Tag «love triangle»

Single Sundays: He Belongs With Me by Sarah Darlington

Synopsis (from Goodreads.com):
Two girls. One Leo. Identical twins, Maggie and Clara Ryder, both grew up with Leo Maddox, billionaire playboy, apparent alcoholic, and heir to his grandfather’s world-famous Maddox hotel empire. Their roles were cemented long ago: Maggie, as his best friend and Clara as his childhood nemesis. But when a simple twist of fate changes everything and both girls start to fall for the lean, mean, ridiculously sexy and seemingly spoiled Leo… which girl will win his heart? Throw in a little mischief, drama, and one smoking-hot bartender and lines are sure to blur. But one thing’s for certain, neither good-girl Maggie nor rebellious Clara will be satisfied until they each figure out where they belong.

Review:

I picked this book up for free one day from Amazon and just had to read it right away (Note: It is not longer free on Amazon but you can buy it for ~$1.50 CAD). It seemed like a lighthearted read and I really needed one at the time.

My one hesitation with the book was the insinuation of a love triangle between the two girls. I don’t really like love triangles (no secret there) but with a title like “He Belongs With Me” I wasn’t going to be surprised if there was some petty fighting between the girls–but if there was, I thought at the very least it might be entertaining. The good news (for me at least) is that this book isn’t really about a love triangle. I think it’s obvious to everyone as you read who is truly in love with who but I enjoyed watching everything unfold anyways. Basically, this isn’t a love triangle story to the extreme–it is an element that doesn’t come across as annoying or unrealistic as sometimes love triangles are. The story is mostly about each girl trying to figure out their love life and what to do about their relationship–though the emphasis is definitely on their love lives.

This book was easy to read and it came to a point where I couldn’t put it down. I just enjoyed reading it. It didn’t have over the top drama, it had great characters (though to be honest I’m not the biggest Maggie fan) and it had this element of realism to it. I could see this story unfolding in real life and I really enjoyed it. It also wasn’t particularly “sexy” if you catch my drift (and for those who didn’t, what I am saying is that there is very little sex in the story though it is mentioned and present). And that didn’t particularly bother me even though I enjoy “sexier” reads. For once it was nice to read a New Adult novel that wasn’t focused on all consuming love and dominate billionaires. I just enjoyed reading this book and I ended it with a smile on my face.

Conclusion:

I’m going to keep my eye on Sarah Darington’s future books. If you are looking for a light New Adult read that isn’t filled with tragedy, this is a great book to pick up!

Rating: 4/5

Shorthand Stats:
Genre: New Adult, Romance, Contemporary, Family, Chick Lit
Recommended for: 17+
Heat Rating: warmer
Point of View: First Person, Alternating
SERIESous’ Top Book Series: Favourite Freebie Reads (Standalone) 2014
Similar Reads: Falling Into You by Lauren Abrams (Falling Into You Series #1)

DNF Series Review: The Raven Chronicles by Stephanie Thomas

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:

Luminosity by Stephanie Thomas | The Raven Chronicles


Other books in the series:

Series: The Raven Chronicles
Author: Stephanie Thomas
# of Books: 2 (Luminosity, Lucidity)
Book Order: Chronological
Complete?: Yes
Genre: Young Adult, Paranormal, Science Fiction
Heat Rating: cold

Thoughts:

***PLEASE NOTE: I did not finish this book (I got to chapter 6). I really tried to get into but it just wasn’t happening.

I decided to read this book because the concept sounded really interesting but I did go into it with some hesitations. I’m reaching that point in my life where young adult novels are truly hit or miss and this is one of those occasions where it is a miss.

I found it started off very slow and while I can appreciate the descriptions of what various terms mean, it just did not grasp my attention. Nothing felt overly fresh to me when I was reading so I felt bored.

One of the main reasons I find it hard to like young adult novels lately is the teenage heroines. Basically, it comes down to a question of whether or not I can tolerate them. Beatrice wasn’t anything overly annoying–she just didn’t interest me. She is your typical teenage heroine who has that special “something” and–of course–has (the seemingly required for any young adult novel lately) two love interests. Like I said before this was nothing refreshing to me: just another young adult formula novel.

