Category «Series Reviews»

Series Review: One Week Girlfriend by Monica Murphy

Series Review: Is this series worth your time? Does it get better as the novels progress? Or does it get worse? Find out below:

One Week Girlfriend

 

Series: Drew + Fable; One Week Girlfriend Quartet
Author: Monica Murphy
# of Books: 4 (One Week Girlfriend, Second Chance Boyfriend + Three Broken Promises, Four Years Later)

There is also a novella that takes place after Three Broken Promises called Drew + Fable Forever

Complete?: Yes
Genre: New Adult, Romance, Contemporary, Drama
Heat Rating: Really Warm to hot

Thoughts on One Week Girlfriend:

I really went into this book thinking it was going to be a typical, New Adult Romance where the girl from the wrong side of the tracks catches the eye of the Golden Boy and I was ok with that. But boy, was I wrong–and I am so glad that I was!

I really enjoyed this book! I really don’t think it has anything to do with the price (you know sometimes things seem infinitely better when you don’t pay much for them?) I just really enjoyed what happened in this first novel. There is a lot more going on here than what the summary eludes to and the great thing was that it didn’t play out the exact way I thought it was as a little bit of the mystery is revealed a little bit at a time.

I also loved Fable and Drew. Fable is everything I like in a heroine–strong, likeable, smart and witty.  So I didn’t find her annoying and I loved how independent she is. Drew is great too–he captures your heart. I really liked their relationship dynamic and could see how they connected besides a physical attraction–despite the fact that they are essentially together for a week.

Another thing I love is the set-up of the series. Two books is the perfect length for their story. It wasn’t dragged out in Second Chance Boyfriend and as a reader I appreciate that. Both books are also super quick to read page-number wise (but you will probably devour it anyways regardless of page numbers) but again, I didn’t feel like anything was missing from the story by having it shorter than some books.

UPDATE (DEC 4/13): I am to see that there will be two more books in this series about characters we have already met PLUS a follow-up novella about Drew and Fable! I’m glad that Drew and Fable’s story won’t be dragged out and excited to see what Ms Murphy has in store!

UPDATE (Feb 4/14): After tackling a never ending list of library books, I was finally able to read Three Broken Promises and Drew + Fable Forever.

I’ll start with Three Broken Promises. I had always hoped that we would get this book after Drew and Fable’s story was done and it was everything I had hoped it would be. It was cute, charming and swoon-worthy. While I did get a little irritated with the lack of communication between the two at times, I let it go pretty quickly because it was hard to dislike the two of them.

Drew + Fable Forever should be read after Three Broken Promises because it does take place shortly after it (I know it’s tempting to read it before but I promise it is worth it to wait). I like that this wasn’t a full blown novel, rather an extended epilogue and it gave me that little bit more of closure. It also made me excited to read Owen’s story in Four Years Later.

UPDATE (March 17/14): I really enjoyed Four Years Later. While I didn’t find it as strong as the previous books, I burned through it quickly and loved every minute of it. Overall, I felt like this book was more about Chelsea and Owen growing as individuals as a result of them meeting and then falling in love with each other. I didn’t feel like their connection to each other was as strong as the other two relationships in the previous books but I liked both of them a lot and as I read I saw their connection develop. The ending felt a little rushed but I was very satisfied with how this series wrapped up.

Conclusion:

One of my favourite New Adult reads this year: great characters, great stories, great romance and a great price!

Rating: 5/5

Similar Reads:

Synopsis for One Week Girlfriend (from Goodreads):

Temporary. That one single word best describes my life these last few years. I’m working at a temporary job until I can finally break free. I’m my little brother’s temporary mother since our mom doesn’t give a crap about either of us. And I’m that temporary girl all the guys want to get with because I give it up so easily. According to the rumors, at least.

But now I’m the temporary girlfriend of Drew Callahan, college football legend and all around golden guy. He’s beautiful, sweet—and he’s hiding way more secrets than I am. He’s brought me into this fake life where everyone seems to hate me. And everyone seems to want something from him. The only thing he seems to want though is…

Me.

I don’t know what to believe anymore. All I know is, I think Drew needs me. And I want to be there for him.

Forever.

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Series Review: Flappers by Jillian Larkin

Series: Flappers
Author: Jillian Larkin
# of Books: 3 (Vixen, Ingenue, Diva)
Complete?: Yes
Genre: Young Adult, Romance, Roaring Twenties, History
Heat Rating: cool

Thoughts:

The 1920’s have always grabbed my attention since learning about the decade in my high school history class so I was immediately drawn to the series.

