end on a cliff hanger!!