Conclusion:

There are much more interesting books out there that I would rather be reading (and I readily did). I may give this book another chance at a later date. The concept is intriguing but I feel it is geared to a younger reader audience.

Rating: 4/5

Similar Reads: Black City by Elizabeth Richards (Black City Trilogy #1) and Mystic City by Theo Lawrence (Mystic City #1)

Synopsis for Luminosity (from Goodreads):

My name is Beatrice. When I was born, I was blessed with the Sight. I was immediately removed from my parents and enrolled in the Institution. At the age of twelve, I had my first true vision, earning my raven’s wings. And when I turned seventeen, one of my visions came true. Things haven’t been the same since.

The Institution depends on me to keep the City safe from our enemy, the Dreamcatchers, but I’m finding it harder to do while keeping a secret from everyone, including my best friend Gabe. It is a secret that could put us all in danger. A secret that could kill me and everyone close to me.

But the enemy has been coming to me in my dreams, and I think I’m falling in love with him. He says they’re coming. He says they’re angry. And I think I’ve already helped them win

Series Review: Revenants by Amy Plum

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 Die for Me (from Goodreads):

In the City of Lights, two star-crossed lovers battle a fate that is destined to tear them apart again and again for eternity.

When Kate Mercier’s parents die in a tragic car accident, she leaves her life–and memories–behind to live with her grandparents in Paris. For Kate, the only way to survive her pain is escaping into the world of books and Parisian art. Until she meets Vincent.

Mysterious, charming, and devastatingly handsome, Vincent threatens to melt the ice around Kate’s guarded heart with just his smile. As she begins to fall in love with Vincent, Kate discovers that he’s a revenant–an undead being whose fate forces him to sacrifice himself over and over again to save the lives of others. Vincent and those like him are bound in a centuries-old war against a group of evil revenants who exist only to murder and betray. Kate soon realizes that if she follows her heart, she may never be safe again.

breakdown

Series: Revenants Trilogy
Author: Amy Plum
# of Books: 3 (Die for Me, Until I Die, If I Should Die)

There is a novella, #2.5 Die For Her

Book Order: Chronological
Complete?: Yes
Genre: Young Adult, Romance, Supernatural
Heat Rating: cool
Point of View: First Person, Single
Source & Format: Public Library–eBook & Hardcover

thoughts

I first read Die for Me in the autumn of 2011. It was one of the first eBooks I read and I decided to read it because I thought the cover was really pretty (props to the cover designer on all the books!). While the cover did draw me to the book, I decided to read it because the concept sounded very interesting–quite the spin on an immortal lover I thought.

Die for Me overall didn’t really impress me all that much. Kate irritated me to pieces–while I can understand why she is depressed and a little down about life, I really didn’t see the draw Vincent had to her at all. Actually, Die to Me was so unmemorable to me that I decided to reread it before I started Until I Die. The only thing rereading it did was reaffirm my annoyance with Kate and give me a refresher of what happened–which isn’t a whole lot. These books do get more intricate plots as you continue in the series but overall, Die for Me was the dullest of them all. Not a great start to a series.

I’m a sucker for punishment and it takes a lot for me to stop reading a book. Most of the time I stop a book because of bad grammar, offensive content or just plain stupidity–and because I didn’t run into any of these issues, I picked up Until I Die.

Until I Die was a much better read than Die for Me. The plot begins to pick up, Kate becomes a little less annoying and there’s some more action. There were quite a few twists along the away and I did enjoy learning more about the Revenant world Ms. Plum creates. Easily my favourite book of the series.

I read the novella, Die For Her, before I read If I Should Die. I thought it was a great review of the events that had happened in the books and I enjoyed getting Jule’s perspective. Overall, it helped me understand a bit more about the events in the first book but not enough to make me appreciate or like Die for Me any more than I already did. It also helps explain an event that happens in the last book, but reading it isn’t complete necessary as anyone reading the books can easily put two and two together to understand what happened and why.

