Tag «#arcaugust»

Fresh Fridays: From Here to You (Crash and Burn #1) by Jamie McGuire

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:

Crash and Burn Series

Other books planned to be in the series:

booksynopsis

Synopsis for From Here to You (from Goodreads):

As Darby Dixon sits in a tiny Texas church bathroom on her wedding day holding a positive pregnancy test, she realizes that of all the bad decisions she’s made in her life, marrying her abusive fiancé would be the worst. She’s never been able to stand up for herself, but she’ll sure as hell stand up for her baby. With just the cash she has on hand, she runs to get a bus ticket to the farthest place she can afford. Between her sheer grit and pageant-queen smile, she lands a job as a front desk clerk at the Colorado Springs Hotel. It’s not a glamorous life, but she and her baby are all that matters.

A former Marine, Scott “Trex” Trexler has worked in the most dangerous, corrupt, war-torn places on earth. Now he finally has a chance to return to the last place he’d felt at peace–Colorado Springs, Colorado, to take a new job with the Cheyenne Mountain Complex, a top-secret military installation buried deep within the granite.

The moment Trex walks into the inn, Darby knows he’s dangerous. There’s no way she wants to get involved with another man who seems to be keeping way too many secrets. As charming and devastatingly gorgeous as Trex is, he clearly isn’t telling her everything. But as wildfires rage on the mountain and Darby’s ex-fiancé shows he isn’t so willing to let her go, both she and Trex are soon to find out that what you don’t know absolutely can hurt you.

breakdown

Series: Crash and Burn

This series crosses over with The Maddox Brothers Series

Author: Jamie McGuire
# of Books: 1+ (Full Reading Order Here)
Book Order: Connected
Complete?: No, more books to be published
Genre: Adult, Contemporary, Romance, Drama
Heat Rating: toasty
Point of View: First Person, Alternating
Publication Date: August 21, 2018 – ongoing
Source & Format: Netgalley–eARC | Thank you Forever Publishing!

thoughts

Disclaimer: I stopped reading From Here to You at 32% (start of Chapter 11). Find out why below…

Why I Picked it Up / My Expectations:

I was really excited when Forever Publishing offered me the opportunity to read Jamie McGuire’s new series. At that point, I had only read (and enjoyed) Beautiful Disaster but I planned to read its spin-offs in the coming months.

I can’t remember how this book was marketed to me but I knew I wanted to read it. Reading the synopsis prior to starting it for my #ARCAugust 2018 Challenge, I was hoping for a slightly suspenseful yet heartfelt read about two people finding each other in an unlikely place.

What I Liked:

–Darby’s Strength to Leave Her Abusive Fiance–

I started out really liking Darby. She definitely has her flaws but I liked the little bit of strength and resiliency that I saw when she makes the decision to leave her fiance on their wedding day at the start of the book. That takes guts to leave everything behind and essentially live on the run to take care of your unborn baby. I admired her drive to do that as she comes across as a very dependent person given her circumstances.

What I Didn’t Like:

–Nothing Really Happens–

I swear that the first 10 chapters alternate between Darby rejecting everyone’s offers of help (tiresome even if it is understandable) and Trex’s weirdly secret job. That last one is what irked me the most. I don’t want to read a FULL chapter about some purposely vague government operation that I can’t know about–what does that have to do with the story? Jamie McGuire does that “intentionally left out” information in her books all the time and it drives me NUTS.

–Everything Hits You Like a Slap in the Face–

I won’t tell you the number of times I’m just reading along and then BAM! Revelation from the past suddenly–and out of nowhere–appears. Darby’s dropping stuff about previous abuse; Trex is suddenly in love with her after literally saying 5 words to her. I had to reread a few things to just be sure I had a grasp on things. It all felt a little forced in the end.

–Love At First Sight–

I have a low tolerance for love at first sight but I can admit that sometimes it has its place. This isn’t it.

I didn’t get why Trex was so in love with Darby after literally running into her in the hall. Perhaps that was because I didn’t really know Darby either so what makes her so appealing? I didn’t really connect with either character so their romance came up dry for me.

