Tag «Rating: 4.5/5»

Series Review: London Steampunk by Bec McMaster

SERIESous’ Top Book Series: Favourite Steampunk Series
Series: London Steampunk
Author: Bec McMaster
# of Books: 5 (Kiss of Steel, Heart of Iron, My Lady Quicksilver, Forged by Desire, Of Silk and Steam)

There is a novella, Tarnished Knight, that is #1.5 of the series and #3.5 The Curious Case of the Clockwork Menace

Book Order: Connected
Complete?: No, Of Silk and Steam will be published March 2015
Genre: Steampunk, Action, Romance, Suspense, Paranormal
Heat Rating: hot
Point of View: Third Person, multiple

Thoughts:

I’m a sucker for a good Steampunk novel.  I think it’s the inner scientist in me who loves these mechanical contraptions that come to life in the Victorian era (which the romantic side of me also loves). It’s a great blend of my two favourite genres to read: I just find as a whole the genre does a great job of keeping the action going while having great romantic stories. But what sets this series apart from it other books in this genre is the paranormal aspect of it–vampires. Twilight aside, I do like vampire novels (Vampire Academy anyone?) and this series is not Twilight by any means!

What I love about this series is that it isn’t overly complicated despite the many layers. I know it must sound daunting that there is steampunk elements AND vampire elements but Ms. McMaster does a great job in each book with refreshing you on what the Blue Blood world is so you always know what is going on. I found in Kiss of Steel that I quickly got used to the new terms regarding vampires and how their “vampirism” worked (let’s get real, every vampire novel has its own twist on the vampire and this is no exception).

I won’t lie–I admit that I read this book because I was hoping for a steamier steampunk read (no pun is intended). When I picked up Kiss of Steel, I had been reading more young adult steampunk novels and while I absolutely loved them, I wanted that little dash of maturity and romance that comes with an “adult” steampunk/romance novel. If you are expecting a book where the characters get it on within the first 50 pages, you will be severely disappointed. These books are BRIMING with sexual tension–great sexual tension that makes the wait worth it! More on that later though…

Which brings me to the characters–there wasn’t a single lead that I didn’t like (ok, perhaps Lena for a bit at the start of Heart of Iron but she really grew on me by the halfway point). All the female leads are strong, independent woman who don’t suffer from clinginess or lose themselves to their male counterpart. They kick some serious ass–especially Rosalind in My Lady Quicksilver. The males are definitely alpha but not in an overly unhealthy way that would turn you off (unless you like that–I don’t so this series gets bonus marks from me).

Now back to the sexual tension. While the books follow a series of chronological events, they all focus on different characters. The great part is that characters that star in the sequel books are characters that we have been introduced to before and in some capacity have seen them together in some sexually tense scene prior to their starring novel. This gets you super pumped for the next book–so make sure you have the rest on hand when you are reading! Also, we still get the occasional visit from past characters which is always awesome. I am so upset that I have to wait for Forged by Desire because the little slice we get in My Lady Quicksilver has me dying to read it!

UPDATED (November 25/14): I finally got my hands on Forged by Desire and it was worth the wait! I absolutely loved it but I think the only reason why I liked it so much was because I read the novella that is listed between My Lady Quicksilver and Forged by Desire. Technically, The Curious Case of the Clockwork Menace takes place 3 years before Forged by Desire and the other novels so it is a prequel of sorts; however, you should read it after My Lady Quicksilver but before Forged by Desire. Because the romantic leads in Forged by Desire are two people who have known each other for years and not leads that meet within their starring novel, there is a lot of assumed knowledge about their relationship. By reading the novella first, I felt like I better understood the sexual tension in the novel and enjoyed it all that more. Otherwise, I think I would have been frustrated with how their relationship progresses in the novel and felt like I was missing something.

As for the actual plot of the story, I loved the detective fiction spin to it. It made it a lot of fun to read and gave the book a different vibe than the other three novels. While not my favourite of the series, I still think it is a solid novel and fans shouldn’t be disappointed in it.

Of Silk and Steam is probably the novel I have been anticipating the most. Not only will the overarching plot line reach its own crazy climax, but I’ve been dying to see more of the male lead since his introduction in the first novel. March can’t get here quick enough!

