Book Review: Taming Beauty

review-cover-taming beautyTitle: Taming Beauty [Dunaway’s Daughters 1]

Author: Lynne Barron

Genre: Historical, Romance

Rating: 3 Stars

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Description/Synopsis:

It’s best not to answer the door when the Earl of Dunaway come’s knocking.

After learning this lesson by trial and error, as any good lesson ought to be learned, Miss Lilith Aberdeen fashioned a life for herself on the fringes of London society. She is the last lady likely to risk her independence or her heart on anything as fickle and frivolous as love. Or the waxing and waning of familial affection, for that matter. So, how is it she winds up journeying to the wilds of Cornwall to deliver the earl’s pampered, petulant daughter into the hands of the reclusive Baron Malleville?

Blame it on the scandalous, unscrupulous and downright dissolute earl.

Jasper Grimley has spent more than a decade living in self-imposed exile, tending his lands and waiting for his chosen bride to come of age. When his betrothed is plucked from his grasp mere months before the wedding, he sets in motion a plan to turn the Earl of Dunaway’s plethora of debts and profusion of daughters to his advantage. Unfortunately, when dealing with the earl, even the best laid plans have a tendency to fall to ruin, and Jasper soon finds himself beguiled by the wrong woman. Lilith is not the sweet, innocent, biddable bride he bargained with the devil to possess, but she just might be…

The lady destined to lead him down the primrose path to happily-ever-after.

WARNING – SPOILERS MAY ENSUE BEYOND THIS POINT – REVIEW BELOW

Taming Beauty by Lynne Barron was such a strange, charming little story. The best phrase I can think of to describe it is vibrant chaos.

The characters were complex in the best of ways—often a tad quirky and loud. Lilith and Jasper made a great couple-at-odds, their relationship a tug of war between seduction, flippant banter, and still, endearing moments—and I loved their odd relationship.

The writing was steadily paced and easy to sink into—but I’ll admit, it could be hard to follow the dialogue at times. The character’s voices were written in a genuine, humorous way, full of colorful language and emotion—truly a whirlwind to try and follow. Sometimes that was good, and at other times I had to pause to figure out what the characters were speaking about.

Overall, I thought it was a charming read. If you’re looking for a quick, funny historical romance to read, I’d suggest you give it a try. I don’t know that it was a style of romance I’d normally want to pick up, but it was nice to find something a little different in this story, and I had fun with it.

Free Fiction Friday #83

Hello, ladies and gentlemen, and welcome to Free Fiction Friday #83! 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: Romance!

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Book Review: 93% Chance I Don’t Hate You

review-cover-93 perecent chance i dont hate youTitle: 93% Chance I Don’t Hate You

Author: L. Taylor & Amy H. Lynn

Genre: New Adult, Romance

Rating: 5 Stars

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Description/Synopsis:

Ashton Lewis doesn’t have a care in the world. His only sources of stress are passing mixed media art classes and setting up a tattoo parlor one day. But when the one-night-stand-only lifestyle no longer appeals to him, Ashton decides it’s time to settle down. A drunken mistake and a poorly chosen pseudonym later, Ashton finds himself on a blind date with his classmate, Carter Redford, the stuck up rich girl whom Ashton is pretty sure hates him.

College junior Carter Redford has been groomed to take over the family business since before she could talk. Heiress to a major entertainment journalism company, almost every aspect of her life is controlled by her overbearing parents, from the clothes she wears, to who her friends are, and eventually, the man she marries.

While this is not ideal for Carter, she is ready to sacrifice her own happiness if it is what her family needs. That is, until one day, when her best friend Jackson convinces her to try blind dating. More specifically, to use an app called Blinder.

Expecting someone business minded and type A, Carter is astonished to learn that her blind date is with none other than her fellow student – Ashton Lewis. Though he is gorgeous and a talented artist, Carter is hardly pleased with his “devil may care” attitude, and would rather take her chances on the man her parents have picked out for her than a laid back slacker. But when Carter’s curiosity gets the best of her, and Ashton manages to pull her into his unstructured lifestyle, Carter may not be able to resist the rushes of freedom and rebellion he encourages.
A laugh out loud romantic drama, 93% Chance I Don’t Hate You is a novel about overcoming prejudices, standing up for oneself, and learning how to live life on one’s own terms.