Will I Finish It?

Nope. There was one character I was interested in and if she gets a book, maybe I’ll read it but I’m not returning to Darby’s story anytime soon.

My Rating: DNF

From Here to You DNF | Book 2 TBP

overall

This book just didn’t come across as organic to me. Everything felt a little forced and as a result, I didn’t get invested into the characters or the story like I wished.

Read if You Like: slower stories, insta-love
Avoid if You: dislike secrets, dislike insta-love, are triggered by abuse

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Single Sundays: The Wrong Prince by C K Brooke

Single Sundays: While this blog may be focused on reviewing book series as a whole, we can’t forget about the good ole’ standalone novel! On Sundays, I will review a novel that is considered to be a standalone novel. Here is this week’s offering:

Synopsis for The Wrong Prince (from Goodreads):

Two princes. One bride. A dire misunderstanding…

Geo and Dmitri are the princes of Tybiria. Though Geo is the obvious athlete, it’s bookish Dmitri that yields the credit – and consequences – for slaying a foreign prince. But whose arrow really struck the boy?

Luccia Camerlane is the Baron of Backshore’s enigmatic daughter…as well as Prince Geo’s secret mistress…until she learns of her disastrous betrothal to none other than his brother, Prince Dmitri.

When Dmitri is abducted by the deranged King of Llewes, star-crossed lovers Geo and Lucie must set aside their woes and differences to rescue the Crown Prince from the formidable Wintersea fortress. A precocious castle ward, a fascinating love-quadrangle, and a hit-woman harlot complete this action packed rom com in another wickedly fast-paced fantasy adventure from C.K. Brooke, author of The Red Pearl and the Books of Jordinia.

breakdown

SERIESous’ Top Picks: Must Read Author
Author: C K Brooke
Genre: Young Adult, Fantasy, Adventure, Romance
Heat Rating: warm **spicy YA**
Point of View: Third Person, Multiple
Publication Date: June 17, 2016
Source & Format: Author–eARC | Thank You C K Brooke!

thoughts

Why I Picked it Up / My Expectations:

Adventure stories are not my favourite reads. I find them boring and drawn out but there is just something about C K Brooke’s adventure stories that keep me coming back. I’m always entertained when I read her books thanks to their twisting, never dull plots and the eclectic cast of characters. So even though this story’s synopsis boasted of a love triangle (ugh, my least favourite trope ever), I knew that there was likely more to this story than mooning teenagers…

The Concept / The World:

I always love the worlds C K Brooke’s creates. They just have so much to them and you can tell she is one creative writer who plans out exactly how things are going to work in her worlds.

I will say though that there was a slight disconnect for me in terms of the sexual content. While there aren’t any straight up sex scenes, it’s alluded to quite frequently. Now, I like a “grittier” side to my stories but for the most part this story was pretty light and airy–almost wholesome to a degree–and the visits to brothels and the like just seemed slightly out of place with the rest of the story in terms of maturity. I hope what I’m trying to say is coming across… I guess, while this book feels very young in its audience there are some aspects that people who enjoy “clean” reads will not like (though nothing is full out described).

As for the concept, like I speculated before I started this book, there is more to this book than a love triangle gone awry. Yes, it’s an important factor in the story but there are other plot lines happening.

The Plot:

The synopsis gets it right: “Action packed rom-com” is the perfect way to describe this plot. This story was the perfect mix of fun, serious and heartwarming all at once. I just loved the way the story kept building and moving. Yes, it helps that we get multiple character POVs so we are constantly getting new layers to the story. Like the Jordinia Series, reading this book had me thinking about The Princess Bride and how they have similar vibes and styles when it comes to plot development and interesting characters.

The Characters:

I really liked all these characters, but Dmitri and Pavi take the cake for me. I just really loved their storyline. But the rest of the cast is unique and entertaining and you really can’t ask for much more. All the female characters are strong and independent so that was great to see. I thought the character development was good for the shorter length of the story. Everyone is complex and we get enough backstory to get a solid read on their characters so that was great.

