Tag «ongoing review»

Series Review: House of Royals by Keary Taylor

Series Review: House of Royals by Keary Taylor

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

book book book book book

booksynopsis

Synopsis for House of Royals (from Goodreads):

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

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

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

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

breakdown

Series: House of Royals; Blood Descendants Universe

Spin-off Series: Crown of Death

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

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

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

disclaimernetgalley
Copied Provided only for House of Royals (Book #1)

thoughts

**This post was originally posted as an ARC review of the first book of the series. It has now been updated to include the newest publications in the series and my reason to not finish the series.**

Why I Picked it Up / My Expectations:

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

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

The Concept / The World:

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

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

The Plot:

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

The Characters:

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

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

The Romance:

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

My Expectations for the Rest of the Series:

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

updates

–January 6, 2018– Book #2: House of Pawns     

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

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

–July 4, 2020– Book #3: House of Kings

I think this is one of those series you have to binge read in order to keep all the details in your head and keep you absorbed in the world. While I had a pretty decent recap of the previous book in my head, I really struggled to get into this.

Part of the reason was that I couldn’t keep all the characters straight and what they meant to Alivia and her house. So some of the plot twists fell a little flat for me because I couldn’t remember the importance.

I’m also not a fan of the romance progression here. Multiple love interests just aren’t my jam, especially when I don’t really have any one person I’m rooting for.

This might be the end of my journey here with this series simply because I just don’t know if I can read another 5 more books for a story my interest has waned in.

Why I Won’t Be Continuing This Series:

If I could binge all of this in one go, it would work. But I read these books too far apart for me to still feel the connection to the characters and story.

Series Rating: 4/5

House of Royals 4/5 | House of Pawns 4/5 | House of Kings 3/5

overall

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

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

similarreads

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

readingchallenges

recapbutton

connect Twitter GoodReads Riffle Bloglovin' Google Plus Amazon.ca Reviews RSS Email

catchphrase

Disclaimer | Request a Review | Contact

Series Review: The Girl at Midnight by Melissa Grey

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

The Girl at Midnight Series

Synopsis for The Girl at Midnight (from Goodreads):
Beneath the streets of New York City live the Avicen, an ancient race of people with feathers for hair and magic running through their veins. Age-old enchantments keep them hidden from humans. All but one. Echo is a runaway pickpocket who survives by selling stolen treasures on the black market, and the Avicen are the only family she’s ever known.

Echo is clever and daring, and at times she can be brash, but above all else she’s fiercely loyal. So when a centuries-old war crests on the borders of her home, she decides it’s time to act.

Legend has it that there is a way to end the conflict once and for all: find the Firebird, a mythical entity believed to possess power the likes of which the world has never seen. It will be no easy task, though if life as a thief has taught Echo anything, it’s how to hunt down what she wants . . . and how to take it.

But some jobs aren’t as straightforward as they seem. And this one might just set the world on fire.

breakdown

Series: The Girl at Midnight
Author: Melissa Grey
# of Books: 3 (The Girl at Midnight, The Shadow Hour, The Savage Hour)
Book Order: Chronological
Complete?: Yes
Genre: Young Adult,  Urban Fantasy, Magic, Supernatural, Romance, Adventure
Heat Rating: cool
Point of View: Third Person, Multiple
Publication Date: April 2015 – July 2017
Source & Format: Public Library–eBook; Audiobook (Shadow Hour)

thoughts

Why I Picked it Up / My Expectations:

This book was everywhere when it was first released. I loved the cover but everyone’s positive reviews really drew me to read the synopsis. It sounded like my type of book: a blend of action, urban fantasy and prophecy. Plus, it has been a really long time since I’ve read an Urban Fantasy and waiting for the next Mystic City novel is leaving me with a bit of an urban fantasy hangover.

What I Liked:

–The Mortal Instrument Vibes I got–

Don’t get scared off by this statement if you aren’t a Mortal Instruments fan and really wanted to read this book! They really don’t have that much in common besides some very basic urban fantasy tropes (like teleportation across the world, war against two different races, magic, etc), set in NYC and the fact that they are both narrated in the third person by multiple characters.

