Tag «freebie»

Spin-off Saturdays: Found Duet by Laurelin Paige

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 Found Duet is a spin-off of the Fixed Series

breakdown

SERIESous’ Top Picks: Favourite Author
Series: Found Duet

This is a spinoff of the Fixed Series.

Author: Laurelin Paige
# of Books: 2 (Free Me, Find Me)
Book Order: Chronological
Complete?: Yes
Genre: Adult, Contemporary, Romance, Erotica
Heat Rating: Hot
Point of View: First Person, Single
Publication Date: December 2014 – August 2015
Source & Format: Own & Public Library–eBook

warning
WARNING: If you have not finished the original series, Fixed this review may have spoilers!

thoughts

My Expectations?

I was super excited for Gwen’s story after I finished the original Fixed Trilogy years ago. There was a lot of mystery to her character and her past and I couldn’t wait to uncover it all. Of course, I didn’t read this book until years later and I so I specifically forgot why I was so excited to read her story.

However, it didn’t take me long to reemerge myself into the Fixed universe once again. I didn’t realize that Free Me takes place about a year before we meet Gwen in the Fixed Series so that took some adjusting. But once I got the timeline sorted, I enjoyed learning more about her character.

How Does It Compare To The Original?

One of the things I loved the most about the original series is its great character development. You’ve got complex characters who literally evolve before your eyes as you read. Even with the male characters lacking a POV and being somewhat of a mystery, they have this great depth to them that really adds to the story.

As for the plot, you still have those fabulous hidden secrets and twists along the way. It’s easy to get sucked into the drama and suspense of these stories. You can tell these series are well thought out and planned in advance thanks to its delivery.

Anything I Didn’t Like?

Book 2, Find Me, was terribly slow for the first half. It just didn’t have any significant drama or character development to keep my full attention. It definitely picks up though in the latter half of the novel and I really enjoyed that.

When to Read This?

I actually read Chandler (Fixed #5) before I read this and it does have some spoilers about this series. So my reading order recommendation would be:

Fixed #1 (Fixed on You) thru #4 (Hudson), Free Me, Find Me, Chandler (Fixed #5), Fixed Forever (#6)

Series Rating: 4/5

Free Me 4/5 | Find Me 3.5/5

overall

I think fans of the original series will love getting Gwen’s story and returning to the world. Those new to the world but like their romances with a little suspense will enjoy this series as well.

Read if You Like: romances with lots of sex scenes, character development
Avoid if You: don’t like erotica

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booksynopsis

Synopsis for Free Me (from Goodreads):

I wasn’t supposed to be working the night I met JC.

Before him, I’d been content with the daily grind, managing one of NYC’s top nightclubs. So what if my life didn’t have a happily ever after? I didn’t believe in that anyway.

Then JC showed up.

Sexy, rich and smooth-talking, JC is nothing more than a distraction. I’m not interested in a night-in-shining latex so it’s easy to push the playboy away. Or it is until my life spins unexpectedly out-of-control. Then he’s there for me, offering a new method of survival, one based on following primal urges and desires that requires me to abandon my constant need for control.

His no-strings-attached lessons obliterate my carefully built walls. And as I discover freedom, I start to feel things for him that I shouldn’t. Things that make me fear for my newly vulnerable heart. Because JC has secrets of his own, and his secrets don’t want to set him free.

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Series Review: Royally 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:

booksynopsis

Synopsis for Royally Screwed (from Goodreads):

Nicholas Arthur Frederick Edward Pembrook, Crowned Prince of Wessco, aka His Royal Hotness, is wickedly charming, devastatingly handsome, and unabashedly arrogant; hard not to be when people are constantly bowing down to you.

Then, one snowy night in Manhattan, the prince meets a dark haired beauty who doesn’t bow down. Instead, she throws a pie in his face.

Nicholas wants to find out if she tastes as good as her pie, and this heir apparent is used to getting what he wants.

Dating a prince isn’t what waitress Olivia Hammond ever imagined it would be.

There’s a disapproving queen, a wildly inappropriate spare heir, relentless paparazzi, and brutal public scrutiny. While they’ve traded in horse drawn carriages for Rolls Royces, and haven’t chopped anyone’s head off lately, the royals are far from accepting of this commoner.

But to Olivia, Nicholas is worth it.