The Romance:

While the love-quadrangle is definitely at play, I think you know where everyone’s hearts lie so there isn’t anything overly frustration about the love triangle. It doesn’t become the main focus of the novel though it does play a role in the overall story. Part of the reason this isn’t a 5 star read is because I did get frustrated though with the lack of communication between 2 characters because it came across as immature even though they were having an affair which seems pretty mature to me…

My Rating: 4/5

overall

Perfect for fans of fast-paced adventures with a dash of romance!

Read if You Like: rom-com adventures, fast stories, multiple POVs
Avoid if You: dislike YA fantasy

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Monthly Inventory: August 2018

August 2018

What a jammed packed month this turned out to be! Between readathons and vacations, I had a lot on the go. So August was never a dull month (and if it was, I just DNF’d the book I was reading :P)

August was all about my personal TBR list (ie books I own) with the Make Me Read It Readathon and cleaning up some long overdue ARCs for the various Street Teams I’m a part of via ARC August. Overall, I had a great time with both challenges and accomplished what I wanted to do. (You can read my final recaps on each further down).

Otherwise, August was a little bit out of the norm for me. A lot of the books I’ve had my eye on purchasing went on sale (YAY!) so I bought more books in a one week span than I have all year, but the deals were too good to pass up. I had also imposed a “no borrowing from the library” ban on myself for the summer and I stuck with it (surprisingly). The only time I broke that was to get some specific books for my challenges.

Like I did last September, I will be exclusively reading series sequels for the month of September. I’ll list some of the books I plan to read below but the idea is only read books for series I’ve already started. This year, I’m alternating between series I’ve read over the years and series I just started this year.

thoughts

Total for August 2018: 19 Books Read + 0 Novellas Read

DNF’d: 4 Books

Last August: 17 Books Read + 4 Novellas Read + 2 DNFs

Standout Read (★★★★★)


This book just blew me away! I loved every minute of it! It was like the perfect hybrid of some of my favourite Science Fiction/Dystopian novels.

Biggest Let Down (DNF)


I’ve had this ARC forever and the personal hype was high but I just couldn’t get into this story at all.


posted reviews

Most Viewed Post

Monthly Inventory: July 2018

Most Viewed Review

Blog Tour: The Right Fit

View this year’s archives for more posts and reviews!

 

thoughts

Previously posted series reviews that got updates:

 

thoughts

You can always get the full details on all my challenges on my dedicated page but here is a quick update:

5 Year 5 Book Challenge: The Cage & The Diabolic | 14 of 25 Titles Read – Slightly Behind
Goodreads Challenge: 19 books added | 169/190 Books – Ahead
52 Sequel Challenge: 4 Sequels | 29/52 Sequels – Slightly Behind
Tackling the TBR Challenge: 3 books added | 19/36 Books – Slightly Behind

View my Challenge Progress Here!

Created by Lia @ Lost in a Story

I’ve seen this meme floating around and thought it was a great idea to help me tackle my TBR list and reach that less than 500 goal. The idea is to go through 5-10 books on your Goodreads TBR list chronologically and decide if they should stay or go. I usually do a big Goodreads Purge twice a year but I like the idea of doing a little bit at a time and have decided to do this on a monthly basis.

This month (7 new to me series + 3 previously started series):

Escaping Me (Escaping, #1)
Pass

Let Love In (Love, #1)
Pass

Forever Innocent (The Forever Series, #1)
Keep

Reckless Longing (Reckless, #1)
Keep

Vain (The Seven Deadly, #1)
Keep

The Art of Catching a Greek Billionaire (Greek Billionaire, #1)
Pass

Just One Song (Just One Song, #1)
Keep

The Right Moves (The Game, #3)
Pass

Losing My Balance by Helena Newbury
Keep

Killer Frost (Mythos Academy, #6)
Keep

Pass: 4 | Keep: 6

Did I give up on any too soon? Let me know in the comments below!