Despite the ending of Until I Die, it took me three times to get into this book. If someone from the library looked at my loan history, they would probably think that this was my favourite book of all time based on the amount of times I took it out and extended my loan. And that thought couldn’t be farther from the truth. I think my biggest problem starting this book was my busy schedule and higher interest in other series. It is a long novel (~300 kobo pages which takes me 6 or so hours to read) as well so that doesn’t help its case either. Regardless, this book was a bit of a disappointment. I found it predictable and cliché and I quickly began to dislike Vincent and Kate. I can forgive Vincent for his old fashioned dialect–though no boy in his teens, regardless of how many years he has been “alive,” should call a girl “my love” at the end of every sentence–but Kate talks like she is 10 years older than she actually is and that irritated me. I also thought the ending was a little lackluster–I was falling asleep reading it and then before I knew it I was reading the Acknowledgement page–and truthfully I was expecting more at the end. Also an epilogue would have been awesome.

Series Rating: 4/5

Die For Me 3/5 | Until I Die 4/5 | If I Should Die 3/5

overall

Overall, it was an OK series. If you like books set in Paris, feature “immortal loves” and move at a slower pace, you would probably enjoy this book. But if you are like me and enjoy books with lots of twists, action and swoon-worthy romance, skip this series!

similarreads

  • Hereafter by Tara Hudson (Hereafter Trilogy #1)
  • The Hollow by Jessica Verday (The Hollow Trilogy #1)
  • A Touch Mortal by Leah Clifford (A Touch Trilogy #1)

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Series Review: The Bad Boys by M. Leighton

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

Series: The Bad Boys
Author: M. Leighton
# of Books: 3 (Down to You, Up to Me, Everything for Us)
Complete?: Yes
Genre: New Adult, Contemporary, Romance, Suspense
Heat Rating: really warm (Down to You); hot (Up to Me & Everything for Us)

Thoughts:

It’s no secret I dislike love triangles so why I decided to read Down to You is a little bit of a mystery to me considering the lead is torn between two brothers’ affections. But I went into this book with a good idea of what I suspected was going on and I really wanted to see if I was right.

This series is nice change from the common New Adult plot of taming a bad boy player with love as it is mostly a suspense series, especially in Up to Me and Everything for Us. Down to You follows more of the New Adult formula of a girl meeting a handsome rich boy who tries to sweep her off her feet but by the end of the book we learn what is really going on and that’s when the plot shifts to one of suspense.

Turns out my hypothesis was wrong but I was happy to be wrong because I really like the plot twist that we get at the end. I was super excited to read Up to Me but by the time I got there, I was really disappointed.

Part of the problem was the way the plot unfolds. It wasn’t nearly as suspenseful as I expected and I just felt let down. There was so much potential at the end of Down to You that was lost in Up to Me. Disappointing and meh are the two words I would use to describe the plot in Up to Me.

The other part of the problem is Olivia. I found her tolerable in Down to You but by the time I started reading Up to Me I was ready to hurt her. Her immaturity about the whole situation really irritated me and was uncalled for. I’m all for female independence in a relationship but her actions were just plain idiotic and juvenile. I find it hard to read a book when the lead irritates me like that and that really caused me to dislike this book.

Which is why I was excited to read Everything for Us because it focuses on two different characters we have gotten a taste of in the previous two books and that taste was enough to make me want to finish this series despite my disappointment in Up to Me. Unfortunately, this was another disappointment–just not as much as Up to Me. While I enjoyed the little twists, I found it hard to like these two at times. I was satisfied with the way it ended but I didn’t like it as much as I had thought or hoped.

Conclusion:

After all is said and done, I think I could have avoid this series and still have been happy with my life. These books were nice ways to pass the time I suppose, but I didn’t enjoy them as much as the other books I put aside to read these three. They showed a lot of promise but just couldn’t deliver in the ways I expected.

Rating: 3/5

Similar Reads: Nothing comes to mind at the moment…

Synopsis for Down to You (from Goodreads):
The scorching tale of one girl, two brothers and a love triangle…that’s not. Olivia Townsend is nothing special. She’s just a girl working her way through college so she can return home to help her father run his business. She’s determined not to be the second woman in his life to abandon him, even if it means putting her own life on hold. To Olivia, it’s clear what she must do. Plain and simple. Black and white. But clear becomes complicated when she meets Cash and Nash Davenport. They’re brothers. Twins.