Conclusion:

If you asked me to pick a favourite from the series, I would be hard pressed! I’ve enjoyed all the books so far in the series and they always meet my expectations. If you love romance, action, strong characters, steampunk and don’t mind a dash of the paranormal, GRAB THESE BOOKS! You will not be disappointed!

Rating: 4.5/5

Similar Reads: Iron Duke by Meljean Brook (Iron Seas #1); The Girl in the Steel Corset by Kady Cross (Steampunk Chronicles #1) and Clockwork Prince by Cassandra Clare (The Infernal Devices Trilogy #1)

Synopsis for Kiss of Steel (from Goodreads):
When Nowhere Is Safe

Most people avoid the dreaded Whitechapel district. For Honoria Todd, it’s the last safe haven. But at what price?

Blade is known as the master of the rookeries—no one dares cross him. It’s been said he faced down the Echelon’s army single-handedly, that ever since being infected by the blood-craving he’s been quicker, stronger, and almost immortal.

When Honoria shows up at his door, his tenuous control comes close to snapping. She’s so…innocent. He doesn’t see her backbone of steel—or that she could be the very salvation he’s been seeking

Series Review: Tangled by Emma Chase

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

Tangled by Emma Chase  | Tangled Series

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Synopsis for Tangled (from Goodreads):

Drew Evans is a winner. Handsome and arrogant, he makes multimillion dollar business deals and seduces New York’s most beautiful women with just a smile. He has loyal friends and an indulgent family. So why has he been shuttered in his apartment for seven days, miserable and depressed?

He’ll tell you he has the flu.

But we all know that’s not really true.

Katherine Brooks is brilliant, beautiful and ambitious.  She refuses to let anything – or anyone – derail her path to success. When Kate is hired as the new associate at Drew’s father’s investment banking firm, every aspect of the dashing playboy’s life is thrown into a tailspin. The professional competition she brings is unnerving, his attraction to her is distracting, his failure to entice her into his bed is exasperating.

Then, just when Drew is on the cusp of having everything he wants, his overblown confidence threatens to ruin it all.  Will he be able untangle his feelings of lust and tenderness, frustration and fulfillment? Will he rise to the most important challenge of his life?

Can Drew Evans win at love?

Tangled is not your mother’s romance novel.  It is an outrageous, passionate, witty narrative about a man who knows a lot about women…just not as much as he thinks he knows.  As he tells his story, Drew learns the one thing he never wanted in life, is the only thing he can’t live without.

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SERIESous’ Top Book Series: Favourite New Series 2013; Fav Couple (Drew & Kate)
Series: Tangled Trilogy
Author: Emma Chase
# of Books: 4 (Tangled, Twisted, Tamed, Tied)

There is a novella: #1.5 Holy Frigging Matrimony (should be read after Tamed though)

However, the chronological reading order in terms of events is: Tangled/Tamed, Holy Frigging Matrimony, Twisted, Tied

Book Order: Chronological & One Connected/Overlapping (Tamed) — see quick note below
Complete?: Yes
Genre: Contemporary, Romance, Humour, Drama
Heat Rating: hot
Point of View: First Person, Single
Source & Format: Public Library–eBook

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 Review of Tangled:

It’s been a long time since I laughed out loud during a book. Truthfully, the last book I remember reading where I chuckled throughout the narrative was Losing It by Cora Cormack. I love witty, sarcastic narrators and they are hard to find. Not everyone can speak sarcasm (it is actually the first language I ever learned 😉 ) so when I hear of a book that promises to be filled with witty one-liners, you can guarantee that I will be reading it.

I put Tangled on my to-read list after seeing its nomination for the annual Goodreads Awards for 2013. With contemporary romance novels, I shouldn’t have to tell you how rare it is to have a novel told entirely from the POV of the male lead. Sure, we get mixed POV but most of the time it’s the female and then there is a “sequel” book with the male’s perspective. But this promised to a witty and funny read and when in my exam slump, I decided to read it.