 

My goal was to read 3 of the most voted for books during the readathon (and read the rest by the end of the year). Unlike last year, I managed to read all three books in the timeframe and complete my goal! I even attempted to read a 4th book from the list after the readathon but ended up DNFing it 🙁 But still, I’m really happy I managed to get meet my goal (and contribute to my other reading challenges in the process) and plan to get to the rest in October.

  

My goal for this challenge was to read a total of 6 ARCs and I ended up reading a total of 7 and DNF’d 2.

The Emperor's Daughters Pretend I'm Yours War and Love You Promised Me Forever (Forever Yours, #1) Heart of a Liar (Unforgivable #2) Heart of a Prick (Unforgivable #3)

 

While this is a monthly meme hosted by Avalinah’s Books, I usually only update every quarter. However, since I participated in ARC August, I decided to do an update to see if the challenge had an impact on my ARC review status.

My Progress for January to August, 2018:

ARCs Read: 66  |   ARCs Overdue: 1*  |  Upcoming: 4+1(u)

(June’s State: ARCs Read: 54  |   ARCs Overdue: 2+6*  |  Upcoming: 7)

*One title was given to me as a member of an author’s street team to read ASAP.

(u) Unreceived ARC

Going Forward:

I’m really happy with the progress I made this month with my ARCs! It was great to get some of my backlogged titles out of the dust and read. I’ve done my best to stick to my limit of no more than 3 ARCs a month and have limited my review requests on my blog to only author’s I have reviewed in the past. Hopefully, I can maintain that for the rest of the year so I can concentrate on getting my reading challenges met for the year!

 

discussions

You can still join in on these discussions:

Here are some of my favourite posts that I’ve come across the past month:

 

September is all about the sequels! This upcoming month, I’ve decided to alternate between series I started before 2018 and series I’ve started in 2018 as well as alternating genre types (contemporary then non-contemporary). Of course, I’ve integrated some of the my other reading challenges with my picks. Here are some of the books I have ready to go for September:

East (History Interrupted #2) Beautiful Redemption (The Maddox Brothers, #2) Twice Burned (Love is Messy Duet, #2) Angel Fever (Angel, #3) Maid of Deception (Maids of Honor, #2) By Referral Only (Whitman University, #2)

What were your biggest reading or personal accomplishments of the past month?
Leave a comment below!

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Single Sundays: War and Love by Winter Renshaw

Single Sundays: While this blog may be focused on reviewing book series as a whole, we can’t forget about the good ole’ standalone novel! On Sundays, I will review a novel that is considered to be a standalone novel. Here is this week’s offering:

Synopsis for War and Love (from Goodreads):

My lies? Impeccable.

My heart? Cold as ice.

My only job? To convince her what we had was as real as the diamond I was hired to place on her finger.

The battle was someone else’s.

I was merely a soldier, recruited by a wealthy stranger who made it unapologetically clear that my future—and everything I’ve ever worked for—depended on the successful completion of this mission.

I was prepared for war.

I wasn’t prepared for Love Aldridge.

breakdown

SERIESous’ Top Picks: Must Read Author
Author: Winter Renshaw
Genre: Adult, Contemporary, Romance
Heat Rating: toasty
Point of View: First Person, Alternating
Publication Date: July 30, 2018
Source & Format: Hidden Gem Reviews–eARC

thoughts

Why I Picked it Up / My Expectations:

I’ve read enough Winter Renshaw books to know that she writes solid, heartfelt romances every time. And this one definitely met my expectations in that regard. She simply writes great romances. So obviously, I was going to pick this up!

The Concept:

What drew me in about this story is the mystery behind Jude’s role as it is described in the synopsis. Why has he been hired to make Love marry him and by who? I love secrets like that and the tension they bring to the story. So I was disappointed that we had all the answers by the end of Chapter 4. It sucked that anticipation out of the story because you know everything right away. But it was the characters that kept me invested moving forward.