I read all three books over the course of a week (they are super quick reads!) and I really enjoyed them. All three girls experience something different in each of their stories so there was a lot going on (not so much to be confusing, but you weren’t stuck with the same person all the time which kept it interesting). I definitely preferred some of the girls’ (ie. Clara’s) stories and POVs more than others (ie. Lorriane) but every book needs that person you don’t like and she wasn’t totally intolerable either. The set-up of the series reminded me a lot of Gossip Girl in that the there are betrayals, hook-ups and constant struggles for power within a “close” group of friends as they rebel against their upbringing.

I think Vixen and Ingenue are solid books to the series and I would have a hard time picking my favourite of the two. They had everything I liked in a novel: romance, suspense and plot twists. Diva, book 3, felt like an extended epilogue to me and needed a touch more plot to take it to the same level as the other two books. Though I really like the way the series ended so I really shouldn’t complain 😉

Conclusion:

If you enjoy reading novels about the scandals and actions of high class society girls but like historical settings, then check out this series! I highly recommend that you grab all three before you start! You will need them!

Rating: 4/5

Similar Reads: Gossip Girl by Cicely von Ziegesar and The Great Gatsby by F. Scott Fitzgerald

Synopsis for Vixen (from Goodreads):
Jazz . . . Booze . . . Boys . . . It’s a dangerous combination.

Every girl wants what she can’t have. Seventeen-year-old Gloria Carmody wants the flapper lifestyle—and the bobbed hair, cigarettes, and music-filled nights that go with it. Now that she’s engaged to Sebastian Grey, scion of one of Chicago’s most powerful families, Gloria’s party days are over before they’ve even begun . . . or are they?

Clara Knowles, Gloria’s goody-two-shoes cousin, has arrived to make sure the high-society wedding comes off without a hitch—but Clara isn’t as lily-white as she appears. Seems she has some dirty little secrets of her own that she’ll do anything to keep hidden. . . .

Lorraine Dyer, Gloria’s social-climbing best friend, is tired of living in Gloria’s shadow. When Lorraine’s envy spills over into desperate spite, no one is safe. And someone’s going to be very sorry. . . .

Spin-off Saturdays: Bloodlines Series by Richelle Mead

Spin-off Saturdays: On Saturdays, I will review a series that is a spin-off series. It is recommended that you read the original series first in order to get the most out of the spin-off series. Here is this week’s offering:

The Bloodlines Series is a spin-off of the Vampire Academy

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SERIESous’ Top Book Series: #10; Favourite Author
Series: Bloodlines

This is a spin off of the Vampire Academy Series.

Author: Richelle Mead
# of Books: 6 (Bloodlines, The Golden Lily, Indigo Spell, The Fiery Heart, Silver Shadows, The Ruby Circle)
Complete?: Yes
Genre: Young Adult, Magic, Vampires, Action, Romance
Heat Rating: warm
Point of View: First Person, Single; Alternating (Fiery Heart onwards)

Thoughts:

After reading the Vampire Academy (VA) Series, I wasn’t sure how I felt about a spin-off. I loved Adrian in the VA books so I was excited for him to be in the new series; but it was Sydney I wasn’t sure about. It’s not really Sydney’s fault I didn’t love her in the VA books. Her character needed to be who she was in order to progress the story. I warmed up to her by the end of the VA series but she was by no means my top choice for a spin-off character.

Well, it’s a good thing I am not the author of these books! Because Sydney is a great character and I have grown to love her in this new series.

Bloodlines takes fan-favourite characters and gives them the stories we all wanted them to have. From Jill to Eddie to Adrian, all these characters make an appearance in the books. Even Rose and crew appear here and there. Despite the fact that the story is told from Sydney’s POV, we still know what is going on with every other character–just like it was in the VA series.

The first book, Bloodlines, is a slow start to the series but is needed. It really establishes the characters and let’s you into Sydney’s life and thought process–seeing as she was only told through Rose’s perspective in the VA series. Book 2, The Golden Lily is where things start to fall into place and the “overarching” (by this I mean it is a plot that spans multiple books) begins to unwind. It also helps that there is a HUGE cliff-hanger that has you begging for the next one. Book 3, The Indigo Spell does not disappoint and I am counting down the days until book 4, The Fiery Heart is released.

It should be noted that this series doesn’t have much physical action as VA series. It’s there, but Sydney uses other methods, like chemicals and magic, to fight her foes. I tend to not like magic series that have witches so I was worried when the series started to focus more on magic (this series focuses more on the Alchemists than the vampires). I should know by now that Richelle Mead does not disappoint and I really like where this series is going with the spells aspect of it.