Cash is everything she’s always wanted in a guy. He’s a dangerous, sexy bad boy who wants her in his bed at any cost. He turns her insides to mush and, with just one kiss, makes her forget why he’s no good for her. Nash is everything she’s ever needed in a guy. He’s successful, responsible and intensely passionate. But he’s taken. Very taken, by none other than Marissa, Liv’s rich, beautiful cousin. That doesn’t stop Olivia from melting every time he looks at her, though. With just one touch, he makes her forget why they can never be together.

Black and white turns to shades of gray when Olivia discovers the boys are hiding something, something that should make her run as far and as fast as she can. But it’s too late to run. Olivia’s already involved. And in love. With both of them. Both brothers make her heart tremble. Both brothers set her body on fire. She wants them both. And they want her. How will she ever choose between them?

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Series Review: Laurel by Aprilynne Pike

Series: Wings or Laurel Series
Author: Aprilynne Pike
# of Books: 4 (Wings, Spells, Illusions, Destined)
Complete?: Yes
Genre: Young Adult/Teen, Faeries, Romance, Magic
Heat Rating: cool

Thoughts:

This was one of those series that just didn’t do it for me. Despite the high ratings and reviews, I just couldn’t get into this series. I’m not sure why I finished it, I think I just had to have some closure with the story and that made me read the rest. I also blame the covers for getting prettier and prettier as the series continued 😉

There are a few reasons why I didn’t enjoy these books as much as I hoped: 1) it was very high school; 2) the characters and 3) love triangle.

When I say “very high school” I mean that this book is definitely geared towards younger teens and not those entering university (which is when I started to read this series). I don’t think it helps that one of my all time faerie series is Wicked Lovely, which is just that touch more mature for a young adult book or that I started reading the Iron Fey series around the same time, which also has a more mature feel to it. The problems the characters face in these books, especially in their personal lives, seemed petty and juvenile so that turned me off of the story at times and more importantly, off of the characters.

That is perhaps the biggest problem with this series: I hated the characters. Laurel was fine for Wings with her perfect life and attitude. When she really started to piss me off was near the end of Spells and then in Illusions. She just becomes whiny and angsty and I just found her lack of maturity at times and her “do-gooder” attitude to be irritating. It also doesn’t help that she has a love triangle she can’t seem to figure out–love triangles are the WORST!

While I occasionally find myself in a situation where I don’t enjoy the main character (which makes it hard to continue reading any book), I often have another character that I like in the book and continue reading for them. At the start of the series, that character was Tamani. I really liked him in Wings and then that started to change by the time I read Illusions. He just became irritating and while I initially rooted for him to get Laurel, by the time I got to Destined, I didn’t particularly care if either him or David (who was also annoying throughout the series) was with Laurel–that is never a good sign.

Destined as a finale was an OK book. Nothing overly wowed me and I was just happy it was all over. I don’t think it helped that I read this book so far after the other ones–which I read within a two month span of each other–so I didn’t remember a lot other than that I didn’t like the characters and they had to save the world.

To end on a more positive note, I will mention what I liked about the series. I did like the Faerie world Pike created. It was a cool combination of the caste system, faeries and magic that isn’t overly common in this genre. It was fresh and interesting so kudos. Also, I really love the last two covers of the series–so pretty! Perhaps the thing I liked most about this series was the little extra Pike added to the end of Destined. It is a letter from one of the main characters and it was my favourite part of the book. It just had that little bit more insight into the series and characters. I wish this side of the writing was brought out more in the books because I think I would have enjoyed the series if it had more of this “real” aspect to it instead of a “happy-go-lucky” feel it has throughout.