The Plot:

How the characters deal with these events is what truly surprised me. There were some interesting twists in that regard so that kept me on my toes. It provides some great character growth as a result and turned this novel into a more character driven narrative rather than a drama/mystery filled one.

The Characters:

The characters are really what makes this story. Love is a great heroine to follow. She’s finding her individuality and I loved watching her come into herself throughout the story. Jude is also an intriguing character and it was interesting to see him struggle with his role and his feelings for Love. I dare you not to fall in love with him!

The Romance:

I really liked the chemistry between these two. It was fairly obvious to me why they would be drawn to each other. And Jude is a sweetheart so it definitely had its swoon-worthy moments!

My Rating: 4/5

overall

Overall, this is a great story for new and returning fans of Winter Renshaw! The perfect romance binge read!

Read if You Like: character driven stories, contemporary romances
Avoid if You: want more secrets/mystery
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Monthly Inventory: July 2018

July 2018

Where did July go?! This month flew by in every way! Whether it was reading, life or work, I feel like the days just melted away in the summer heat.

I had a great July when it came to reading. For the first time in a long time, I actually felt in control of my reading. I wasn’t pressuring myself to read books by a certain deadline; I wasn’t overwhelmed with books out from the library and I could read whatever I wanted when I wanted. That’s the type of summer reading I like and want on my lazy days off and it’s something I’ve been striving for since I created my blog 5 years ago.

Some of my highlights from the month:

    • I decided not to put any books on hold at the library for July and August
    • I did a mini Goodreads purge of books I don’t have copies nor do I want to buy
      • I managed to remove 15 books from my TBR!
    • I have officially received and reviewed 100 books on Netgalley!
    • I started to schedule posts into 2019!

August is going to be a packed month for reading as well as life. I have some vacation time off but I’ve packed those days with events and the like. As for reading, I’m joining in on the annual Make Me Read It Readathon (a personal fave event) and participating in my second ARC August. So it’s going to be a busy one!

 

thoughts

Total for July 2018: 21 Books Read + 1 Novellas Read

DNF’d: 2 Books

Last July : 20 Books Read + 4 Novellas Read + 3 DNFs

Standout Read (★★★★★)


I’m just so in love with this series!

Biggest Let Down (★★)


My gut told me to DNF this one in the first quarter but I stuck it out. It was just OK as I really struggled with it and ended up disappointed.

 

posted reviews

Most Viewed Post

Make Me Read It: Vote

Most Viewed Review

Series Review: Royally by Emma Chase

View this year’s archives for more posts and reviews!

 

thoughts

Previously posted series reviews that got updates:

   

thoughts

You can always get the full details on all my challenges on my dedicated page but here is a quick update:

5 Year 5 Book Challenge: Added 2, DNF’d 1 | 9 of 25 Titles Read – On Track!
Goodreads Challenge: 23 books added | 150/190 Books – Ahead!
52 Sequel Challenge: 5 Books Added | 29/52 Sequels – On Track!
Tackling the TBR Challenge: 7 books added | 19/36 Books – Slightly Behind!

View my Challenge Progress Here!

 

Make Me Read It: August 2018

It’s back! Hosted once again by hosted by Val @ The Innocent Smiley and Ely @ Tea and Titles. There’s still time to vote for what books I should read for the upcoming readathon! My goal is to read 3 of the 10 books you vote for during the readathon (and then the rest by the end of the year).

Vote here!

ARC August

I had a lot of fun participating in this for the first time last year and thought it was a great way to get through some of those ARCs I have still sitting on the back burner. This classic summer event hosted by Read. Sleep. Repeat!

Most of these are titles I’ve received through Street Teams with the idea that “you get to them when you get to them” but I’ve really been slacking (as you could see in my last State of the ARC post last month). So the plan for this August is to get to most of these titles by the end of the month! I want to read the 3 that are due for August and at least 3 more from my ASAP pile. Here’s some of the reads I have on the go:

From Here to You (Crash and... Blood Will Out Heart of a Thief (Unforgivable #1) The Emperor's Daughters Captive of a Commoner The Right Fit

 

Created by Lia @ Lost in a Story

The idea is to go through 5-10 books on your Goodreads TBR list chronologically and decide if they should stay or go. I do this on a monthly basis by going through 7 “new to me” books and 3 “sequel” novels and deciding what is a keeper and what is a pass.

