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Series Review: Fixed by Laurelin Paige

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

booksynopsis

Synopsis for Fixed on You (from Goodreads):
Stalking and restraining orders are a thing of Alayna Wither’s past. With her MBA newly in hand, she has her future figured out—move up at the nightclub she works at and stay away from any guy who might trigger her obsessive love disorder. A perfect plan.

But what Alayna didn’t figure on is Hudson Pierce, the new owner of the nightclub. He’s smart, rich, and gorgeous—the kind of guy Alayna knows to stay away from if she wants to keep her past tendencies in check. Except, Hudson’s fixed his sights on her. He wants her in his bed and makes no secret of it.

Avoiding him isn’t an option after he offers a business proposition she can’t turn down and she’s drawn further into his universe, unable to resist his gravitational pull. When she learns Hudson has a dark history of his own, she realizes too late that she’s fallen for the worst man she could possibly get involved with. Or maybe their less than ideal pasts give them an opportunity to heal each other and finally find the love their lives have been missing.

breakdown

SERIESous’ Top Book Series: #1 Top Contemporary Read of 2013
Series: Fixed Trilogy

There is a spinoff series called The Found Duet.

Author: Laurelin Paige
# of Books: 6 (Full Reading Order Here)

There is a companion novel to the series called Hudson that must be read AFTER the trilogy. Chandler is a spin-off with another character. Forever Fixed is a continuation after Forever With You.

Book Order: Chronological, Companion (Hudson), Connected (Chandler)
Complete?: Yes
Genre: Contemporary, Romance, Drama
Heat Rating: hot (BDSM in Chandler: mild)
Point of View: First Person, Single
Publication Dates: June 2013 – June 2018
Source & Format: Own–eBook; Candi Kane PR–Fixed Forever (ARC)

thoughts

Why I Picked it Up / My Expectations:

I was hesitant when I picked up Fixed on You. It came across as a knock-off of the Fifty Shades Trend so while I like that type of contemporary romance novel, I find they become very repetitive and follow a similar series of events which can be boring.

My Review:

I have to say that I was very impressed with both books and while there were some similarities with other books in the genre, I found this book stood out to me in a few ways:

1) I loved how they handle mental illness. I give mad props to Laurelin Paige for her writing style. While other books in this genre have characters with mental illness and most do handle it in a healthy way, I found these characters weren’t overly dramatic about it. I guess what I mean to say is that their illnesses are a main part of the book and didn’t feel like something that was brought up just to be a convenient way to add some extra drama now and then.

2) I really liked Alayna. Having a great heroine makes a book and I was a little iffy about Alayna going into it and reading the first few chapters. Despite her mental illness, she is still very independent in everything she does and I never felt like she was losing herself in Hudson. She also was great about communicating with Hudson (that did change a bit in the second book) but what really impressed me was if she had an issue, she made sure she told Hudson and wouldn’t let it drop until they resolved it.

3) Hudson is another winner. He is an alpha male without all the kinky sexual preferences and I never got the impression that he had to “own” Alayna. Yes he wanted to sleep with her but he never viewed her as a possession which I appreciate–the “total alpha” thing just disturbs me to no end. He and Alayna are a great match overall and I feel like over time they do connect in more than just a physical way.

As for the books as whole, I devoured them. They were fast paced in both romance and drama and I really loved that. Fixed on You was great and easily my favourite of the two. That isn’t to say Found in You isn’t great–because it is–it was just the typical second book in the series. BUT it did have a great little twist along the way and I’m excited for the final book in the series to get the whole truth of everything going on.

updates

–January 25, 2014– Book #3: Forever With You

I just finished Forever with You and all I have to say is WOW–what a great way to end the series! It had everything I love and more. I didn’t get annoyed with the characters, loved the romance and was left flabbergasted with the plot. Just an absolute pleasure to read and I am so sorry that this series is over–BUT super stoked to read the spin-off series, Free Me!

–December 26, 2014– Book #4: Hudson

I’ve had Hudson on my Kobo since its publication but only managed to read it on my Christmas break this year. I wish I read it sooner and I wish I was able to read it right after I read the trilogy because it was a fantastic way to wrap everything up. The novel is a companion novel–and that is a really important thing to remember because it needs to be read after all three books have been read or else you will spoil the entire series.

I thought Laurelin Paige did a great job of executing this book. I didn’t feel like I was forced to reread scenes all the time. Things were either summarized or shortened and scenes that I wanted more of were elaborated; so I never got bored. The flashbacks to the past also added a great depth to Hudson’s character. However, it did make the book a little on the  longer side BUT I really enjoyed every moment of it and fans of the trilogy will LOVE this!