UPDATED (Dec 7/13): I was lucky enough to get my hands on The Fiery Heart shortly after it was published. I finished it in a day, that’s how much I loved it! While the book is mostly character development, I never found it to be dull. I think it helped that Adrian gets his own POV so for the first time we really get to see his thought process–and with him being my favourite character in the entire series, I was excited and happy to finally get more insight about him. This book has a great buildup into the next two books of the series and I can’t wait! July 2014 can’t get here soon enough!

UPDATED (August 10/14): When my copy of Silver Shadows finally came in from the library, I went ASAP to grab it and then spent the rest of the weekend reading it. I would have finished in a day but life got in the way :P. Overall, Silver Shadows is a bridging novel that is setting up the plot for the final book (The Ruby Circle) in the series. However, this doesn’t mean that it is dull in anyway. Despite a more singular plotline than the previous novels, I found the book moved at a very quick pace and kept my interest throughout. Fans will not be disappointed–the only disappointment is the waiting 6 months until the conclusion in The Ruby Circle.

UPDATED (March 15/15): It’s always really hard to say goodbye to your favourite characters–and The Ruby Circle was a tough one to read knowing it is the last of the Vampire Academy Universe. I think I was 50 pages from the end when I started to cry knowing I only had a few more pages left. I’ve been following these characters for the last 6 years so expectations were high going into this book and I wasn’t disappointed! I thought The Ruby Circle started slowly but once I was about a third of the way through it picked up immensely and I didn’t put it down. There were unexpected twists, a fast plotline (once it got started) and so many great character appearances, fans of both series will be very, very happy with The Ruby Circle. It’s hard to say goodbye but it makes things 20x easier when you are happy with the ending. I definitely plan on revisiting all of these books in the future.

Conclusion:

To fans of VA: Read this! If you loved Adrian and Sydney (or even Eddie and Jill), you will love this series! It has everything VA had but does it in it’s own unique way. To new fans: even if you didn’t read VA (which I suggest you do!) you could probably get away with diving right into this series. A must read for fans of paranormal YA.

Rating: 5/5

Similar Reads: Vampire Academy by Richelle Mead (Vampire Academy Series #1)

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WARNING: IF YOU HAVE not FINISHED THE VAMPIRE ACADEMY SERIES THE FOLLOWING SYNOPSIS HAS SPOILERS!

Synopsis for Bloodlines (from Goodreads):
Blood doesn’t lie…

Sydney is an alchemist, one of a group of humans who dabble in magic and serve to bridge the worlds of human and vampires. They protect vampire secrets – and human lives. When Sydney is torn from her bed in the middle of the night, at first she thinks she’s still being punished for her complicated alliance with dhampir Rose Hathaway. But what unfolds is far worse. Jill Dragomir – the sister of Moroi Queen Lissa Dragomir – is in mortal danger, and the Moroi must send her into hiding. To avoid a civil war, Sydney is called upon to act as Jill’s guardian and protector, posing as her roommate in the last place anyone would think to look for vampire royalty – a human boarding school in Palm Springs, California. But instead of finding safety at Amberwood Prep, Sydney discovers the drama is only just beginning…

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Series Review: Delirium Series by Lauren Oliver

  

Series: Delirium
Author: Lauren Oliver
# of Books: 3 (Delirium, Pandemonium, Requiem)

There are also eBook novellas, for the complete reading order of the series click here

Complete?: Yes
Genre: Young Adult, Dystopian, Romance
Heat Rating: cool

Thoughts:

This was one of those series I had a lot of hope for but didn’t quite meet the bar.

I love dystopian fiction and at the time that the first novel, Delirium, had come out, dystopian fiction was just starting to get big. The whole idea that love was a disease that needed to be eradicated seemed very refreshing to me (most dystopian novels I had read all focused on political or personality types as a way to segregate society) so I was definitely interested in. I think that Lauren Oliver excels at creating the setting as a world without love. I like that she transforms Bible passages and other notable works of literature to support the story. There is definite logic to everything and I really appreciate that.

What really killed this series for me was the characters. I found that as each book went on, I lost some of my love for them (no pun intended). Lena never really did anything for me. She was alright in the first book and I liked the character development in the second (Pandemonium) but it was a chore to read about her in book 3, Requiem. I think Hana’s character was a lot more interesting to me and I would have liked to have read more about her at the start (eventually we get more about her later).

Delirium, book 1, was a good book. It hit all the requirements for an enjoyable read despite my lack of love for Lena. I think I enjoyed it more for the world it created than the actual plot (though it definitely picked up at the end of the book).