This month:

Leo
Keep

Put Me Back Together
Keep

Picture Perfect (Picturing Perfect, #1)
Pass

The Thrill of It (No Regrets, #1)
Keep

Pawn (The Blackcoat Rebellion, #1)
Pass

Forever & Always (The Ever Trilogy, #1)
Pass

Maybe This Time (Maybe, #1)
Pass

Across a Star-Swept Sea (For Darkness Shows the Stars, #2)
Keep

Crossed Lines (Blurred Lines, #3)
Keep

Truth or Dare (His Wicked Games, #2; The Cunningham Family, #2)
Keep

Pass: 4 | Keep: 6

Did I give up on any too soon? Let me know in the comments below!

 

discussions

You can still join in on these discussions:

 

Here are some of my favourite posts that I’ve come across the past month:

 

Each month I have a list of 11 books I’ve selected to read for that particular month. These books include review copies and reading challenge picks. Here are some of the books I have ready to go for August:

The Diabolic (The Diabolic, #1) The Secret of Ella and Micha (The Secret, #1) Immortal Reign (Falling Kin...

What were your biggest reading or personal accomplishments of the past month?
Leave a comment below!

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Series Review: Red by Isabelle Ronin

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

Red Series

booksynopsis

Synopsis for Chasing Red (from Goodreads):

HER HEART MIGHT BE THE ONE THING HE CAN’T WIN…
When cynical straight-A college student Veronica “Red” Strafford gets kicked out of her apartment, notorious basketball player Caleb Lockhart offers her a place to stay. Intensely drawn to her, Caleb wants something for the first time in his life. But Veronica’s painful past makes trusting difficult, and her heart might just be the one thing Caleb can’t win.

They said she was going to be my ruin…then let her ruin me.

breakdown

SERIESous’ Top Picks: 2017 New Adult Fave, Canadian Author
Series: Red
Author: Isabelle Ronin
# of Books: 2 (Chasing Red, Always Red)
Book Order: Chronological
Complete?: Yes
Genre: New Adult, Contemporary, Romance, Drama
Heat Rating: really warm
Point of View: First Person, Alternating
Publication Date: September 5 ,2017 – November 7, 2017
Source & Format: Netgalley–eARC | Thank you Sourcebooks Casablanca!


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.**

Why I Picked it Up / My Expectations:

When I was browsing upcoming releases, Chasing Red immediately caught my eye for a few reasons. One: is that cover–it’s just so colourful! Two: is the fact that Isabelle Ronin wrote this story on Wattpad–I’ve had great successes with stories that were first published there. Three: I love when the “popular guy” meets his match in a girl he never expected. (And I later learned that this book is set in Canada and is written by a Canadian Author! Bonus!!!)

I couldn’t wait to dive into this novel!

What I Liked:

–Veronica–

Red/Veronica is such an endearing heroine. She’s strong yet flawed and such a hard worker. You really get a great grasp on who she is and why so I never got annoyed with her actions. I fully understood everything she did because I knew her that well.

–Caleb–

Swoon! New Book Boyfriend Alert!

He knows all the right things to say but he is also so genuine about it as well. What a fantastic complement his character is to Veronica.

–Their Friends–

I also loved all of their friends and I truly hope we learn more about them in the sequel to this novel OR they each get their own story because I would love to read it.

–The Perfect Slow Burn Romance–

I had butterflies the entire time I was reading this–in like a totally awesome way. They have fantastic chemistry together, right from the start.

This romance had this amazing ability to feel like a slow burn romance but give you all the passion you expect in an already established romance. I loved watching these two explore their connection and building a relationship together. Besides physical attraction, they had that deeper bond. It was such a joy to watch them fall for each other.