Nicholas grew up with the whole world watching, and now Marriage Watch is in full force. In the end, Nicholas has to decide who he is and, more importantly, who he wants to be: a King… or the man who gets to love Olivia forever.

breakdown

SERIESous’ Top Picks: Favourite Author, Fav Couple, 2018 Fav
Series: Royally Trilogy; Royals Trilogy

There is a Spin-Off Series titled The Bodyguards!

Author: Emma Chase
# of Books: 4 (Full Reading Order)

There is a free novella: #2.5 Royally Raised

Book Order: Connected but Chronological Events

Technically, Royally Yours (#4) is a prequel

Complete?: Yes
Genre: Adult, Contemporary, Romance, Humour
Heat Rating: Hot
Point of View: First Person, Alternating
Publication Dates: October 2016 – October 2018
Source & Format: Own–eBook; Library–Audiobook (Royally Endowed); eARC (Royally Yours)

thoughts

Why I Picked it Up / My Expectations:

I’ve been eager to read another Emma Chase series since I finished Tangled years ago. She is one of those authors who never fails to make me laugh. She just has the total package when it comes to writing. The Legal Briefs didn’t interest me all that much (but I do have it on my TBR now because I just love her work) but when I saw she was writing a series about royals? Hell yes!

The Plot:

I really liked that all 3 books had a different plot style to them because each set of leads has a different flare to them. It’s hard to talk about them all without spoilers (particularly because the events in Royally Screwed heavily influence Royally Matched) but I’ll just say you’ll feel every emotion as you read. I laughed, I cried, I swooned.

For me, this whole series is just adult contemporary perfection. You’ve got great characters with great development. Heart-pounding romance and tension. A solid plot throughout. And you can’t forget the humour Emma Chase flawlessly infuses into her stories and her ability to make you cry just moments later. They’re just an absolute pleasure to read!

The Characters:

I loved all these characters. I loved how they were all uniquely complicated. I loved watching them grow as people. I loved their wit and humour. Basically, I loved them and they really made these novels awesome.

The Romance:

You know, all of these characters make my “Favourite Couples” list. They were everything I love in a romantic pair. Great communication, complementary personalities, a strong partnership. While they grow as people, so does the romance.

There’s plenty of heat and tension along the way as well. The chemistry between all the leads just leaps off the pages and it makes all the stories so addicting.

When to Read the Novella #2.5 Royally Raised?

I was a little worried that Royally Raised (which is a freebie novella at most eBook retailers) would have some spoilers for Royally Endowed (Book #3) but it doesn’t at all. It has spoilers for Books 1 & 2 but you really shouldn’t be reading a novella that’s set 20 years later before you read the actual stories of the characters it’s about. (Just sayin’)

Anyways, I read it after Royally Matched and I think that’s the perfect time to read it. It makes for an extended epilogue of sorts with the leads and it’s absolute perfection! Highly recommend!

My Audiobook Experience–Royally Endowed:

I did plan on reading Royally Matched as an audiobook as well but I already had a voice for Henry in my mind and the narrator for that audiobook didn’t sound like that. Thus, I opted for the eBook.

But I’m so, so glad I listened to the audiobook for Royally Endowed. It was absolutely fabulous! Shane East and Andi Arndt did an AMAZING job (they narrate the other novels as well and what I had listened to of Royally Matched was also great). The accent Shane did was the perfect blend of English and Scottish like the Wessco accent is described and it really helped me to get lost in the story. I highly recommend the audiobooks for this series!

Series Rating: 5/5

Royally Screwed 5/5 | Royally Matched 5/5 | [Royally Raised 5/5] | Royally Endowed 5/5

overall

I see a lot of rereads with this series in the future. One of my all time favourite Adult Contemporary Romance Series EVER!

Read if You Like: romances involving royals, humour
Avoid if You: don’t enjoy romance novels

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Novella Serial Review: Once She Dreamed by Abbi Glines

Serial Saturdays: On the occasional Saturday, I review a serialized series (a series that is released in parts that would normally make up a whole novel) to see if the series is worth keeping up with or worth buying all its parts. Here is this week’s offering:

booksynopsis

Synopsis for Once She Dreamed (from Goodreads):

Everyone in the small country town where Sammy Jo Knox had been born and raised, never left. They made their life there. Got married, had kids, lived in the same houses that were always there along the streets that never changed. The whole white picket fence and tree swing might look good on greeting cards but in real life it was boring, at least to Sammy Jo.

When Sammy Jo was a little girl she began dreaming of something bigger. Brighter. Something that wasn’t her town. She wanted to see the world and experience it all. Just how she was going to do that she had no idea. Because if her momma had her way, she’d marry one of the boys in town and be spitting out babies and going to church on Sunday with them all lined up in a row.

