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Posts Tagged: Titles: P – R

Wednesday, September 7, 2016

Review: Rookie Move by Sarina Bowen

Posted by Irish in 3 Stars, Adult, Review0 Comments

Review: Rookie Move by Sarina BowenRookie Move (Brooklyn Bruisers, #1) by Sarina Bowen
Series: ,
Published by Berkley on September 6th 2016
Genres: Adult, Contemporary Romance, Dating & Sex, Love & Romance, Self-Esteem & Self-Reliance, Social Issues, Sports & Athletics
Pages: 336
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 Year We Fell Down, The Year We Hid Away, The Understatement of the Year, Blonde Date, The Shameless Hour, Him, The Fifteenth Minute, Coming in from the Cold, Us, Bittersweet, Steadfast

Place(s) Traveled To: Brooklyn, New York // Denver, Colorado // Phoenix, Arizona // Dallas, Texas

First Line(s): Cobblestone streets did not pair well with high heels.

Long time readers will know that I am a big fan of Sarina Bowen’s books and I’ve really enjoyed her Ivy Years series. With ROOKIE MOVE, not only does Bowen make the leap from self-published to traditional publishing but she also starts her very first spin off series. We first meet Leo Trevi as a secondary character in the Ivy Years books but don’t learn a ton about him until THE FIFTEENTH MINUTE (my review) when his brother’s story is told. That first sneak peak was enough to have me eager for ROOKIE MOVE which is an adult read set in the same universe as the Ivy Years books only the characters aren’t in college any more. In ROOKIE MOVE, Leo is getting ready to start his first year on a professional NFL team and he’s both excited and nervous as this is everything that he’s ever wanted. Well, except for maybe his high school love, Georgia, who just happens to be the teams PR representative. To make things even more complex, Georgia’s dad is also the new Brooklyn Bruisers coach.

To say that ROOKIE MOVE has a lot going on is an understatement and I think that there are some plot points that could have been avoided. Especially the one where Georgia’s dad was just a complete and utter fuck-tard. Seriously, there was no reason for his attitude towards Leo and he acted more like a 3 year old in the midst of a tantrum than an adult professional. I don’t know why the team’s owner put up with it nor do I understand why Leo never took things up with HR because the man was out of control. That whole story line took away from my enjoyment of this book because there was no basis for it nor was it resolved well. It was just sort there and it didn’t fit in with the story as a whole. Drama for the sake of drama and really took me out of the story.

Rookie Move Quote

The other part of ROOKIE MOVE that was a disappointment was Leo and Georgia’s relationship. It just seemed too easy and there was no angst or drama to it. The only real drama in this book came from Georgia’s dad and so the love story seemed to be a bit forgotten about. Leo and Georgia were apart throughout their college years and then they just seemed to reconnect so quickly without ever fully dealing with their issues. I also didn’t feel any real chemistry between the two and thought that Leo had better chemistry (non-romantic)/storylines with some of his teammates than he did with the love of his life.

I wanted to love ROOKIE MOVE but, for me, this one just fell short of my expectations. I am looking forward to reading more books in this series and am glad that I read the story but it was just an okay read for me, not a great one. I just needed something more in ROOKIE MOVE that never fully materialized and I hope that other books in the series will read better for me as the characters and plots will be more new. As much as I wanted to see Leo and Georgia’s reunion I am now thinking that their story may have been better told as a secondary storyline in another book.

irishdarkblue

IR - Rookie Move

Add Any Man of Mine by Rachel Gibson to Goodreads.

Add Fair Play by Deirdre Martin to Goodreads.

three-stars
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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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Thursday, June 2, 2016

Audio Review: The Remedy by Suzanne Young

Posted by Irish in 5 Stars, Audiobook, Review, Young Adult1 Comment

Audio Review: The Remedy by Suzanne YoungThe Remedy by Suzanne Young
Narrator: Rebekkah Ross
Series: The Program,
Also in this series: The Program, The Treatment, The Epidemic
Published by Simon & Schuster Audio on 21 April 2015
Genres: Contemporary Romance, Death & Dying, Dystopian, Emotions & Feelings, Family, Friendship, Love & Romance, Sci-Fi, Self-Esteem & Self-Reliance, Social Issues, Young Adult
Length: 9 hrs and 45 mins
Format: Audiobook
Source: Audible.com
Buy on Amazon|Buy on Audible|Buy on Barnes & Noble|Buy on Book Depository
Goodreads
five-stars
Also by this author: The Program, The Treatment, The Epidemic

Place(s) Traveled To: Corvallis, Oregon // Eugene, Oregon // Portland, Oregon // Lake Oswego, Oregon

First Line(s): It’s time to say good-bye.

