Tag «Ongoing Series»

Series Review: Unforgettable You 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:

Only for You by Beverley Kendall | Unforgettable You Series

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Series: Unforgettable You
Author: Beverley Kendall
# of Books: 4 (Only for You, All Over You, Always Been You, Forever With You)

Technically, All Over You is a novella and #1.5 of the series but is to be read like a sequel

Complete?: More novels planned
Genre: New Adult, Romance, Contemporary, Drama
Heat Rating: warm
Point of View: First Person, Alternating
Publication Dates: December 2012 – ongoing
Source & Format: Own–eBook

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My Expectations:

I discovered this series after finding All Over You as a free Kobo eBook and decided to buy Only for You to get the full story. I was really excited to read Only for You because I normally love these type of stories. Much like Mad for You, it promised the meeting of unrequited loves in college and that always provides some reading entertainment. Now you will noticed that I said “normally” because lately I seem to be out of luck with these unrequited high school love stories and this is one I can add to the pile.

Thoughts on Only For You:

It never helps a story when you don’t like one of the main characters and I just didn’t like Olivia. I’m not sure why when I look back at it, but I think it’s because I get the impression that we would never be friends in real life. I just didn’t like her thought process and she seemed really immature. Her problems seemed really petty and while I know that they just left high school, I felt like I was still there with them based on the way they handled things.

Josh was alright. I liked that he was a decent guy and seemed to genuinely like Olivia but again, not the sharpest tool in the shed. His reasoning for not acting on his true feelings felt a little far-fetched and overly dramatic when it didn’t need to be. There is also one scene where I sincerely doubt his intelligence because how did he NOT know that about her?! I have a feeling it would be noticeable and he should be able to put two and two together.

Based on the synopsis you would think that they spend most of the story in Paris, but they actually don’t. So don’t expect to see a lot of action from Paris as most of it takes place in the States. If you want a novel about two people falling in love abroad, read Meant to Be by Lauren Morril instead.

One thing Only for You succeeds in doing is getting me acquainted and excited for the other character’s stories. Truth be told by the end of the book I was mostly reading for updates about Scott, April, Troy and Becca.

Thoughts on All Over You:

After reading Only for You I couldn’t wait to start All Over You because there was just so much buildup. It didn’t disappoint and I really enjoyed this book a lot more than the first one. I just liked the characters more and their past actually made sense and was a lot more realistic which made it more enjoyable. I wish this book was longer and not as rushed near the end as it was.

I’m looking forward to Always Been You and hoping that it will be as enjoyable as All Over You when it comes out.

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–February 29, 2016– Book #3: Always Been You

I was really excited to read this one after the little hints we got in the previous book. I’m not usually a fan of romances between BFFs–I hate when they go unrequited and the usually lead to love triangles–but I do enjoy romances where two BFFs are unknowingly in love with each other…such is the case here.

Unfortunately, the “angst” went on a little too long in this one. I wanted more plot besides “he/she doesn’t know” and sabotaged new relationships. I found the synopsis to be very misleading as well. The whole thing about Playboy doesn’t become an issue until 60+% through the book which is when we start to get some drama not of the romantic variety. Just seemed a little late for something that was featured in the synopsis and I wanted to spend more time on the other drama aspects introduced later.

I am, however, very curious for the next novel. Seems like some juicy stuff is about to be revealed and I can’t wait!

–September 13, 2017– Book #4: Forever With You

I was really excited to see how the events would unfold in this novel. We are left in a lot of suspense for Emily’s story at the end of Always Been You and I was eager to uncover the secrets.

It’s an interesting choice to reveal the past right at the start. It begins with a bang and watching the aftermath is intriguing. However, you lose some of the mystery and suspense as the story progresses. I found the middle of the novel to be a little stale since it was them simply rehashing their hurt feelings again and again.

I wanted more interaction and moments where it was reaffirmed to me that they belonged together–not just arguing pack and forth. Yes, they have fabulous physical chemistry together but I needed more “talking” time to prove to me that they were a good fit.

It’s a cute second chance romance and it builds up perfectly for sequels with the introduction of new and interesting characters.

Series Rating: 3/5

Only Been You 3/5 | All Over You 4/5 | Always Been You 3/5 | Forever With You 3/5

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These are cute stories but there are a lot better books out there that have a similar plot line. But if you enjoy series that interweave character stories together, try this one out!