Conclusion:

I think if I was 15 when I read these books, I would have liked them. Perhaps I would have connected more to the characters and enjoyed their stories a bit more. These books weren’t anything fantastic but they featured a cool concept lots of other faerie books lack. If you are looking for a good clean faerie series, this would be one for you to read!
Rating: 2.5/5

Similar Reads: Need by Carrie Jones (Need, #1) and Glimmerglass by Jenna Black (Faeriewalker, #1)

Synopsis for Wings (from Goodreads):
Laurel was mesmerized, staring at the pale things with wide eyes. They were terrifyingly beautiful—too beautiful for words.

Laurel turned to the mirror again, her eyes on the hovering petals that floated beside her head. They looked almost like wings.

In this extraordinary tale of magic and intrigue, romance and danger, everything you thought you knew about faeries will be changed forever.

Series Review: Taking Chances by Molly McAdams

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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booksynopsis

Synopsis for Taking Chances (from Goodreads):
Her first year away is turning out to be nearly perfect, but one weekend of giving in to heated passion will change everything.

Eighteen-year-old Harper has grown up under the thumb of her career marine father. Ready to live life her own way and to experience things she’s only ever heard of from the jarheads in her father’s unit, she’s on her way to college at San Diego State University.

Thanks to her new roommate, Harper is introduced to a world of parties, gorgeous guys, family, and emotions. She finds herself being torn in two as she quickly falls in love with both her new boyfriend, Brandon, and her roommate’s brother, Chase. Despite their dangerous looks and histories, both men adore Harper and would do anything for her, including taking a step back if it would mean she’d be happy.

breakdown

Series: Taking Chances
Author: Molly McAdams
# of Books: 3 (Taking Chances, Stealing Harper, Trusting Liam)
Book Order: Connected

Stealing Harper is an alternate retelling of Taking Chances. Trusting Liam is a sequel to Taking Chances with a different set of leads.

Complete?: Yes
Genre: New Adult, Romance, Contemporary, Love Triangles
Heat Rating: really warm
Point of View: First Person, Single
Publication Dates: October 2012 – June 2015
Source & Format: Public Library–eBook

thoughts

PLEASE NOTE: That I have decided not to continue on with the series. Read my rant why below…

I won’t lie, I went into reading Taking Chances with low expectations. As you may or may not know from reading my other posts, I seriously dislike love triangles in novels and because the entire premise of this book is based on a love triangle, I didn’t expect much. The only reason I was even convinced to read this book was because of the high Goodreads rating and some reviews I found on the site.

I’m not sure how I feel about this book overall–I guess “meh” is probably the best word. Harper annoys the bejesus out of me–that much I know. I can get past the innocent military brat routine–that makes sense to me because of how her family life is described in the novel–but otherwise I just don’t get her.

What I don’t get is how or why all the sudden men are trying to get with her?!

It’s like one instance she is some normal girl and then BAM! Total boy magnet! She’s in college for one week and suddenly she has two alpha males banging down her door to get with her. She doesn’t even have to speak to the one and he is at her feet! I tell you, if my college experience was anything like that, I wouldn’t be blogging or spending so much time reading my novels and watching TV…by myself! I’m not sure why this bothered me so much as it is a common occurrence in New Adult reads; but I think it is mostly because I just don’t get Harper’s appeal to the opposite sex.

My biggest peeve is with Chase–he literally talks (“talks” is being generous, more like they take jabs at each other) to her for two minutes and he falls instantly in love with her. And not just, “I have to sleep with you” love, like soul mate-your-my-one-and-only love. I will say though that they do develop an actual relationship after a little while so that helps a bit but not by much.

But wait! Let’s not forget the token male BFF who has always loved her and desperately wants to be with her! Yup, that is right, it isn’t just a love triangle but a love square–UGH! Completely unnecessary and predictable.

I just don’t get love triangles and how Harper deals with Chase, despite her feelings and relationship with Brandon baffles me–it’s like the elevator doesn’t reach the top floor for her. I just didn’t see how the dots connected for her and how one minute she could be incredibly immature and then in the next be spewing mature lessons on life.

What isn’t predictable is the one plot twist we get about a halfway through the book. I was so shocked, I had to reread the last five pages to make sure I didn’t skip a chapter. I applaud McAdams for taking that turn, but what I didn’t like were all the actions that followed.