The day Hale Christopher Jude III walked into the bakery she worked at, she knew he was it. That part of life she was missing. He smelled of foreign places and exciting things. He represented all the bright lights she dreamed of and simply put, she hoped he was her way out of this place.

What Sammy Jo didn’t realize was things that appear perfect… aren’t. And chasing her dreams could lead to something very different.

breakdown

SERIESous’ Top Picks: Favourite Author, Most Read Author
Series: Once She Dreamed
Author: Abbi Glines
# of Parts: 2
Complete?: Yes
Genre: New Adult, Contemporary, Romance, Drama
Heat Rating: warm
Point of View: First Person, Single
Publication Date: October 2016 – December 2016
Source & Format: Own & Public Library–eBook

thoughts

Why I Picked it Up / My Expectations:

I read anything by Abbi Glines–especially her New Adult stuff. So how this series slipped my radar is beyond me. Anyways, I found out that Part 1 was a freebie on Kobo and snapped it up!

At first glance, this serial has the typical Abbi Glines’ formula: rich boy falls for country-girl. But the last two sentences gave me hope that there was something more to this story so I was eager to discover it.

The Plot:

For me the plot was one of the things I struggled with the most in both installments. I found that Part 1 was terribly dull. The vast majority of that part is spent establishing the fact that Sammy Jo doesn’t want to be in Moulton. It just made the story seem so mundane and boring. We hardly get any time with Hale–or what his presence means for Sammy Jo.

Part 2 gets a little more into the drama but I still found it underwhelming. One of my favourite aspects about novella series is that things happen at a rapid pace and new things are constantly thrown your way to keep you intrigued. And I didn’t feel like that happened here.

I will say that there was one very good twist (even though I did suspect it earlier). I wish it was elaborated on more but I enjoyed it.

The Characters:

Sammy Jo is about as naive as they come. For the most part I cut her some slack because I understood why she didn’t seem to know any better. BUT, she is told by countless people what the obvious path is and she still chooses to ignore it. She never really learns from it and I found her character development was stifled.

As for the rest, I hate to say it but they were all pretty cliche.

The Romance:

I really thought this was going to be more of a romance but it is actually more of a coming of age story for Sammy Jo with a little dash of love thrown in along the way. Again, I wasn’t a huge fan thanks to the quickness of it all and the underdeveloped side characters.

Series Rating: 2.5/5

overall

This was a disappointing read for me. While I can see what was trying to be attempted, it just pales in comparison to Glines’ other work with its slow delivery and lacklustre characters.

Read if You Like: short novellas
Avoid if You: dislike slow stories, want more to the plot

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Series Review: Layers Deep by Lacey Silks

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 Layers Deep (from Goodreads):
He needs her to save a friend.
She needs him to plan her revenge.
Their pasts scar them Layers Deep.
Their passion distracts them…
…and distractions can be fatal.

Tristan Cross is battling emotional demons from the past. He lives in a world where trust is earned, loyalties are tested, and love is impossible. That is, until he meets Allie Green. She’s the only woman who can help him find a kidnapped friend and to top it off, she captivates him. All he has to do now is persuade her to work for Cross Enterprises, his top investigations firm.

Allie Green is a rookie cop seeking revenge and she’s willing to sell her soul to get it. With an opportunity to use Tristan Cross’s resources Allie calculates her time for payback. As vengeance boils her blood she can’t keep her mind off her new boss and Allie finds it difficult to keep her employment professional. With the mouth watering Tristan Cross distracting her, she struggles to prioritize an undercover job she’s been assigned and her hunger for revenge.

And when you’re ready to give up your life to save someone else, distractions can be fatal.

breakdown

Series: Layers Deep Trilogy
Author: Lacey Silks
# of Books: 3 (Layers Deep, Layers Peeled, Layers Off)

There is a prequel novel, Dazzled by Silver that is FREE on eBook sites.

There is a spin-off series called Crossed.

Book Order: Chronological (Layers Deep, Layers Peeled); Connected (Dazzled by Silver, Layers Off)

However, these all follow a series of Chronological Events.