It was the narration that spoke to me the most. I got really attached to the side characters with The Girl at Midnight. Echo was a little on the dull side as a heroine for me so I liked having multiple characters tell the story instead of just Echo. (Who I grew to like more, for the record)

–It Surprised Me!–

There were some twists at the end that I wasn’t expecting. I probably should have but I just didn’t put two and two together. So I really liked that! It made the last 100 or so pages exciting to read.

What I Didn’t Like:

–The Slow Start–

I’m all for gradual plot progression but this book just took too long for me. I felt like nothing really happened for the first 200 pages (its was ~295 eBook pages). Sure, some minor plot leads were there and they definitely added to the awesomeness that was the last 50 pages that knocked my socks off, but otherwise, this book was on the drier side.

I think I was expecting more action given the fact that Echo is labelled as a thief. Thief just equates to action/suspense to me but this book reads more like an adventure/journey. Which is fine, just not what I wanted. I find adventure novels can be dull until the end and this is definitely the case here.

–The Romance–

I wouldn’t say that I didn’t like the romance, I’m just not sold on it quite yet when it comes to Echo. (I’m definitely on board with some other potential romances though!). The direction Echo’s romantic life is going in is completely different from what my intital impression was when I first started so I’m interested to see what is going to happen next. It’s just going to have to work a little harder to get me to ‘ship her romantic life.

My Expectations for the Rest of the Series:

I’m really curious to see where this series is going to go next! There were a lot of neat spins that were added near the very end that make me want to read the sequel. I’m not dying to read it though.

updates

–April 8, 2018– Book #2: The Shadow Hour (Audiobook)

I enjoyed this middle novel enough. It did take me awhile to get into it because I have been away from this world for a very long time but I also think not a lot happens at the start either so it was a nice gradual approach. I still really like all the characters so I enjoyed the various spurts of growth they experience. However, this series is very singular in its plot despite having a cast of multiple characters to follow. They all approach the main problem with different angles but I often wished for something else to be happening in the background. We get a few good twists along the way but nothing really impressed me.

As for the audiobook–unfortunately it’s narrated by one of my least favourite narrators so that was a bummer. But it was a great way to read this book regardless.

concSLOW

My Rating: 3/5

The Girl at Midnight 3/5 | The Shadow Hour 3/5 | The Savage Dawn TBA

overall

I wasn’t blown away by this series like I had hoped. It’s a little too one dimensional when it comes to the plot for my liking (ie not a lot of subplots). However, I really liked the cast of characters and how we move around from person to person. It keeps the narrative moving at a steady pace, even when much else isn’t happening.

Read if You Like: slower stories, urban fantasy, adventure stories, the Mortal Instruments
Avoid if You: dislike slow stories, dislike adventure

similarreads

readingchallenges

recapbutton

connect Twitter GoodReads Riffle Bloglovin' Google Plus Amazon.ca Reviews RSS Email

catchphrase

Disclaimer | Request a Review | Contact

Series Review: Trust Me by Mary Elizabeth Summer

Series Review: Trust Me by Mary Elizabeth Summer

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 Trust Me, I’m Lying (from Goodreads):

Fans of Ally Carter, especially her Heist Society readers, will love this teen mystery/thriller with sarcastic wit, a hint of romance, and Ocean’s Eleven–inspired action.

Julep Dupree tells lies. A lot of them. She’s a con artist, a master of disguise, and a sophomore at Chicago’s swanky St. Agatha High, where her father, an old-school grifter with a weakness for the ponies, sends her to so she can learn to mingle with the upper crust. For extra spending money Julep doesn’t rely on her dad—she runs petty scams for her classmates while dodging the dean of students and maintaining an A+ (okay, A-) average.

But when she comes home one day to a ransacked apartment and her father gone, Julep’s carefully laid plans for an expenses-paid golden ticket to Yale start to unravel. Even with help from St. Agatha’s resident Prince Charming, Tyler Richland, and her loyal hacker sidekick, Sam, Julep struggles to trace her dad’s trail of clues through a maze of creepy stalkers, hit attempts, family secrets, and worse, the threat of foster care. With everything she has at stake, Julep’s in way over her head . . . but that’s not going to stop her from using every trick in the book to find her dad before his mark finds her. Because that would be criminal.

breakdown

Series: Trust Me
Author: Mary Elizabeth Summer
# of Books: 3 (Full Reading Order Here)