I’m glad I did! I probably drove my roommates nuts laughing as hard and loud as I did during the early hours of the morning that I spent reading this. There were some great lines in this book and Drew’s perception of things is so funny and most-likely right (I’m a female so I can only assume that is how the male brain operates). Sometimes I think the jokes (I can think of 2 that)  bordered on crossing the line, but for the most part (read: majority) were funny.

Besides the humour, this book follows the typical contemporary romance path–so it’s the humour that really sets this book apart from the otherwise stereotypical romance novel. What is nice to see though is that Drew isn’t some top alpha dog who feels the need to “own” everything. READ: no kinky sex going on here! It’s refreshing because most of the books lately that have come out follow the Fifty Shades Trend where one, if not both, of the leads suffers from a tragic past and the male is alpha to extreme. Both Kate and Drew are business people and Drew does come from money, but I felt like they were pretty grounded overall. I also loved the rest of the characters–they were so blunt and funny that it was really refreshing.

updates

–February 16, 2015– Books #2 & 3:

I almost forgot about this series until I noticed the new additions at my local library. And because I couldn’t remember exactly what happened in Tangled, I decided to reread it and I loved it just as much as the first time I did. I forgot how much I loved Kate and Drew together and that their relationship was more than sex–that they actually talked to each other and got to know each other instead of just jumping into bed together.

Book 2: Twisted

Next, I read Twisted and it was what I was expecting the sequel to be.  As I said when I finished Tangled:

As much as I loved this book, I would have been happy without a sequel. The novella (though I haven’t read it yet) seems like a good idea but I don’t know where else this story can really go. There isn’t too much outside drama besides their relationship so I’m curious to see what Ms. Chase has in store for these characters.

Even after reading it I don’t feel like it was necessary to have their story continue but I did enjoy reading it. This time we get Kate’s perspective and I have to say that while I enjoyed getting to know Kate more, I really missed Drew’s observations of the world. It didn’t help that I got annoyed by Kate a bit in some of her actions. I think it is obvious to everyone except the two leads what is really happening and that makes it frustrating to read. And while I understand Kate’s need to become more independent (and I love that she wants to) it just seemed a little silly considering the book is two years later–but I guess better late than never and I can appreciate that it is a touch realistic in the sense that they work on their relationship.

Book #3: Tamed

Tamed was the story I’ve been looking forward to since I first read Tangled and it didn’t disappoint. While I found it wasn’t as funny as Tangled, it did have its moments and I loved watching Matt and Dee Dee together. It was everything I like in a contemporary romance.

–March 22, 2015– Books #4: Tied

When I saw what the premise was for Tied I was excited albeit a little worried. I wasn’t looking forward to another communication assumption like we get in Twisted BUT when I see that Drew is going to be in Las Vegas–I know hilarity is going to ensue. And boy did it ever! This book was so much fun to read and I thought it was just as funny as Tangled. Plus, we didn’t get any stupid plot-lines! In short: a great way to end the series! I’m sad that we won’t be seeing any more of these characters in the near future but I am hopeful that one day Emma Chase will return to this awesome cast of characters!

Quick Note on Series Reading Order:

The reading order for this series is a little bit scattered due to the publishing order. If you want to read the books in chronological order of events I would suggest you read them in this order: Tangled, Tamed, Holy Frigging Matrimony, Twisted, and then Tied. If just keeps all the side plot lines in order and prevents some minor spoilers if you read them in this order.

Series Rating: 4.5/5

Tangled 5/5 | Twisted 4/5 | Tamed 4/5 | Tied 5/5

overall

I will definitely be picking up more books from this author in the future! Emma Chase has nailed the sarcastic hero who can easily win over a female reader who would otherwise slap him in real life. If you want to try a humorous contemporary romance, pick up this book NOW!

Read if You Like: rom-coms, charming assholes, contemporary romance
Avoid if You: dislike humour, dislike sexy times

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Series Review: The White Rabbit Chronicles by Gena Showalter

Series Review: The White Rabbit Chronicles by Gena Showalter

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 Alice in Zombieland (from Goodreads):

She won’t rest until she’s sent every walking corpse back to its grave. Forever.