WARNING – SPOILERS MAY ENSUE BEYOND THIS POINT – REVIEW BELOW

I didn’t expect this book to be as good as it was. I mean, it sounded good, but let’s be honest: the cover that it came with is rather lackluster—but I picked it up anyway because I like reading new Indy authors… and I am so glad I did.

93% Chance I Don’t Hate You by L. Taylor and Amy H. Lynn was an endearing, sweet romantic read. Ashton and Carter were an adorable pair of opposites that in other circumstances might not have worked out—but there was never a point in this novel that I questioned their relationship. I wanted to them to succeed. They were both flawed, but good people at heart. The authors did an extraordinary job giving them depth.

As far as the technical aspect of the book goes, it was well written. I ran into the barest amount of typos or errors—nothing that gave me too much pause. The narrative voice was easy to read, personable, and flowed well throughout the story. I have no complaints.

If you’re looking for a new, solid NA Contemporary Romance, I’d highly recommend you give this book a try. I thoroughly enjoyed it.

Book Review : Feel Me Fall

review-cover-feel me fallTitle: Feel Me Fall

Author: James Morris

Genre: Young Adult, Thriller, Survival, Adventure

Rating: 5 Stars

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Description/Synopsis:

Emily Duran is the sole survivor of a plane crash that left her and her teenage friends stranded and alone in the jungles of the Amazon. Lost and losing hope, they struggle against the elements, and each other. With their familiar pecking order no longer in place, a new order emerges, filled with power struggles, betrayals, secrets and lies. Emily must explain why she’s the last left alive.

But can she carry the burden of the past?

Discover the gripping new adventure novel that explores who we are when no one is watching, and how far we’ll go in order to survive.

WARNING – SPOILERS MAY ENSUE BEYOND THIS POINT – REVIEW BELOW

Feel Me Fall by James Morris is perhaps one of the best books I’ve read yet this year. Part adventure, part thriller, I was sucked into the vivid narrative voice.

The book was flawlessly written as far as the technical aspect goes; it flowed at a steady pace, it was easy to read and held just enough description to make the story come to life without feeling bogged down. The characters were full of depth, and even if I didn’t like all of them, they were at least interesting. I found the struggle of survival for the teens both disturbing and realistic. Combined with a few twists and turns to the plot here and there, and it proved to be a gripping story.

Honestly, I have nothing bad to say about this book. If you’re looking for a somewhat realistic story of survival and adventure, I’d definitely recommend you pick this up. I’m excited to pick up more from this author in the future!

Free Fiction Friday #82

Hello, ladies and gentlemen, and welcome to Free Fiction Friday #82! 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: Young Adult Fantasy & Science Fiction!

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Book Review: Something

review-cover-SomethingTitle: Something [Wisteria 1]

Author: Shelby Lamb

Genre: Paranormal, Fantasy, Horror, New Adult

Rating: 1 Star (DNF)

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Description/Synopsis:

They say be careful what you read. Something is wrong. Something is very wrong. It can happen to anyone. This is just four teenagers’ story.

Aubrey Golding hates her face, her body, and is devastated after Nathan Silva leaves her. Alone, suicidal, and desperate for love, she discovers a book called Something and unknowingly links others to a dark and terrifying curse that is beginning to consume her.

Nathan is glad to be moving on with someone new and can hardly believe what is happening now. Wild child and amateur porn star, Bella Broadhurst, loves bullying that “emo whore” Aubrey with the other girls, but mostly she loves partying, hookups, and plain ol’ drama when terror arises. And Kendra Coke is just a new teen mother working on a delicate relationship when things start becoming utterly bizarre.

