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Posts Tagged: Romance

Wednesday, June 8, 2016

Review: Prince’s Gambit by C.S. Pacat

Posted by Irish in 4 Stars, Adult, Review0 Comments

Review: Prince’s Gambit by C.S. PacatPrince's Gambit by C.S. Pacat
Series: Captive Prince, Book 2
Also in this series: Captive Prince, Kings Rising
Published by Berkley Books on 07 July 2015
Genres: Abduction, Adult, Emotions & Feelings, Fantasy, Friends to Lovers, Friendship, GLBT, Love & Romance, People & Places, Politics & Intrigue, Road Trip, Romance, Self-Esteem & Self-Reliance, Social Issues, War & Military
Pages: 404
Format: eBook
Source: Library
Buy on Amazon|Buy on Audible|Buy on Barnes & Noble
Goodreads
four-stars
Also by this author: Captive Prince

Place(s) Traveled To: Chastillion, Vere // Fortain, Vere // Acquitart, Vere // Delpha, Akielos  // Ravenel, Vere // Marlas, Vere

First Line(s): The shadows were long with sunset when they rode up, and the horizon was red.

After finishing CAPTIVE PRINCE by C.S. Pacat (my review) I couldn’t get the story out of my head so had to get my hands on the second book in the series, PRINCE’S GAMBIT. PRINCE’S GAMBIT picks up right where CAPTIVE PRINCE ends and is filled with even more tension and political intrigue. It’s also in PRINCE’s GAMBIT where the romance between Laurent and Damen really starts to heat up. Though this series is still what I’d call a slow burn in the romance department. There are no grand declarations in this book but lots of forays into what is to come and of course drama and tension. But not crazy over the top drama or angst. Everything about PRINCE’S GAMBIT is real, raw and organic and I just couldn’t put this book down!! I loved the push and pull between Damen and Laurent as they worked together against the Regent and also worked toward forging a bond.

In CAPTIVE PRINCE, you learn that Laurent has essentially been on his own and had to keep his own council since the day that his father and older brother were killed. He doesn’t trust easily and there are still so many secrets between Laurent and Damen so you know that shit is about to get real before these two can find a happily ever after. As I mentioned about, the tension is off the hook in PRINCE’S GAMBIT and I just couldn’t stop turning the pages to see what would happen next. The political intrigue that is the baseline of the story really hits its stride as events that were started in CAPTIVE PRINCE start to unfold. Laurent, as usual, always seems to be several steps ahead of the rest and yet there are still some things that take him by surprise which makes for much edge of your seat reading.

Prince's Gambit Quote

I totally fell in love with this story and liked it even more than CAPTIVE PRINCE. I stayed up late to read it with my heart racing for much of the last half of the book. Not that this book has a ton of crazy action to it, because it doesn’t, but the political drama and of course the growing relationship between Laurent and Damen really sucks the reader in. Although, the super big fancy words that Pacat is so found of did distract a bit from the story. Using words like expostulation in place of protest just seemed so unnecessary and while I do hate when books are dumbed down there is such a thing as trying to hard to sound smart. I think that this series could have stood just as strong with words more commonly used than some of the word choices that Pacat makes.

Overall though, I loved PRINCE’S GAMBIT and found it even more compelling that CAPTIVE PRINCE. I was hooked from word one and am so glad that I decided to give this series a shot. Its such a heart achy read and has defied all of my expectations. Its so rare for a hyped up book to live up to the hype for me and this series is one of those few that make the cut. When I finished PRINCE’S GAMBIT I was DYING for KINGS RISING because I just couldn’t wait to see how the series ended. This is definitely one series where you’ll want to have access to all the books before starting because the cliff hangers between each are killer!!

 

irishdarkblue IR - Captive Prince

 

Add Captive Prince by C.S. Pacat to Goodreads. (Click here for my review.)

Add Froi of the Exiles by Melina Marchetta to Goodreads. (Click here for my review.)

Add The Thief by Megan Whalen Turner to Goodreads. (Click here for my review.)

Important Note: Even though I compare CAPTIVE PRINCE to YA titles this is not a YA book and contains mature themes. This Irish Recommends is more for the adults who read YA and my blog.

four-stars
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Friday, May 1, 2015

Review: Heart of Betrayal by Mary E. Pearson

Posted by Irish in 4 Stars, Review, Young Adult1 Comment

Review: Heart of Betrayal by Mary E. PearsonThe Heart of Betrayal by Mary E. Pearson
Series: The Remnant Chronicles, Book 2
Also in this series: The Kiss of Deception
Published by Henry Holt and Co. (BYR) on 07 July 2015
Genres: Abduction, Action & Adventure, Emotions & Feelings, Epic Fantasy, Espionage, Friendship, Romance, Royalty, Self-Esteem & Self-Reliance, Social Issues, Young Adult
Pages: 470
Format: ARC
Source: Publisher
Buy on Amazon|Buy on Audible|Buy on Barnes & Noble
Goodreads
four-stars
Also by this author: The Kiss of Deception

Place(s) Traveled To: Venda

First Line(s): One swift act. I had thought that was all it would take. A knife to the gut. A firm twist for good measure.