Had anyone told Alice Bell that her entire life would change course between one heartbeat and the next, she would have laughed. From blissful to tragic, innocent to ruined? Please. But that’s all it took. One heartbeat. A blink, a breath, a second, and everything she knew and loved was gone.

Her father was right. The monsters are real….

To avenge her family, Ali must learn to fight the undead. To survive, she must learn to trust the baddest of the bad boys, Cole Holland. But Cole has secrets of his own, and if Ali isn’t careful, those secrets might just prove to be more dangerous than the zombies….

breakdown

Series: White Rabbit Chronicles
Author: Gena Showalter
# of Books: 4 # (Full Reading Order Here)

There are a few bonus novellas.

Book Order: Chronological (#1-3); Connected (#4)
Complete?: Yes
Genre: Young Adult, Paranormal, Romance
Heat Rating: Toasty *Spicy YA*
Point of View: First Person, Single
Publication Dates: September 2012 – September 2015
Source & Format: Public Library–eBook (#1-#3); Audiobook (#4)

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**This post was originally published as a Series Review of the first few of the series. It has now been updated to include the newest publications in the series.**

Why I Picked it Up / My Expectations:

Alice in Wonderland isn’t my favourite book or movie ever. It’s ok but I’ve always found it a little odd and I struggled to finish the classic novel. I never bothered picking up Through the Looking Glass because I just couldn’t handle another round of weirdness. I like odd stories as much as the next girl, but Lewis Carroll is just that little too much over the edge for me.

So I think it’s obvious to say that a retelling of Alice wasn’t too appealing to me. But what was appealing to me was “zombies”. My exposure so zombies isn’t that great to be honest. I don’t watch or read The Walking Dead but zombies are a paranormal creature that have always fascinated me so I decided to give this book a shot. Plus they seemed like a lot of fun in Shaun of the Dead 😉

The Concept / The World:

I’m really glad that I did grab this series because I enjoyed both books immensely. They are filled with romance, paranormal creatures, action and feature smart AND mature high school students. I know that last part is a little shocking and it shocked me when I read Alice in Zombieland too.

The Plot:

I think what I like most about these books is the layers involved. The romance between Alice and Cole (and the other characters) is one of the main aspects I love but the paranormal aspect of everything is really interesting. While each book has its own plot that begins and ends within that book, there are aspects we learn about the zombie world that carry into the next books that keep you coming back. It goes without saying that these books are non-stop action and something is always going on that causes you to never want to put the book down.

Through the Zombie Glass was even better than Alice in Zombieland in my opinion. So many things came together in this book that I just couldn’t put it down. I didn’t know what was going to happen and what I love about Ms Showalter’s writing is that she isn’t afraid to go places you think she isn’t going to go. Both books have a lot of shocking reveals but Through the Zombieglass went in a direction I wasn’t expecting and one I am super excited to see where it goes in the next book, The Queen of Zombie Hearts.

The Characters:

I’ll start with Alice. I really liked her as a heroine. She was strong, brave and while she does suffer from lead-heroine sacrifice syndrome (ie she always has to be the one to save everyone even if it risks herself) I didn’t find it overly annoying. I think it helped that she seemed very mature for her age as did her companions in the book.

The maturity of all the teenagers really stood out to me in this book. This book is definitely for the older young adult crowd, especially Through the Zombie Glass. There are lot of more sexual situations present in these books that often get glazed over in other books–if they are even brought up at all. I would almost classify this book as New Adult except for the fact that all the leads are in high school. (Though when they have normal conversations, they do seem a little odd but I chalk that up to being a parallel to the original Alice in Wonderland with all its oddness)

Speaking of sexual situations, most of those happen to be courtesy of Cole. He is every young adult bad boy fantasy wrapped up into one. I really, really liked his character. I thought he was funny, tough and charming all at once. He has great character development throughout the series as do the other characters. I have to say that by book 2, I was just as invested in the secondary characters as I was in Alice and Cole.

The Romance:

Like I said, I got really invested in everyone’s romances throughout the series. There’s just something so sweet about first love–especially when you add in the danger of zombies.

updates

–November 14, 2014– Book #3: The Queen of Zombie Hearts

This was a great way to end the series. It was action-packed, featured lots of twists and turns and was a lot of fun to read. Again, this series went in a direction I wasn’t expecting and I loved the unpredictability. Fans of the series will be happy with how it all wraps up!