There is a novella: #1.5 Down to the Liar

Book Order: Chronological
Complete?: No, a third book is to be published
Genre: Young Adult, Mystery, Suspense, Romance
Heat Rating cool
Point of View: First Person, Single
Publication Dates: October 2014 – ongoing
Source & Format: Public Library–eBook

thoughts

**This post was originally published 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.**

My Expecations for Trust Me, I’m Lying:

I’m a sucker for book synopses that say “fans of ___” because I almost always pick them up (so mission accomplished marketing peeps). With this book, it’s targeted for fans of Ally Carter’s Heist Society Series and Ocean’s Eleven. Now, I didn’t love the Heist Society novels but I still love Ally Carter’s work; and I loved Ocean’s Eleven (but not so much its sequels). Basically, I like heist/crime-thriller books/movies but haven’t had too much luck finding that perfect book series that meets all my expectations. Maybe this series was the elusive mark (see what I did there :P) I had been waiting for…

My Review of Trust Me, I’m Lying (#1):

As I was reading this book I kept thinking it was more of a Cold Fury-esque (by T.M. Goeglin) novel than it is a Heist Society-esque novel: though it does share some similarities to Heist Society (like the heroine going to a private school; trying to get into college like a normal girl her age; and being aware of the “family business”). Ally Carter’s Heist Society focuses on a group thieves actually completing a heist, much like the Italian Job or Ocean’s Eleven. Trust Me, I’m Lying doesn’t really focus on Julep completing a big heist but instead focuses on her trying to solve the mystery behind her father’s disappearance–which is why I say it is more similar plot-wise to Cold Fury where the heroine is trying to find her kidnapped family than to Heist Society or even Ocean’s Eleven. (Even at one point in the book Julep makes the comment that she is acting more like a sleuth than a con artists which is so true!) However, it does read a lot like an Ally Carter novel so fans of one will like the other.

Julep is one of those characters I could easily see people disliking; I myself struggled deciding if I actually liked her or not. I think I’ve reached the conclusion that I appreciate her independence but we would never be friends in real life. I admire that she works for what she wants but she does is it in such a brash manner that it just rubbed me the wrong way at times. She puts on a tough girl act and that gets more apparent as you read the novel; I warmed up to her as I read the novel for sure but it was a rocky relationship to start. If anyone has watched/read Veronica Mars, Julep is a similar character to Veronica in her personality I think.

Once I reached the halfway point I would say that I was getting addicted to the story. I had a hard time putting it down because I really wanted to get to the solution for her father’s disappearance. I never found that part of the book to be predictable; but I found Julep’s personal life was so predictable it was almost cliché at times–until it wasn’t.

The last few chapters of the book really surprised me because I really enjoyed them. They were faster paced, we actually get a heist-esque plot and there were a few twists I wasn’t expecting to happen. It made me excited to see where this is going to go next.

updates

–May 2, 2019– Book #1.5: Down to the Liar

It’s been a couple of years since I read the first book in the series so this novellas was the perfect way to bring me back to Julep’s world. It truly bridges the events of the first book to the second so it’s one of those novellas that actually follows chronological order.

–May 8, 2020– Book #2: Trust Me, I’m Trouble

I had every intention of picking this up after I read the novella but time got away from me. So I made it a part of my 5 Year 5 Book Challenge for 2020, thinking this was the finale as that was my theme for this year’s challenge (and it has been 5 years since it was published)–only to get to the last page and realize that another book is planned. Which is good, because I have more questions than answers at this point!

I probably would have enjoyed this a little more if life didn’t seem so dark around me with the Covid pandemic. Julep has a pretty sullen narrative and it gives this book a sad vibe to it. I could only read it in bits because it would become slightly depressing. But there are a lot of highlights in this book like the romance (I definitely was looking in the wrong place for that), family and the complex plot. I was really impressed with the layers to this. Things I thought I had figured out were either sorta-true or completely off and I liked that it surprised me.

Series Rating: 4/5

Trust Me, I’m Lying 4/5 | [Down to the Liar 4/5] | Trust Me, I’m Trouble 3/5

overall

While Ally Carter fans will more than likely enjoy this book, I think fans of Veronica Mars will also enjoy this novel. It’s not really a heist novel but it does have that slow build to it that Ocean’s Eleven has (even if it isn’t all that apparent as you read). This novel surprised me with how much I actually enjoyed it because for a good while I was giving it a bare pass–but the ending was great!