 

The Kiss of Deception by Mary E. Pearson (my review) wasn’t my most favorite book and it certainly didn’t live up to the hype of those that I know read it before me. I found it to be a little predictable and slow. Oh so very slow. But by the end of that story I did like it. So when I received a copy of Heart of Betrayal for review I picked it up eagerly since I head that it was better than the first and to try and beat any hype that might get built up around the story. Whenever possible I like to walk into a new story with little expectations so I can enjoy it (or not) based on its own merits. One thing that I do really enjoy with the second book in a series is that the world and characters are already established which means that more time can be spent on the plot and further fleshing out the other details. That was the case with Heart of Betrayal and it started off strong with lots of tension and mystery. Though Lia and her snobbery did still annoy. She doesn’t always make the best choices throughout Heart of Betrayal but overall I did like her better in this story than in Kiss of Deception.

Unlike with Kiss of Deception there isn’t much mystery in this book just some political intrigue and tension from not know what will happen to Lia and the Prince. Will they escape? Will they be killed at the whim of the Komisar? Which side will Kaden land on if there is a fight between Lia and his leader? I liked how Heart of Betrayal kept me on the edge of my seat for most of the book, eagerly flipping the pages to see how things would end. I liked the new details that were revealed and I just loved the barbarian lands of Venda which were so much more interesting than the wastelands where Lia and Kaden spent much of book 1. But Heart of Betrayal wasn’t all action packed and I did find that it dragged a bit in the middle. There events that were a bit slow to develop and I feel as though some parts could have been edited out to make things flow a little better.

Heart of Betrayal Quote

But the middle of Heart of Betrayal wasn’t as painful for me as the middle of Kiss of Deception and the rewards for making my way through it were far better in this book than with the first. Because that ending!! What a crazy action fueled thing that was! This one has a bit of a cliff hanger, much like the first book did, but many of the threads in this story were closed. Lives are still in balance and the fate of Lia’s world is unknown but the characters all end in a decent place and aren’t left dangling from a cliff by their fingernails. I liked the ending and know that if I can get my hands on a copy of the final book in the series that I will jump on it wanting to know how it all ends. Because I have my theories and I want to see if they will come true.

If you were on the fence when you finished Kiss of Deception then I encourage you to try Heart of Betrayal as I think that you’ll like it more. And fans of the first book will also be really pleased with how things go with this one. The stakes are higher and the tension is real. Even with its flaws this one was a fun read and I want to know what will happen next.

 

irishdarkblue

 IR - Kiss of Deception

Add Death Sworn by Leah Cypess to Goodreads! (Click here for my review)

Add Snow Like Ashes by Sara Raasch to Goodreads! (Click here for my review)

four-stars
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Monday, March 9, 2015

Review: The Orphan Queen by Jodi Meadows (+ Contest)

Posted by Irish in 5 Stars, Blog Tour, Contest, Review, Young Adult20 Comments

Review: The Orphan Queen by Jodi Meadows (+ Contest)

Review: The Orphan Queen by Jodi Meadows (+ Contest)The Orphan Queen by Jodi Meadows
Series: The Orphan Queen,
Also in this series: The Hidden Prince, The Glowing Knight, The Mirror King
Published by Katherine Tegen Books on 10 March 2015
Genres: Action & Adventure, Assassins, Death & Dying, Demons, Emotions & Feelings, Espionage, Fantasy, Friendship, Love & Romance, Mystery & Detective, Romance, Royalty, Self-Esteem & Self-Reliance, Social Issues, Young Adult
Pages: 400
Format: ARC
Source: Publisher
Buy on Amazon|Buy on Audible|Buy on Barnes & Noble
Goodreads
five-stars
Also by this author: The Hidden Prince, The Glowing Knight, The Mirror King

Place(s) Traveled To: Indigo Kingdom: Skyvale // Liadia

First Line(s): The mirrors were an expensive superstition.

Dear Internet,

First I want to tell you how excited I was to read The Orphan Queen by Jodi Meadows I really liked her New Soul series and this one sounded even better. I was sucked into The Orphan Queen from the very first page and was so glad that I started it on a weekend as I could devote all my time to its pages. THis is a world at war not just with other kingdoms, with the King of Skyvale looking to dominate those around him but its slowly being swallowed up by the dark. Demons and wraiths and darkness just eating up everything in its path and nothing seems to be able to stop it. Though one girl, Wilhemina is determined to try. She is on a mission to take back her kingdom and to also stop the dark once and for all. Not an easy task by any means but if anyone can do it, its Wil.