Chilling sleep disturbances and figures hiding in the corners of their rooms are just warnings of what is to come. Be careful what you read, they say. Tread carefully…

WARNING – SPOILERS MAY ENSUE BEYOND THIS POINT – REVIEW BELOW

DNF. I wanted to like this book—the premise certainly sounded interesting, but unfortunately, the execution fell drastically short. I have to be honest: I didn’t like this book. At all.

The story started with a huge section describing the character down to her moles. She was a predictable emo-hipster complete with pastel pink hair and piercings, constantly listening to dated Evanescence songs while she whined about her absent boyfriend, friends, and well… just about everything. Frankly, I didn’t like her. She was depressing to listen to, and the way she was set up made it painfully obvious that she was just like every other dramatically written emo teen; painfully special in her sad, cliché way.

The narrative voice was filled with poetic description about things that weren’t relevant to the story, and after just 4% of the book—I was bored.

I know there are people out there that love this book–I have seen the 4 and 5-star reviews–and I applaud them for their dedication in reading through this entire book. Really, I do. It just wasn’t for me, and honestly, I can’t recommend it. I don’t think it was well written. I am incredibly disappointed.

Book Review: The Belgrave Legacy

review-cover-The Belgrave LegacyTitle: The Belgrave Legacy

Author: Zara Hoffman

Genre: Fantasy, Paranormal, Romance

Rating: 1 Star (DNF)

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Description/Synopsis:

Fawn doesn’t believe in magic. But it is very real, and has made her a vulnerable target.
Caleb is sick of Hell. When the Devil offers him a way out, he immediately says yes.
Can this young witch trust the dark angel assigned to romance and seduce her? Or will his betrayal tear them apart forever?

The Belgrave Legacy is an upper-young adult paranormal romance. Filled with magic, witches, angels, and demons, this story will keep you turning the pages until the very end. Buy the book now, and discover a world hiding in our own.

WARNING – SPOILERS MAY ENSUE BEYOND THIS POINT – REVIEW BELOW

I could not finish this book. I wanted to. In fact, I made it further into this book than I normally do when I DNF. Chapter 19. 67% into the story. Let me explain what happened.

This book started off slow. There were tedious bits of over explanation of things the main character probably should have already known before the start of the story. The author had a habit of introducing new things into the story by simply dropping them in rather than leading up to the reveals or intertwining bits of information slowly throughout the plot. This lead to several jarring moments where I had to sit back and readjust my world view of the book before continuing on.

The writing itself was for the most part, technically correct. There were a few missing words and weirdly structured sentences, but nothing I couldn’t have pushed past. It was simply the way that information was imparted to the reader and the dramatic way the characters acted within the narrative that made it painful to follow along at times. It lacked a sense of depth to the world building and storytelling.

As the story progressed, I worked my way past these speed bumps. I found that I quite liked the characters and the romance between the main couple (even though their romance sped along exceedingly fast). The story seemed to be leading up to a big moment, as stories do, and that moment came – and things were resolved. They beat the bad guy in a manner of speaking. The romance hit a rough patch – but was working towards being resolved… everything was shaping up for the end of the book–and I thought, “that wasn’t so bad.”… and then I looked at my progress in the book, and I was only halfway through.

It felt strange to hit a section of the book that seemed to be “the end”. It sure felt like The End… but then it didn’t happen. The story kept going, skipping large amounts of time. Events were happening with no lead-up, again just being dropped into the story. There was a training montage… and It got to where I was 67% in the book and sat back and wondered… when is this going to end? I was bored, and not a lot was happening. It felt like the book had completed and then there was this really long, really tedious epilog to go through.. that just happened to take up half the story. So, I put it down.

I didn’t hate the book. I don’t even think it was a bad book. The cover is gorgeous. The title was fitting and mysterious. The characters were likable… the plot was really interesting… but the execution fell flat–and that’s all there is to it. There are going to be a lot of people out there that enjoy this book more than I did… and that’s great. I just didn’t have the patience to sit through another 33% of the book when it already felt like the book had ended, and what I’d already read was only so-so on the execution.