–May 3, 2017– Book #5: Chandler

I was really excited to read Chandler’s story. He is such an entertaining character and was one of my favourites in the original series.

I do wish I read this after I read the Found Duet just because that spin-off series fills in some of the time between the original Fixed Trilogy and Chandler. There was one particular aspect that I had no clue had happened regarding Chandler’s character development (though it wasn’t a huge deal really and it didn’t ruin my experience at all).

Because this is a standalone novel, it moves quick in all aspects. However that didn’t bother me because I could see the chemistry these two had right from the start. That being said, this one lacked the secrecy aspect. Yes, it was there but the big twist isn’t anything like the original series (though I will say I didn’t see it coming).

In short: it’s cute and the perfect way to wrap up this entire universe.

–July 10, 2018– Book #6: Fixed Forever

I didn’t know I needed this book until I read it–and I’m so glad it exists!

It’s hard to return to a world that has been seemingly wrapped up without things feelings forced. I wasn’t sure where this story would go when I heard about its conception but I shouldn’t have doubted Laurelin Paige. Once again, she has recreated that sparkle I love so much about this series.

Series Rating: 4.5/5

Fixed in You 5/5  |  Found in You  4/5  |  Forever with You 5/5  |  [Hudson] 4/5  |  [Chandler] 4/5 | Fixed Forever 5/5

overall

A quick contemporary read for those who don’t like the kinkiness of Fifty Shades of Gray but like the drama. One of my favourite reads of 2013! Overall a FANTASTIC contemporary romance and one that I recommend to everyone!

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Series Review: Tangled by Emma Chase

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

Tangled by Emma Chase  | Tangled Series

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booksynopsis

Synopsis for Tangled (from Goodreads):

Drew Evans is a winner. Handsome and arrogant, he makes multimillion dollar business deals and seduces New York’s most beautiful women with just a smile. He has loyal friends and an indulgent family. So why has he been shuttered in his apartment for seven days, miserable and depressed?

He’ll tell you he has the flu.

But we all know that’s not really true.

Katherine Brooks is brilliant, beautiful and ambitious.  She refuses to let anything – or anyone – derail her path to success. When Kate is hired as the new associate at Drew’s father’s investment banking firm, every aspect of the dashing playboy’s life is thrown into a tailspin. The professional competition she brings is unnerving, his attraction to her is distracting, his failure to entice her into his bed is exasperating.

Then, just when Drew is on the cusp of having everything he wants, his overblown confidence threatens to ruin it all.  Will he be able untangle his feelings of lust and tenderness, frustration and fulfillment? Will he rise to the most important challenge of his life?

Can Drew Evans win at love?

Tangled is not your mother’s romance novel.  It is an outrageous, passionate, witty narrative about a man who knows a lot about women…just not as much as he thinks he knows.  As he tells his story, Drew learns the one thing he never wanted in life, is the only thing he can’t live without.

breakdown

SERIESous’ Top Book Series: Favourite New Series 2013; Fav Couple (Drew & Kate)
Series: Tangled Trilogy
Author: Emma Chase
# of Books: 4 (Tangled, Twisted, Tamed, Tied)

There is a novella: #1.5 Holy Frigging Matrimony (should be read after Tamed though)

However, the chronological reading order in terms of events is: Tangled/Tamed, Holy Frigging Matrimony, Twisted, Tied

Book Order: Chronological & One Connected/Overlapping (Tamed) — see quick note below
Complete?: Yes
Genre: Contemporary, Romance, Humour, Drama
Heat Rating: hot
Point of View: First Person, Single
Source & Format: Public Library–eBook

thoughts

**This post was originally posted as a Fresh Friday review of the first book of the series. It has now been updated to include the newest publications in the series.**

My Review of Tangled:

It’s been a long time since I laughed out loud during a book. Truthfully, the last book I remember reading where I chuckled throughout the narrative was Losing It by Cora Cormack. I love witty, sarcastic narrators and they are hard to find. Not everyone can speak sarcasm (it is actually the first language I ever learned 😉 ) so when I hear of a book that promises to be filled with witty one-liners, you can guarantee that I will be reading it.

I put Tangled on my to-read list after seeing its nomination for the annual Goodreads Awards for 2013. With contemporary romance novels, I shouldn’t have to tell you how rare it is to have a novel told entirely from the POV of the male lead. Sure, we get mixed POV but most of the time it’s the female and then there is a “sequel” book with the male’s perspective. But this promised to a witty and funny read and when in my exam slump, I decided to read it.