Wil is a total badass and is quite skilled with a knife and most other weapons. She’s smart and a gifted liar and a forger and does whatever it takes in order to survive for in this world she is a fugitive not just because she can do magic but because she’s one of few noble survivors from her kingdom. I loved everything about this girl. She’s scary and feisty and snarky all in one and she’s definitely someone you’d want to be on your side in a fight. My other favorite character was the Black Knife and I just loved all the scenes that he and Wil had together. Especially the Spider-man scene. Oh that scene!!!

Orphan Queen Quote

The Orphan Queen is a book that kept me on the edge of my seat and I group it in with some of my favorite fantasy reads. There is just so much to love about this book and this world and its characters and if the damn thing didn’t break off a piece of my soul then it would be darn near perfect. That’s right, Internet, this book will break you. It will wound you in ways that you wouldn’t think possible and leave you in a gooey mess on the floor. And then…just when you think things will be getting better Meadows draws out her sword and just slays you all over again even worse than before.

If I wasn’t such a broken wreck of a person then I probably would have sobbed uncontrollably at the end of The Orphan Queen. But instead I was shocked to the core and just sat for a bit in stunned silence staring at the last blank page in frustration as there were no more words. Then I may have hugged my book and contemplated tossing it across the room a few times only to stop at the last moment and hug it some more.

You know me internet. You know how hard I can be on fantasy so believe me when I tell you that Jodi Meadows hits all the right notes with The Orphan Queen. Its a solid piece of writing and world building and I just long for more. I am desperate for more and the wait until the The Mirror King is going to be a long and excruciating wait indeed. But even with the killer ending The Orphan Queen is so worth all the pain and heartache to read the words within its pages. I know this is a book that I’ll re-read often and its one that I can’t recommend enough to all lovers of fantasy.

 

irishdarkblue

IR - Orphan Queen

 

Add The Demon King by Cinda Williams Chima to Goodreads. (Click here for my review.)

Add Quintana of Charyn by Melina Marchetter to Goodreads. (Click here for my review.)

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Review/Fan Creations blog tour schedule

five-stars
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Thursday, February 12, 2015

Review: The Kiss of Deception by Mary E Pearson

Posted by Irish in 3 Stars, Review, Young Adult0 Comments

Review: The Kiss of Deception by Mary E PearsonThe Kiss of Deception by Mary E. Pearson
Series: The Remnant Chronicles,
Also in this series: The Heart of Betrayal
Published by Henry Holt and Co. (BYR) on 08 July 2014
Genres: Abduction, Action & Adventure, Emotions & Feelings, Epic Fantasy, Friends to Lovers, Friendship, Girls & Women, Love & Romance, Magic, Mythology, People & Places, Politics & Intrigue, Romance, Royalty, Self-Esteem & Self-Reliance, Social Issues, Young Adult
Pages: 492
Format: ARC
Source: Publisher
Buy on Amazon|Buy on Audible|Buy on Barnes & Noble|Buy on Book Depository
Goodreads
three-stars
Also by this author: The Heart of Betrayal

Place(s) Traveled To: Civica, Morrighan // Terravin, Morrighan // Gaudrel Tribe Camp, Cam Lanteux // Sanctum, Venda

First Line(s): Today was the day a thousand dreams would die and a single dream would be born.

Dear reader,

You may have heard a lot about Kiss of Deception by Mary E Pearson, I know this because since even before it was released mentions of it were all over my social media. There was much love for this book and I was curious but also wary. So very wary. You know me reader, you know that for whatever reason these popular over-hyped books tend to not connect with me as they do with most everyone else in the known universe. But I was curious, even with the knowledge that Kiss of Deception contained a love triangle, I was curious.

I started this one with hope of something amazing but quickly wondered why I was reading. I was bored and Lia was annoying and I kept wondering why I should care about her and her story. I sighed and rolled my eyes and figured out who was the prince and who was the assassin pretty quickly. Lia is judgmental and naive but thinks that she is oh so very clever. There were a few times when I wanted to toss this book aside and call it a DNF. But Twitter friends urged me on and told me to keep reading that it got better so I plodded on.

 

Kiss of Deception Quote

 

And reader, let me tell you true, those friends on Twitter were right because The Kiss of Deception did get better. There was more action in the second half than in the first, the characters all showed more life, and Lia went through some much needed growth. It took awhile but I grew to like these characters and care about their story. It made my heart ache at times and I was happy when certain choices were made. This isn’t to say that I fell in love with the book because I didn’t. Lia still made my head hurt and there were times when I seriously wanted to throttle her. But I could better understand the hype and appeal of this story.

