Book Review: Inarticulate

review-cover-inarticulateTitle: Inarticulate

Author: Eden Summers

Genre: Contemporary, Romance

Rating: 5 Stars

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Description/Synopsis:

At first sight, Savannah is drawn to the harsh appeal of a man who refuses to talk to her. Keenan’s hard stare is arrogant and unapologetic. The quirk of his sensuous lips is cocky and in control.

But there’s more. There’s something deeper he’s trying to hide behind those steely grey eyes—a slight hint of vulnerability which captures her intrigue.

She’d been warned, told that his silence hides a myriad of lies capable of affecting her career and relationships with loved ones. Only she can’t help herself. Testing Keenan’s defenses is an addiction she can’t deny.

WARNING – SPOILERS MAY ENSUE BEYOND THIS POINT – REVIEW BELOW

I thoroughly enjoyed Inarticulate by Eden Summers. In fact, it is probably one of my favorite romances that I’ve read this year, and being that it’s now November, that should give you a pretty good idea of how much I enjoyed it.

As far as the technical aspects of the book go, the narrative was well written. There were a few minor typos, but nothing that stuck out enough to lesson my enjoyment of the book or to distract me from it in any way. The pace was steady, the sentences flowed well, and the dialogue seemed genuine to the characters.

I can only imagine how difficult it was for the author to write a book where one of the main characters is mute, but I think the author pulled it off incredibly well. The characters were well fleshed out, well characterized, and I fully enjoyed the sexual heat between the main couple. This was a fantastic read from beginning to end, and I am so happy that I got to experience this author’s work. I highly recommend this book to romance readers look for a steamy tale with a bit of a different spin. You won’t be disappointed!

Book Review: Menagerie

review-cover-menagerieTitle: Menagerie

Author: Kristy Tate

Genre: Young Adult, Fantasy, Romance

Rating: 4 Stars (3.5)

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Description/Synopsis:

Everyone talks to animals. Some do it every day, although very few stop to listen for a reply. Lizbet Wood does, and this is just one of the things that set her apart. She really doesn’t understand how different she is until violence shatters her solitary existence.

While Lizbet seeks to understand why mother sought refuge on a deserted island in the Pacific Northwest, she comes face to face with the dangers her mother tried, but failed to escape. When her mother is gravely injured, Lizbet is forced from the island and thrust into a world even more complex and threatening than she could have ever imagined. A world where the animals have no say…or do they?

WARNING – SPOILERS MAY ENSUE BEYOND THIS POINT – REVIEW BELOW

I was so excited to read another book by Kristy Tate, and Menagerie didn’t disappoint. Much.

Technically speaking, the book was well written. I ran into one or two typos, but that was pretty much it. The book flowed well, was fast-paced without feeling rushed, and I enjoyed the colorful characters and unique world-building behind Menagerie. I didn’t give this book five stars, however.

Here’s the thing: the book started with a strong, interesting main character with a very mysterious past and living situation. I was sucked into her odd tale, and I loved how strong she was as the main character… but it felt like the author set up the story for this fascinating, magical narrative… and then a few chapters in, the secluded girl who spoke to animals and was drugged by her mother anytime they had visitors to their small island ended up in a high school house party like any other teen drama I’ve read. I felt like the book had been set up for something spectacular, and it was a bit of a let down to fall back on the usual tropes and not spend more time exploring the oddness of this girl. It fell a little flat.

Does that mean I didn’t like the story? No. I liked it a lot, enough that I gave it four stars—I just wish more had been done to accentuate the bits of this story that make it stand out from every other YA Romance. In the end, if you like YA Fantasy or YA Romance, you’re probably going to love this book. It’s well-written, and the characters are interesting and endearing… but it did end rather abruptly, and I do feel like more could have been done to push  this to be the five-star read I’d hoped it would be. Either way, it’s still worth a read.

Book Review: I Was A Bitch

review-cover-i was a bitchTitle: I Was A Bitch

Author: Emily Ruben

Genre: Contemporary, Young Adult, Romance, Mystery

Rating: 4 Stars

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Description/Synopsis:

Discover the story of Lacey Jones, former queen bitch, as she tries to put together the pieces of the puzzle that has become her life.

After a horrific accident, Lacey Jones wakes up from a two month long coma only to realize that she’s lost all memory of the last two years. In this time, she has turned from a wallflower into the gorgeous and popular Queen Bee of her high school. Adding to the confusion, she is confronted with two guys who claim to love her; her football star boyfriend and the mysterious and attractive Finn.