Complete?: Yes
Genre: Adult, Erotica, Contemporary, Romance, Suspense
Heat Rating: Steamy; Kink: mild (Dazzled by Silver)
Point of View: First Person, Single
Publication Dates: December 2013 – March 2014
Source & Format: Own–eBook

thoughts

Disclaimer: I read both Dazzled by Silver and Layers Deep but will not read Layers Peeled or Layers Off. Find out why below…

Why I Picked it Up / My Expectations:

It’s been a long time since I’ve read an erotica novel but I was in a reading slump when I decided to read this Rock My TBR 2016 title in the hopes it bring me out of my slump.

I’m not sure how this trilogy crossed my radar. I want to say it is because it shares the same cover work as one of my all time favourite adult contemporary romances, Fixed Trilogy but I’m not sure. It also could have been a sale from Kobo…it’s been on there for a long time but I’ve been looking for a good romantic suspense novel for a long time and this one showed some promise.

What I Liked:

–They Were Quick, Easy Reads–

I finished both books in 2-3 hours so I didn’t feel like I slaved over them. The plots move fast thanks to their simplicity. When I needed a quick, contemporary fix, they did the job perfectly.

What I Didn’t Like:

–Too Much Sexy Times, Not Enough Action–

I really wanted this to be a suspense novel and not so much of an erotica novel. However, it is definitely the latter. And while I like the steamy scenes just as much as the next person, that really wasn’t what I wanted to read.

Besides the leads wanting to bang each other’s brains out, there isn’t a lot to the story. I suppose things get a touch more exciting near the end of Layers Deep but I just don’t care to pick up the next two books.

–The Characters–

Tristan was a more healthy version of Christian Grey but I found their family structure to be similar. Allie was a strong, independent woman but as soon as she meets Tristan she becomes a little bit needy and I feel like her development gets stinted because of it. But, I did like the fact that she was strong and wasn’t necessarily defined by him either.

But they weren’t anything new to me–and I didn’t grow attached to them; definitely not enough to make me want to read their continuation of their story despite the cliffhanger of Layers Deep.

Will I Finish It?

If I get the last two books as freebies, maybe I’ll read them. But when I read Dazzled by Silver a week after Layers Deep, I still was OK not knowing what happens in Layers Peeled.

When to Read Dazzled by Silver:

Honestly, I think you can read it before Layers Deep and it won’t give away much. BUT, I think you’ll get more out of it and save yourself some minor spoilers if you read it after Layers Deep or Layers Peeled.

Series Rating: 2.5/5

[Dazzled by Silver 2.5/5] | Layers Deep 2.5/5 | Layers Peeled N/A | Layers Off N/A

overall

If you want a quick erotica read that has a bit more substance than your typical short stories, pick up these freebies!

Read if You Like: erotica, quick reads
Avoid if You: want more suspense, more plotline
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Meme-ful Musings: When that Book You Wanted Goes on Sale or is FREE!

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Meme-ful Musings: At the end of the month I’ll post a book-related meme that I think brings up an interesting discussion about books. Feel free to join in by making a comment below or linking back!


book

(Meme from: troll.me)

Like most readers out there, I have a compulsion to buy books. I made a decision about 3 years ago to stop buying physical books because I was running out of space to put them all and because I was moving around a lot for school, it was just easier to use the library for my reading fix (instead of packing up all my books every few months when I moved). But then, I bought my first Kobo Touch (RIP good friend) and discovered three great things about eBooks:

  1. They are cheaper than physical books!
  2. There are a ton of free books available, especially classic novels!
  3. They don’t take up any physical space!!!!!!!!

That last point is key–now I could store all the books I wanted in a cloud or my hand held device. No more bending bookshelves or squeezing books together to get them to fit. Now I could buy as many books as a I wanted without worrying about the space!

Which has its downfall because I find that I now buy more books than I could possibly read because of book sales/promo codes and FREEBIES.

I always look for a bargain in anything that I purchase. I refuse to buy things at full price. I always wait for a sale or a some sort of discount to buy things. So it isn’t a surprise I do that with my reading habit. (Check out my tips for cheaper reading on my “Reading on a Dime” page). That’s why I subscribe to multiple eBook sale mailing lists that tell me the new books on sale or, even better, what books are now free.

Which is the inspiration for this musing. Nothing is better than browsing a list of freebie books and finding that a book you have wanted to read for a long time is now FREE! I get such great satisfaction when I can change the list status on my GoodReads account for a book that I was currently searching for to one that says it is now on my eBookshelf.

