Tag «unknown series status»

Series Review: Neighbors from Hell by R.L. Mathewson

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

book4

Series: A Neighbor from Hell Series
Author: R.L. Mathewson
# of Books: 10 (Full Reading Order Here)
Complete?: No, Book 9, will be published in 2016
Genre: Contemporary Romance, Humour
Heat Rating: Hot
Point of View: First Person, Alternating
Publication Dates: April 2011 – ongoing
Source & Format: Own–eBook

thoughts

PLEASE NOTE: Please note the following review only includes the first three novels in the series. 

This series was a lot of fun to read. Sometimes you just need a light romance read that doesn’t focus on tragedy or soap-opera like drama and that is what you get here. While I didn’t find it as funny as some people rave, I did laugh at various points in these novels.

Playing for Keeps was really enjoyable. I liked Haley as a character because she was realistic and a down-to-earth girl. Jason was really funny with his eating habits and the like. I enjoyed the banter between the two of them throughout the book (that goes for all the leads in the other two books as well). It’s a super quick read that entertained me for an afternoon.

Perfection was actually my favourite of the three. I liked the opposites attract story between Zoe and Trevor. I liked that they weren’t each other’s ideal date initially and that they were able to find love in the characteristics of each other. I think sometimes we have the ideal person we want to be with in our heads and then we only focus on that ideal and not on the real world. It was refreshing to see that sometimes love isn’t what or where we thought it was. I also liked the continuing Bradford charm in this one.

I read Checkmate a little while after the first two. It didn’t really connect as the first two did to the Bradford Family as the leads are not directly from the family, but I liked it all the same. I enjoy enemies to lovers stories so I thought this book was really cute. The pranks that Connor and Rory pull on each other throughout the years are funny and entertaining so it was nice to see how their story progresses. I actually enjoyed this book more than I thought I would when I started reading it.

I actually didn’t know that there was a 4th book in this series until I wrote this review so I’m interested in what it coming next though I probably won’t get around to them for some time given my ever-growing to-read list.

I don’t have the rest of this series on my immediate TBR but if the need arises for a light-hearted romance, I’ll probably grab one. I just lose interest in series that are loosely connected and go over 5 books…

Series Rating: 4/5

overall

They are not writing masterpieces by any means, but they a light romantic reads with a dash of humour that is refreshing in the contemporary genre where most stories feature darker elements and jaded leads (*cough cough* Fifty Shades…).

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booksynopsis

Synopsis for Playing for Keeps (from Goodreads):
Done with being the world’s biggest pushover, Haley decides that things are going to change starting with the aggravating neighbor who has too much charm and not enough restraint. What she didn’t expect was to be sucked into his world, but Haley has a game plan and she won’t let herself forget just what the bad boy next door is capable of.

The last thing Jason expected was for his little shy neighbor to go Rambo on him over some ruined flowers. After he decides to take her under his wing he can’t help but notice that she fits very nicely in his life. Now the only thing left is to convince her that this is anything but a game.

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Series Review: Cross my Heart by Sasha Gould

Series: Cross my Heart
Author: Sasha Gould
# of Books: 2 (Cross my Heart, Heart of Glass)
Complete?: Not sure if there will be a third book
Genre: Young Adult, Romance, Venice, Mystery, Historical
Heat Rating: cold

Thoughts:

I read the first book, Cross my Heart, as soon as it came out but before I started the second book, I decided to reread it because I couldn’t remember what exactly had happened.

I have to say that book 1 Cross my Heart was enjoyable. The mystery element is a nice feature and I find I don’t often read books that are mostly a mystery plot so it was a nice change. As you can see from my overuse of the word “nice” that’s all I can really think to summarize the book as: it was a “nice” easy and quick read. While I think there is enough going on plot-wise, it still felt like something was missing from the book. I don’t know what it is but I think it is just missing that little something that would make it a 5/5. Perhaps it was a little rushed in how the plot progressed? But I’m not sure if that was really it. I also think the romance is a little lackluster–I don’t really get their connection so I would have appreciated a little more romance there.

Laura starts off very naïve in book 1–and rightfully so as she has been in a convent for the last 6 years. I find one of the key differences between Cross my Heart and Heart of Glass is that she fully matures into a stronger, intelligent and independent person. There is obvious growth to her character and I really like the Laura we get in book 2.

Heart of Glass I think is a lot better overall than Cross my Heart (and my rating of 3/5 for Cross my Heart vs 5/5 for Heart of Glass on Goodreads, attests to this). In this book there is that something that was missing in the first book and I really enjoyed it a lot more. Which surprised me considering I didn’t see what could possibly take place in the sequel but I was proven wrong. There is a lot more going on in this book and I had a hard time putting it down. It wasn’t predictable and I was constantly re-evaluating my theories about what was actually happening.

Another thing I liked about book 2 was the lack of description. In the first one, I found I got a little bored of the description of the setting and the dresses, etc. In book 2, I didn’t get that so much. Also, if you are worried that these books will have complicated renaissance era speech or writing style–have no fear! These books read very much like a contemporary novel–which has its pros/cons depending on what you expect to get from a historical novel.

One thing I like about this series is that each book wraps up nicely within itself. There are obvious threads that will be present in the next book, but as I reader I am satisfied with how each book ended. But, that being said, if there is a third novel, I will be reading it–I just hope it can be as great as Heart of Glass.

Conclusion:

Cross my Heart wasn’t the greatest novel I have ever read, but it sets up for an awesome sequel in Heart of Glass which should not be missed! So spend the few hours it takes to read Cross my Heart just so you can enjoy Heart of Glass!

Rating: 4/5

Similar Reads: Venom by Fiona Paul (Secrets of the Eternal Rose, #1) and The Book of Blood and Shadow by Robin Wasserman

Synopsis for Cross my Heart (from Goodreads):
Venice, 1585.

When 16-year-old Laura della Scala learns that her older sister, Beatrice, has drowned, she is given no time to grieve. Instead, Laura’s father removes her from the convent where he forcibly sent her years earlier and orders her to marry Beatrice’s fiancé, a repulsive old merchant named Vincenzo. Panicked, Laura betrays a powerful man to earn her way into the Segreta, a shadowy society of women who deal in only one currency—secrets. The Segreta seems like the answer to Laura’s prayers. The day after she joins their ranks, Vincenzo is publicly humiliated and conveniently exiled. Soon, however, Laura begins to suspect that her sister’s death was not a tragic accident but a cold-blooded murder—one that might involve the Segreta and the women she has come to trust