Now Lacey has to figure out who she can trust as she starts to put her life back together and slowly discovers what really happened on the night of the accident.

Will she be able to resist her developing feelings for Finn and stay loyal to her boyfriend?

WARNING – SPOILERS MAY ENSUE BEYOND THIS POINT – REVIEW BELOW

This book was so much fun! I’ll admit, there were a few pretty blatant typos—the grammar especially seemed to be a problem in the dialogue, but although it stood out, it didn’t keep me from enjoying the story as a whole.

As for the characters—I liked them. Some, like Derick, or Lacey’s two popular best friends, were a bit one-dimensional, but Lacey and Finn were full of depth. As a couple, they were at times sweet, funny, and even steamy. So steamy, in fact, that I’d caution that although this is a YA book, I probably wouldn’t hand it to my 13-year-old. It’s bordering on NA.

The only true problem I had with the story was the ending. There was a cheesy, very Mean Girls moment of social confrontation and apology, and I get it… it was an ideal teen drama moment—but…. it was very cheesy.

Overall, I really liked the story. I think it could have used a little polishing, but I’m glad to have read it, and I’d probably read it again. If you enjoy teen romance stories full of mean girls, amnesia, and popularity drama, you’ll probably like it too.

Book Review: The Longest Con

review-cover-the longest conTitle: The Longest Con

Author: Michaelbrent Collings

Genre: Mystery, Humor, Urban Fantasy

Rating: 4 Stars

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Description/Synopsis:

Would you like to know – I mean, REALLY know – what they’re doing when they go to those fancy comic-cons? Because it ain’t just writing.

See, every year, thousands of people attend comic-cons dressed as monsters.

Of course, you probably already knew that.

But did you ALSO know that…

every year, thousands of MONSTERS attend comic-cons dressed as PEOPLE.

Sure. Nothing could POSSIBLY go wrong there.

Luckily, the con organizers have placed Wardens throughout the conventions. These undercover supernatural troubleshooters are tasked with stopping mayhem before it starts . . . or solving the murders after they happen.

I’M MICHAELBRENT COLLINGS: author of this book, and one of the Wardens. My job is to go to the cons, where I sell books, make fans, and kill the occasional monster.

It’s not just me, either. Those authors I told you about, and even more . . . you’d never guess what many of your favorite authors are REALLY up to at the conventions.

Luckily, though, you don’t have to guess.

JUST READ THIS BOOK.

WARNING – SPOILERS MAY ENSUE BEYOND THIS POINT – REVIEW BELOW

I enjoyed this book so much more than I thought I would—but oh how I’d hoped I would! The Longest Con by Michaelbrent Collings was a quirky mix of Comedy, Urban Fantasy, and Detective Mystery. It’s full of hilarious, often snarky comments from the main character, and strange colorful characters that range from ex-succubi, mafia-like nerds that seem to rule conventions, and Kevin Bacon look-alike brownies.

Technically speaking, the book was well written. There were a few minor typos, but nothing book-breaking. In fact, the only real complaint I have about the writing throughout the entirety of the book is that sometimes the comedy of the narrative style and the main character tended to overshadow the plot of the book. There were lots of asides and quirky comments that made me laugh out loud, but it did tend to distract from the mystery.

That aside, I loved the book. The author has a definite talent for humor, and the strange and unique characters I encountered kept me interested in the story. If you want something fun to read, and you enjoy conventions and general geekdom, I would highly recommend you pick up this book and give it a try. It was a spectacularly fun adventure, and I am most definitely a fan.

Book Review: Samantha

review-cover-samanthaTitle: Samantha [Barrett 2]

Author: Andrea Kane

Genre: Historical, Romance

Rating: 5 Stars

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Description/Synopsis:

A spin-off from Kane’s novel My Heart’s Desire, Samantha is a spellbinding tale set in early 19th-century England about a young lady whose romantic fancies are about to come true, once she learns she can trust the man of her dreams. This bestselling author has thrilled her rapidly growing audience with Echoes in the Mist, Masque of Betrayal, Dream Castle, and other novels.

WARNING – SPOILERS MAY ENSUE BEYOND THIS POINT – REVIEW BELOW

After reading the first two books in the Barrett family saga, I can honestly say that I’m a huge fan of Andrea Kane’s writing, and more importantly, her heroines.

Samantha was a spunky, headstrong young woman who didn’t allow society (or her family) dictate how she lived her life. As one of the characters said, she is a tempest. I absolutely adored her as the main character

Likewise, the brooding hero, Remington, was a notorious rake, but also a highly devoted man who fought for his country at the expense of his reputation. Together, the two main characters pursued each other throughout the story like a passionate dance.