BUT, enough of my rant 😛 Overall, the book was slow and I think it could have lost about 50 pages and got the point across. There were a few grammatical errors (such as incorrect tenses) but nothing to rip your hair out over.

Stealing Harper is a retelling of Taking Chances, but told from Chase’s view. I will read it when my hold comes in from the library as I am curious and hoping for some more insight about what makes Harper this amazing girl, but I am not counting down the days until I get it.

I will update my review once I read it.  

Since posting this review, I have decided not to continue on with this series and will therefore not be reading the remaining novels in the series.

Series Rating: 2/5

Taking Chances 2/5 | [Stealing Harper] N/A | Trusting Liam N/A

overall

I wasn’t expecting to like this book, so I am not surprised that I didn’t. I can appreciate some of the twists McAdams throw out there, the book just didn’t do much for me. Avoid if you hate love triangles, but pick it up if you do!

Read if You Like: slower stories, world-building, alternate dimensions
Avoid if You: dislike slow stories, want more romance

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Series Review: Unearthly Trilogy by Cynthia Hand

Series: Unearthly Trilogy
Author: Cynthia Hand
# of Books: 3 (Unearthly, Hallowed, Boundless)

There is a also a novella that takes place between books 2 & 3 called Radiant

Complete?: Yes
Genre: Young Adult, Angels, Romance
Heat Rating: cold

Thoughts:

When I started reading Unearthly, it seemed that the trend for Young Adult books was now angels instead of vampires and it was a trend I had been enjoying immensely. But what drew me to this book was that the lead was the angel herself, not a human girl falling for a fallen angel. I also won’t lie and I will admit the cover also drew me in 😉

I really did enjoy Unearthly. It was different from other books of the genre and there were a few things I didn’t see coming so that was great. The little surprises along the way throughout the series made me really enjoy reading the books because it wasn’t predictable and I was interested to see what would happen next. Overall, Unearthly was a great start to a series and hit all the right marks (romance, suspense, little cliff-hangers, etc) so I was excited to read Hallowed when it was released.

Hallowed disappointed me. I think the best way to describe it is “depressing”–and by this I mean the storyline that Clara is put through is a really sad one. She deals with some pretty tough stuff and I do remember shedding a tear or two while I read it. I also started to get a little annoyed with Clara, Christian, Tucker, and pretty much every other character I think, in how they act in this book. I don’t think I ever really connected to the characters which made reading the third one extremely hard.

It took me a long time to get into Boundless. I think I took it out from the library 3 times before I actually managed to read past chapter 1. As I said before, I don’t think I really liked the characters all that much (plus, 1 year is a long time to wait for another book in a series so I think I lost a bit of my like for this series in that time). I was also expecting there to be more action in the book; especially with how the plot develops in Hallowed and what Clara keeps predicting is going to happen. But for the most part the book was slow and it often dragged. I think I read most of it by skimming through it though some parts captured my attention and made me want to continue reading.

I should note that I never read Radiant, book 2.5, in the series. I don’t feel like I missed out on anything that affected my reading by doing so. I will probably read it if my library gets a copy, but otherwise I think I am going to pass.

Conclusion:

I think if I had read all 3 books within a one week span, I would have enjoyed the series more. I didn’t hate the characters unlike some stories, I think I was just indifferent to them so that made it hard to get into the series. But, this series is unlike any of the other angel books I have read and there are always a few plot surprises hidden within that makes the books interesting to read. If you are looking for a slower paced, angel story, this is for you!

Rating: 3.5/5

Similar Reads: Angelfire by Courtney Allison Moulton (Angelfire, #1); A Beautiful Dark by Jocelyn Davies (A Beautiful Dark Trilogy #1) and Angel (Burn) by L.A. Weatherly (Angel Trilogy, #1)

Synopsis for Unearthly (from Goodreads):
In the beginning, there’s a boy standing in the trees . . . .
Clara Gardner has recently learned that she’s part angel. Having angel blood run through her veins not only makes her smarter, stronger, and faster than humans (a word, she realizes, that no longer applies to her), but it means she has a purpose, something she was put on this earth to do. Figuring out what that is, though, isn’t easy.