I feel the same way when books go on sale though it is a little more subdued. Kobo (as well as Amazon/Kindle but because I have a Kobo I buy more books from them) is great at having sales every so often on the more expensive books that can’t have promo codes applied to them. For example, I was able to pick up some books from the Lunar Chronicles (which typically retail for $10+ eCopy) for less than $4 which is pretty great! Even though I could easily take these books out of the library (after waiting for a long time on the hold list), it’s hard for the bargain hunter in me to turn down a great offer. Especially on books that I know I am going to love and will probably want to reread. I have also bought eCopies of books I have read before and loved when they are on sale (ex. The Princess Bride was on sale once for $1–HOW CAN YOU POSSIBLY REFUSE!?).

In the end, the point of this musing is to simply say how awesome things are when they go on sale but how much better they are when they are free 😉

***

So, are you a bargain book hunter? Do you troll eBook merchant sites for freebies on a regular basis? Where are the best places to get cheaper reads?

Let me know by leaving a comment below!

 

DNF Series Review: Phantom Knights by Amalie Vantana

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

  book

booksynopsis

Synopsis for Phantoms in Philadelphia (from Goodreads):
When you live a life of secrets, you trust no one and question everything

Nineteen-year-old Bess Martin has many secrets. She can outride, outshoot, and outsmart most people, but her greatest secret…she is the leader of the Phantoms, a spy organization.

After spending three years fighting in a war, eighteen-year-old Jack Martin returns home to Philadelphia with his sister Bess, ready to live a life of ease, but what is waiting for them is a task more difficult than any other battle they have fought.

When people start disappearing and the weather turns unusually cold, the city is in a panic. They believe the war angered a deity and that the disappearances are the sacrifices, but who will be next? When presidential hopeful James Monroe is targeted, all clues lead to the mysterious secret society known as Levitas. It is up to Bess, Jack, and their team of Phantoms to uncover a dark and winding plot that reaches further than they could have ever imagined. As their journey draws them deep into secrets of the past, Bess and Jack may come to find that a normal life is not possible when you are a spy.

breakdown

Series: The Phantom Knights
Author: Amalie Vantana
# of Books: 4 (Phantoms in Philadelphia, The Charleston Chase, Secrets in Savannah, Deceit in Delaware )
Book Order: Chronological
Complete?: Yes
Genre: Young Adult, Historical, Spies, Mystery, Romance
Heat Rating: unsure
Point of View: First Person, Alternating
Publication Dates: December 2013 – July 2015
Source & Format: Own–eBook

thoughts

Note: I only read 20% of Phantoms in Philadelphia. Find out why below…

Why I Picked it Up / My Expectations:

I found Phantoms in Philadelphia for free for my Kobo a long time ago. Don’t ask me why, but every-time I glanced the title over the years, I thought it was about vampires. I think it’s the mask on the cover? But when I saw it was about spies, I was also super excited–I needed a new espionage novel in my life!

I was also really curious about the sibling dynamic. It has been wayyy too long since I read a story that focused on two siblings as the protagonists.

What I Liked:

–The Focus on the Siblings–

I’m so use to reading alternating POV from romantic partners so I thought it was super cool that this story used two siblings to tell the story. Bess and Jack seem to have their own individual plot lines happening so I liked the promise that there would be a lot happening.

What I Didn’t Like / Why I Dnf’d it:

–The Setting was Unexpected–

What I didn’t realize is that this series takes place in the 1800s. I honestly don’t know why I thought it was a modern day/1900s story so that threw me for a loop. It surprised me that I didn’t enjoy this setting more because I LOVE Victorian/Georgian era stories but I just couldn’t get into the time period.

–Not As Exciting as I Thought–

Given that the two leads have essentially their own plot lines and–you know–the fact that they are spies, I thought things would move at an accelerated pace…and that wasn’t necessarily the case.

I found the writing to be dry and my mind would wander thinking about other things so I would miss what I assume are going to be important details. I also feel like nothing really happened in the first 20% of the book–just a lot of exposition which is fine but I still really didn’t know where the plot was going to go when I decided to call it quits.

Will I Finish It?

I first DNF’d this at 15% (so end of Chapter 4) but then the reviews on Goodreads made me want to keep going. I also read the synopsis for the rest of the series and was mildly curious about the events that come later. Add to the fact that I had this as a Rock my TBR selection and it has sat on my Kobo forever and I really wanted to push forward.

So I tried to read a chapter or two a day and got through a whomping one more than before when I realized I just couldn’t do it. Yes, it sucks but it isn’t fair to this book nor myself to keep on trying to make something work that just isn’t going to no matter how hard I try.