–July 9, 2021– Book #4: A Mad Zombie Party

It’s been a long time since I finished the 3rd book in the series so some of the finer details were lost on me. I think if I read this right after, I would have loved returning to this world and getting all the fan service this delivers.

So maybe Frosty and Camilla’s hate-to-love-you tension probably would have been more obvious to me had I read this sooner. But it had all the action, twists and romance the original trilogy had and I really enjoyed the audiobook!

Series Rating: 4.5/5

Alice in Zombieland 4/5 | [Cole…Meet Ali 4/5] | Through the Zombie Glass 5/5 | The Queen of Zombie Hearts 4/5 | A Mad Zombie Party 3/5

overall

You don’t need to be a fan of Alice in Wonderland or even know the basics to enjoy these books. It’s a great mashup of romance, teen drama and zombies. Highly entertaining!

Read if You Like: zombie stories, retellings of Alice in Wonderland
Avoid if You: dislike YA stories

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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

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.**

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: Games by Nyrae Dawn

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

Charade by Nyrae Dawn | Games Series

 

SERIESous’ Top Picks: Must Read Author
Series: Games
Author: Nyrae Dawn
# of Books: 3 (Charade, Façade, Masquerade)
Complete?: Yes
Genre: New Adult, Romance, Contemporary
Heat Rating: Really Warm
Point of View: First Person, Alternating
Publication Dates: October 2012 – January 2014
Source & Format: Own–eBook

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.**

I was really excited to read this book. Despite my hate of predictable books, I really enjoy romance books where people accidentally fall in love while “playing a game.” Weird, I know, but I think in the New Adult genre when this happens you really see the connection between the two people (in most cases!). It’s not just the sex or physical attraction between them because they actually talk to and get to know each other and from there, love develops. It makes the relationship that touch more realistic to me and let’s me enjoy the story that much more.

This book started off on shaky ground initially for me because it seemed to me that it was going to be a little “high school-y”. The drama between Cheyenne and her ex-boyfriend could have been really juvenile–and to a degree it was–but once you get past that (just a few chapters in) it starts to get deeper into the characters and their past and becomes much more mature. (Also, no love triangle!)

The story with Colt’s mom broke my heart. I did cry because it was very well done and made you feel what Colt was feeling. I really liked Colt because he was relatable and understandable. You could clearly see why he was struggling. Same with Cheyenne’s story. She started off a little weak in her convictions but she really grows into a strong, independent woman. Everything was well connected and I really enjoyed that.

I really don’t have anything negative to say about this book only that I didn’t like how quickly they switched from a fake relationship of holding hands to “friends-with-benefits”. It just seemed a little out of character for Cheyenne given her background story but it’s not an absolute deal breaker for me–and given the circumstances they find themselves in, I let it slide.

To end on a positive note: one thing I really liked about this book is that Colt and Cheyenne’s story ends in Charade. The next book is about Colt’s friend Adrian who appears throughout the book enough that I am excited to see what his story is.

updates

–May 24, 2014– Book #2: Façade

This was such a refreshing read for me!

I really liked the story and I loved the characters! I simply devoured it and I really didn’t know how everything was going to go down. I loved the moments we get with characters of the past and I really fell in love with the new set as well.

I’m super excited for Masquerade and can’t wait to finally read it!

–November 19, 2016– Book #3: Masquerade

Gah! Nyrae Dawn has made me believe in soulmates with these two!

This is what I want to see in a romance: two people who compliment each other so well that is is simply a blast to watch them fall for each other!

Yes, they had great physical chemistry; the sexual tension was off the charts from the start. But at the same time, it was a slow burn type of romance. One that took its time and made it 100% believable.

And the character development! Perfection! Watching these two come to terms with their pasts was a beautiful thing to see. You don’t get any unnecessary drama in this plot at all. It sticks to the story of two people finding love when they never thought they could.

This book was just awesome! Exactly what I wanted and what I needed to read.

