Book Review: My Soul To Give

review-cover-my soul to giveTitle: My Soul To Give [A Demon’s Love 1]

Author: Magali A. Frechette

Genre: Dark Romance, Contemporary, Fantasy

Rating: 4 Stars

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Description/Synopsis:

When Celina Leviet escapes the brutal home invasion that kills her husband, she’s left with a bullet in her gut and vengeance in her heart. An alluring demon, Mekaisto, offers an irresistible deal—in exchange for her soul, he’ll let her live long enough to get her revenge, but she must hunt and kill the murderers herself.

After sealing the contract, Celina digs into her husband’s past for clues about his murder, and what she uncovers makes her question everything she thought she knew about him.

His company never existed.

His family history was a lie.

And he was involved with The Lumen, a shadowy religious order whose members know too much about demons. As the life she thought she knew crumbles around her, Mekaisto’s charms become harder to resist. Forced to face a horrible truth, Celina struggles against her late husband’s betrayal and the dark seduction of the devil she knows.

WARNING – SPOILERS MAY ENSUE BEYOND THIS POINT – REVIEW BELOW

I’ll admit it. I have a thing about demons in my romance fiction—I love the danger of the forbidden relationship they represent, and the tension in trying to figure out if they can truly be trusted at their word… so it should be no surprise that I enjoyed My Soul To Give by Magali A. Frechette. There was certainly an aspect of danger and the forbidden to its characters and plotline, even crossing over the line a little too far at times. This was definitely not your conventional romance.

The characters were interesting, complex, and compelling. Their romance was steamy, a bit taboo, and sweet at the same time. The mystery and aspects of the murder plotline kept the story jaunting along, and I couldn’t help but get sucked into the narrative.

I don’t think this story is going to work for everyone though. There are definitely a lot of questionable aspects of the characters and plot that aren’t going to sit well with some readers, especially those who are firmly religious. If you’re one of those people, this book is not going to be for you—and it’s not meant to be.

If you’re into dark fantasy, I highly recommend you pick this one up. It was certainly a captivating read, and the ending was one I didn’t see coming!

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Free Fiction Friday #100!

Hello, ladies and gentlemen, and welcome to Free Fiction Friday #100! For those of you who are new to this blog, or who may have missed out on the previous Free Fiction Fridays—every Friday I post an article containing 10 fiction e-books that are 100% FREE on Amazon at the time of posting and an additional 5 that are roughly of the same genre, and on sale for less than $5.

I try my best to make sure they are all 4+ stars, have over 40+ reviews, and are 100 pages minimum—so you can have a hand-picked list of the best-of-the-best to choose from and enjoy over the long weekend (while I do more important things, like laundry). I try to switch up the genres every week, and this week our theme is: RANDOM!

This is an extra-special FFF, as this is the 100th! So I’m going to make this one a little longer than what we’re usually used to. Enjoy!

THE FREE

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Book Review: Protect My Heart

review-cover-protect my heartTitle: Protect My Heart

Author: Judy Corry

Genre: Young Adult, Contemporary, Romance

Rating: 4 Stars (3.5)

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Description/Synopsis:

Emma Howard has sworn off hot guys, but Arie Blackwell has sworn to protect her.

After a series of cheating ex-boyfriends, Emma goes on a self-prescribed boy cleanse and plans to spend her senior year focused on the important things in life, like deciding which college to attend. She has no idea she’s an heiress with a target on her back and boys are the least of her worries.

Arie thinks his college internship will be easy: pose as a high school senior and protect Emma. He never expected to fall for her.

Sparks ignite, but danger is near. If Arie can’t keep Emma hidden, her fate will be infinitely worse than falling for the guy she shouldn’t want.

WARNING – SPOILERS MAY ENSUE BEYOND THIS POINT – REVIEW BELOW

On one hand, I really liked Protect My Heart by Judy Corry. The characters were likable, the romance was cute, and there was an underlying mystery to the plotline that kept me intrigued as the story went on. The book was well written, with clean and easy to read narrative, and a narrative voice that made it easy to sink into the story.