Series Rating: N/A

overall

I think if I had read this as a young teen, I would have really enjoyed it. Fact of the matter is, as someone approaching her mid-20s and who has a lot of experience with faster paced YA reads, this one doesn’t keep up. I need insta-excitement and intrigue from the start and this one just didn’t have it.

Read if You Like: tween/younger YA reads, Victorian era spies but set in America
Avoid if You: want faster plots, want more romance

similarreads

  • A Spy in the House by Y S Lee (The Agency Series #1)

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Series Review: Alienated by Melissa Landers

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 Alienated (from Goodreads):
Two years ago, the aliens made contact. Now Cara Sweeney is going to be sharing a bathroom with one of them.

Handpicked to host the first-ever L’eihr exchange student, Cara thinks her future is set. Not only does she get a free ride to her dream college, she’ll have inside information about the mysterious L’eihrs that every journalist would kill for. Cara’s blog following is about to skyrocket.

Still, Cara isn’t sure what to think when she meets Aelyx. Humans and L’eihrs have nearly identical DNA, but cold, infuriatingly brilliant Aelyx couldn’t seem more alien. She’s certain about one thing, though: no human boy is this good-looking.

But when Cara’s classmates get swept up by anti-L’eihr paranoia, Midtown High School suddenly isn’t safe anymore. Threatening notes appear in Cara’s locker, and a police officer has to escort her and Aelyx to class.

Cara finds support in the last person she expected. She realizes that Aelyx isn’t just her only friend; she’s fallen hard for him. But Aelyx has been hiding the truth about the purpose of his exchange, and its potentially deadly consequences. Soon Cara will be in for the fight of her life—not just for herself and the boy she loves, but for the future of her planet.

breakdown

Series: Alienated
Author: Melissa Landers
# of Books: 2 (Alienated, Invaded)

There is a FREE bridging e-novella between the two books: Until Midnight

Book Order: Chronological
Complete?: Yes (though more may be written in the future)
Genre: Young Adult, Romance, Science Fiction, Aliens, Humour
Heat Rating: getting warm
Point of View: Third Person, Alternating
Source & Format: public library–hardcopies

thoughts

I’m not sure how I stumbled upon this series; I think I was doing my 6 degrees of book recommendations on Goodreads–you know, where you look up one book and in the corner you see this other cover that captures your attention and so on and so forth… Regardless, I found this book and saw that my local library had copies so I said why not? The only YA alien romance novel/series that I have read to date is Jennifer L. Armentrout’s Lux Series which I enjoyed quite a bit. So when she says “with the right mix of sizzling romance, action, and suspense, ALIENATED is easily my favorite alien book to date” well, I was going to pay attention and pick it up–so mission accomplished marketing department 😉

Truth be told, I wasn’t sure what to expect when I started to read Alienated. I suppose I expected the cliches of an antagonistic love affair and high school drama–and that is there for sure but it also had a splash of humour which was what I loved the most!

I loved Aelyx’s cynical attitude about things and how he would describe everyday Earth things as if they were the craziest thing he had ever seen. Cara was also really funny and sensible–which I find rare in a YA heroine these days. Together they had a really great connection and their banter back and forth was a lot of fun to read!

And while there was some high school drama, it balanced well with the romance and the larger-scheme plot lines that were happening. Like Armentrout said in her review, it really was the perfect mix of everything you like in a YA novel which makes it such a treat to read!

I read the novella, Until Midnight, right before Invaded. It definitely isn’t necessary but it bridges the physical time gap between the two books. Plus, it’s a FREE eBook so really it’s almost silly not to read the 5 chapters of the short story!

Invaded took me longer to get into. I think part of the reason is the circumstances of the plot (which is hard to elaborate on when you write spoiler-free reviews!) but suffice it to say, given the situations Aelyx and Cara find themselves in, I expected it to begin on the slower side of things. So while I appreciated the character development in the first half of the book, I enjoyed the faster pace of the last half a lot more.

This series is listed as completed–Landers is writing a new book for 2016–but she said on her website page that more books are contingent upon book sales of Invaded. While I am completely satisfied with the way things ended, I would be open to reading more books in this series–or at the very least a follow-up novella.

My Rating: 4/5

overall

This series was a fun, light-hearted read that I found to be refreshing! While it won’t be gracing the top of any of my favourites list, I enjoyed reading it a lot. It was a great blend of everything I like in a YA romance read: great chemistry, funny leads and interesting plot situations.