When it came to Suzanne Young’s book THE PROGRAM (my review) I fell hard and I was sad when the series was over as I just loved this world that she created. When I heard that Young was writing a prequel duology I was both excited and scared and sad. I was excited because I wanted more of this world and I was scared because I wasn’t sure if THE REMEDY would live up to its predecessor and I was sad because our old friends wouldn’t be in this one. I should not have worried though as Young totally knocked things out of the park with this creepy origin story to how The Program came to be. THE REMEDY is told from the POV of Quinlan McKey who is a Closer. That is she is a girl that pretends to be girls who died in order to help grieving families move on.

Quin’s life is never fully her own due to the work that she does and its something that her father has had her do for the past 11 years. Which is far far longer than the recommended time to be a closer. In THE REMEDY she’s sent out on a long term assignment not long after coming off a job and as a result she begins to lose herself a little. Quin has never lived a normal life but in this role she gets to experiment with what may have been if her life was different and she likes it. Quin also begins to uncover some shocking facts and learns that all may not be what it seems with the company that she works for and with the world in general. There seems to be an epidemic starting and if she isn’t careful she might get sucked in.

The Remedy Quote

I didn’t think that I would like a character more than Sloane from THE PROGRAM but Quin totally wins the reader over with her actions. She’s smart and vulnerable and as a reader you just want her to find peace and happiness. You want to shake her father for making her do this work and you want to slap Deacon for some of the things that he does. I was totally invested in THE REMEDY and found myself coming up with reasons to drive around town just to listen to more of this story. Its twisty and turny and there are just some things you can’t see coming until after they’ve happened. Rebekkah Ross is a fantastic narrator and her voice just totally sucks you into this story and won’t let you go. Ross *is* Quin and you can’t ask for any more than that when it comes to a books narrator.

THE REMEDY was a total emotional roller-coaster ride for me and just when I thought I had things all figured out Young would toss in some new fact or detail to totally surprise me. THE REMEDY left me in awe an amazement and I just don’t understand when everyone isn’t totally buzzing about this story. Its realistic and stunningly written and I love trying to find all the connections between THE REMEDY and THE PROGRAM. Its a book that can be read independently of the other series but I think it just becomes all the richer for reading in the order that it was written in. THE REMEDY is one of the best books that I’ve read so far this year and I can not wait to see where Young goes with this series next.

 

irishdarkblue

IR - The Remedy

Add Altered by Jennifer Rush to Goodreads (Click here for my review.)

Add The 5th Wave by Rick Yancey to Goodreads. (Click here for my review.)

five-stars
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Friday, May 20, 2016

Review: The Revolution of Ivy by Amy Engel

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

Review: The Revolution of Ivy by Amy EngelThe Revolution of Ivy by Amy Engel
Series: The Book of Ivy, Book 2
Also in this series: The Book of Ivy
Published by Entangled Teen on 03 Nov 2015
Genres: Action & Adventure, Dystopian, Emotions & Feelings, Family, Friendship, Futuristic Romance, Health & Daily Living, Love & Romance, Self-Esteem & Self-Reliance, Social Issues, Young Adult
Pages: 290
Format: ARC
Source: Amazon Vine
Buy on Amazon|Buy on Audible|Buy on Barnes & Noble|Buy on Book Depository
Goodreads
three-stars
Also by this author: The Book of Ivy

Place(s) Traveled To: Unknown, America // Westfall, Unknown

First Line(s): No one survives beyond the fence.

THE REVOLUTION OF IVY is the final book in Amy Engel’s Book of Ivy duology. It picks up right where THE BOOK OF IVY (my review) leaves off and jumps right into the story. I really enjoyed THE BOOK OF IVY and its sequel continues in the same addictive voice although I did find Ivy a bit more annoying in this book than the first. It just seemed that in THE REVOLUTION OF IVY that she was much more whiny and less sure of herself. Granted when you are thrust out into an unknown world with little means to survive I can understand her hesitations, to a point. What I didn’t get were her interactions with Mark, a known killer, and how she continually let him berate her and convince her that her crimes were just as bad as his and so she must keep his secrets. When all Ivy’s crime really was, was to be born a Westfall and how she married a Lattimer.