I was really excited to read book 2, Pandemonium and I would say that this is my favourite book out of the series. Oliver in the 2nd book changes how the POV of the book is written so that took me a bit to get into it (though I can respect the approach) but once I got over that, I really got into the plot twists. While I didn’t appreciate some of the directions the book went into, it set up a lot of awesome storylines that I was eagerly awaiting to see concluded in Requiem.

Unfortunately, Requiem was a complete let down for me. Despite being super excited to read it, it took two solid attempts to actually finish it. I was so disappointed in this book. I just felt like there was a lot of opportunity given what happened in Pandemonium and it was truly wasted. The story was dull and I pretty much skimmed the last few pages just so I could see how it ended. I don’t want to continue ranting, but this book was an unsatisfactory ending to a series that was building itself up for a spectacular ending.

When I finished reading book 3, Requiem, it was just around the time that FOX had announced they were making the book series into a TV show. I seriously doubt that the author ended the book the way she did because of the TV show (I think she was trying to get another point across with how she ended it), but I am hoping that the TV series has a bit more closure to it than the novels did. Turns out FOX is not moving forward with their TV plans for this series and I think that is wise. Check out a few minutes from the unaired show here.

Conclusion:

This series is a prime example of why I created this blog: to save people from devoting their time to a series that they will more than likely be disappointed in how it ends. This series might be worth it for some people, but I would recommend other dystopian reads before this one.

Rating: 3/5

Similar ReadsThe Pledge by Kimberly Derting (The Pledge Trilogy #1) and Divergent by Veronica Roth (Divergent Trilogy #1)

Synopsis for Delirium (from Goodreads):
They say that the cure for Love will make me happy and safe forever.

And I’ve always believed them.

Until now.

Now everything has changed.

Now, I’d rather be infected with love for the tiniest sliver of a second than live a hundred years smothered by a lie.

Lena looks forward to receiving the government-mandated cure that prevents the delirium of love and leads to a safe, predictable, and happy life, until ninety-five days before her eighteenth birthday and her treatment, when she falls in love.

Fresh Fridays: Fate on Fire Series by Wendy Knight

Fresh Fridays: On Friday, I review a brand new series (ie. only has one book released so far) to see if the series is worth keeping up with. Here is this week’s offering:

Feudlings by Wendy Knight | The Fate on Fire Series

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Series: Fate on Fire
Author: Wendy Knight
# of Books: 2+ (Feudlings, Feudlings in the Flames)
Complete?: No, book 2, Feudlings in the Flames, will be released later in 2013
Genre: Teen, Magic, Romance, Action

Thoughts:

I will admit that I was hesitant to read this book based on the synopsis. I find that I am not a huge fan of “witch/spell” type books so that was a worry. I was also worried it was going to be more of a romance with some action and seeing as it is targeted more for teens, the presumed teen angst nearly turned me off from reading it. But that’s what happens when you assume!

This book was definitely more about action than romance. Yes, it is there but there was so much else going on that it nearly took a back seat. It started off slow but it really picked up when you learn more about the world Wendy Knight has created. It’s simple yet complicated at the same time so it is easy to follow along.

At first, I wasn’t a fan of Ari. She was a little too angst-y for me but when you learn more about her past it makes sense why she feels the way she does. (Nothing worse than a whiney, spoiled heroine but that is not the case here!). As for the rest of the characters, I really liked them and can’t wait to see more of them!

Conclusion:

Definitely check this book out if you enjoy star-crossed romance with a lot of action; magic; smart characters and strong female leads!

Rating: 4/5

Similar Reads:

Synopsis for Feudlings (from Goodreads):
Nothing makes a new school suck worse than discovering the guy you’re in love with is your prophesied nemesis.

Ari is the most powerful flame-throwing sorceress ever, and her people’s last hope in an ancient war. But she’s also a seventeen-year-old girl, and in her free, not-hunting-nemesis times, she jumps from school to school, trying to figure out regular people her own age and pretending she’ll get the chance to graduate.

Shane lives a double life. He goes to school and masters the art of popularity, hiding the fact that he has a fate with a slim chance of his survival. He’s destined to end a 300 year-old war by killing or being killed. He knows he’s hunted by a powerful enemy who’s not afraid to die. Only problem? He has no idea who that enemy is.

When Ari shows up at Shane’s school, angry and sullen and determined to keep him at arm’s reach, neither of them realize they are supposed to be killing each other, not fall-ing in love. Until Ari does realize it, and she almost dies – by Shane’s hand.