Read if You Like: slower stories, mystery/thrillers
Avoid if You: dislike slow stories, want more romance

similarreads

recapbutton

readingchallenges
book

connect Twitter GoodReads Riffle Bloglovin' Amazon.ca Reviews RSS Email

catchphrase

Disclaimer | Request a Review | Contact

Series Review: Trapped by Beverley Kendall

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

Trapped by Beverley Kendall | Trapped Series

The Trap (Trapped, #0.5) 

booksynopsis

Synopsis for Trapped (from Goodreads):
My life has turned out to be such a cliché. And not in a good way.

It’s not exactly Sixteen and Pregnant, but at eighteen my only advantage is a high school diploma. And if that’s not enough, the father—and I use that term loosely—couldn’t have hightailed it out of my life fast enough.

I thought I really knew him. Unfortunately, my boyfriend of three years transformed from Dr. Jekyll to Mr. Hyde once he realized his carefree, childless days would be coming to an end.

I’m over him now though. The real love of my life is chubby, has more gum than teeth, and stands a little over two feet tall. She may not have been planned, but I’ve never regretted having her. She is the center of my world.

A world that’s been turned upside down when Mitch returns ready to earn the love and trust of the child he abandoned before birth.

Letting him into my daughter’s life is one thing but letting him back into mine isn’t going to happen. Ever.

Now if only I can get my heart to heed the lessons of the past.

breakdown

SERIESous’ Top Book Series: Favourite new New Adult Series 2014
Series: Trapped

This series intersects with Kendall’s other series, Unforgettable You, just before book 2 in the series, Always for You. However, you do not need to read that series to read this series.

Author: Beverley Kendall
# of Books: 3 (Trapped, Tamed, Played)

There is a prequel novella for Trapped called The Trap (it’s FREE) that I recommend you read before you read Trapped.

Book Order: Connected
Complete?: Yes
Genre: New Adult, Romance, Drama, Contemporary, Second Chances
Heat Rating: really warm
Point of View: First Person, Alternating
Publication Dates: July 20142018
Source & Format: Own–eBook

thoughts

Why I Picked It Up:

Every since I saw the synopsis for Trapped, I’ve been counting down the days to read it. Though I didn’t love Beverley Kendall’s other full New Adult novel, Only for You, I did love its novella that took place after with a different set of characters (All Over You). So I wasn’t going to give up on her yet!

The Prequel, The Trap:

I started by reading the prequel novella, The Trap, which is FREE on all major eRetailers. I highly recommend that you read this novella before you read Trapped because it really sets the context for everything and does so better than the full novel did. I think reading the novella helped give me some sympathy (or at the very least understanding) towards the characters that I wouldn’t necessarily have had if I had just read the novel. Because let’s face it, Mitch is a bit of a jerk for doing what he did regardless; but getting the full story thanks to the novella helped me grow to like him in Trapped.

The Plot:

Trapped was great! Normally I’m not a huge fan of second chance romances because I find them very predictable but this one wasn’t entirely predictable in the sense that there are a few other plotlines going on that add interesting twists to everything. I found that very refreshing. It was a slower plot but I always found that it kept my attention

The Characters:

As for the characters, I thought everyone was great. Mitch and Paige were much more mature than Kendall’s other leads in Only for You despite being the same age and friends with them. They were also super cute together and weren’t over the top in anything that they did. The hotter scenes between them aren’t numerous but I’m glad that was the case because I think it would have taken away from the story. The other supporting characters were just as interesting as Mitch and Paige but they didn’t overshadow them in anyway which was super nice.

My Expectations for the Rest of the Series:

I’m very excited to get some of the secondary casts stories!

Series Rating: 4/5

[The Trap 4/5] | Trapped 4/5 | Played TBD

overall

I really enjoyed The Trap and Trapped. They were refreshing in the sense that they were realistic with a dash of dramatics that one expects in a New Adult fiction read. Those who like second chance romances (especially with unexpected pregnancies) will really enjoy this one!

similarreads

connect Twitter GoodReads Riffle Bloglovin' Google Plus Amazon.ca Reviews RSS Email

catchphrase

Disclaimer | Request a Review | Contact

Series Review: Hollywood Heat by Laurelin Paige

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 Sex Symbol (aka Take Two) (from Goodreads):

He’s ready for his close up, but she’s the one calling the shots.