Read if You Like: stories about true love, more romance focused
Avoid if You: want more steamy romance scenes

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Synopsis for Only for You (from Goodreads):
College freshman Olivia Montgomery is thrilled at the chance to start over, escape the rumors that plagued her in high school. And she can finally put her juvenile crush, Zachary Pearson, where he belongs–in her past. Then her unrequited love strolls into her French class, shattering Olivia’s newfound peace, and the feelings she’d thought buried for good come rushing back. Now she can’t shake her unwanted attraction to the one guy who can twist her stomach into knots with just a smile…but has never given her the time of day.

Zach’s good looks may have always gotten him his pick of girls, but it’s the star quarterback’s skill on the football field that gives him his pick of the Big Ten colleges. To escape the crushing demands of his win-at-all-costs father, Zach opts for a private university in upstate New York where…his present and past collide. And the one girl he’s always wanted but can’t have–and a class trip to Paris–turn out to be the ultimate game changer that has him breaking every one of his rules.

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Fresh Fridays: Low Red Moon by Ivy Devlin (Low Red Moon Series)

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:

Low Red Moon by Ivy Devlin | Low Red Moon Series


Other books in the series:

Series: Low Red Moon
Author: Ivy Devlin
# of Books: 2 (Low Red Moon, Moonrise)
Complete?: No, Moonrise will be released January 2014
Genre: Young Adult, Paranormal, Romance, Mystery, Suspense
Heat Rating: warm

Thoughts:

This is one of those books that gets my special “judged by cover” tag on my Goodreads account because truthfully, the only reason I randomly grabbed this book off the shelf was the shiny red cover. Of course, I then read the plot and it seemed interesting enough for me to pick up.

I’m glad I did because I really liked this book. It was part mystery and part romance and I think Devlin does a great job of blending the two together. When it comes to the mystery, I was sucked in. It was suspenseful and I liked trying to figure it all out as I went along. It was a darker read but nothing that would scare you to stay up all night; it just felt like it wasn’t afraid to get nitty-gritty in the details which I really liked.

And when it wasn’t the mystery of Avery’s parents, it was the mystery of Ben and the excitement of their romance that drove me further into the book. I have to say that their romantic moments were steamier than most young adult scenes and that added another depth to the story. I think it is pretty obvious that this book never really seemed to have a dull moment and that is what really impressed me.

As for the werewolf aspect to the story, it wasn’t anything overbearing which I appreciated. Werewolves aren’t really my thing so I tend not to enjoy books about them. But I find you have enough to think about with the murder and the romance that it isn’t a book that focuses specifically on werewolves–it takes a bit of a backseat but it definitely adds to the story in a good way.

When I first read the book (back when it was first published in 2010) there hadn’t been a plan or announcement for a sequel so I was left really disappointed in how the book ended. While we do learn the truth behind Avery’s parents’ murder, I just felt like so many things were left unanswered between Avery and Ben and the town as a whole and I would have liked more closure if Low Red Moon was going to be a stand-alone novel. But luckily for me, it isn’t and I’m really excited to see where this sequel, Moonrise, will go because it has been long overdue!

Conclusion:

A refreshing read for those who enjoy Young Adult novels. It has a great blend of mystery, romance and paranormal activities so there is never a dull moment! Plus, it makes for a very quick read!

Rating: 4/5

Similar Reads: Nightshade by Andrea Cremer (Nightshade, #1)

Synopsis for Low Red Moon (from Goodreads):
The only thing Avery Hood can remember about the night her parents died is that she saw silver—deadly silver, moving inhumanly fast. As much as she wants to remember who killed them, she can’t, and there’s nothing left to do but try to piece her life back together. Then Avery meets the new boy in school—Ben, mysterious and beautiful, with whom she feels a connection like nothing she’s ever experienced. When Ben reveals he’s a werewolf, Avery still trusts him—at first. Then she sees that sometimes his eyes flash inhuman silver. And she learns that she’s not the only one who can’t remember the night her parents died. Part murder mystery, part grief narrative, and part heart-stopping, headlong romance, Low Red Moon is a must-read for teen paranormal fans.