Series Rating: 4.5/5

Charade 4/5 | Facade 4/5 | Masquerade 5/5

overall

This is one of those character centered series that you will fall in love with. It’s amazing how quickly you get attached to them. I definitely shed some tears in each of these novels! It’s a great series for anyone who doesn’t want all the unnecessary, soap-opera-esque drama New Adult stories often have.

Read if You Like: character development, new adult romances
Avoid if You: want lots of drama

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Synopsis for Charade (from Goodreads):
Nineteen-year-old Cheyenne tries to portray the perfect life to mask the memories of her past. Walking in on her boyfriend with another woman her freshman year in college threatens that picture of perfection.

Twenty-one-year-old Colt never wanted college and never expected to amount to anything, but when his mom’s dying wish is for him to get his degree, he has no choice but to pretend it’s what he wants too.

Cheyenne needs a fake boyfriend to get back at her ex and Colt needs cash to take care of his mom, so they strike a deal that helps them both. But what if Cheyenne’s past isn’t what she thought? Soon they’re trading one charade for another—losing themselves in each other to forget about their pain. The more they play their game, the more it becomes the only thing they have that feels real.

Both Cheyenne and Colt know life is never easy, but neither of them expect the tragedy that threatens to end their charade and rip them apart forever.

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Series Review: The Mortal Instruments by Cassandra Clare

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 City of Bones (from Goodreads):

When fifteen-year-old Clary Fray heads out to the Pandemonium Club in New York City, she hardly expects to witness a murder — much less a murder committed by three teenagers covered with strange tattoos and brandishing bizarre weapons. Then the body disappears into thin air. It’s hard to call the police when the murderers are invisible to everyone else and when there is nothing — not even a smear of blood — to show that a boy has died. Or was he a boy?

This is Clary’s first meeting with the Shadowhunters, warriors dedicated to ridding the earth of demons. It’s also her first encounter with Jace, a Shadowhunter who looks a little like an angel and acts a lot like a jerk. Within twenty-four hours Clary is pulled into Jace’s world with a vengeance, when her mother disappears and Clary herself is attacked by a demon. But why would demons be interested in ordinary mundanes like Clary and her mother? And how did Clary suddenly get the Sight? The Shadowhunters would like to know. . . .

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SERIESous’ Top Book Series: #5; Sad to See Go Series 2014
Series: The Mortal Instruments
Author: Cassandra Clare
# of Books: 6 (Full List Here)

The Prequel Series is the Infernal Devices Trilogy; There will be a sequel series released in 2016 (The Dark Artifices); There is also a spin-off series, The Bane Chronicles — More Info on all here

Complete?: Yes
Genre: Young Adult, Action, Magic, Romance, Paranormal
Heat Rating: warm
Point of View: Third Person, Multiple
Publication Dates: March 2007 – May 2014
Source & Format: Public Library–Hardcover
Movie Review: Catch my thoughts on the movie here!

thoughts

I had a friend in high school who was really into this series but I didn’t actually decide to read the series until first year university. This worked to my advantage because by this time, the first three books of the series had been released and I didn’t have to wait for them to be released. Which was FANTASTIC because these books are a non-stop train of awesome and you want to stay on board for as long as possible!

No, in all seriousness, I really enjoyed these books and they were hard to put down!

The series was originally supposed to be a trilogy and you can see that in the first three books. There is a definite story arc that builds in City of Bones and City of Ashes and concludes in City of Glass. City of Fallen Angels was intended to be a spin-off of sorts but it actually begins a new arc for all the characters in the previous books. The story isn’t as strong as the first 3 books but by no means is it weak! Clare does a fantastic job of creating a probable storyline using the events of the previous 3 books in the last 3 books so fans will really enjoy books 4-6.

There is literally something for everyone in these books. There are creative and constantly twisting plots that will draw you into this story. Because the POV (though it is 3rd person) shifts amongst multiple characters there are multiple plots going on. However, it is really easy to follow what is going on. However, I recommend that you get as many of the books as possible when you start to read because you will want the next novel ASAP.