THE REVOLUTION OF IVY, like its predecessor, is a quick brain candy sort of read. Its engrossing even though it remains a bit short on details when it comes to the building of the world. Most of the characters remain two dimensional and are forgotten almost as soon as they leave the page but there are a few that do stand out. Most notably is Bishop, who I liked more and more with each interaction with him. Bishop is a good balance for Ivy as she tends to be all over the map in this book while he remains a strong and steady force. Bishop is the sort of book boyfriend that you really want to know. After all, how many people do you know would leave the protected walls of their village just to find you?

Revolution of Ivy Quote

 

The middle of THE REVOLUTION OF IVY was a bit slow at times as not much happened. There was lots of waiting about as Ivy tried to figure out who she was in this new world and just how Bishop fit into it all. Then there were all the things that she left behind and the role she played in events that were still in motion. This resulted in a crazy rushed ending that left me a little unsatisfied as it just lacked something. I think it just all comes back to the fact that while Engel writes pretty prose she tends to put much weight and meaning into the words. This makes the book sound bad, which is wasn’t, its just more of a surface sort of read than anything too deep.

I enjoyed THE REVOLUTION OF IVY and thought that it was a fitting end to the duology as any more books would have just dragged things out unnecessarily. For all of Ivy’s annoyances she is a character that I will miss along with Bishop and some of the new characters that we meet in this book. I like Engel’s writing style and know that I will be reading more of her in the future. While I can’t recommend this duology to hard core dystopian fans I think those that are interested in stepping foot into this genre will like it. I also think that this series would make good beach/vacation reads as they don’t take a whole lot of thought to read. Its a fun series not an amazing one.

irishdarkblue IR - Book of Ivy

 

Add Matched by Ally Condie to Goodreads. (Click here for my review.)

Add The Forest of Hands and Teeth by Carrie Ryan to Goodreads. (Click here for my review.)

three-stars
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Monday, May 9, 2016

Review: Pairing Off by Elizabeth Harmon

Posted by Irish in 3 Stars, Adult, Review0 Comments

Review: Pairing Off by Elizabeth HarmonPairing Off by Elizabeth Harmon
Series: Red Hot Russians,
Published by Carina Press on 02 February 2015
Genres: Adult, Contemporary Romance, Dating & Sex, Emotions & Feelings, Family, Love & Romance, People & Places, Self-Esteem & Self-Reliance, Social Issues, Sports & Athletics
Pages: 250
Format: eBook
Source: Library
Buy on Amazon|Buy on Barnes & Noble
Goodreads
three-stars

Place(s) Traveled To: Amsterdam, Netherlands // Halifax, Nova Scotia, Canada // Moscow, Russia // Lake Shosha, Russia // Lake Placid, New York // Saint Petersburg, Russia // Sweetspire, Georgia

First Line(s): They spilled out of the Mellow Yellow, loud and laughing.

I always enjoy a good sports themed romance and so was excited to stumble on PAIRING OFF by Elizabeth Harmon as it involves pairs figure skating. Growing up I’d watch figure skating competitions all the time and so was eager to get a wee glimpse into this world. Add that to the Russian setting and I thought that this was a book that I’d really love. In the end though, PAIRING OFF was just a so-so read for me and it failed to live up to my expectations. I liked the main characters, Anton and Carrie, well enough but there wasn’t a ton of spark between them. Not to mention that for a good 60% of the story Anton had a girlfriend!! Then the last 40% is them faking a relationship until its no long fake and just no no no!

Of the two leads, I liked Anton better than Carrie though he stayed in his relationship far longer than her should have since he was attracted to Carrie and didn’t seem to care for his GF all that much. Carrie on the other hand was a bit spineless and often annoying. She never defended herself when the scandal happened and just seemed to let people walk all over her. Granted when you learn of her terrible parents you can kind of understand why and she does go through some character growth just not enough.

Pairing Off Quote

I also think that these too spent too much time thinking about an event that happened seven years previously and not enough time actually talking about the now. And as I mentioned above there wasn’t a ton of chemistry between them. There wasn’t anything about their story that had me longing for them to get together. In fact, I spent much of book yelling at Carrie to grow a backbone and for Anton to break up with his toxic girlfriend. I think I only managed to finish this one because it was so short a read and I did like the ice skating part of it.