Fresh Fridays: For the Darkness Shows the Stars by Diana Peterfreund

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:

For the Darkness Shows the Stars by Diana Peterfreund | For the Darkness Shows the Stars Series


Other books in the series:

SERIESous’ Top Book Series: Favourite Reads of 2013
Series: For the Darkness Shows the Stars
Author: Diana Peterfreund
# of Books: 2 (For the Darkness Shows the Stars, Across a Star-Swept Sea)

There are also 2 novellas: #0.5 Among the Nameless Stars and #1.5 The First Star to Fall

Complete?: No, Across a Star-Swept Sea will be published October 2013
Genre: Young Adult, Retelling, Romance, Dystopian
Heat Rating: cool

Thoughts:

This novel is a retelling/adaption of Persuasion by Jane Austen. I have never read Persuasion though it has been on my to-read list forever and after reading this book, I really want to read it even more so.

There is something about this book that just sucks you in. I started it and then quickly realized I was 50 pages in before I knew it. I think it is because I enjoyed Elliot’s character. She is like every Jane Austen heroine–that woman could write GREAT heroines that all girls can respect and admire, even decades after their publication–in that she is independent, tough and cares for her family. She was great to read about and a refreshing heroine when you look at some of the other offerings out right now in the young adult world (ie. whiny, spoiled, “I need a man to complete me” heroines).

I also really liked the jumps/flashbacks to the past using the letters written between Elliot and Kai. It helps to build up context about the world itself (which is a cool spin on the regular dystopian worlds often seen but still true to the era of Jane Austen’s novels) and the relationship between Elliot and Kai.

The relationship between Elliot and Kai is adorable. You fall in love with them as you read (and the other characters as well). I think it is fair to warn potential readers that this isn’t a book where there are stolen kisses behind the barn or late night rendezvous so if you are looking for that you won’t find it here–and that isn’t necessarily a bad thing. The romance is very Jane Austen–mostly talking and meeting at events but I found it very refreshing to read a book where there isn’t PDA around every corner and instead you see why they once loved each other.

The prequel eNovella, Among the Nameless Stars (ANS)–which is free on Kobo and Amazon–I recommend you read AFTER you read For the Darkness Shows the Stars (FTDSTS). I liked that when I read FTDSTS that Kai was a bit of a mystery and I didn’t know his feelings towards Elliot. Also, some things that were revealed as you read FTDSTS were mentioned in ANS and I think it takes away from the mystery of FTDSTS when you read it first. Overall though, the book is really interesting and it helps shape the world–and when it’s FREE, it doesn’t get any better than that 😉

Conclusion:

For the Darkness Shows the Stars is easily one of my favourite reads of this year. The book is beautifully written and manages to be unique all while capturing the atmosphere of Jane Austen’s work. I loved Elliot and Kai and while the next book may not deal directly with them I am excited to see more from this author in this fabulous world she has created! However, it probably isn’t for everyone; especially those who like more exciting romances and faster moving plots as this is a little slower and it isn’t a steaming romance.

Rating: 5/5

Similar Reads: Pride and Prejudice and Zombies by Seth Grahame-Smith and Under the Never Sky by Veronica Rossi (Under the Never Sky, #1)

Synopsis for For the Darkness Shows the Stars (from Goodreads):
It’s been several generations since a genetic experiment gone wrong caused the Reduction, decimating humanity and giving rise to a Luddite nobility who outlawed most technology.

Elliot North has always known her place in this world. Four years ago Elliot refused to run away with her childhood sweetheart, the servant Kai, choosing duty to her family’s estate over love. Since then the world has changed: a new class of Post-Reductionists is jumpstarting the wheel of progress, and Elliot’s estate is foundering, forcing her to rent land to the mysterious Cloud Fleet, a group of shipbuilders that includes renowned explorer Captain Malakai Wentforth–an almost unrecognizable Kai. And while Elliot wonders if this could be their second chance, Kai seems determined to show Elliot exactly what she gave up when she let him go.

But Elliot soon discovers her old friend carries a secret–one that could change their society . . . or bring it to its knees. And again, she’s faced with a choice: cling to what she’s been raised to believe, or cast her lot with the only boy she’s ever loved, even if she’s lost him forever.