Read if You Like: hate-to-love romances, aliens, humour
Avoid if You: dislike “forbidden” romances, are expecting a true Science Fiction focus, dislike “fluffier” YA

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Series Review: Hopeless by Colleen Hoover

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

SERIESous’ Top Book Series: Fav New Adult 2015; Must Read Author
Series: Hopeless
Author: Colleen Hoover
# of Books: 2 (Hopeless, Losing Hope)

There is a FREE standalone novella after book 2 called, Finding Cinderella

Book Order: Alternate POV Sequel; The novella is Connected
Complete?: Yes
Genre: Young Adult/New Adult, Romance, Drama
Heat Rating: really warm *spicy YA*
Point of View: First Person, Single

Thoughts:

When I first got into New Adult novels, Hopeless graced every recommended read list I encountered. So I purchased it for my Kobo but didn’t end up reading it until much, much later. And truth be told I probably wouldn’t have picked up for a little while longer if I hadn’t read–and loved–Hoover’s other YA novel, Slammed. Once I read Slammed and saw what Hoover was capable of, I made sure I had the entire Hopeless series in my grasp before I moved them to the top of my to-read pile.

I loved Sky from the moment we met her. I just loved her attitude about things and I loved her interactions with Holder. Their chemistry together was awesome throughout the entire book. One thing I love about these YA/New Adult crossover books is that the leads don’t usually jump right into bed together. You actually get to see them form a relationship that is more than physical chemistry and that is what we had here.

But the best part about this series is the many layers to this story. I really wasn’t sure what the underlying plot was going to be based on the synopsis of Hopeless but once I started reading I thought I had it all figured out based on the little tidbits we get here and there. Well, I was completely wrong! Eventually all these clues add up to be the BIG secret reveal and once it was revealed, all my expectations for the plot were out the door. These big twists are something I commend Colleen Hoover for because I never see them coming in her works and I love how she blows away my preconceived notions so easily. Rarely am I surprised when I read a novel, so when I do get surprised it quickly elevates the book from a 4 star review to a 5. And Hopeless is definitely a book worthy of 5 stars and endless praise. This book is a must read for New Adult fans!

Losing Hope is the alternate POV sequel to Hopeless. This time we get Holder’s take on things and it really does add to the story you get in Hopeless because if fills in some of the blanks about Holder’s actions (not that they weren’t complete in the original story, they are just further elaborated on). It starts a little before Hopeless and ends a little after as well. Like its predecessor, its simply well done. Not only to we get to see some added events but all the events that you want to see from Holder’s POV are included. I know that sometimes it is tempting to read alternate POV sequels congruently with the first book but I highly discourage it because it has major spoilers and will absolutely ruin Hopeless for you!

Finding Cinderella is a novella (FREE on most major eBook sites) about two characters we meet separately in Hopeless and Losing Hope. You could definitely read this book before you read Hopeless because these characters don’t have major roles and Hoover did a great job of not revealing anything about Holder & Sky’s story in the novella. It was super cute, the perfect length and had an unexpected twist (well, it was an expected twist but what the twist actually was was unpredictable). And because it’s FREE you can’t really go wrong with reading it!

Conclusion:

From the two books straight to the novella, this series blew me away. Definitely a favourite series for me and has officially moved Colleen Hoover into must-read author series. For those who like books with lots of layers and don’t mind more mature subject matter, this is an EXCELLENT series for you to grab.

Rating: 5/5
Would I Recommend this Series to a Friend: HELL YES!!!

Similar Reads: Ten Tiny Breaths by K.A. Tucker (Ten Tiny Breaths Series #1) and Wait for You by J. Lynn (Wait for You Series #1)

Synopsis for Hopeless (from Goodreads):
Sometimes discovering the truth can leave you more hopeless than believing the lies…

That’s what seventeen-year-old Sky realizes after she meets Dean Holder. A guy with a reputation that rivals her own and an uncanny ability to invoke feelings in her she’s never had before. He terrifies her and captivates her all in the span of just one encounter, and something about the way he makes her feel sparks buried memories from a past that she wishes could just stay buried.

Sky struggles to keep him at a distance knowing he’s nothing but trouble, but Holder insists on learning everything about her. After finally caving to his unwavering pursuit, Sky soon finds that Holder isn’t at all who he’s been claiming to be. When the secrets he’s been keeping are finally revealed, every single facet of Sky’s life will change forever.