Her visions of a raging forest fire and an alluring stranger lead her to a new school in a new town. When she meets Christian, who turns out to be the boy of her dreams (literally), everything seems to fall into place and out of place at the same time. Because there’s another guy, Tucker, who appeals to Clara’s less angelic side.

As Clara tries to find her way in a world she no longer understands, she encounters unseen dangers and choices she never thought she’d have to make between honesty and deceit, love and duty, good and evil. When the fire from her vision finally ignites, will Clara be ready to face her destiny?

Unearthly is a moving tale of love and fate, and the struggle between following the rules and following your heart

Series Review: S.E.C.R.E.T. by Marie Adeline

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

S.E.C.R.E.T. by L. Marie Adeline   |   S.E.C.R.E.T. Series


Other books in the series:
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Series: Secret
Author: L. Marie Adeline
# of Books: 1+ (S.E.C.R.E.T., S.E.C.R.E.T. Shared, S.E.C.R.E.T. Revealed)
Complete?: Yes
Genre: Adult, Contemporary, Erotica, Chick-Lit
Heat Rating: Hot
Point of View: First Person, Alternating in sequel books

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 with the exception of the third book.**

Ever had a book that just seemed to be everywhere that you looked? That was the case with this one. It seemed like every place I search for books (Kobo, my library, Chapters) was telling me I had to read this book–so I decided to give it a try.

The plot idea intrigued me but also made me weary to read this book. I definitely thought this book was going to turn into some BDSM society plot but it doesn’t get even close to that type of sexual fantasies–so that’s a plus! Cassie’s sexual fantasies are nothing that you wouldn’t read in any other contemporary romance so that is the type of sex you can expect in this book. In other words, it’s very “vanilla” 😉 (That changes a little in the sequel book but nothing overtly kinky.)

However, I still felt uncomfortable reading these books for two reasons: my age and the society itself.

I’ll start with my age. I am 10 years too young to be reading this book. I haven’t reached my midlife so I really couldn’t relate to Cassie’s character in that sense. This book is definitely catered to the 30+ crowd or women who have been in a similar marriage events as Cassie. I think that they would enjoy and get more out of Cassie’s journey to self-discovery than someone in their early 20s like me.

The second issue was the S.E.C.R.E.T. society. It seemed extremely cultish to me so that creeped me out. Especially as the book progresses and you realize that the society is everywhere. I totally get the purpose of the group and I support women helping other women to raise their self-confidence, but I felt like a majority of Cassie’s problems could have been solved by being on TLC’s What Not to Wear since her biggest problem was seeing that she was beautiful and worth something.

When I picked up this book, I thought it was a stand-alone. It wasn’t until I reread the plot summary on Goodreads before I read the book that I learned it was a series. Seeing that, I wondered how it was going to end and as I read I thought I saw how it was going to end but the ending surprised me and I have to say that I am interested in seeing where the sequel will go now.

UPDATED (October 1/14):  To be completely honest, I wouldn’t have picked up S.E.C.R.E.T. Shared if the first book in the series hadn’t ended on the cliffhanger it did. I still felt really uncomfortable reading this book because again, I can’t relate to the characters. I’m nowhere near to where they are in life so I just can’t connect to them. The writing also really got to me in this book in the sense of the words used to describe the “sexy” times. It just made it awkward. I did like that we get introduced to a new character and get to watch her evolve because I don’t think I could have taken a whole novel of Cassie again. Nothing really happened in this book other than your typical bridge to the third and final novel of the series.

Conclusion:

If you want to take a step into erotic contemporary romance but don’t want BDSM-like storylines, this is a great book to pick up. It’s a quick read and has an actual story to it! But I would say that people 30+ would probably enjoy this book more so than 20-somethings.

Rating: 3/5

Similar Reads: Sweet Surrender by Maya Banks (Sweet Series) however, this has elements of BDSM

Synopsis for S.E.C.R.E.T. (from Goodreads):
In S.E.C.R.E.T there are…
No Judgments. No limits. No shame.