By the end I wanted to know more. I am curious about the next book in the series, The Heart of Betrayal (Goodread) and where this story will go. Second books are always a tricksy thing though and it could be better or maybe not. But I am hopeful for this series and that is saying a lot coming from me. Because if you are a regular reader of Ticket to Anywhere than you know just how picky I can be with fantasy book, especially YA fantasy. So the fact that I want to read more of The Remnant Chronicles is a good thing and if you like fantasy then you might want to check this one out.

 

irishdarkblue

 

IR - Kiss of Deception

 

Add Death Sworn by Leah Cypess to Goodreads! (Click here for my review)

Add Snow Like Ashes by Sara Raasch to Goodreads! (Click here for my review)

three-stars
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Monday, January 12, 2015

Review: The Perilous Sea by Sherry Thomas

Posted by Irish in 4 Stars, Review, Young Adult0 Comments

Review: The Perilous Sea by Sherry ThomasThe Perilous Sea by Sherry Thomas
Series: Elemental Trilogy, Book 2
Also in this series: The Burning Sky, The Immortal Heights
Published by Balzer + Bray on 16 September 2014
Genres: Action & Adventure, Adolescence, Assassins, Emotions & Feelings, Epic Fantasy, Friends to Lovers, Friendship, Love & Romance, Magic, Mystery & Detective, Politics & Intrigue, Romance, Royalty, Self-Esteem & Self-Reliance, Social Issues, Survival Stories, Young Adult
Pages: 414
Format: ARC
Source: Publisher
Buy on Amazon|Buy on Audible|Buy on Barnes & Noble|Buy on Book Depository
Goodreads
four-stars
Also by this author: The Burning Sky, The Immortal Heights

Place(s) Traveled To: The Sahara Desert // Windsor, England (1883)

First Line(s): The girl came to with a start.

After finishing my listen of The Burning Sky by Sherry Thomas I knew that I had to immediately jump into the sequel, The Perilous Sea. As with the first book I initially started this one on audio but quickly found that it was taking too long and so I dug out my ARC and sat down to devour all the words! The Perilous Sea picks up a few months after The Burning Sky ends and it quickly jumps into the action. Its a fast paced, edge of your seat read with an ending that has you wanting to toss the book across the room because there is such a long wait to see what happens next. Unlike the first book this one is told in an then and now style alternating with the chapters. The now progresses with each chapter and the then tells the reader all that happened to lead up to the start of the story. This helped add to the suspense of the story though every time I entered a new chapter I was also frustrated as I didn’t want to leave where I was.

One thing that I really liked in this book was how we learned more about Prince Titus and Iolanthe’s friend Kashkari. I enjoyed his scenes in the first book and was always curious about him so loved learning more of his background. I hope that this trend also continues in the third and final book to come. A thing that I didn’t like was how The Perilous Sea became a bit Harry Potter like in that there was more than one potential person to be “the one” in the prophecy. This just added some unnecessary torture for Titus and Iolanthe as they began to question ALL THE THINGS just because one thing may or may not be true. In truth, my heart broke over and over for these two as they pushed each other away and I just wanted to reach into the story and shake them both until they came to their scenes!

The Perilous Sea Quote

 

I was so glad though that The Perilous Sea was more than just a filler book in a series, a transition story where not much happens as the author sets things up for the big grand finale of the final book in the series. While there isn’t a ton of information revealed in The Perilous Sea it was enough to wheat my appetite and make me yearn for the final book. For this waiting is sheer torture!   If you like a good fantasy and you are looking for something in the vein of Cinda Williams Chima and her Seven Realms series then you need to pick up this series. There is action and adventure, romance and intrigue and just so much heart achy goodness for ever readers tastes. This book makes me all bouncy with excitement and I just love every bit of it. There is also just so much that I want to say here but I can’t because The Perilous Sea is the second book in a series and I don’t want to risk giving out any spoilers. Just know that if you liked the first book than you are going to love this one as this is one of those series that just keeps getting better. Now can someone please hand me book 3 because I don’t know how much longer I can wait!!

My thoughts summed up in a gif:

Blew My Mind

 

irishdarkblue

 

Irish Recommends - Burning Sky
four-stars
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Sunday, December 28, 2014

Audio Review: The Burning Sky by Sherry Thomas

Posted by Irish in 4 Stars, Audiobook, Review, Young Adult0 Comments

Audio Review: The Burning Sky by Sherry ThomasThe Burning Sky by Sherry Thomas
Narrator: Philip Battley
Series: Elemental Trilogy,
Also in this series: The Perilous Sea, The Immortal Heights
Published by Harper Audio on 25 September 2013
Genres: Action & Adventure, Adolescence, Assassins, Death & Dying, Emotions & Feelings, Epic Fantasy, Espionage, Friends to Lovers, Friendship, Historical, Love & Romance, Magic, Mystery & Detective, People & Places, Politics & Intrigue, Romance, Royalty, Self-Esteem & Self-Reliance, Social Issues, Survival Stories, Witches & Wizards, Young Adult
Length: 11 hours and 40 minutes
Format: Audiobook
Source: Audible.com
Buy on Amazon|Buy on Audible|Buy on Barnes & Noble|Buy on Book Depository
Goodreads
four-stars
Also by this author: The Perilous Sea, The Immortal Heights