Series Review: The MacLearies by Terri Brisbin

 

Series: The MacLearies
Author: Terri Brisbin
# of Books: 4 + a novella (Taming the Highlander, Surrender to the Highlander, Possessed by the Highlander, The Earl’s Secret)

The Novella is book 4.5 in the series: One Candlelit Christmas

Complete?: Yes
Genre: Historical Romance, Highlander Romance
Heat Rating: Lukewarm

Thoughts:

To be truthful, I only read the first 3 books of the series. The Earl’s Secret is sitting on my Kobo waiting to be read but I probably won’t get to it soon, if ever.

I LOVE highlander romances. I’m not sure why but I think it has something to do with the mix of action and romance. I like the suspense and fighting that these books often have. So because of my slight obsession, I have read a lot of highlander books which may be why I’m not the biggest fan of this series.

There is definitely suspense in Taming the Highlander but I felt like the plot was a mash-up of stories I have read before. I also found that there was a mash-up of Scottish dialogue as well. Some characters would talk one way and another from the same area would have a different way of talking. I just felt like it wasn’t consistent in writing style, especially when Rurik–a secondary character in the 1st book with a notable dialogue–gets his own story in Surrender to the Highlander and his dialogue changes again.

Rurik’s story was actually a disappointment for me. I loved him in the first book and was so excited to read the second novel. I enjoyed the plot more in Book 2–it wasn’t as predictable and based on the plot summary on Goodreads wasn’t what I thought it was going to be. I just didn’t really care for Margiet and I think that stopped me from enjoying the book.

Book 3, Possessed by the Highlander was actually my favourite. I had never really cared for Duncan’s character before this book but once I read it I realized what a sweetheart he was. Both characters are strong and I liked the plot for this one as well. I also didn’t mind the love-at-first sight bit either.

I’m not sure where The Earl’s Secret comes in. From what I can see, it doesn’t have much to do with past characters and is just set within a notable setting in the books. Thanks to Ms. Brisbin, I have been told that The Earl’s Secret and the novella feature the descendants of the first three novels and are set in Regency times. As I said before, it didn’t grab my attention so I will conclude the series here.

Conclusion:

I’ve read a lot better and a lot worse in terms of highlander fiction. If you have the time and want a “cleaner” highlander novel, you might want to check out this series. I, on the other hand, will stick to my other favourites (see them in the “similar books” below!)

Rating: 3/5

Similar Reads: In Bed with a Highlander by Maya Banks (McCabe Trilogy), Laird of the Mist by Paula Quinn (MacGregors Series) and The Highlander’s Bride by Michele Sinclair (McTiernay Brothers Series)

Synopsis for Taming the Highlander (from Goodreads):
Lady Jocelyn MacCallum had always believed she would marry for love. But the price of her brother’s freedom was to become fearsome Connor MacLerie’s new bride — a bargain that could cost Jocelyn her life. From the moment she looked into Connor’s sternly handsome face, Jocelyn began to hope that the rumors surrounding his first wife’s death were false. His reputation was as wild and untamed as the Scottish moors. Would she find a way to reach the man beneath that forbidding exterior?

Series Review: Vampire Academy by Richelle Mead

     

SERIESous’ Top Book Series: #1
Series: Vampire Academy
Author: Richelle Mead
# of Books: 6 (Vampire Academy, Frostbite, Shadow Kiss, Blood Promise, Spirit Bound, Last Sacrifice)

There is a spin-off series, called Bloodlines.

Complete?: Yes
Genre: Young Adult, Vampire, Romance
Movie Review: Catch my thoughts on the movie here!

Thoughts:

As you can see, this is one of my favourite book series that I have ever had the pleasure of reading. It has everything I look for in a book, strong female lead; romance; action; superb plots with twists and great secondary characters. I devoured the first four books over my March Break and then counted the days until the next one came out.

I recommended this series to my roommate and after reading Vampire Academy (Book 1) she wasn’t sure what the big deal was. I thought it was great when I read it (and then reread it…twice) and I couldn’t understand why she felt like that. But then I thought about it and came to this conclusion: the first book was great but comparing it to the rest of the series, it doesn’t have that much action, romance or anything that makes the series as awesome as it is. But you get a taste of the characters and the world Mead creates (which is unlike any other vampire book out there so don’t discount it because of your Twilight thoughts/experiences!) and you want to see where it goes.

I am happy to say, that after the 2nd book (Frostbite) my roommate got it and was hooked into the series. Frostbite is actually my favourite book of the series. I’m not too sure why, but I think it is because it’s the point where the series begins it overarching plot that continues over the rest of the series. It also introduces Adrian who is one of my favourite characters.