Overall though, PAIRING OFF was just a meh read for me and I am not sure if I’ll read the others in the series. Especially since the premise of book 2 seems like its the heros job to break the heroine and her fiance up…on reality tv. Um….no thank you! So while this series may not be for me I did like Harmon’s writing and do think that I’ll keep an eye on her to see what she write next. I just hope she moves away from these cheating story lines and just sticks with two characters falling in love and not have anyone potentially get hurt in the process.

 

irishdarkblue

IR - Pairing Off

 

Add Playing It Close by Kat Latham to Goodreads. (Click here for my review)

Add Saving Maverick by Debra Elisa to Goodreads. (Review coming soon)

three-stars
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Monday, April 4, 2016

Review: Revived by Samantha Towle

Posted by Irish in 4 Stars, Adult, Review0 Comments

Review: Revived by Samantha TowleRevived by Samantha Towle
Series: Revved, Book 2
Also in this series: Revved
Published by Self-Published on 12 July 2015
Genres: Adult, Contemporary Romance, Dating & Sex, Emotions & Feelings, Family, Friendship, Illnesses & Injuries, Love & Romance, People & Places, People of Color, Self-Esteem & Self-Reliance, Social Issues, Sports & Athletics
Pages: 312
Format: Paperback
Source: Gift
Buy on Amazon|Buy on Audible|Buy on Barnes & Noble
Goodreads
four-stars
Also by this author: Revved

Place(s) Traveled To: Manchester, England // Sao Paulo, Brazil // London, England // Banbury, England // Northampton, England // Budapest, Hungary // Stavelot, Belgium // Monza, Italy // Yas Island, Abu Dhabi

First Line: Two pink lines.

REVIVED by Samantha Towle is the companion book to REVVED (my review) and stars a character that we briefly meet in that book, playboy racer Leandro Silva. Leandro is a rival of Carrick in REVVED but after an incident that happens at the end of that book the two end up becoming really close friends which means several cameos. Leandro’s lady love is a woman named India who is a therapist, a single mum of a teenager and a brother whom I adored. I’m usually not a fan of kids in books but I did like India’s son and how he interacted with all the characters, especially Leandro. Leandro meets India because she is his therapist (*scandalous*) as he deals with some residual PTSD. There is an instant attraction between them but they keep things professional as any sort of relationship is verboten.

I liked how in REVIVED, India and Leandro built up a solid friendship during their therapy sessions and how once they both realized that their feelings were too strong to ignore they broke off the professional portion of it. Giving the formulaic breakup in a romance a whole new twist. They also didn’t become an item right away and spent several months apart as India was afraid that he liked her because she helped heal him and he was respecting her wishes. (Oh sweet, adorable Leandro how I loved you!) Leandro is by far a favorite character of mine even if I didn’t find REVIVED as addicting to read as REVVED. And I think that was because of India and some of the things that happened because of her job. For while a relationship between them is not allowed when they are therapist/patient if that relationship is severed and enough time has passed then they can embark on a romantic path without risk of India losing her licence. At least, here in the US, as I did ask a therapist friend of mine.

Revived Quote

Even though there were things in REVIVED that bugged me, overall, I did like this story. I loved Leandro’s and India’s relationship and thought they had some pretty solid chemistry. I loved how Leandro reacted with pretty much everyone and I just adored this bad boy that was a bit meh on in REVVED. I liked who he became around India and I liked who she became around him. I enjoyed how he interacted with her son and acted as a father figure for in addition to his Uncle Kit. REVIVED was a fast read and I was sad when it was over. I liked this world that Towle created and have missed it since I finished this story.

If you like sexy, redeemable bad boys and the smart sassy women who love them then I think that you’ll like REVIVED. This book can be read separately form REVVED but I think knowing REVVED and Carrick only adds to this book. While REVIVED isn’t a perfect book its makes for a great beach/escapist read. I enjoyed this world and the characters and hope that Towle will write other books with some of the secondary characters. I’d love to see Kit get a happily ever after along with some of the others. Definitely worth picking up.

irishdarkblue

IR - Revived

 

Add Flat Out Sexy by Erin McCarthy to Goodreads.