On the night of her graduation from film school, straight-laced Maddie Bauers fell completely out of character for an oh-my-god make-out session with a perfect stranger. Complete with the big O.

Seven years later, that romantic interlude is still fresh in her mind. That stranger is now a rich and famous actor. And she’s one very distracted camera assistant working on his latest production. She might consider another tryst…if he even remembers her.

Micah Preston does indeed remember Maddie. Too bad he’s sworn off Hollywood relationships. He allows himself as much sex as he likes—and oh, he does like—but anything more is asking for trouble. For the woman, not for him. Yet knowing Maddie could want more than a movie-set fling doesn’t stop him from pursuing her like a moth drawn to hot stage lights.

But as the shoot nears its end, it’s decision time. Is it time to call, “Cut!” on their affair, or is there enough material for a sequel?

Warning: Contains a dreamy movie star hero, a focus-pulling heroine, off-the-charts instant chemistry, steamy sex in near-public locations, and a new use for lip gloss.

breakdown

SERIESous’ Top Book Series: Favourite Author
Series: Hollywood Heat (Originally: Lights, Camera)
Author: Laurelin Paige
# of Books: 3 (Take Two, Star Struck, one More Time)
Book Order: Connected
Complete?: Yes
Genre: Contemporary, Romance, Celebrity
Heat Rating: getting hot
Point of View: Third Person, Alternate; First Person, Alternating (One More Time)
Publication Dates: February 2014 – May 2018
Source & Format: Own–eBook; eARC (One More Time)

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.**

My Expectations:

I’ve been patiently waiting to read Take Two since I finished Paige’s Fixed Trilogy in January. I absolutely loved that series and I was excited to see what she would do next.

My Review of Take Two (later republished as Sex Symbol):

This series is vastly different from the Fixed Trilogy. Yes, it has it’s sexier moments like Fixed on You did complete with great character chemistry–but it is much more light-hearted and easy going than the Fixed Series. The characters don’t have tragedy filled pasts and they don’t consume every aspect of their lives. Instead, we get two characters who are focusing on their careers and trying to see where a relationship fits in.

This book was just what I needed when I read it. I had a lot of fun reading about the characters and I loved their sexual chemistry right from the start. I normally don’t like insta-connection romances but it really didn’t feel like that to me. To me, it felt like I was reading a romance between two people who have a strong attraction to each other but want to develop it more. It wasn’t overly nauseating which I appreciated.

Another thing I really found refreshing about Take Two was that both Micah and Maddie worked in the movie industry. I think that’s why I liked their connection to each other so much because they had a lot in common. In other books I have read with actor or celebrity leads, the hero is always the celebrity and the heroine is an everyday girl who struggles with dating a celebrity. I think by having Maddie as someone behind the scenes but who understands the business made things seem more plausible and added a bit of a spin to things.

One thing that surprised me was that there wasn’t too much drama or any plot twists to the story. That isn’t necessarily a bad thing because I really liked how the story progressed on its own as a straight-forward romance but after reading the Fixed Trilogy where there was always something going on in the background I guess you can say I was expecting something to pop up along the way 😛

My Expectations for the Rest of the Series:

I will probably read Star Struck just because I really like Laurelin Paige’s works but the warning at the bottom of the synopsis is slightly deterring me from picking it up as it isn’t my usual cup of tea. Overall though, the plot sounds interesting and could be a lot of fun like Take Two was so I’m not writing it off completely.

updates

–May 6, 2018– Book #3: One More Time

So I actually read Book 3 before I read Book 2–but because these novels are all individual standalones set in the same universe, you can totally do that without any consequences.

Check out my full review of One More Time on my Blog Tour Stop post.

Series Rating: 4/5

Sex Symbol (Take Two)  4/5 | Star Struck TBA| One More Time 4/5

overall

If you are looking for a fun, celebrity romance that will make you smile grab this series!