Rose is such a strong character and so is Lissa. I actually thought Lissa was the main character after I read the plot summary but I am glad Rose is the POV because she is such a fascinating character. Lissa is still a vital character in the series and we do get to see her develop throughout the books.

I also love the other characters in the series which makes the spin-off series (Bloodlines) even better because Richelle Mead takes fan-favourite characters and gives them their own stories in this new series. The Bloodlines plot is completely separate from this series so don’t feel like the Vampire Academy Series doesn’t get concluded–because it does and does so in a great and satisfying way!

Conclusion:

Vampire Academy was the first book series that I can remember crying, laughing and shrieking in delight about. It is refreshing in a world of vampire series, beautifully written and has characters that you can’t get enough of. I highly recommend this series to anyone who enjoys action and romance series. (I also recommend that you get you hands on as many of these books as possible when you read because you will want them right away!)

Rating: 5/5

Similar Reads: Half-Blood by Jennifer L. Armentrout (Covenant Series) and Bloodlines by Richelle Mead (Bloodlines Series, a spin-off of Vampire Academy).

Synopsis for Vampire Academy (from Goodreads):
St. Vladimir’s Academy isn’t just any boarding school—it’s a hidden place where vampires are educated in the ways of magic and half-human teens train to protect them. Rose Hathaway is a Dhampir, a bodyguard for her best friend Lissa, a Moroi Vampire Princess. They’ve been on the run, but now they’re being dragged back to St. Vladimir’s—the very place where they’re most in danger…

Rose and Lissa become enmeshed in forbidden romance, the Academy’s ruthless social scene, and unspeakable nighttime rituals. But they must be careful lest the Strigoi—the world’s fiercest and most dangerous vampires—make Lissa one of them forever.

Series Review: A Beautiful Dark by Jocelyn Davies

Series Review: Is this series worth your time? Does it get better as the novels progress? Or does it get worse? Find out below:

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Synopsis for A Beautiful Dark (from Goodreads):

On the night of Skye’s seventeenth birthday, she meets two enigmatic strangers. Complete opposites–like fire and ice–Asher is dark and wild, while Devin is fair and aloof. Their sudden appearance sends Skye’s life into a tailspin. She has no idea what they want, or why they seem to follow her every move–only that their presence coincides with a flurry of strange events. Soon she begins to doubt not just the identity of the two boys, but also the truth about her own past.

In the dead of a bitingly cold Colorado winter, Skye finds herself coming to terms with the impossible secret that threatens to shatter her world. Torn between Asher, who she can’t help falling for, and Devin, who she can’t stay away from, the consequences of Skye’s choice will reach further than the three of them could ever imagine

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Series: A Beautiful Dark
Author: Jocelyn Davies
# of Books: 3 (A Beautiful Dark, A Fractured Light, A Radiant Sky)
Complete?: Yes
Genre: Young Adult, Angels, Romance
Heat Rating: cold
Point of View: First Person, Single
Publication Dates: September 2011 – 2013
Source & Format: Own–eBook

thoughts

My Expectations / Why I Picked It Up:

I bought A Beautiful Dark when Kobo had it on sale one weekend. The plot sounded interesting to me and in general, I seem to enjoy angel-focused young adult reads so I decided to give it a shot.

My Thoughts on the Series:

I enjoyed the first book enough. I liked how Davies presented the angel clans being rivals in their magical powers and why they have the powers that they do in what is an otherwise obvious division between angels (ie. those in heaven vs those who have fallen).

What I didn’t enjoy was Skye or the love triangle.

Skye is annoying—-plain and simple. She was alright in the first book—I mean she has gone through a lot so I let her have a little angst but it becomes unbearable in the second book, A Fractured Light. I swear that sometimes the elevator doesn’t reach the top floor for her. She becomes whinny when she gets grounded (because she disappears for long periods of time without letting her aunt know) and can’t understand why she can’t leave the house. Well, that’s what being grounded means!

The other thing that irks me about this book is the love triangle. I don’t like love triangles but like any good reader, I push forward and pick what team I am going to be on. I think the problem here is that I don’t care for any of her love interests (and there are a few because she is one of those girls guys gravitate to all at once) and I don’t like how she gets angry at them for moving on when she has clearly made her choice.

The storyline is a little too predictable for me in both books. I could see most things coming and nothing really surprised me.

updates

–July 12, 2014– Book #3: A Radiant Sky

I picked this book up and then promptly DNF’d it at the 28% mark. I wasn’t feeling it and even knowing that the conclusion was near wasn’t enough for me.