I’m glad I did! I probably drove my roommates nuts laughing as hard and loud as I did during the early hours of the morning that I spent reading this. There were some great lines in this book and Drew’s perception of things is so funny and most-likely right (I’m a female so I can only assume that is how the male brain operates). Sometimes I think the jokes (I can think of 2 that)  bordered on crossing the line, but for the most part (read: majority) were funny.

Besides the humour, this book follows the typical contemporary romance path–so it’s the humour that really sets this book apart from the otherwise stereotypical romance novel. What is nice to see though is that Drew isn’t some top alpha dog who feels the need to “own” everything. READ: no kinky sex going on here! It’s refreshing because most of the books lately that have come out follow the Fifty Shades Trend where one, if not both, of the leads suffers from a tragic past and the male is alpha to extreme. Both Kate and Drew are business people and Drew does come from money, but I felt like they were pretty grounded overall. I also loved the rest of the characters–they were so blunt and funny that it was really refreshing.

updates

–February 16, 2015– Books #2 & 3:

I almost forgot about this series until I noticed the new additions at my local library. And because I couldn’t remember exactly what happened in Tangled, I decided to reread it and I loved it just as much as the first time I did. I forgot how much I loved Kate and Drew together and that their relationship was more than sex–that they actually talked to each other and got to know each other instead of just jumping into bed together.

Book 2: Twisted

Next, I read Twisted and it was what I was expecting the sequel to be.  As I said when I finished Tangled:

As much as I loved this book, I would have been happy without a sequel. The novella (though I haven’t read it yet) seems like a good idea but I don’t know where else this story can really go. There isn’t too much outside drama besides their relationship so I’m curious to see what Ms. Chase has in store for these characters.

Even after reading it I don’t feel like it was necessary to have their story continue but I did enjoy reading it. This time we get Kate’s perspective and I have to say that while I enjoyed getting to know Kate more, I really missed Drew’s observations of the world. It didn’t help that I got annoyed by Kate a bit in some of her actions. I think it is obvious to everyone except the two leads what is really happening and that makes it frustrating to read. And while I understand Kate’s need to become more independent (and I love that she wants to) it just seemed a little silly considering the book is two years later–but I guess better late than never and I can appreciate that it is a touch realistic in the sense that they work on their relationship.

Book #3: Tamed

Tamed was the story I’ve been looking forward to since I first read Tangled and it didn’t disappoint. While I found it wasn’t as funny as Tangled, it did have its moments and I loved watching Matt and Dee Dee together. It was everything I like in a contemporary romance.

–March 22, 2015– Books #4: Tied

When I saw what the premise was for Tied I was excited albeit a little worried. I wasn’t looking forward to another communication assumption like we get in Twisted BUT when I see that Drew is going to be in Las Vegas–I know hilarity is going to ensue. And boy did it ever! This book was so much fun to read and I thought it was just as funny as Tangled. Plus, we didn’t get any stupid plot-lines! In short: a great way to end the series! I’m sad that we won’t be seeing any more of these characters in the near future but I am hopeful that one day Emma Chase will return to this awesome cast of characters!

Quick Note on Series Reading Order:

The reading order for this series is a little bit scattered due to the publishing order. If you want to read the books in chronological order of events I would suggest you read them in this order: Tangled, Tamed, Holy Frigging Matrimony, Twisted, and then Tied. If just keeps all the side plot lines in order and prevents some minor spoilers if you read them in this order.

Series Rating: 4.5/5

Tangled 5/5 | Twisted 4/5 | Tamed 4/5 | Tied 5/5

overall

I will definitely be picking up more books from this author in the future! Emma Chase has nailed the sarcastic hero who can easily win over a female reader who would otherwise slap him in real life. If you want to try a humorous contemporary romance, pick up this book NOW!

Read if You Like: rom-coms, charming assholes, contemporary romance
Avoid if You: dislike humour, dislike sexy times

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Series Review: Spellcaster by Claudia Gray

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

Spellcaster by Claudia Gray | Spellcaster Series

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booksynopsis

Synopsis for Spellcaster (from Goodreads):
When Nadia’s family moves to Captive’s Sound, she instantly realizes there’s more to it than meets the eye. Descended from witches, Nadia senses a dark and powerful magic at work in her new town. Mateo has lived in Captive’s Sound his entire life, trying to dodge the local legend that his family is cursed – and that curse will cause him to believe he’s seeing the future … until it drives him mad. When the strange dreams Mateo has been having of rescuing a beautiful girl—Nadia—from a car accident come true, he knows he’s doomed.