The cast of characters in this series is also amazing. There are characters you love and love to hate. There are relationships to cheer for and ones that make you cringe. There are awesome bromances and friendships–so let’s just say the characters really make this series and they a big reason this series is so addicting.

Why people might not like this series?

If you don’t like paranormal creatures (ie. vampires, werewolves, faeries, etc.) you won’t like what is going on here. The characters would also be another reason. As I said before, there are some you love to hate. I don’t particularly like Clary–my like of her fluctuates depending on what she is doing in the novel–but if you find you don’t like a character, that can be a big turn off for a book and I get that. My argument would be that you don’t like everyone in everyday life so you can tolerate those characters and focus on the ones you do like (like Alec :P).

The other argument I see people make is that it takes storylines from other series, therefore it isn’t original. Yes, it has similar stories from other books/movies/etc. but what doesn’t nowadays? When you study major English works you quickly discover that a vast majority use text references to other works–and you know what, there are actually admired and respected for the link! I would love to argue this point but to sum it up it is my opinion that Cassandra Clare has blended various story elements together to create a fantastic world with fascinating characters and plots! This world may not be for everyone but it works for me and I love it!

updates

–August 2, 2014– Book #6: City of Heavenly Fire

I just finished reading the last book of the series, City of Heavenly Fire and what a roller coaster that has been! As a huge fan of this series I couldn’t have asked for a better ending. Out of the last three novels in the series, this one was by far the best. It had the perfect blend of a fast, interesting plot but enough “character moments” (basically fan service but not the dirty kind) to satisfy longstanding fans of the series. Overall, I’m really impressed with how this last half of the series concluded and can’t wait for the next spinoff–The Dark Artifices–to begin. (And in case your wondering, we do get to meet the next set of characters for the next series and it really sets up an interesting stage for their time here).

When To Read the Infernal Devices?

I just want to say a quick word about the Infernal Devices Series and when you should read it. I read it right when it came out, which is when the first 3 books of the Mortal Instruments had been published and I continued to read them as they came out. This worked out well I would say because the prequel series is directly linked to the events of the last half (3 books) of the Mortal Instruments. So while you can read the Infernal Devices before you even read Mortal Instruments, I would almost wait until you read City of Glass to start it. But definitely read it before the last book, City of Fallen Angels or else you won’t appreciate some of the scenes and events we get because you aren’t familiar with certain characters and stories.

Series Rating: 4.5/5

overall

This is one of the best series I have ever read. While reading I’ve felt every possible emotion. I’ve cried, shrieked for joy and threatened to toss the book across the room throughout this series. I’m so addicted to this series it’s crazy. The only negative thing I have to say is that I hate waiting for the next one 😛 (But if it means that I have to wait for awesomeness then that is what I will do)! Give it a shot if you like paranormal action series, but if you don’t enjoy the first one, City of Bones, you won’t enjoy the rest of the series so it would be my advice for you to stop.

similarreads
Clockwork Angel by Cassandra Clare (The Infernal Devices, #1)
The Iron King by Julie Kagawa (The Iron Fey Series, #1)

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Series Review: Too Far by Abbi Glines (Rosemary Beach #1,#2,#4)

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

Note: This is just a review of the first 3 novels of the Rosemary Beach Series. For later novels, see the review here.

breakdown

Series: Too Far, Rosemary Beach
Author: Abbi Glines
# of Books: 4 (Fallen too far, Never too Far, Forever too Far) + Rush too Far

This series has two spin-off series: 1) Perfection 2) Chances. Collectively they make up the Rosemary Beach Series. (Reading Order found here)

Rush too Far is a retelling of Fallen too Far from Rush’s perspective but read it AFTER you finish the first 3 books!

Complete?: Yes
Genre: New Adult Romance
Heat Rating: Hot

thoughts

PLEASE NOTE: Although the Too Far series is a part of a larger series called Rosemary Beach I have decided to review each series separately (find them all here). However, books 9+ will be reviewed on the Rosemary Beach central blog post here. Regardless, I highly recommend reading the series in the order posted on Abbi Glines’ blog due to overlapping plotlines and events. Though I recommend that you read Rush too Far after you read the 3 books in the Too Far series.