Series Rating: DNF

A Beautiful Dark 3/5 | A Fractured Light 3/5 | A Radiant Sky DNF

overall

If you can tolerate angst-y, spoiled heroines who can’t make up their mind and like angel stories, check it out. Otherwise I would pass.

Read if You Like: angels, love triangles, angsty teens
Avoid if You: dislike YA paranormal

similarreads

  • Fallen by Lauren Kate (Fallen Series #1)
  • Darkness Before Dawn by J A London (Darkness Before Dawn Trilogy #1)

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Series Review: The Game by Emma Hart

Series Review: Is this series worth your time? Does it get better as the novels progress? Or does it get worse? Find out below:

 book2 book3 book4

booksynopsis

Synopsis for The Love Game (from Goodreads):

His challenge? Make her fall in love with him.
Her challenge? Play the player.
Until life changes the rules of the game.

Maddie Stevens hated Braden Carter on sight. Arrogant, egotistical, and the playboy of the University of California, Berkeley, he’s everything her brother Pearce has taught her to despise. So why, when the girls challenge her to play the player, doesn’t she say no? She doesn’t know either.

Braden wanted fiery little Maddie the second he laid eyes on her – and he’d do anything to have her, hence why he’s agreed to make her fall in love with him. After all, it’s the only way he’ll get what he wants. Sex.

But, as Braden discovers, there’s more to the girl from Brooklyn than he ever imagined – and he can’t help but care about the broken girl behind those pretty green eyes.

Maddie finds Braden isn’t just a walking erection – he actually has feelings. He can be sweet, funny and his good looks don’t exactly hurt. That means trouble – but when her brother Pearce turns up in Berkeley begging for her help, she realises Braden and Pearce aren’t so alike anymore.

And maybe, just maybe, they’re exactly what each other needs.

breakdown

Series: The Game
Author: Emma Hart
# of Books: 4 (The Love Game, Playing for Keeps, The Right Moves, Worth the Risk)
Complete?: Yes
Genre: New Adult, Romance, Contemporary
Heat Rating: really warm
Point of View: First Person, Alternating
Publication Dates: March 2013 – May 2014
Source & Format: Own–eBook

thoughts

**This post was originally posted as a Toonie Tuesday review of the first book (The Love Game) of the series. It has now been updated to include the newest publications in the series.**

Review of The Love Game:

Given the facts that it is a romance novel and the main protagonists are trying to get the other to fall in love with them, you pretty much know how it is going to go–they are going to fall in love with each other for real. But that shouldn’t stop you from reading this book because there is more to it.

I found this novel very refreshing. Despite the fact that it has characteristics of New Adult novels (ex. at least one protagonist has a tragic past which results in their inability to trust and love others) it also puts its own spin on the genre. The whole premise of the game was very Shakespearian (in theory) which I love; especially when you add in the supporting characters.

I also love the fact that Maddie and Braden don’t have an “insta-love” connection (a major turn-off for my reading) and I appreciate that this is talked about in the book as well. It made it very realistic and believable. Another plus is that you actually watch them fall in love with each other and you can see why they do. I find that some novels fail to provide the backbone to a relationship and just focus on the “physical connection” between two characters.

Maddie is great at telling Braden to calm the “caveman” act down. I think a lot of New Adult novels promote the idea that a man who claims you as “his” at every turn is sexy when it is not always the case (this isn’t to say that they present an abusive relationship in anyway–because they don’t–I just think it can border on an unhealthy relationship in the real world and I fear it will give girls the wrong impression). And this isn’t to say that Braden is always caveman like that, he does have really cute moments throughout and is genuinely a nice guy.

My only negatives about are more pet-peeves of mine. Sometimes when Maddie talked it was a little too metaphor-y for me. Given the fact that she is 18 it just was a little “too deep” for me at times (especially the whole comparison to various board games at one point in the last few chapters) but I guess I see how she might be a little wiser beyond her years considering her backstory. Still, she’s only 18!

But to end on a bright note: the story of Maddie and Braden concludes within this book. So yay for not dragging on a story! From what I can see the second book is about two different characters we meet in this book and there are enough hints throughout that I am excited to see what happens next!

>>Bonus: Here is the epilogue for The Love Game (WARNING: It contains spoilers!)

updates

–January 15, 2014– Book #2: Playing for Keeps

I just finished Playing for Keeps after having it sit on my Kobo for months and I have to say another great book in the series! While I didn’t enjoy it as much as The Love Game, it definitely had its enjoyable moments throughout. I’m happy with the way the story went though at times I felt like it was a little over the top considering everyone’s ages. I think if the characters were, say 4-5 years older, I would have an easier time believing their maturity and some of the things they say. I’m not saying you can’t be mature at that age, it just seemed a little odd to me when I was reading.