What I Didn’t Like:

I really thought everything worked really well for this story. At first, I wasn’t sure about a particular plot line but I realized (as I was writing this review) that what I thought was a little unnecessary was necessary. I guess my biggest disappointment is waiting for the sequel!

My Expectations for the Rest of the Series:

I can’t wait to see how Red and Caleb’s story concludes! And maybe some more insight on their friends as well?

updates

–October 27, 2017– Book #2: Always Red

I didn’t love this book as much as Chasing Red for a few reasons. The main one is that all the drama got to me. It was a touch over the top but I kind of expected that given then ending of Chasing Red. The focus shifts from character development to navigating a relationship with all this added drama which is totally fine! It’s just that the character focus and growth was what charmed me in the first book.

The other reason is Caleb. He was just too much for me. His alpha male tendencies were overwhelming to say the least. Which is a shame because I really loved him in the first book. His approach made the relationship seem toxic at times. One positive though is that they do discuss his attitude and how it is impacting their relationship so that pleased me.

But I was still totally invested in this book! I loved having all these characters back in my life. I can’t wait for some sequels to be churned out and get the complete stories of everyone I’ve met so far. I think fans of Chasing Red will be pleased with this finale.

My Rating: 4.5/5

Chasing Red 5/5 | Always Red 4/5

overall

This story had everything I love in a great New Adult romance: genuine characters, great chemistry and a solid plot line. Completely addicting from start to end.

Read if You Like: slow burn romance, new adult, books set in canada
Avoid if You: dislike slow burn
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Series Review: Jordinia by C K Brooke


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 The Duchess Quest (from Goodreads):

“Love is destined to find her…”
Dainy doesn’t know that she is the lost Duchess of Jordinia, believed to have been assassinated fifteen years ago. Nor does she know that her uncle has implemented an illegal contest to seek her, offering her marriage hand as the reward! Though at odds, three clashing rivals – including a noble giant, a forest dweller and a thieving rake – voyage together by woodland, prairie and sea to recover the lost royal, notwithstanding the assassins and spies at their tail. Soon, young Dainy is swept into a comically complex romantic quadrangle as each suitor competes to capture her heart. Charmingly romantic and bursting with political intrigue, startling twists and vivid characters, readers of romance and fantasy alike will adore this original yet timeless tale of swashbuckling adventure and unlikely love.

breakdown

Series: Jodinia
Author: C K Brooke
# of Books: 4 (Full Series Reading Order Here)
Book Order: Chronological, Spin-Off (Descendants & Daughters)
Complete?: Yes
Genre: New Adult, Fantasy, Romance, Adventure
Heat Rating: warm
Point of View: Third Person, Multiple
Publication Date: October 2014 – February 2018
Source & Format: YA Bound Book Tours–eARC; Author–eARC

Add: Goodreads | Buy: AmazonBarnes & NobleBooks a Million48fourteenAuthor Site

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**This post was originally posted as a Blog Tour 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:

Normally, I stay clear of novels that have any hint of a love triangle or a love entanglement. BUT, this one sounded like it would be more fun than frustrating. Also, the word “swashbuckling”–yeah, it sold me! For some reason, it made me think of The Princess Bride (one of my all time favourite novels AND movie) so I was really stoked when I got the email that I would be a part of this blog tour!

What I Liked:

–The Adventure–

I’m not usually one who enjoys an adventure novel. They tend to be on the slower side of things and fail to keep my attention.

But that wasn’t the case here!

This story was so much fun! The premise is thoroughly entertaining that it captured my attention from the start. It also moved the story at a quick (but not too quick pace!). There are also quite a few twists along the way that keep the story from being overly linear which was fabulous.

–The Multiple POVs–

The various characters we get here are really what drive this story. They each have their unique flare and interesting backstories to keep you intrigued and wanting more.

I like a lot of things happening in my stories and I know that multiple POVs can scare people. But don’t let it deter you from this book! Because it is a third person POV throughout, each different chapter acts as a way to provide an alternate perspective to the same event that is unfolding. It also enriches the story by broadening the story and its reach. Simply put, it’s really done well and one of my favourite aspects.