The story was funny, filled with endearing moments, and passionate encounters. I loved every moment of it! The writing was clear, easy to read, and lacked any obvious technical errors.

If you enjoy historical romances filled with colorful characters, you’ll be sure to love this!

Book Review: The Journal of Curious Letters

review-cover-the journal of curious lettersTitle: The Journal of Curious Letters [The 13th Reality 1]

Author: James Dashner

Genre: Juvenile Fiction, Action & Adventure, Sci-Fi, Fantasy

Rating: 5 Stars

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Description/Synopsis:

What if every choice you made created an alternate reality? InThe Journal of Curious Letters, Atticus Higginbottom, a.k.a. Tick, is an average thirteen-year-old boy until the day he receives a strange letter informing him that dangerous— perhaps even deadly—events have been set in motion that could result in the destruction of reality itself. Tick will be sent twelve riddles that, when solved, will reveal the time and place of an extraordinary happening. Will Tick have the courage to follow the twelve clues and discover the life he was meant to live? Tick’s journey continues in The Hunt for Dark Infinity! Mistress Jane and the Chi’karda are back. Tick and Mistress Jane race to find the deadly Dark Infinity weapon. But who will destroy it—and who will become its master?

WARNING – SPOILERS MAY ENSUE BEYOND THIS POINT – REVIEW BELOW

What a gem! I picked up this book for my 12-year-old daughter and we ended up reading it together. I’m glad to say that I honestly found this to be a joy to read.

The book was exceptionally well written and full of colorful characters. There were funny, heartwarming, action-filled, and even creepy moments throughout the book as Tick worked to solve the mystery of the 13 clues he received from one very odd Master George and his companions, Rutger and Mothball (who was definitely one of our favorite characters).

One of my favorite aspects of the book as a parent, though, was the relationship Tick had with his father. Where most children’s books seem to either omit the parents, or fall into the trope of having the parents not believe their children, James Dashner crafted The Journal of Curious Letters in such a way that not only did Tick turn to his father with his worries, but Tick’s father believed his son—and helped him! It was a great moment to witness in a children’s book, and I and my daughter had a great talk about how important it was for kids to talk to their parents about their worries, and for parents to listen to them and take them seriously.

Overall, we found loved the book. It was exciting, funny, and full of interesting characters. It’s a bit of a long book, but I’m not complaining—we never wanted to put it down, and often read 5-10  chapters together a night until it was finished.

Book Review: My Heart’s Desire

review-cover-my heart's desireTitle: My Heart’s Desire [Barrett 1]

Author: Andrea Kane

Genre: Historical, Romance

Rating: 5 Stars

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Description/Synopsis:

Caught in the crossfire of war, they were shipwrecked on an idyllic island, where they tasted perfect passion and tenderness. But Drake dreaded the day of their rescue-when his love would discover that the virile man she adored was at the pinnacle of the aristocracy she despised.

WARNING – SPOILERS MAY ENSUE BEYOND THIS POINT – REVIEW BELOW

My Heart’s Desire by Andrea Kane, was yet another solid historical romance – although I’ll admit, it does fall a bit into the formulaic side of romance—but I’m okay with that.

Overall, the writing was nearly flawless. I did run into a typo or two, but nothing that pulled me out of the narrative or otherwise halted the flow of the story for me. The typos were minor, and easily skimmed over, and other than that, the writing was clean, clear, and flowed a nice pace.

Though there was a touch of the simpering maiden to the main female lead, Alexandria, for the most part, I found her character better described as stubborn, head-strong, and caring. She had her moments of fit, where she lost her head, but for the vast majority of the story, she  did what she thought was best. I liked her as a lead character quite a bit.

As for Drake… well… he was often arrogant, and easily as headstrong as Alex, and I understand completely why she lost her head with him at times—he could certainly be infuriating—but like Alex, he usually kept his head. He was strong, and intelligent, and had a softer side that he tried to mask, but didn’t always succeed. The romance between Alex and Drake was steamy and filled with tension, and kept the story going.

Overall, I loved the book. I liked the characters, the easy world building, the plot and it’s many conflicts… the only trouble I ran into was that although warranted in order to tie up all the little bits of the plot, the ending did seem a few chapters too long. I’d expected it to end long before it did, and that may have been a bit of a pacing issue. Regardless, I enjoyed the story, and I was entertained. If you enjoy historical romances, you are certain to enjoy this one.