Place(s) Traveled To:

Domain: Little Grind-on-Woe // Delamer
England: London // Windsor // Slough // Kent (1883)

First Line(s): Just before the start of Summer Half, in April 1883, a very minor event took place at Eton College, that venerable and illustrious English public school for boys.

The Burning Sky by Sherry Thomas is one of those books that I’ve heard about since it was released but just never got around to reading. Then one day I had some Audible credits to burn and decided to give The Burning Sky a shot. At first the use of a male narrator, Philip Battley, kind of threw me since the story was mostly told from Iolanthe’s POV and she was most definitely not a male. But as the story progresses it makes sense and really works for the story, so much so, that I can’t imagine what this story would have been like with a different narrator. Battley just really captured these characters and this world and it was partly because of him that I feel so deeply in love with this book. The Burning Sky is a fast paced story that kicks off from the first page. The prologue is intriguing and then the opening scenes set in The Domain really set the pace for whats to come.

The Burning Sky is one of those books where I found myself looking for reasons to drive around just so that I could spend more time in this world. I loved the mystery and the magic and the parallel worlds aspect of the story. Then there is the friendship between Iolanthe and Prince Titus….oh how these two made my heart ache! Their is a slow burn kind of story and one that starts off a bit rocky. Its one that is realistic and so well done. They are great friends and they are both so perfect for each other and yet there is also so much standing in the way that they might not ever be. Have I mentioned that they make my heart ache? Because oh the feels that they made me feel. And not just them but all of the other characters as well. I loved the supporting cast and just want to know more about each and every one of them. This is one of those rare times in which I wish there were novellas to help expand and flesh out the story even more.

Burning Sky Quote

For me, The Burning Sky, was a pleasant surprise of a book and I am kicking myself for not reading it sooner. The audio was fantastic and if you like audiobooks then I highly recommend this one. Its almost 12 hours long and I managed to listen to it in just 4 days. This is one of my favorite fantasy reads of the year and I was so glad that the sequel, The Perilous Sea, was already out by the time I finished this one so that I could dive right into it. The Burning Sky is such a richly imagined world and I just loved the premise and its execution. There were a couple of things that happened that seemed a little too convenient and a few other quibbles that I had but they were mostly minor and didn’t take away my enjoyment of the series. If you haven’t read this one yet then you are really missing out and should head to your nearest bookstore or library and grab yourself a copy today.

irishdarkblue

Irish Recommends - Burning Sky

four-stars
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Saturday, December 20, 2014

Review: Snow Like Ashes by Sara Raasch

Posted by Irish in 4 Stars, Review, Young Adult0 Comments

Review: Snow Like Ashes by Sara RaaschSnow Like Ashes by Sara Raasch
Series: Snow Like Ashes,
Published by Balzer + Bray on 14 October 2014
Genres: Abduction, Action & Adventure, Death & Dying, Emotions & Feelings, Epic Fantasy, Espionage, Friendship, Girls & Women, Love & Romance, Magic, Politics & Intrigue, Romance, Royalty, Self-Esteem & Self-Reliance, Social Issues, Survival Stories, Suspense, Young Adult
Pages: 422
Format: ARC
Source: Publisher
Buy on Amazon|Buy on Audible|Buy on Barnes & Noble|Buy on Book Depository
Goodreads

Place(s) Traveled To: Putnam, Yakim // Rania Plains // Abil, Spring // Jannuari, Winter (World name: Primoria)

First Line(s): “Block!”

 

Snow Like Ashes by Sara Raasch is one of those books that drew my eye the moment I unpacked that months box of ARCs from Harper Teen. It had such a pretty cover and I immediately placed it on my TBR pile but it took me awhile to get to as there was just something in the synopsis that held me back. I’ve been so wary of YA fantasy novels as they often leave me wanting and I don’t fall as head over heels in love with them as my other blogging friends have. But after reading The Burning Sky by Sherry Thomas I wanted a readalike and a few bloggers kept mentioned Snow Like Ashes so when it came time to pick out plane books for my flight to Paris it made the cut. I started Snow Like Ashes on my flight home and while it started off a little slow I quickly became glad that I was trapped in a tin can for hours as I became engrossed in the story.