I pretty much devoured these books, they were fantastic! I love new adult reads and this is an example of New Adult at it’s finest. Abbi Glines has quickly become one of my must-read authors (and my recent Kobo purchases can attest to this).

The first book, Fallen too Far, was great. Blaire is a complex character that slowly gets revealed to us and is strong and respectable. The book description makes her sound like an air-head but she isn’t really–she’s just jaded and has been isolated from the world due to circumstance. Rush is the perfect mysterious bad boy that makes readers swoon and it’s obvious he adores Blaire. Their attraction is more of an appearance thing at first, but they begin to respect and love each other as the book progresses. There are major plot twists that caused me to bug my eyes out and gasp in shock and I am so ever thankful that the second book had been released when I read the first one.

The second book, Never too Far, picks up right where the last one left off (and thank goodness for that!). Rush gets a little too needy for my tastes in this one but I can let that slide all things considered. It is a great read and I think I would have been happy to see the series end there but I am glad there is a third one because I feel like there are some things that could be further resolved.

There are a few love triangles in here that turned me off a bit (I can’t stand love triangles) but they aren’t very extreme–more like Blaire is a girl that every guy falls for but she doesn’t fall for every guy. There are a lot of well developed characters which makes the anticipation for the spin-off series unbearable at times as I can’t wait to see where this series goes.

updates

–June 28, 2013– Book #3: Forever Too Far

I just finished Forever too Far and I have to say, this book felt like an extended epilogue of sorts. I also feel that this book serves as the central hub for all the spin-off stories in the works because a majority of the book was showing how Rush and Blaire fit into and deal with the drama around them.

It was nice to see some closure with Rush and learn more about his character. Again, as in Never too Far, he was a little too possessive and whinny for my personal tastes (and I think Blaire was just as bad).

I thought this books ended a little abruptly (I went to hit the next page on my Kobo and was startled to see the Acknowledgement page) but I know that we will get to see more of everyone in the spin-offs.

–June 1, 2014– Book #4: Rush Too Far

I finally managed to get the time to read Rush too Far and in all honesty I’m not sure how I feel about it. While I liked reading from Rush’s perspective I also found that it irritated me. The possessiveness he shows in the later books is out in full force in this book and that annoyed me a bit because I didn’t feel like it was warranted (honestly, he said like two words to her and was like “she’s MINE”). Unlike when I read Fallen too Far, I really didn’t see the connection between Rush and Blaire other than the physical attraction in Rush too Far. Plus I was tired of Rush going on and on about how gorgeous and innocent Blaire was–I got it the first time thanks, no need to repeat it a bazillion times.

If Goodreads let me do half stars, I would have given the book a 3.5/5 instead I gave it a 4 just for the sake that I did like seeing how things unfolded from Rush’s side of things. Definitely read it after you read the other 3 books in the series though–and don’t read it while reading Fallen too Far because it has major spoilers!

Series Rating: 4.5/5

Fallen Too Far 4/5 | Never Too Far 4/5 | Forever Too Far 4/5 | Rush Too Far 4/5

overall

If you want a quick, new adult read filled with lots of love, twists and drama, this is a series I highly recommend.

similarreads

booksynopsis

Synopsis of Fallen too Far (from Goodreads.com):

To want what you’re not supposed to have…

She is only nineteen.

She is his new stepfather’s daughter.

She is still naïve and innocent due to spending the last three years taking care of her sick mother.

But for twenty-four year old Rush Finlay, she is the only thing that has ever been off limits. His famous father’s guilt money, his mother’s desperation to win his love, and his charm are the three reasons he has never been told no.

Blaire Wynn left her small farmhouse in Alabama, after her mother passed away, to move in with her father and his new wife in their sprawling beach house along the Florida gulf coast. She isn’t prepared for the lifestyle change and she knows she’ll never fit into this world. Then there is her sexy stepbrother who her father leaves her with for the summer while he runs off to Paris with his wife. Rush is as spoiled as he is gorgeous. He is also getting under her skin. She knows he is anything but good for her and that he’ll never be faithful to anyone. He is jaded and has secrets Blaire knows she may never uncover but even knowing all of that…

Blaire just may have fallen too far.

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