Read if You Like: great sexual chemistry, solid characters, second chance romance
Avoid if You: dislike Hollywood drama

similarreads

readingchallenges

connect Twitter GoodReads Riffle Bloglovin' Google Plus Amazon.ca Reviews RSS Email

catchphrase

Disclaimer | Request a Review | Contact

Series Review: The Sullivans by Bella Andre

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 Look of Love (from Goodreads):
Chloe Peterson is having a bad night. A really bad night. The large bruise on her cheek can attest to that. And when her car skids off the side of a wet country road straight into a ditch, she’s convinced even the gorgeous guy who rescues her in the middle of the rain storm must be too good to be true. Or is he?

As a successful photographer who frequently travels around the world, Chase Sullivan has his pick of beautiful women, and whenever he’s home in San Francisco, one of his seven siblings is usually up for causing a little fun trouble. Chase thinks his life is great just as it is—until the night he finds Chloe and her totaled car on the side of the road in Napa Valley. Not only has he never met anyone so lovely, both inside and out, but he quickly realizes she has much bigger problems than her damaged car. Soon, he is willing to move mountains to love—and protect—her, but will she let him?

Chloe vows never to make the mistake of trusting a man again. Only, with every loving look Chase gives her—and every sinfully sweet caress—as the attraction between them sparks and sizzles, she can’t help but wonder if she’s met the only exception. And although Chase didn’t realize his life was going to change forever in an instant, amazingly, he isn’t the least bit interested in fighting that change. Instead, he’s gearing up for a different fight altogether…for Chloe’s heart.

breakdown
SERIESous’ Top Book Series: Top Family Series
Series: The Sullivans; The San Francisco Sullivans

There are spin-off series: Seattle Sullivans & New York Sullivans & Summer Lake

Author: Bella Andre
# of Books: 10 (Full Reading Order Here)
Complete?: Yes
Genre: Contemporary, Romance, Families, Drama
Heat Rating: Hot
Point of View: Third Person, Alternating

thoughts

Please Note: This is an ongoing series review as I have not read all the books in the series.

I decided to read this series after I got the 3rd one, Can’t Help Falling in Love for free from a Kobo promotion last year. Because it was the 3rd one, I decided to read the first two in order to not lose out on the history (though you can totally read these books in any order without it taking anything away from the current story).

I nearly stopped reading The Look of Love because it was everything I hate in a romance: instant love-at-first-sight romance and that irks me to no end. I love fiction because it isn’t real life but I don’t like love at first sight–to me it’s just lust and physical attraction and I like my romances to be slightly realistic. It also didn’t help that I didn’t care for Chase or Chloe so it was a battle to read. The only reason I finished was because it was extremely short so it wasn’t a huge waste of my time.

Within the last few chapters of book 1, I decided I wasn’t going to continue with the series. I had the free book 3 but it was just going to sit on my Kobo at no loss to me. But then, I finished the 1st book and guess what? It ends in a pretty steep cliff-hanger about a character I actually enjoyed so I decided to pick up From This Moment On because I really wanted to see where it went. Damn.

Luckily, From This Moment On was significantly better in my opinion than The Look of Love. I liked the relationship that develops between Marcus and his lady. Unlike Chloe and Chase, they realise that their relationship was more physical initially but I feel like they actually got to know each other on a deeper level than just sex. It was a cute, quick read and you meet more of the Sullivan family so I decided to stick with it.

From then on, the rest of the books get better! I think part of it has to do with the fact that you are slowly introduced to the rest of the Sullivan clan as you read along and you get attached to the secondary characters and want to see what happens to them. The other reason is that the next book picks up directly where the previous book left off so it’s like you are reading one long, continuous story.

My favourites of the series so far have been Book 2 (From This Moment On); Book 3 (Can’t Help Falling in Love); Book 4 (I Only Have Eyes for You); and Book 6 (Let me be the One).

One thing I find with Bella Andre’s writing is that she tends to have subplots (by this I mean storylines that aren’t the romantic relationship) that build throughout the story and then end suddenly (conclude within 5 pages). I find it can be a bit of a let down because as I am reading I think more is going to happen with this plot and then it doesn’t. Not all the books in the series have this but some do.

My Expectations for the Rest of the Series:

I still have to read the last 3 in the series. From what I have read, The Way you Look Tonight is about a Sullivan cousin and not any of the siblings we see throughout the first 7 books. The last book is about the sibling’s parents so I am really excited to read that this fall!