There plot points of the story that were pretty easy to figure out but that in no way took away from my enjoyment of the story. The set up of this world was unique with the magic split between the seasons and the rhythms. The seasons, and their corresponding countries, are set and never change, which is something that I know would please some of my friends who wish it was summer all year round. I liked the rules of the world and am curious to learn more about it as the series progresses. I also liked how Snow Like Ashes reads almost like a stand alone book. There was a mystery and a goal and things were achieved and wrapped up by the end of the book. But there are threads still open that will carry the series forward into the next two books in the trilogy. Or at least I hope it does.

 

Snow Like Ashes Quote

 

Snow Like Ashes is a book that has a little bit of everything, there is action and mystery and intrigue and romance. There is a little bit of a love triangle and while I am normally super anti-love triangles I didn’t mind this one as it wasn’t overpowering. Meira didn’t moon over one boy more than the other or even do much mooning in general. Meira is your average 16 year old girl, well, as average as you can been when you live in exile in a fictional world. She does love both boys but I think that she loves them in different ways and one is a more romantic love than the other.

I think that those who like fantasy will enjoy Snow Like Ashes and I think that this one will also appeal to those who are new to fantasy and looking to explore the genre. Its a fun story and one that I was glad to have read. I liked how there was an ending as so many books have the crazy cliff hanger but even without that I am still looking forward to the next book, Ice Like Fire, which is expected to be released in 2015. And praise be that its almost 2015 as the wait for book 2 isn’t that long…or at least that’s what I keep telling myself.

 

irishdarkblue

Irish Recommends - Snow Like Ashes
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Saturday, August 23, 2014

Review: Crown of Midnight by Sarah J Maas

Posted by Irish in 3 Stars, Review, Young Adult0 Comments

Review: Crown of Midnight by Sarah J MaasCrown of Midnight by Sarah J Maas
Series: Throne of Glass, Book 2
Also in this series: The Assassin's Blade, Throne of Glass, Heir of Fire
Published by Bloomsbury on 27 August 2013
Genres: Abduction, Action & Adventure, Assassins, Dating & Sex, Death & Dying, Epic Fantasy, Espionage, Friends to Lovers, Friendship, Love & Romance, Romance, Self-Esteem & Self-Reliance, Social Issues, Young Adult
Pages: 420
Format: eARC
Source: Netgalley
Buy on Amazon|Buy on Audible|Buy on Barnes & Noble|Buy on Book Depository
Goodreads
three-stars
Also by this author: The Assassin's Blade, Throne of Glass, A Court of Thorns and Roses, Heir of Fire

Place(s) Traveled To: Bellhaven, Fenharrow // Rifthold, Adarlan (World: Erilea)

First Line(s): The shutters swinging in the storm winds were the only sign of her entry.

After the disappoint that I felt after my read of Throne of Glass some of you might be wondering why I picked up Crown of Midnight which is the second book in Sarah J. Maas’s series and the truth is I don’t rightly know why. Several people I know said that Crown of Midnight was better and that the action really takes off and so since I had a copy I thought why not. Plus, there is a part of me that is a total glutten for punishment and there are times with a book or series I just can’t stay away, no matter how painful it is to read them. And while I did like Crown of Midnight better than Throne of Glass  this book still annoyed the ever loving crap out of me. If I could smack a character inside it, it would be Celaena as she still doesn’t fill that role she is meant to, that of the badass assassin. Though, at least in this one she doesn’t spend the entire book going on and on about parties, clothes and boys. So praise be for small favors.

The love triangle started in Throne of Glass is also mostly resolved and you can be sure that I breathed a sigh of relief there as this one had the makings of going on for the entire series. Of the two choices, Prince Dorian and Choal I do think that Celaena made the right choice for her and found a good compliment to herself. Even if she allowed misscommunications and misunderstandings to come between them. Most of these characters are supposed to be strong and powerful and yet they never come across as such. In fact, Celaena’s judgmental friend Nehemia often says something similar to Celaena during their few interactions. Though Nehemia’s words might have had more effect on Celaena if they weren’t laced with scorn and attitude. There were several times when I wondered why these two were friends since Nehemia only seemed to judge Celaena and find her wanting.

The plot of Crown of Midnight was a bit more true to the synopsis than the one of Throne of Glass but it was just so easy to figure everything out. There was much sighing on my part as the characters overlooked bright shiny clues over and over and then were all shocked at the big reveal. Really characters? Really?? I thought you were supposed to be smart. This made for a really predictable read and my only real consolation was that it was a quick one. It saddens me that this isn’t a series that I’ve been able to get into as I do love the fantasy genre but this one is filled with ever high school cliche and it lacks any real world building. Celaena is supposed to be a skilled assassin and yet she barely uses these supposed skills and doesn’t come across as strong at all. She’s weak and annoying and I just want to shake her half the time. About the only character that I liked in this one was Choal and even he made choices that I wanted to shake him for.