Add Play by Play by Jaci Burton to Goodreads. (Click here for my review.)

four-stars
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Thursday, February 25, 2016

Review: P.S. I Like You by Kasie West

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

Review: P.S. I Like You by Kasie WestP.S. I Like You by Kasie West
Published by Point on 26 July 2016
Genres: Contemporary Romance, Emotions & Feelings, Family, Friendship, Young Adult
Pages: 304
Format: ARC
Source: Edelweiss
Buy on Amazon|Buy on Audible|Buy on Barnes & Noble
Goodreads
four-stars
Also by this author: The Distance Between Us, Pivot Point, Split Second, On the Fence, The Fill-In Boyfriend

Place(s) Traveled To: Morris, Arizona

First Line(s): A lightning strike. A shark attack. Winning the lottery.

There are few authors out there in which I get really excited for…ok that’s a lie…but you know the feeling I mean that bouncy excitement when you hear that author x has a new title coming out. Its that moment when you know you want the book right that instant and it almost doesn’t even matter what the book is about because you want it and you’ll love it because it is author x. Well, Kasie West is that sort of author for me and I yearn for a new book from here even as I’m just starting her newest book. Such is the case with P.S. I LIKE YOU which is a story that I devoured and then was left a wee bit sad at the end because I didn’t savor that first time read. I’ll never experence these characters for the first time again and yet I know that there is nothing that could have slowed down my reading process because the story was just that engrossing.

West has a gift for writing likable and believable characters and in creating a world that you want to exist in. Kasie West’s characters aren’t perfect, they make mistakes and there are times when you want to shake them. Lily could be frustrating at times with her attitude towards one character but over all I adored her. I also loved her friendship with Isabel. Those girls are everything I like to see in a friendship in books. They support each other and they also call each other out on their crap. I hated when they fought and my heart ached during those moments and I loved when they came back to each other. They were real friends, unlike so often in a YA book when the BFF is more of a frenemy than a friend.

PS I Like You Quote

And then there was the boy. *inesrt happy sigh here* Oh how I loved how West reveled the plot of PS I LIKE YOU. I adored the note exchange and how Lily and her love interest got to know each other without bias. In letters you can more easily be yourself. You don’t have to pretend if you don’t want to and over the course of several exchanges Lily and her guy revealed secrets and likes and just got to know each other without filters. There was no pretending or putting up false fronts and their exchanges just make your heart ache at times. Especially when the time comes to leave letters behind and to maybe find that common ground in the real world. This transition is one that West does beautifully and oh how it all made my heart melt in the end.

PS I LIKE YOU was a quick read and one that I loved. In my opinion, you really can’t go wrong with a Kasie West book. They are fun and enjoyable and I’ve loved them all. Although if I were to pick a favorite then, right now, it would be PS I LIKE YOU. This book isn’t perfect but its pretty gosh darn close and I know that I will be re-reading it often. PS I LIKE YOU has everything I adore in a story and even a little bit more. Its Kasie West at her best and I’m already hungering for her next book. West is usually an instant love for me and if she is for you as well then you’ll be wanting to make sure you get your hands on PS I LIKE YOU.

irishdarkblue IR - PS I Like You

Add In Real Life by Jessica Love to Goodreads. (Click here for my review.)

Add The Art of Lainey by Paula Stokes to Goodreads. (Click here for my review.)

four-stars
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Friday, January 29, 2016

Review: Playing for Her Heart by Megan Erickson

Posted by Irish in 3.5 Stars, Adult, Review0 Comments

Review: Playing for Her Heart by Megan EricksonPlaying for Her Heart by Megan Erickson
Series: Gamers, Book 2
Also in this series: Changing His Game, Tied to Trouble, Leveling the Field
Published by Entangled Brazen on 11 Aug 2015
Genres: Adult, Contemporary Romance, Dating & Sex, Emotions & Feelings, Family, Friendship, Love & Romance, Self-Esteem & Self-Reliance
Pages: 186
Format: eBook
Source: Purchased
Buy on Amazon|Buy on Barnes & Noble
Goodreads
three-half-stars
Also by this author: Trust the Focus, Focus On Me, Make it Count, Changing His Game, Tied to Trouble, Out of Frame, Strong Signal, Fast Connection, Leveling the Field

Place(s) Traveled To: Willow Park, Pennsylvania // Philadelphia, Pennsylvania

First Line(s): He was the perfect Beck.