One thing I didn’t like about this book was that it just jumped into things without much background. Considering Meagan is a secondary character in the previous book, we don’t know a whole lot about her and while I knew there was tension between her and Aston, I just wished it was elaborated more at the start of this book. It’s been a long time since I read The Love Game so I forgot about their interaction in that book–I guess I just wanted to see more of why they liked each other in the first place. But to be fair, the rest of the book is about them finding love in each other so it does make up for it in a way.

These books aren’t like typical New Adult reads. The hot romance really takes a back seat to the building up of a relationship and love and using love to heal broken pasts. So if you are looking for a crazy steamy read, these aren’t the books for you!

I’m interested to see where the next book, The Right Moves, goes from here. From what I have read of the synopsis it has nothing to do with the cast of characters we met in the last two books which I think is a good thing because I don’t know if I could handle another story about this group (I just think all their stories have been exhausted and I wouldn’t want everything to be dragged out). I guess we will see what happens.

Series Rating: 4/5

The Love Game 4/5| Playing for Keeps 3.5/5 | The Right Moves TBA | Worth the Risk TBA

overall

I really enjoyed reading this book. It had me turning pages and was such an easy read (writing-wise). If you enjoy books about love healing tormented past and changing playboy ways, pick this series up!

Read if You Like: NA romances, love heals stories
Avoid if You: like when characters act more their age

similarreads

  • Someone to Love by Addison Moore
  • Charade by Nyrae Dawn (Games Series #1)

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Series Review: Marriage to a Billionaire Series by Jennifer Probst

   

Series: Marriage to a Billionaire
Author: Jennifer Probst
# of Books: 4 (The Marriage Bargain, The Marriage Trap, The Marriage Mistake, The Marriage Merger)

You can also read the “spellbook” featured in the series: The Book of Spells

Complete?: No, The Marriage Merger will be released July 30, 2013 Yes
Genre: Contemporary Romance, Erotica
Heat Rating: Hot

Thoughts:

I had high anticipation for these books. I finally gave in and bought them for myself for Christmas and I am glad I did!

The first book, The Marriage Bargain is a great opening for a series. It has everything you want in a contemporary romance: heat, great characters, drama and love. I loved Alexa and Nicholas and their story. It was realistic, humorous and cute. I think the problem was that it was so great, it set my hopes up too high for the next two.

Maggie, Michael, Carina and Max are all characters that are flawed in some way and I think it makes them hard to like at times. They are all stubborn and not as easy-going and likeable as Alexa and Nicholas. This isn’t to say that the other two books are bad–they aren’t!–it’s just that I wasn’t as into them as the first one. I still devoured them in a day though.

The Marriage Trap was great despite the stubborn characters. It had a lot of drama which made it a page turner.

The Marriage Mistake is probably my least favourite, which is upsetting because I was really looking forward to it. It was a little too far fetched for me which irked me but I think readers of the series will enjoy it regardless.

The series was originally planned to be three books from what I can see, but I’m glad there will be a 4th one because the characters set to star in it have grabbed my attention.

UPDATED (Jan 29/14): I FINALLY got to read the Marriage Merger and I am very happy with how everything wrapped up! The book was entertaining, slightly more realistic than The Marriage Mistake and it was great to see all of the previous characters again. Solid end to a solid series.

Conclusion:

These are great contemporary reads. My only issue is that they are too short! UPDATED: Jennifer Probst has easily become one of my must read authors.

Rating: 4/5

Similar Reads: The Look of Love by Bella Andre (The Sullivans #1) and The Arrangement by H.M. Ward (The Ferro Family #1)

Synopsis for The Marriage Bargain (from Goodreads):
A marriage in name only…

To save her family home, impulsive bookstore owner, Alexa Maria McKenzie, casts a love spell. But she never planned on conjuring up her best friend’s older brother—the powerful man who once shattered her heart.

Billionaire Nicholas Ryan doesn’t believe in marriage, but in order to inherit his father’s corporation, he needs a wife and needs one fast. When he discovers his sister’s childhood friend is in dire financial straits, he offers Alexa a bold proposition.

A marriage in name only with certain rules: avoid entanglement. Keep things all business. Do not fall in love. The arrangement is only for a year so the rules shouldn’t be that hard to follow, right?

Except fate has a way of upsetting the best-laid plans…