I do have an egalley of Heir of Fire and I am debating on if I should read it or not. Based on my feelings for Throne of Glass and Crown of Midnight my head is telling me to avoid it like the plague. And yet, a small part of me can’t help but wondering what new crazy, toss the book across the room things Celaena and company might bring to the table. See…told you I was a glutten for punishment. As of now, plans to torture myself are on hold but who know what my fingers will dance to the next time I’m flipping through my ereader looking for something new to read. After all, WTF-ery reads might annoy but there is also something addicting about them.

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irishdarkblue.

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Crown of Midnight Quote

three-stars
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Monday, November 11, 2013

Review: Play Me by Diane Alberts

Posted by Irish in 2 Stars, Adult, Review0 Comments

This book may be unsuitable for people under 17 years of age due to its use of sexual content, drug and alcohol use, and/or violence.
Review: Play Me by Diane AlbertsPlay Me by Diane Alberts, Jen McLaughlin
Series: Take a Chance,
Published by Entangled Ever After on 29 Jul 2013
Genres: Adult, Contemporary Romance
Pages: 120
Format: eBook
Source: Purchased
Goodreads
two-stars
Also by this author: Out of Line

Place(s) traveled to: Las Vegas, Nevada

First Line: Garrett Kelly might have been a laid-back middle school math teacher by day, buy at night he was a basketball coach who yelled and cussed and fought for his team.

PLAY ME  by Diane Alberts is a book that I thought I would like based on the synopsis and the excerpt I read and and posted here on Ticket to Anywhere earlier this year. Its a friends to lovers story which are often fun and quirky and that was the sort of book I was hoping for. Instead, I got a heroine I couldn’t connect with paired with a hero that I have no idea why he was interested in the heroine. Kiersten spent much of the book with a huge chip on her shoulder and was often bitchy for the sake of being bitchy. Yes, she’d been left at the alter but seriously after “meeting” this character I don’t really blame the guy.

Garrett on the other hand was always sweet and wonderful and wanted to do the right thing when they spend a night together and Kiersten ends up pregnant. (Oy the trope!) But Kiersten makes it impossible for him to do anything. She doesn’t want anyone to know they are together and yet if he introduced her as a roommate she’d fly off the handle and be all upset. No matter what Garrett did, even when it was what Kiersten said she wanted, it was the wrong thing in her eyes. She spent the entire book yelling and being mad at him that I almost didn’t finish it. Fortunately, this was a short book and while it felt longer than it was due to all the drama it was a quick read.

In PLAY ME, the only really worthwhile characters with Garrett and his BFF Mike, who also happened to be Kiersten’s brother. In all honesty I thought that Garrett and Mike had more chemistry than he and Kiersten. The writing style of this one was also just so-so with some bad dialogue and scene transitions. I was not a fan of this story and really can’t recommend it to anyone. And just based on this one book I am unsure on if I want to read anything else by Diane Alberts either although I am interested in learning more of Mike so I may check out his story at some point. But its not something I’m going to be rushing out for.

People who liked this book better than I did:

Blogcritics: “Play Me was a very good read. Alberts is excellent at the whole friends-to-lovers thing as well as being a very skilled writer. I liked the characters, found them interesting and believable, and loved the complications and secondary characters.”

Fictional Candy: “I really fell for this story the whole way through. The writing was terrific and grabbed me right from the start. The storyline was smooth and quick moving. Everything was perfect.”

Take a Chance Series Order

Book 1: Try Me
Book 2: Love Me
Book 3: Play Me
Book 4: Take Me

irishdarkblue

two-stars
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Tuesday, October 29, 2013

Blog Tour Review: A Risk Worth Taking Tour by Heather Hildenbrand

Posted by Irish in 3 Stars, Blog Tour, Contest, New Adult, Review1 Comment

Blog Tour Review: A Risk Worth Taking Tour by Heather HildenbrandA Risk Worth Taking by Heather Hildenbrand
Published by Publisher: Accendo Press on 22 October 2013
Genres: Contemporary Romance, New Adult
Pages: 265
Format: eARC
Source: Inkslinger PR
Goodreads
three-stars

 

Place(s) traveled to: Grayson County, Virginia

First Line(s): I looked around my bedroom at the growing pile of cardboard boxes and sighed.

When I first read the synopsis of  A Risk Worth Taking by Heather Hildenbrand I thought it was right up my alley. It was a contemporary new adult and seemed to include all the things that I have been craving in stories of late. Sadly though, A Risk Worth Taking, didn’t live up to my expectations and I had a hard time getting into the story.