On the other hand, there were also some rather questionable aspects of the story as well. The main male lead is 22 and falls in love (on the job no less) with the minor he’s meant to be protecting. It’s unprofessional and morally questionable. Also, the evil mob-boss-like uncle was a bit of a letdown. He came off as a terrible cliché. I was expecting something more after the lead-up of the mysterious things going on up until that point with the bodyguards and surveillance of Emma.

Overall I wouldn’t say that it was a bad book – because I liked it. I liked the characters, I liked their romance, and I enjoyed the writing. The few aspects of the plot that I didn’t appreciate as much weren’t enough to make me dislike the rest of the book. If you’re looking for a sweet romance with a tiny bit of the inappropriate mixed in, you might really enjoy this story, and I do recommend it—but if the negative aspects of the plot are going to bother you, you might want to give it a pass.

Book Review: Slightly Stalky

review-cover-slightly stalkyTitle: Slightly Stalky [Slightly Stalky 1]

Author: Amy Vansant

Genre: Contemporary, Romance

Rating: 2 Stars

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Description/Synopsis:

Emily never expected to find love in a dart bar, but the moment she spots tall, sexy Sebastian, she’s determined to catch his eye.

Ex-girlfriends, perpetually shirtless rich boys, frantic best-friends and a mysterious orange handbag converge to stop her.

No one said stalking was easy, but if romance was left to the boys, the human race would die out while they logged fantasy football points and punched each other in the balls.

Everyone knows that.

Emily’s not stalking Sebastian…she’s saving the world.

WARNING – SPOILERS MAY ENSUE BEYOND THIS POINT – REVIEW BELOW

Yes, I read through the entirety of this book. No, I don’t know why—curiosity I guess? There were so many faults with this book that it’s hard to single out a few to expound upon. The main character is a desperate woman who becomes obsessed with a cute guy in a bar and basically changes herself to be what she thinks he’ll be interested in—her hobbies, her hangouts, etc.—just to place herself in his path in the hopes that he’ll notice her. It’s sad and childish and speaks to a very shallow niche of society.

The problems don’t end there though. The main male lead spends the majority of the book being weak-willed and wishy-washy. He’s already dating someone when he meets the main female lead and continues to live with his shallow ex-girlfriend all the while striking up a relationship with the new girl. It’s cringy and doesn’t speak highly of his character.

There’s a lot of manipulation going on in this book from a lot of the characters, and honestly, even though this was marketed as a romantic comedy… I didn’t see the comedy in it or much of the romance. The book left me feeling skeazy. I don’t recommend this book unless you’re into stories about broken people and their imperfect relationships.

Free Fiction Friday #99

Hello, ladies and gentlemen, and welcome to Free Fiction Friday #99! For those of you who are new to this blog, or who may have missed out on the previous Free Fiction Fridays—every Friday I post an article containing 10 fiction e-books that are 100% FREE on Amazon at the time of posting and an additional 5 that are roughly of the same genre, and on sale for less than $5.

I try my best to make sure they are all 4+ stars, have over 40+ reviews, and are 100 pages minimum—so you can have a hand-picked list of the best-of-the-best to choose from and enjoy over the long weekend (while I do more important things, like laundry). I try to switch up the genres every week, and this week our theme is: Romantic Comedy!

THE FREE

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THE BARGAINS

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Book Review: Red Queen

review-cover-red queenTitle: Red Queen [Red Queen 1]

Author: Victoria Aveyard

Genre: Young Adult, Fantasy, Science Fiction, Dystopian

Rating: 4 Stars

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Description/Synopsis:

This is a world divided by blood – red or silver.The Reds are commoners, ruled by a Silver elite in possession of god-like superpowers. And to Mare Barrow, a seventeen-year-old Red girl from the poverty-stricken Stilts, it seems like nothing will ever change.That is, until she finds herself working in the Silver Palace. Here, surrounded by the people she hates the most, Mare discovers that, despite her red blood, she possesses a deadly power of her own. One that threatens to destroy the balance of power.Fearful of Mare’s potential, the Silvers hide her in plain view, declaring her a long-lost Silver princess, now engaged to a Silver prince. Despite knowing that one misstep would mean her death, Mare works silently to help the Red Guard, a militant resistance group, and bring down the Silver regime.But this is a world of betrayal and lies, and Mare has entered a dangerous dance – Reds against Silvers, prince against prince, and Mare against her own heart.