Despite the forces pulling them apart, Nadia and Mateo must work together to break the chains of his family’s terrible curse, and to prevent a disaster that threatens the lives of everyone around them.

breakdown

SERIESous’ Top Book Series: Surprise Reads of 2013
Series: Spellcaster Trilogy
Author: Claudia Gray
# of Books: 3 (Spellcaster, Steadfast, Sorceress)

There is also a prequel novella, The First Midnight Spell — see note below

Complete?: Yes
Genre: Young Adult, Magic, Witches, Paranormal, Mystery, Romance
Heat Rating: cool
Point of View: Third Person, Multiple
Publication Dates: March 2013 – March 2015
Source & Format: Public Library–eBook

thoughts

**This post was originally posted as a Fresh Friday review of the first book of the series. It has now been updated to include the newest publications in the series.**

My Expectations/Why I Picked it Up:

Witches are not normally my “thing” when it comes to reading. I’m not sure why, but I’ve never enjoyed witch books as much as I should. The only exception being Beautiful Creatures by Kami Garcia and Margaret Stohl, one of my all time favourite series. However, I did like the CW TV Series “The Secret Circle” (based on books of the same name) and this book was pitched for fans of that so I decided to give it a shot. I also enjoyed Gray’s Evernight Series and like her style so I decided to pick this book up.

My Review:

I’m glad I did. It’s been a long time since I enjoyed a young adult book (but that could also be because of my hectic school schedule cutting out my reading time and/or only reading short, freebies from Kindle ;)) and once I got into this one, it was hard to put it down.

I think one thing that I liked about this book was the writing style Gray uses. One is that it was very mature. Nadia and group are very grown-up for high school students and I really appreciated it. They weren’t focused on who was dating who (though it does come up of course) but the main point is that it wasn’t the ONLY plot of the book–more on that later. They were all very smart and I really liked all the characters we meet. Another thing I really liked was the third person POV and how it switched between multiple people. I like books like this because you get more plot development and you get a better understanding of the characters. I think it worked really well for this book and I’m glad this was the route Claudia Gray took when writing it.

The plot development in this was great. I like how it unfolded as you read it but there were still a few twists that really add to the story. As I said before, it isn’t primarily a romance novel but there is that element. It is more a mystery/suspense plot that keeps you hooked. I don’t want to dive into it, but the plot really builds as you read.

The series reminded me a lot of Beautiful Creatures in it’s delivery (they have similar starts I think with the main characters) but there is enough in this book to make it unique and different. It will do a good job of filling the void Beautiful Creatures left after the final book was published 🙁

The Novella:

Although The First Midnight Spell is listed as a “prequel” novella, I wouldn’t read it until after you read Spellcaster because it will have some spoilers. While it isn’t necessary to read it for the rest of the series, it does shed some light on a particular character and helps explain why things are the way they are in Captive Sound.

updates

–May 12, 2014– Book #2: Steadfast

When my eReader died in March, the book I was reading was Steadfast and unfortunately, I wasn’t able to finish it just as I really got into the story. So after a few months of waiting, I finally got my hands on a copy.

Steadfast was a great follow-up to Spellcaster. It has the exact same formula that made the first book so enjoyable and addicting. Again, lots of twists and turns throughout the plot so I never found it to be predictable. One thing I really enjoyed was that we got to see more about Verlaine and to be honest it was her story that really drew me in this time around. I’m really excited to see how everything wraps up in the next and final novel of the series.

–March 25, 2015– Book #3: Sorceress

I was first on my library’s list to get Sorceress when it was released but because of school, I wasn’t able to read it for a few weeks. I’m not sure if it was because I was in a rush to finish it before my download expired or if it is because its been a year since I read Steadfast but I just didn’t get into it. I think I was expecting more instant drama/action based on how Steadfast ends so I felt like Sorceress took a long time to build up to what should have been there from the start (in my opinion). Just past the halfway point was where things started to pick up but by then I was a little bored. Overall though I thought it was a solid way to end the series and I liked the way things progressed eventually. I would like to give it the benefit of the doubt and say that my current mood really influenced my reading. (So while I gave it a 3/5 on GoodReads, it’s more of a 3.5/5 because I think fans of the series will be satisfied).

Series Rating: 4/5

Spellcaster 4/5 | Steadfast 4/5 | Sorceress 3/5

overall

If you like witches and magic with a dash of romance, pick this up!

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