A Risk Worth Taking is a short book but it felt long, and not in a good way. It just seemed like it took forever for something to happen and then what did happen was just sort of meh. I found Summer to be this moody emo sort of character who was way over emotional over her parents divorce and acted more like she was 12 and not 22. I liked Ford better but around Summer he was this deep and philosophical person and I much preferred him when he was hanging around Casey. Both Ford and Summer seemed more natural and human when Casey was in the mix and those were the scenes that I liked best.

A Risk Worth Taking wasn’t a bad story but I just wish that there had been more depth to it. More emotion to tug at the heart strings. Summer is all “I hate my mother” and then an event happens and she’s “Oh mom I love you so much!” The transition just didn’t seem real to me. Nor did the timeline of the story. I haven’t sat down and plotted it out but it just seemed more time passed then was actually quoted. It just felt off.

As I said above, Casey was my favorite part of the story. He was fun and just brought life to the page. He energized the story for me and without him in it this one may have ended up on the DNF pile. If Heather Hildenbrand ever writes a book that centers around Casey I am totally going to read it.

Other than that, there isn’t much that I can say for A Risk Worth Taking. For me it was a slow story with an annoying heroine. But I feel that there is an audience for this book, after all Goodreads, is filled with glowing reviews. If you are looking to give new adult a shot then maybe this one is for you, its short, doesn’t have a ton of sex scenes (and what is there aren’t adult romance descriptive), and there are good bones to the plot.

GIVEAWAY:
Heather is giving away a gift basket with a hair flower, nail polish, bracelet, and a $20 Amazon Gift Card!

a Rafflecopter giveaway

BLOG TOUR PARTICIPANTS

–Wednesday, October 23rd
sofia loves books -Review Stop
Living in a Bookworld -Excerpt
Reading Rainblog -Review Stop

–Thursday, October 24th
The Phantom Paragrapher -Review Stop
Anonymous Interests -Review Stop
Contagious Reads -Review Stop

–Friday, October 25th
A Bookworm Confessions -Review Stop
Keep Calm & Read Romance -Top 10 & Review

–Saturday, October 26th
aliennation -Review Stop
Book Crazy -Review Stop

–Sunday, October 27th
Reads and Thoughts -Excerpt

–Monday, October 28th
Books Like Breathing -Review Stop
Reader Girls -Playlist
Owl Always Be Reading -Excerpt

–Tuesday, October 29th
Book Wookie -Excerpt
Ticket to Anywhere -Review Stop
The Geekery Book Review -Author Interview

-Wednesday, October 30th
Ramblings From This Chick -Guest Post
Shawna’s Survey -Excerpt
FTLOBbyJBlog -Review Stop

–Thursday, October 31st
Bibliophile Mystery -Excerpt
Stuck In YA Books -Excerpt
Magnet4books -Top 10 List

–Friday, November 1st
Paige -Excerpt
Fictional Candy -Top 10 List
Lis les Livres -Excerpt

–Saturday, November 2nd
A Life Bound By Books -Character Post & Review
read that Review Stop
BOOKS,COFFEE AND WINE -Review Stop

–Sunday, November 3rd
Rumpled Sheets Blog -Review Stop

–Monday, November 4th
TSK TSK What to Read -Excerpt
The Whispering Pages Book Blog -Review Stop

–Tuesday, November 5th
My Daily Romance -Author Interview
Jess Time To Read -Playlist
happy tails and tales -Guest Post

–Wednesday, November 6th
Paulette’s Papers -Guest Post
Madison Says -Review Stop

–Thursday, November 7th
The Book Cafe  -Review Stop
Cocktails and Books -Excerpt
Deal Sharing Aunt -Top 10 List

–Friday, November 8th
The Autumn Review -Review Stop
SassyCat’s Books Review -Guest Post
Stories and Swag -Review Stop

–Saturday, November 9th
Booked On Romance -Review Stop
Books Over Boys -Top 10 List
Hardcover Therapy -Review Stop

–Sunday, November 10th
I Read Indie -Author Interview
Above Average Below Special -Review Stop

–Monday, November 11th
Starbucks & Books Obsession -Review Stop
Booklovers LaceyCat -Review Stop
Wolfel’s World of Books -Top 10 List
Charlotte’s Tangled Web of Books -Review Stop

–Tuesday, November 12th
Pete de violet -Review Stop
Lovin’ Los Libros -Review Stop
Crim Reviews -Excerpt

–Wednesday, November 13th
Globug and Hootie Need a Book -Review Stop
Reading Bliss -Review Stop
Winding Stairs Book Blog -Review Stop
NightlyReading -Excerpt

–Thursday, November 14th
Paperbook Princess -Review Stop
The Reading Cow -Review Stop
Always YA at Heart -Review Stop
Bound By Books Book Review -Excerpt

–Friday, November 15th
Book Addict Mumma -Review Stop
Everything But the Books -Dream Cast
Hackaroo’s Reviews -Excerpt

three-stars
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