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Series Review: House of Royals by Keary Taylor

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 House of Royals (from Goodreads):

Every town has its history and skeletons, but Silent Bend, Mississippi’s are darker than most. Ruled from the shadows by the House—the immortal Born and their aging, enslaved Bitten—everyone knows not to go out after dark and that the police will never look into crimes involving blood.

Alivia Ryan didn’t know the man who claims to be her father through a will even existed until she inherits the Conrath plantation. Instead of the sleepy house she expects, she finds a mansion and a staff who look at her with fear in their eyes.

Ian Ward tried to kill Alivia the first time they met, and then insisted he train her to defend herself against the House, who he claims will try to manipulate and take her in for their own political reasons. And the growing attraction between them will threaten their lives—Ian is a sworn enemy of the House.

In Silent Bend, people disappear, the threat of a demented King and the legend of his resurrecting Queen hang over everyone’s heads, and proving loyalty means far more than blood. You’d better watch who you trust in this town…

breakdown

Series: House of Royals; Blood Descendants Universe

Spin-off Series: Crown of Death

Author: Keary Taylor
# of Books: 8 (Full Reading Order Here)
Book Order: Chronological & Connected

Story Arcs: Books 1-5; Books 6-8

Complete?: Yes
Genre: New Adult, Paranormal, Romance, Vampires, Politics
Heat Rating: warm
Point of View: First Person, Single
Publication Dates: June 2015 – July 2017
Source & Format: Netgalley & Own–eBook

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thoughts

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

Why I Picked it Up / My Expectations:

Last year, I tried my hand at a New Adult vampire novel, Queen of Blood and loved it. Despite the bad rep they get, I enjoy the action and excitement most vampire novels have. I also love the new adult genre as a whole and so combining those two things seem like a winning combination.

So when I saw House of Royals on Goodreads and saw that it had a political spin on it, I just had to have it in my hands.

The Concept / The World:

I found the vampire world very easy to understand. It’s pretty straightforward which makes for easy reading. I didn’t feel very confused or left behind in any respect.

I also like the darker aspect to it. Vampires that fight their inner nature are great and all, but I don’t mind a little blood shed and these books definitely had their share of action and death.

The Plot:

The plot for House of Royals is pretty straight-forward and that has its pros and cons. Not having a lot happening really allows the reader to get a grip on the world and the setting. By not focusing on too many issues at once, I was able to get attached to the characters and understand the world they found themselves in. In the same stroke, it made for a story that really only reached its climax within the last few chapters; which is definitely a good thing because it makes you want to pick up that sequel.

The Characters:

I liked Alivia a lot. I thought she had a good head on her shoulder (for the most part) and made the best of the situation she finds herself in. Obviously she makes some mistakes but I totally understand why she would given everything that happens.

The side characters keep things interesting as well. They are unpredictable and have intriguing backstories that kept me wanting more from them.

The Romance:

The romance was really sweet with this one. Forbidden love is my favourite romance trope and this one is pretty flawless. I really liked Ian and Alivia together. I thought they complimented each other well. I simply adored their scenes together and rooted for them the entire time I was reading even when I wasn’t sure what was going to happen next.

My Expectations for the Rest of the Series:

I’m super excited to see what is going to happen next for these characters! I feel like House of Royals built everything up at a great pace that the next few books are going to unleash all the pent up energy and tension between all the characters at play!

updates

–January 6, 2018– Book #2: House of Pawns      **copy not provided**

It’s been a long time since I read the first one but I found it so easy to get back into this world. I love all its politics and danger. We get to meet a lot more characters and the world is getting a little more complex so it sucked me in.

Alivia has an interesting character development path in this one. Her reaction to certain things (mostly of the romance variety) at the end frustrated me. But we get some interesting plot developments so I’m curious to see what happens next!

Series Rating: 4/5

House of Royals 4/5 | House of Pawns 4/5 | House of Kings TBP

overall

My experience with this book has just cemented vampire New Adult books to be my new favourite subgenre. While House of Royals doesn’t have a lot happening within its own book, I feel like it sets the stage for some great plot twists in its sequels!