Inspired by Jane Austen’s Persuasion, For Darkness Shows the Stars is a breathtaking romance about opening your mind to the future and your heart to the one person you know can break it

Series Review: Mystic City by Theo Lawrence

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

Mystic City by Theo Lawrence | Mystic City Series

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SERIESous’ Top Book Series: Favourite read of 2012 (Mystic City)
Series: Mystic City
Author: Theo Lawrence
# of Books: 3 (Mystic City, Toxic Heart, Body Electric)
Complete?: No, Body Electric will be published TBA
Genre: Young Adult, Fantasy, Dystopian, Romance, Action
Heat Rating: cool

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**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.**

I won’t lie, the only reason I picked this book up or at least considered reading it was because of the “fans of X-men” line–I can’t help but be a little curious about a book when a publisher uses that line. So I went in with weary expectations, only to come out of it all with my mind blown and me counting down the endless number of days until the sequel.

This book was FANTASTIC! One of my favourite reads this year for sure!

It just had everything I want in a book: A rich, twisting plot full of drama that wasn’t very predictable (there are clues along that way that you pick up on but there were some things that I happened that surprised me!); a dash of romance; a strong female lead; mystery and a whole lot of suspense and action. I had a very hard time putting this down at the end!

It can be worrisome when a book is compared or suggested to fans of another series. I often find the new books are carbon copies of the “fans of BLANK” books so it can be disheartening when you actually read it and it doesn’t meet your high expectations. I can happily say that this book was unlike anything I have read–sure it takes similar plot concepts from other stories but the way that they are weaved all together makes this book totally original and a joy to read.

UPDATED (July 24/14): I finally was able to get my hands on a copy of Toxic Heart after a very length wait (only know I will have to wait for the third book :P). While the plot isn’t as intricately woven as it was Mystic City, I found it managed to keep my attention right from the get go. It does suffer a bit from the “book-two-of-a-trilogy-slump” but there were still some mystery elements and good plot developments. Aria started to irritate me just a smidgen at the start of the novel but I quickly got over that once I was a few chapters in. Overall, it was a good followup to its predecessor and sets the stage for some awesome plotlines in the next installment!

Conclusion:

I know that this book gets mixed reviews on Goodreads but I think for those who want to try something a little different, this one is worth a shot! It is hard to say anything else without giving too much away but fans of dystopian who love a good mystery plot will LOVE this! If you get a chance pick it up so you can join me in the misery that is waiting for the sequel 😛

Rating: 4.5/5

Similar Reads: Black City by Elizabeth Richards (Black City Trilogy, #1)

Synopsis for Mystic City (from Goodreads):
For fans of Matched, The Hunger Games, X-Men, and Blade Runner comes a tale of a magical city divided, a political rebellion ignited, and a love that was meant to last forever. Book One of the Mystic City Novels.

Aria Rose, youngest scion of one of Mystic City’s two ruling rival families, finds herself betrothed to Thomas Foster, the son of her parents’ sworn enemies. The union of the two will end the generations-long political feud—and unite all those living in the Aeries, the privileged upper reaches of the city, against the banished mystics who dwell below in the Depths. But Aria doesn’t remember falling in love with Thomas; in fact, she wakes one day with huge gaps in her memory. And she can’t conceive why her parents would have agreed to unite with the Fosters in the first place. Only when Aria meets Hunter, a gorgeous rebel mystic from the Depths, does she start to have glimmers of recollection—and to understand that he holds the key to unlocking her past. The choices she makes can save or doom the city—including herself.

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Series Review: Black Dagger Brotherhood by J.R. Ward

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Synopsis for Dark Lover (from Goodreads):
In the shadows of the night in Caldwell, New York, there’s a deadly turf war going on between vampires and their slayers. There exists a secret band of brothers like no other-six vampire warriors, defenders of their race. Yet none of them relishes killing more than Wrath, the leader of The Black Dagger Brotherhood.

The only purebred vampire left on earth, Wrath has a score to settle with the slayers who murdered his parents centuries ago. But, when one of his most trusted fighters is killed-leaving his half-breed daughter unaware of his existence or her fate-Wrath must usher her into the world of the undead-a world of sensuality beyond her wildest dreams

breakdown

Series: Black Dagger Brotherhood
Author: J.R. Ward
# of Books: 18 (View a full list here)
Complete?: No
Genre: Romance, Paranormal, Adult
Heat Rating: Hot

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NOTE: As of October 8, 2018, I have only read the first four books in the series (up to and including Lover Revealed). The following review is based on the trends and commonalities I had seen after reading the first two novels. I will not be continuing with the other sequels in the series.