Series Rating: 4/5

overall

If you want a super quick romantic read that is heavy on the romance and not much on anything else, pick these books up. If you didn’t enjoy The Look of Love give From This Moment On a chance because the rest of the series is much better in its delivery.

Read if You Like: quick reads, family stories
Avoid if You: dislike insta-love, want more depth

similarreads

connect Twitter GoodReads Riffle Bloglovin' Google Plus Amazon.ca Reviews RSS Email

catchphrase

Disclaimer | Request a Review | Contact

Fresh Fridays: Fate on Fire Series by Wendy Knight

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:

Feudlings by Wendy Knight | The Fate on Fire Series

book2

Series: Fate on Fire
Author: Wendy Knight
# of Books: 2+ (Feudlings, Feudlings in the Flames)
Complete?: No, book 2, Feudlings in the Flames, will be released later in 2013
Genre: Teen, Magic, Romance, Action

Thoughts:

I will admit that I was hesitant to read this book based on the synopsis. I find that I am not a huge fan of “witch/spell” type books so that was a worry. I was also worried it was going to be more of a romance with some action and seeing as it is targeted more for teens, the presumed teen angst nearly turned me off from reading it. But that’s what happens when you assume!

This book was definitely more about action than romance. Yes, it is there but there was so much else going on that it nearly took a back seat. It started off slow but it really picked up when you learn more about the world Wendy Knight has created. It’s simple yet complicated at the same time so it is easy to follow along.

At first, I wasn’t a fan of Ari. She was a little too angst-y for me but when you learn more about her past it makes sense why she feels the way she does. (Nothing worse than a whiney, spoiled heroine but that is not the case here!). As for the rest of the characters, I really liked them and can’t wait to see more of them!

Conclusion:

Definitely check this book out if you enjoy star-crossed romance with a lot of action; magic; smart characters and strong female leads!

Rating: 4/5

Similar Reads:

Synopsis for Feudlings (from Goodreads):
Nothing makes a new school suck worse than discovering the guy you’re in love with is your prophesied nemesis.

Ari is the most powerful flame-throwing sorceress ever, and her people’s last hope in an ancient war. But she’s also a seventeen-year-old girl, and in her free, not-hunting-nemesis times, she jumps from school to school, trying to figure out regular people her own age and pretending she’ll get the chance to graduate.

Shane lives a double life. He goes to school and masters the art of popularity, hiding the fact that he has a fate with a slim chance of his survival. He’s destined to end a 300 year-old war by killing or being killed. He knows he’s hunted by a powerful enemy who’s not afraid to die. Only problem? He has no idea who that enemy is.

When Ari shows up at Shane’s school, angry and sullen and determined to keep him at arm’s reach, neither of them realize they are supposed to be killing each other, not fall-ing in love. Until Ari does realize it, and she almost dies – by Shane’s hand.

Series Review: The Game by Emma Hart

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

 book2 book3 book4

booksynopsis

Synopsis for The Love Game (from Goodreads):

His challenge? Make her fall in love with him.
Her challenge? Play the player.
Until life changes the rules of the game.

Maddie Stevens hated Braden Carter on sight. Arrogant, egotistical, and the playboy of the University of California, Berkeley, he’s everything her brother Pearce has taught her to despise. So why, when the girls challenge her to play the player, doesn’t she say no? She doesn’t know either.

Braden wanted fiery little Maddie the second he laid eyes on her – and he’d do anything to have her, hence why he’s agreed to make her fall in love with him. After all, it’s the only way he’ll get what he wants. Sex.

But, as Braden discovers, there’s more to the girl from Brooklyn than he ever imagined – and he can’t help but care about the broken girl behind those pretty green eyes.

Maddie finds Braden isn’t just a walking erection – he actually has feelings. He can be sweet, funny and his good looks don’t exactly hurt. That means trouble – but when her brother Pearce turns up in Berkeley begging for her help, she realises Braden and Pearce aren’t so alike anymore.

And maybe, just maybe, they’re exactly what each other needs.

breakdown

Series: The Game
Author: Emma Hart
# of Books: 4 (The Love Game, Playing for Keeps, The Right Moves, Worth the Risk)
Complete?: Yes
Genre: New Adult, Romance, Contemporary
Heat Rating: really warm
Point of View: First Person, Alternating
Publication Dates: March 2013 – May 2014
Source & Format: Own–eBook

thoughts

**This post was originally posted as a Toonie Tuesday review of the first book (The Love Game) of the series. It has now been updated to include the newest publications in the series.**

Review of The Love Game:

Given the facts that it is a romance novel and the main protagonists are trying to get the other to fall in love with them, you pretty much know how it is going to go–they are going to fall in love with each other for real. But that shouldn’t stop you from reading this book because there is more to it.