Cassie Robichaud’s life is filled with regret and loneliness after the sudden death of her husband. She waits tables at the rundown Café Rose in New Orleans, and every night she heads home to her solitary one-bedroom apartment. But when she discovers a notebook left behind by a mysterious woman at the café, Cassie’s world is forever changed. The notebook’s stunningly explicit confessions shock and fascinate Cassie, and eventually lead her to S∙E∙C∙R∙E∙T, an underground society dedicated to helping women realize their wildest, most intimate sexual fantasies. Cassie soon immerses herself in an electrifying journey through a series of ten rapturous fantasies with gorgeous men who awaken and satisfy her like never before. As she is set free from her inhibitions, she discovers a new confidence that transforms her, giving her the courage to live passionately. Equal parts enticing, liberating and emotionally powerful, S∙E∙C∙R∙E∙T is a world where fantasy becomes reality.

Series Review: A Beautiful Dark by Jocelyn Davies

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 A Beautiful Dark (from Goodreads):

On the night of Skye’s seventeenth birthday, she meets two enigmatic strangers. Complete opposites–like fire and ice–Asher is dark and wild, while Devin is fair and aloof. Their sudden appearance sends Skye’s life into a tailspin. She has no idea what they want, or why they seem to follow her every move–only that their presence coincides with a flurry of strange events. Soon she begins to doubt not just the identity of the two boys, but also the truth about her own past.

In the dead of a bitingly cold Colorado winter, Skye finds herself coming to terms with the impossible secret that threatens to shatter her world. Torn between Asher, who she can’t help falling for, and Devin, who she can’t stay away from, the consequences of Skye’s choice will reach further than the three of them could ever imagine

breakdown

Series: A Beautiful Dark
Author: Jocelyn Davies
# of Books: 3 (A Beautiful Dark, A Fractured Light, A Radiant Sky)
Complete?: Yes
Genre: Young Adult, Angels, Romance
Heat Rating: cold
Point of View: First Person, Single
Publication Dates: September 2011 – 2013
Source & Format: Own–eBook

thoughts

My Expectations / Why I Picked It Up:

I bought A Beautiful Dark when Kobo had it on sale one weekend. The plot sounded interesting to me and in general, I seem to enjoy angel-focused young adult reads so I decided to give it a shot.

My Thoughts on the Series:

I enjoyed the first book enough. I liked how Davies presented the angel clans being rivals in their magical powers and why they have the powers that they do in what is an otherwise obvious division between angels (ie. those in heaven vs those who have fallen).

What I didn’t enjoy was Skye or the love triangle.

Skye is annoying—-plain and simple. She was alright in the first book—I mean she has gone through a lot so I let her have a little angst but it becomes unbearable in the second book, A Fractured Light. I swear that sometimes the elevator doesn’t reach the top floor for her. She becomes whinny when she gets grounded (because she disappears for long periods of time without letting her aunt know) and can’t understand why she can’t leave the house. Well, that’s what being grounded means!

The other thing that irks me about this book is the love triangle. I don’t like love triangles but like any good reader, I push forward and pick what team I am going to be on. I think the problem here is that I don’t care for any of her love interests (and there are a few because she is one of those girls guys gravitate to all at once) and I don’t like how she gets angry at them for moving on when she has clearly made her choice.

The storyline is a little too predictable for me in both books. I could see most things coming and nothing really surprised me.

updates

–July 12, 2014– Book #3: A Radiant Sky

I picked this book up and then promptly DNF’d it at the 28% mark. I wasn’t feeling it and even knowing that the conclusion was near wasn’t enough for me.

Series Rating: DNF

A Beautiful Dark 3/5 | A Fractured Light 3/5 | A Radiant Sky DNF

overall

If you can tolerate angst-y, spoiled heroines who can’t make up their mind and like angel stories, check it out. Otherwise I would pass.

Read if You Like: angels, love triangles, angsty teens
Avoid if You: dislike YA paranormal

similarreads

  • Fallen by Lauren Kate (Fallen Series #1)
  • Darkness Before Dawn by J A London (Darkness Before Dawn Trilogy #1)

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