 

PLAYING FOR HER HEART is the second book in Megan Erickson’s Gamers series and picks up almost exactly where CHANGING HIS GAME (my review) leaves off. PLAYING FOR HER HEART is the story of Grant and Chloe. Grant we met in CHANGING HIS GAME as Austin’s BFF and business partner and Chloe is a new introduction but she’s connected to the group through Ethan, who is a friend of Grants. I loved Grant in CHANGING HIS GAME so was happy to read his story but it took me a bit to warm up to Chloe. Chloe just ran a bit too hot and cold for me and she just seemed to be a walking contradiction. On one hand she was very shy and almost reclusive but then on the other she was bold and experimental when she was engaging in various role plays. She never really seemed to mesh the two sides of herself either.

Grant was a sweetheart and everything that I expected he’d be from CHANGING HIS GAME and then some. I also loved getting to know Sydney more and seeing their interactions and that is saying a lot from me because kids are so hard to capture realistically in books. I’m usually not a fan of child characters but in this case it worked and that says a lot of Erickson’s writing and characterization. But what I was disappointed in with PLAYING FOR HER HEART was the lack of scenes with Austin. It seemed like his parts were given over to Ethan and while I get that Grant and Ethan are good friends they aren’t best friends like Grant and Austin. There were just moments that it seemed would have worked better if they’d played out with Austin instead of Ethan.

Playing for Her Heart Quote

Even though I didn’t think that Ethan was always the right person for a scene I loved him as a character. I loved his relationship with his sister, Chloe and oh how he made my heart ache! For me, Ethan was a distraction in PLAYING FOR HER HEART because he stole every scene that he was in. He and Sydney tended to steal the lime light from the two main characters, Grant and Chloe so it shouldn’t come as a surprise that I didn’t like PLAYING FOR HER HEART as much as CHANGING HIS GAME. Chloe was just too inconsistent a character and her love story was overshadowed by secondary characters which is never a good thing.

But like CHANGING HIS GAME, PLAYING FOR HER HEART is a quick read. It makes for a great escape for an afternoon is an enjoyable story but not one that wows me. I think that might be in part because I’m not really into the whole role play aspect of the sex scenes between Grant and Chloe. I get the escapism of it all and even the appeal to become someone else but I am more or a realist and so that’s why CHANGING HIS GAME is my favorite of the two Gamers books that I’ve reviewed. PLAYING FOR HER HEART is worth reading and its an important book in the series, mostly because we learn more about Ethan, but its not going to be my favorite.

irishdarkblue

IR - Playing for Her Heart

Add Call on Me by Roni Loren to Goodreads. (Click here for my review.)

Add Seven Day Fiance by Rachel Harris to Goodreads. (Click here for my review.)

three-half-stars
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Tuesday, January 26, 2016

Review: Passenger by Alexandra Bracken

Posted by Irish in 3 Stars, Review, Young Adult2 Comments

Review: Passenger by Alexandra BrackenPassenger by Alexandra Bracken
Series: Passenger,
Published by Disney-Hyperion on 05 January 2016
Genres: Abduction, Action & Adventure, Emotions & Feelings, Family, Fantasy, Love & Romance, People & Places, Romance, Self-Esteem & Self-Reliance, Social Issues, Suspense, Young Adult
Pages: 496
Format: ARC
Source: Publisher
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Goodreads
three-stars

Place(s) Traveled To: Bhutan (1910) // New York, New York (1776, 2015) // The Atlantic (1776) // London, England (1940) // Angkor, Cambodia (1685) // Paris, France (1880) // Damascus, Syria (1599) // Palmyra, Syria (1599)

First Line(s): As they ascended, retreating farther from the winding trails that marked the way to nearby villages, the world opened to him in its purest form: silent, ancient, mysterious.

You may have heard of PASSENGER by Alexandra Bracken as it gotten a lot of hype in and around the blogging community. I am always wary of hyped up reads but I loved Bracken’s BRIGHTLY WOVEN (my review) and while I still need to read DARKEST MINDS I was curious about this one. The basic plot of PASSENGER involves time travel and that is one of my favorites in books so I was eager to see Bracken’s taken on it along with how she wove in the history of the various time periods. Sadly, for me, PASSENGER didn’t live up to my expectations. I found it to be very slow and it took me forever to get through it. I found it likeable enough when I was reading it but it was really easy to put down. And once I put it down there was nothing driving me to pick it back up again.