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Top Ten Tuesdays: Recently Added TBR Books (Freebie Edition) [2]

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Top Ten Tuesdays: Is a weekly meme feature hosted by The Broke and the Bookish where bloggers post their Top 10 List for an assigned topic! I will not be participating every week, but I will occasionally wear my David Letterman Hat and create my own Top 10 List as specified!


This Week’s Topic:

Top Ten Recently Added TBR Books

Freebie Edition

I probably add 10 books a day to my TBR pile (no joke!) but I decided to put a freebie spin on this weeks’ Top Ten Post by picking books that I recently picked up as Freebies from Amazon.ca and Kobo.com.

*Note: These reads might not be listed as free on these sites any more or in your country but I encourage you to check anyways just in case!

Here are the FREE reads I recently added to my TBR (in no particular order):

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Maybe This Time has been on my TBR forever but I never got around to buying it–so when I saw it for free on Amazon, I thought I was dreaming. I quickly checked to see if I could get it for my Kobo (my preferred eReading device) and there it was for FREE! Super happy!

Have you picked up any good freebie reads lately? Is there one you are dying to read?

Novella Serial Review: Gypsy Brothers by Lili St. Germain

Serial Saturdays: On Saturdays, I review serialized series (a series that is released in parts that would normally make up a whole novel) to see if the series is worth keeping up with. Here is this week’s offering:

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Synopsis for Seven Brothers (from Goodreads):

My father was most certainly NOT an innocent man. As the leader of the Gypsy Brothers MC, he was guilty of many things. But he died for a crime that he didn’t commit, framed by an enemy within who then stole his club and everything he had ever worked to protect.

Including my innocence.

When Dornan Ross framed my father, he set into motion a series of events that could never be undone. My father was murdered by Dornan Ross and his sons when I was fifteen years old.

Before my father died, Dornan Ross and his seven sons stole my innocence, branded my skin and in doing so, ensured that their lives would be prematurely cut short. That they would suffer.

I’ve just turned twenty-one, and I’m out for blood. I’m out for revenge.

But I didn’t expect to fall for Jase, the youngest brother in the club.

I didn’t expect that he would turn my world upside down, yank my heart out of my chest and ride away into the sunset with it.

Now, I’m faced with an impossible choice – Jase, or avenging my fathers death?

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SERIESous’ Top Book Series: #2 Favourite Serialized Series 2014
Series: Gypsy Brothers

There will be a prequel trilogy spin-off that is set 16 years before this series called Cartel to be published in February 2015

Author: Lili St. Germain
# of Parts: 7 (Seven Sons, Six Brothers, Five Miles, Four Score, Three Years, Two Years, One Love)
Complete?: Yes
Genre: Adult, Dark, Romance, Motorcycle Club, Erotica, Suspense
Heat Rating: getting hot + *mature subject matter*
Point of View: First Person, Single
Source & Format: Own–eBook

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Why I Picked it Up?

Seven Sons was a freebie on Kobo and Amazon and as soon as I saw it I had to read it. It hits all my favourite marks: a revenge story, romance and featured a motor cycle club (a plot element I always wanted to read but haven’t read it yet). However, the series had just started and I knew I would be addicted so I waited until the series was finished before I started reading it.

The Concept:

I feel like I should emphasize that this series isn’t for everyone because it is very, very dark. Probably the darkest series I have read so far. What I mean by dark is that it features situations that not everyone would be comfortable reading (for example rape and murder). I would say that if watching Criminal Minds makes you squeamish, avoid this series because you won’t like that element.

The Plot:

Despite that darker element, I was hooked into this series. The whole story, even if it made my heartbreak and was harder to read because of the subject matter, was captivating and really refreshing to me. If other MC (motorcycle club) books have this much suspense and tension, I understand why they are so popular.

I find that the synopsis for Seven Sons is slightly misleading in terms of Jase’s role because the impression it gives is not what actually happens and there is more to their connection when you actually read the series. Because of that, the first book wasn’t what I was expecting but I loved what we got instead and I find the rest of the series builds on that. I also loved how the series ended and I appreciate why St. Germain did it.

Each part is fast pace (there is one exception but it is needed) and I would devour them super quickly. I was expecting to read one a day but I found myself reading 2 or 3 just to find out what happens next! So make sure you have all parts on hand when reading (though I recommend you just get the first book for free first to make sure you like it before you buy the rest!)!

Series Rating: 4/5

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I found this series to be very refreshing and highly addicting. However, I think some people won’t like the darker elements to it because they are quite strong. I recommend grabbing Seven Sons for free and reading it before buying the rest of the series if you are interested in reading it 🙂

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