Why I Picked It Up:

This was one of those series that appeared everywhere I looked for books. Every time I logged onto Kobo to find see what was new, the Lover at Last cover stared back at me. For about two weeks, I looked away until my curiosity got the better of me and I had to search the book on Goodreads. I then learned that Lover at Last was book 11 of a romance series and one that was consistently rated as 4 out of 5 by 80,000 readers. Typically, that means it’s a good read because so many people can’t be wrong, right? I was also intrigued that a few of the authors I follow on Goodreads had also rated the series with high reviews. So, I decided to put the book on hold from my local library and soon Dark Lover was in my grasp.

The Concept / The World:

I will admit that the glossary of terms that graced the first couple of pages of my Kobo freaked me out. I like when authors have a glossary of terms about the world they have created–it helps me to remember what things are and provides a reference point that is easy to find later on in the book. But I was expecting this to be a typical romantic vampire read–ie nothing complex and a light read (kind of like Lynsay Sands Argeneau vampire series)–yet that is not what we get here.

This is definitely a vampire book for adults and not just because of the sex scenes. The world is dark, the characters are older and mature and the vampires are how people expect vampires to be (no glitter here folks!), blood drinking (though not human blood but other vampire blood), incredibly strong and good-looking creatures who can’t walk in the sun. Also, the vampires of the brotherhood are all alpha males–and by alpha I mean ALPHA. They are typical I-protect-what-is-mine men that apparently women readers love. I personally, find it a little creepy and annoying to some degree but I guess it works for a majority of the target audience. It isn’t enough to turn me off of the books completely though, it just makes me raise an eyebrow or roll my eyes at times.

The Characters:

What does turn me off is how the heroines act sometimes because of the males’ personalities. I am a feminist–I am all for gender equality and the like–I’m just not a zealous feminist so don’t think I have some supreme biased about this or am approaching it from only a single viewpoint. I just find that the women start off strong and then become a little idiotic in their actions. Like they know they should be afraid of this random stranger who suddenly wants to jump their pants and is everywhere they go and they are–at first. Then they end up giving into the sexy stranger less than 48 hours later. From what I understand of the world (based on the two books I have read so far) is that the males exude a chemical that gets both parties “excited” so the scientist in me goes, “ok, it’s basically a hormone reaction” but I still find it a little worrisome that these strong females swoon within two days. But, I digress, this is fiction and NOT real so I shouldn’t get too hung up on it 😉

The Romance:

Though I will say, I like how the relationships progress once they get passed that initial lust. I like stories where love heals and that seems to be the trend in these books. The redeeming thing is that these relationships progress enough to be something more than just physically chemistry which I appreciate.

The Plot:

As for the plot, I both love and hate the setup. The POVs alter between the heroine, the hero, other characters and the Lessers (who are the “bad guys”). I like the alternating POVs though it can get annoying when a particular storyline is cut up into pieces by a random Lesser POV–but it forces me to read ahead and before I know it, it is an hour later and I am no closer to putting it down ;). The “hate” part of this setup is the Lesser POVs. While I do enjoy seeing how the “evil side” works, I find that the pieces are a little dry and too long to hold my interest at times; especially when something exciting is happening with the main characters. I mostly skim those sections just to get on with the story though in some books they are more interesting than others. Overall, with these alternating POV we get a lot of insight into the multiple plot lines that are occurring simultaneously so there is rarely a dull moment in these books which is great.

My Expectations for the Rest of the Series:

Another bonus of these alternating POV is when they focus on the “secondary” characters in the novels. Particularly with book 2, Lover Eternal we get a bit of interaction between the hero and heroine (as well as a few other matches that will happen in the later books) who are set to take centre stage in book 3, Lover Awakened. I am so excited to read this next book that I think it is safe to say I am addicted to this series 😛

Do you Have to Read them in Order?

I feel it is important to note that this series is one that you could probably get away reading the books in any order, but I recommend that you try to read them in order to get the full experience. I think it just adds to the characters’ stories and understanding and it makes you excited to read what is going to happen your favourite characters in the later books.

overall

Based on the first two books, this series is starting to get really addicting and showing a lot of promise. Those who enjoy romance; dark, sexy and often tormented heroes; and want a “real” vampire world will enjoy this series immensely.

Read if You Like: alpha males, paranormal romances, vampires
Avoid if You: dislike erotica, paranormal fiction

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A Quick Bite by Lynsay Sands (Argeneau Series, #1)

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