With the exception of Nicolas and Etta all the characters were pretty one dimensional especially the big bad and I just found it really hard to care about Etta’s mission. The rules of the world also seemed to be pretty fluid even though they were supposed to be set though maybe that was just a result of my reading an ARC as opposed to the finished book. I often found myself rolling my eyes at the cliches in this book and there is this one moment when Nicolas and Etta are discussing the future and I wanted to throw my book across the room at what Etta revealed as important. That in her time she and Nicolas would be able to kiss as a way to show how far things had come from his time period when you’d think the fact that there is an African-American President might be a stronger indication of progress.

Passenger Quote

The ending of PASSENGER is also a bit of a cliff hanger but by that point in the story I was rolling my eyes more that I was gasping in shock. I found much of the book to be slow and predictable and I was just happy for it to be over. I thought that events at the end were rushed in comparison to the rest of the book. I also found the story to be overly descriptive on matters that had no importance and then very cryptic on things that were. It was a very uneven story telling and while it was prettily written there was nothing about PASSENGER that wowed me as I longed to be wowed.

Even with all the pretty words that filled PASSENGER the world building wasn’t really there and I just didn’t really see the point of it all. PASSENGER isn’t a bad book but its just not a book that will stay with me nor is it a story that I will re-read. At this moment in time I’m unsure if I want to devote the time and energy it would take in order to read its conclusion, WAYFARER, when it comes out next year. If I do it will be something that I borrow from a friend as I don’t know if I’d be able to read it in time from the library. Although maybe WAYFARER will surprise me and be a faster read than PASSENGER was.

 

irishdarkblue

IR - Passenger

Add Waterfall by Lisa T. Bergren to Goodreads. (Click here for my review.)

Add Ruby Red by Kerstin Gier to Goodreads. (Click here for my review.)

three-stars
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Monday, December 28, 2015

Review + Excerpt: The Rogue Not Taken by Sarah MacLean

Posted by Irish in 4 Stars, Adult, Blog Tour, Contest, Excerpt, Review1 Comment

Review + Excerpt: The Rogue Not Taken by Sarah MacLean

Review + Excerpt: The Rogue Not Taken by Sarah MacLeanThe Rogue Not Taken by Sarah MacLean
Series: Scandal & Scoundrel,
Also in this series: A Scot in the Dark
Published by Avon on 29 Dec 2015
Genres: Adult, Emotions & Feelings, Historical, Historical Romance, Love & Romance, People & Places, Road Trip, Social Issues
Pages: 384
Format: eARC
Source: Publisher
Buy on Amazon|Buy on Audible|Buy on Barnes & Noble|Buy on Book Depository
Goodreads
four-stars

Sophie’s Society Splash

When Sophie, the least interesting of the Talbot sisters, lands her philandering brother-in-law backside-first in a goldfish pond in front of all society, she becomes the target of very public aristocratic scorn. Her only choice is to flee London, vowing to start a new life far from the aristocracy. Unfortunately, the carriage in which she stows away isn’t saving her from ruin. . . it’s filled with it.

Rogue’s Reign of Ravishment!

Kingscote, “King,” the Marquess of Eversley, has never met a woman he couldn’t charm, resulting in a reputation far worse than the truth, a general sense that he’s more pretty face than proper gentleman, and an irate summons home to the Scottish border. When King discovers stowaway Sophie, however, the journey becomes anything but boring.

War? Or More?

He thinks she’s trying to trick him into marriage. She wouldn’t have him if he were the last man on earth. But carriages bring close quarters, dark secrets, and unbearable temptation, making opposites altogether too attractive . . .

Also by this author: The Season, Nine Rules to Break When Romancing a Rake, Ten Ways to be Adored When Landing a Lord, Eleven Scandals to Start to Win a Duke's Heart, Never Judge a Lady by Her Cover, A Scot in the Dark

Place(s) Traveled To: London, England // Cumbria, England // Sprotbrough, England // Mossband, England // (1833)

First Line(s): If only the Countess of Liverpool hadn’t been such an admirer of aquatic creatures, perhaps things would have turned out differently.

Long time readers of my blog will know that I am a big fan of Sarah MacLean’s books. She tends to write strong, fiesty heroines and the rogues who fall for them. This is no different in THE ROGUE NOT TAKEN and fans of MacLean will find a lot to love in Sophie and King. There is so much to like about Sophie that its hard to put it into words and I just love what she brings out in King, who could be sullen fellow if left to his own devices. Sophie adds a little topsy-turvey into his life although this is not something she’d ever admit to as she is the most tame of her family who all thrive off their scandalous behavior in London. There is so much to like in THE ROGUE NOT TAKEN but the parts that I love best is the banter between Sophie and King. They are both quick witted and sharp and just really play well off each other. They truly are a perfect match even if they both refuse to see it much of the time.