WARNING – SPOILERS MAY ENSUE BEYOND THIS POINT – REVIEW BELOW

I enjoyed The Red Queen by Victoria Aveyard. It wasn’t what I expected, but I was pleasantly surprised anyway. As far as the technical aspects of the book go, the writing was flawless. I didn’t run into any obvious typos, grammatical errors, or formatting issues. The narrative was clean and easy to read, and I enjoyed the narrative voice.

This was a YA book, so yes, the storyline and the characters were simple, even familiar, but I’m not going to hold that against it. Was it a ground-breaking novel? No. Probably not… but it was interesting. I liked the characters, I liked the world building – what there was of it – and I enjoyed the romance. Had this been a book geared towards adults, yes, I would have held it to a higher standard. There is no poetry to the narrative voice, the characters aren’t complex, and there’s no simmer to the romance… but this isn’t an adult book. This is a book meant for teens, and for them, I think this hits a lot of the points it needed to. there’s a cute romance, an element of danger, superpowers, fancy dresses, and a very fairytale vibe to the plotline.

Overall, I think this is a good book for the YA crowd, particularly those that are actually teens – but if you’re an adult reading into the YA genre, this may be a bit below your level. Either way, I found it to be a good book, a fast-paced read, and I’m glad to have picked it up.

Book Review: Twisted Palace

review-cover-twisted palaceTitle: Twisted Palace [The Royals 3]

Author: Erin Watt

Genre: Young Adult, Contemporary, Romance

Rating: 3 Stars

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Description/Synopsis:

From mortal enemies to unexpected allies, two teenagers try to protect everything that matters most.
Ella Harper has met every challenge that life has thrown her way. She’s tough, resilient, and willing to do whatever it takes to defend the people she loves, but the challenge of a long-lost father and a boyfriend whose life is on the line might be too much for even Ella to overcome.

Reed Royal has a quick temper and even faster fists. But his tendency to meet every obstacle with violence has finally caught up with him. If he wants to save himself and the girl he loves, he’ll need to rise above his tortured past and tarnished reputation.

No one believes Ella can survive the Royals. Everyone is sure Reed will destroy them all.

They may be right.

With everything and everyone conspiring to keep them apart, Ella and Reed must find a way to beat the law, save their families, and unravel all the secrets in their Twisted Palace.

WARNING – SPOILERS MAY ENSUE BEYOND THIS POINT – REVIEW BELOW

I thought I had mixed feelings about the first two books in this series—and then I read the third book. At this point, I’m not sure why I spent money on these books. The drama in this book was so ridiculously overblown to the point of absurdity. The series took a sharp left turn by re-introducing Ella’s father when he was firmly dead in the first two books of the series. He wasn’t a likable character, but instead, overbearing, aggressive, and cruel.

The one redeeming point of this book was that there was an actual plotline, and the murder mystery aspect of it was both well-plotted and interesting. The technical aspects of the story, once again, were well-done. That being said, I’m not sure they made up for the characters and their motivations. This whole series has left me with a bad taste in my mouth. I’m exhausted by the cruelty and narcissism of the characters and the banality of the social drama in their lives. This book, in particular, felt like a left-over storyline, introduced in an attempt to contrive more drama in the quickly fizzling plotline of the first two books.

I sincerely have to caution you if you choose to pick up this series: this isn’t for teen readers. This series is full of sex, drugs, sexual assault/attempted rape, murder, and cruelty by 98% of the characters. It isn’t a fuzzy romance despite the sparkly covers, and despite the luke-warm ratings I’ve given the series, I can’t honestly say that I’d recommend it to most readers.