I found this novel very refreshing. Despite the fact that it has characteristics of New Adult novels (ex. at least one protagonist has a tragic past which results in their inability to trust and love others) it also puts its own spin on the genre. The whole premise of the game was very Shakespearian (in theory) which I love; especially when you add in the supporting characters.

I also love the fact that Maddie and Braden don’t have an “insta-love” connection (a major turn-off for my reading) and I appreciate that this is talked about in the book as well. It made it very realistic and believable. Another plus is that you actually watch them fall in love with each other and you can see why they do. I find that some novels fail to provide the backbone to a relationship and just focus on the “physical connection” between two characters.

Maddie is great at telling Braden to calm the “caveman” act down. I think a lot of New Adult novels promote the idea that a man who claims you as “his” at every turn is sexy when it is not always the case (this isn’t to say that they present an abusive relationship in anyway–because they don’t–I just think it can border on an unhealthy relationship in the real world and I fear it will give girls the wrong impression). And this isn’t to say that Braden is always caveman like that, he does have really cute moments throughout and is genuinely a nice guy.

My only negatives about are more pet-peeves of mine. Sometimes when Maddie talked it was a little too metaphor-y for me. Given the fact that she is 18 it just was a little “too deep” for me at times (especially the whole comparison to various board games at one point in the last few chapters) but I guess I see how she might be a little wiser beyond her years considering her backstory. Still, she’s only 18!

But to end on a bright note: the story of Maddie and Braden concludes within this book. So yay for not dragging on a story! From what I can see the second book is about two different characters we meet in this book and there are enough hints throughout that I am excited to see what happens next!

>>Bonus: Here is the epilogue for The Love Game (WARNING: It contains spoilers!)

updates

–January 15, 2014– Book #2: Playing for Keeps

I just finished Playing for Keeps after having it sit on my Kobo for months and I have to say another great book in the series! While I didn’t enjoy it as much as The Love Game, it definitely had its enjoyable moments throughout. I’m happy with the way the story went though at times I felt like it was a little over the top considering everyone’s ages. I think if the characters were, say 4-5 years older, I would have an easier time believing their maturity and some of the things they say. I’m not saying you can’t be mature at that age, it just seemed a little odd to me when I was reading.

One thing I didn’t like about this book was that it just jumped into things without much background. Considering Meagan is a secondary character in the previous book, we don’t know a whole lot about her and while I knew there was tension between her and Aston, I just wished it was elaborated more at the start of this book. It’s been a long time since I read The Love Game so I forgot about their interaction in that book–I guess I just wanted to see more of why they liked each other in the first place. But to be fair, the rest of the book is about them finding love in each other so it does make up for it in a way.

These books aren’t like typical New Adult reads. The hot romance really takes a back seat to the building up of a relationship and love and using love to heal broken pasts. So if you are looking for a crazy steamy read, these aren’t the books for you!

I’m interested to see where the next book, The Right Moves, goes from here. From what I have read of the synopsis it has nothing to do with the cast of characters we met in the last two books which I think is a good thing because I don’t know if I could handle another story about this group (I just think all their stories have been exhausted and I wouldn’t want everything to be dragged out). I guess we will see what happens.

Series Rating: 4/5

The Love Game 4/5| Playing for Keeps 3.5/5 | The Right Moves TBA | Worth the Risk TBA

overall

I really enjoyed reading this book. It had me turning pages and was such an easy read (writing-wise). If you enjoy books about love healing tormented past and changing playboy ways, pick this series up!

Read if You Like: NA romances, love heals stories
Avoid if You: like when characters act more their age

similarreads

  • Someone to Love by Addison Moore
  • Charade by Nyrae Dawn (Games Series #1)

connect Twitter GoodReads Riffle Bloglovin' Google Plus Amazon.ca Reviews Amazon.com Reviews RSS Email

catchphrase

Disclaimer | Request a Review | Contact