Another aspect that I adore in THE ROGUE NOT TAKEN is that it is a road trip book. I love a good road trip story and its not one that you see very often in historicals, for obvious reasons, and I just love MacLean’s take on it. Sophie’s journey isn’t like most journey’s and I just love how she manages to fool those around her. Everyone but King that is. Which just makes you want to shake them a bit because as I reader you can clearly see how right they are for each other even as they are in denial. King sees Sophie for who she is and she does the same with him. This is something that neither has experienced as they are always judged by the stories that are told about them or their family.

Rogue Not Taken Quote

 

There were some things that I didn’t like as much in THE ROGUE NOT TAKEN such as the cryptic references to King’s past. I’m never a fan of cryptic references and I always just want to shake the character doing it to spit it out! King’s history is also nothing unique but it does explain a lot in shaping who he is. I also wasn’t a fan of the little headlines that began each chapter. I found them to be distracting and hard to ignore. I did try to skip them but always seemed to find myself reading them and then wishing I hadn’t. They just didn’t add anything to the story for me. THE ROGUE NOT TAKEN also includes an epilogue, which regular readers will know that I usually do not like, but in this case I found it a cute addition to the story. It was nice to get a glimpse of where Sophie and King ended up after their main story ended and I hope to see cameos of them in the next book, A SCOT IN THE DARK (Goodreads).

Overall though, I really enjoyed THE ROGUE NOT TAKEN and think that it will appeal to new and old fans of Sarah MacLean. Its a quick read filled with an entertaining cast of characters. The secondary characters are all fleshed out and they all add to the story even if they are just being discussed and they don’t appear in a scene. I liked the mentions of MacLean’s other books, however brief, as it just helps to flesh out this world that she has created in her stories. The banter of Sophie and King will make you laugh out loud and there are lots of heart achy moments that will really make you fall in love with these two. Oh, there are times when you want to shake Sophie and King for being stubborn but the best thing about a MacLean romance is that you know that eventually the hero and heroine will find their HEA and it will totally be worth the journey in getting there.

 

irishdarkblue

IR - The Rogue Not Taken

Add A Week to be Wicked by Tessa Dare to Goodreads. (Click here to see my review.)

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Excerpt


(Being shot on the Great North Road isn’t exactly a thing people expect to happen, and Lady Sophie Talbot finds herself in the rooms above The Warbling Wren pub, under the welcome care of a rather mad doctor and the watchful eye of the rather infuriating (and infuriatingly handsome) Kingscote, Marquess of Eversley. There are worse things, she supposes. Or are there? Not for King.)

“If you want a bath, you’ll have to accept my help,” he said.

She pursed her lips at that, her gaze settling longingly on the steaming bath. “You mustn’t look.”

“I wouldn’t dream of it.” It might have been the most obvious lie he’d ever told.

Somehow, she believed it, nodding and throwing back the coverlet to step out of the bed. She came to her feet, the top of her head at his chin, and he resisted the urge to help her across the room. “How do you feel?” he asked, hearing the gravel in his words. He cleared his throat.

“As though I’ve been shot, I’d imagine.”

He raised a brow. “Clever. There’s food when you’ve bathed.” The words summoned a low growl from her, and her hands flew to her stomach. Her cheeks turned red, and he smiled. “I take it you are hungry.”

“It seems so,” she said.

“Food after the bath. And then sleep.”

She met his gaze. “You’re very domineering.”

“It’s a particular talent.”

“What with you being called King.”

“Name is destiny.”

She moved past him to the high copper bathtub. He resumed his place against the wall, arms crossed, watching her carefully as she reached down, her long fingers trailing in the hot water as she sighed her anticipation. The sound was like gunfire in the room—pure, unadulterated pleasure. It was delicious.

King stiffened. He was not interested in the lady’s pleasure.

If only someone would tell his body that.

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 Sarah MacLean grew up in Rhode Island, obsessed with historical romance and bemoaning the fact that she was born far too late for her own season. Her love of all things historical helped to earn her degrees from Smith College and Harvard University before she finally set pen to paper and wrote her first book.

Sarah now lives in New York City with her husband, baby daughter, their dog, and a ridiculously large collection of romance novels. She loves to hear from readers. Please visit her at www.macleanspace.com
four-stars
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