What I Didn’t Like:

–More Young Adult Than New Adult–

How this book started made me think it was going to be more New Adult in its approach. Not only because of Dainy’s age but with the way the male characters acted when it came to romantic partners. Unfortunately, it was more YA in its delivery (which is was totally fine) but I just wanted a touch more maturity (I suppose that is the right word) to the characters and their story.

My Expectations for the Rest of the Series:

I’m very curious to see how this will all wrap up and will definitely be grabbing the conclusion to this series soon!

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–August 15, 2016– Book #2: The Duchess Inheritance

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I was excited to start this one after finishing the fun adventure that was The Duchess Quest. I was really curious to see how Dani would get her kingdom back and what trouble her and her companions would get into.

This one started strong, lulled a little just before the halfway point but finished strong. The last half of this book was by far the best part. It was nonstop action, plot twists and memorable character moments for the latter 50%. I really liked how everything came together.

Again, the multiple POVs are the strength of this series. It provides a 360 degree view of the world and keeps the story moving. It also gets you inside the minds of the various characters. I didn’t realize how attached to these characters I was until it all came to an end. I couldn’t have asked for a better conclusion to their story.

I also have to say that my concerns over the more Young Adult approach were squashed here. This was definitely a non-contemporary New Adult novel like I wanted it to be.

–February 11, 2017– Book #3: The Duchess’s Descendants

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Spin-offs are a tricky thing to write. Do you rely on the original characters and plot devices, or do you branch off on your own with new characters and a new plot? For me, it’s a blend of both…and that’s what C K Brooke has done here. It is perfection!

I enjoyed this one immensely, even more than its predecessor!

Descendants has all the charm of its parent novels. A fun, action-packed plot that keeps your attention from start to finish; adorable romances you can’t help but root for and an eclectic cast of characters that put a smile on your face.

The characters are what made it for me. I really fell in love with Johanna, Drew and Ludwig. They are all so unique in their personalities; yes, they have some of their parents’ quirks but they also aren’t straight regurgitation of their parents. Their stories were so fun but heart-warming at the same time. And the adventures they find themselves in were definitely memorable.

This novel is just a blast to read and I couldn’t put it down. A great addition to this series!

–August 19, 2018– Book #4: The Emperor’s Daughters

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I never thought that we would get a 4th book in this series, but after reading it, I’m so glad this series was expanded by one final addition.

It’s been awhile since I’ve been to Jordinia so it took me a few chapters to get back into the groove of things and reacquaint myself with this great world. But, before I knew it, I was sucked into this story like its predecessors before it.

While this instalment lacked the more “physical action” packed journey that the others had, it still had that adventure (albeit subtle) vibe this series is great at conveying. You have those great moments of character growth; the swoon-worthy romances and an engaging plotline of drama and intrigue that keeps you invested.

Overall, it’s a great way to wrap up this series by instilling all the lessons learned in the past novels while creating its own fresh story.

My Rating: 4.5/5

The Duchess Quest 4/5 | The Duchess Inheritance 4/5 | The Duchess’s Descendants 5/5  | The Emperor’s Daughters 5/5

overall
This story was a lot of fun! The adventure, the romance and the characters were a blast!

Read if You Like: The Princess Bride, adventure
Avoid if You: dislike multiple POVs
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C K Brooke

C.K. Brooke is a 2015 Shelf Unbound Notable Indie author with a five-star rating by Readers’ Favorite. She holds numerous fantasy and romance publications with 48fourteen, Limitless Publishing, and Elphame Press. Her lifelong passion is books – reading, writing, editing, publishing and blogging about them. When not blissing out in literary land, she enjoys info-tainment podcasts, singing, songwriting and playing the piano. She lives in Washington, Michigan with her husband and young son. There’s tons to check out at the new CKBrooke.com, so come and see what she’s up to!

Author Links: WebsiteGoodreadsTwitterFacebook

 

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