Read if You Like: vampire novels, New Adult characters, simple plots
Avoid if You: dislike royal politics, vampires, forbidden love

similarreads

  • Queen of Blood by Jill Myles
  • Crave by Melissa Darnell (The Clann Series #1)
  • Bloodspell by Amalie Howard (The Cruentus Curse Series #1)
  • House of Night by PC and Kristen Cast (House of Night Series #1)

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Series Review: Jade by Allie Everhart

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

Jade Series

booksynopsis

Synopsis for Choosing You (from Goodreads):
When Jade is given a scholarship to an elite private college in Connecticut, she sees it as a chance to finally escape her painful past and get a fresh start. She’s determined to succeed and that means keeping her focus on school and not guys. But her plan falls apart her first day on campus when Garret, a rich prep school boy with swimmer abs and a perfect smile, offers to help her move in.

Jade tries to push him away, but she can’t deny her attraction to him and Garret won’t let her. Things quickly heat up between them, but then come to a sudden halt when reality hits and Jade realizes that a relationship with Garret may never be possible. He comes from a world of wealth where there are rules, including rules about who he can date. And not following those rules has consequences.

As the two of them try to overcome the obstacles working to keep them apart, Jade is confronted with another challenge. On her 19th birthday, she receives a letter that her now deceased mother wrote years ago. In it are revelations that explain her traumatic childhood but also make her question the past she’s been running from.

breakdown

Series: Jade Series
Author: Allie Everhart (penname of Stephanie Karpinske)
# of Books: 5 (Choosing You, Knowing You, Loving You, Promising You, Forever You)
Book Order: Chronological
Complete?: Yes
Genre: New Adult, Romance, Contemporary, Drama, Mystery
Heat Rating: warm
Point of View: First Person, Single
Publication Dates: September 2013 – March 2015
Source & Format: Own–eBook

thoughts

**This post was originally posted as a Toonie Tuesday review of the first book of the series. It has now been updated to reflect my conclusion to DNF this series. It will not be further updated.**

Why I Picked it Up / My Expectations:

I loved Always by Ellery Rhodes and when I saw the similar plot synopsis and price of Choosing You I just had to grab it!

My Review:

Choosing You started out a little rough for me because it took me a long time to like Jade. She lives up to her name–she is definitely jaded and rightfully so when you learn about her past. However, just because she had a rough childhood it doesn’t excuse her from being just plain rude to people at times. To me she came across as mean–and for no apparent reason–and that dampened my impression of her. Otherwise, I would have appreciated her strong convictions and her ability to stay true to her views more than I did. By the end of the book I didn’t love her but I tolerated her more than I did at the start (though I’m not sure if I can read 5 books about her if she continues on with the mean streak).

Garret was a different story for me–I loved him immediately. A completely swoon-worthy hero who seemed to genuinely like Jade for her personality (which is a little baffling) and not just her body. I liked that they got to know each other and develop a relationship instead of jumping into bed with each other. They seemed like a good match overall in terms of interests but I need to see more between them to say for sure that they are a good match for each other.

As for the plot, about 80% of the book is Garret and Jade trying to establish a relationship–so it’s a lot of back and forth together/not together scenarios. Jade was definitely the worst because she flip-flopped a lot with what she wanted. I also found that it was exaggerated in its drama (a touch over the top) but I expected it so it didn’t get on my nerves too much. Near the end we get a good little twist that makes me excited to see what is going to happen in the next book.

Update (February 13, 2017):

I have opted to DNF this series. When I looked back at this book, I didn’t have many positive thoughts about it and seeing that this story drags into 8 novels, I just don’t want to commit to all of that.

Series Rating: DNF

Choosing You 3.5/5

overall

I didn’t love this book but I didn’t, surprisingly based on the Jade we get at the start, hate the book. It’s not one of those realistic New Adult reads, rather it is one that keeps the drama high and a tad over the top. I definitely need to read a few more novels before I determine if this series is worth the time (or the prolonged story arc).

similarreads
Always by Ellery Rhodes (Always Series #1)

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