Unsticky by Sarra Manning

I’m not entirely sure how to start out this review. Unsticky by Sarra Manning was really, really great, but not for the reasons that I anticipated.

5981262High fashion, high art, high expectations – this is Pretty Woman for the twenty-first century.

Money makes the world go round – that’s what twenty-something Grace Reeves is learning. Stuck in a grind where everyone’s ahead apart from her, she’s partied out, disillusioned, and massively in debt. If she’s dumped by another rock-band wannabe, squashed by anyone else at her cut-throat fashion job, or chased by any more bailiffs, Grace suspects she’ll fall apart… So when older, sexy and above all, wealthy art-dealer Vaughn appears, she’s intrigued against her will. Could she handle being a sugar daddy’s arm candy? Soon Grace is thrown into a world of money and privilege, at Vaughn’s beck and call in return for thousands of pounds in luxurious gifts, priceless clothes – and cash. Where’s the line between acting the trophy girlfriend, and selling yourself for money?

And, more importantly: whatever happened to love?

Manning’s story about a lost, young girl colliding with the world of a rich, older man is an overused trope, but this story was so intriguing and cryptic that it worked. Grace was an unbelievably realistic heroine. She had her faults (falling for the wrong guys) was immature and misled but she still had a sense of self and possessed a conscience. She reacted to Vaughn’s proposal just like anyone else would and she ultimately relented for very logical reasons (which most could probably admit they would do too). I loved that about her. Vaughn was such an intriguing male lead. He wasn’t exactly an alpha male but he had the damaged thing going for him. He was pushy and expectant but had a softer side that came out rarely. As Grace and Vaughn’s relationship (or lack thereof) develops, it was easy to see how they were perfect for each other and how Grace could fall for the asshole older guy.

The best part of this book was the pace of the writing and slow plot development. I was on the edge of my seat but it was like watching an explosion in veeeerrry slooooww motion. This book is huge, over 500 pages, and I was initially concerned at the length but it was perfect. The one distraction was the use of British terminology; I’m an American and it took me a while to adjust to the vocabulary. However, I got used to it by the end.

The book stayed true to its characters to the very end. I kept waiting (and secretly hoping) that there would be this dramatic I’m-in-love-with-you moment and there wasn’t because it didn’t fit the characters personality. (Granted, that’s not to say there isn’t something similar that happens.) As I finished the novel, I was initially disappointed, but the more I thought about it, it was perfect — genius, even.

To be honest, I’m still mulling over this story in my head. I enjoyed it, I couldn’t stop thinking about the characters when I wasn’t reading and I was so intrigued by how realistic it was. I highly recommend this book to anyone who likes a contemporary romance with ups and downs but stays in touch with reality.

STARS: 4.5 out of 5

Releases and Recommendations: The Sin Eater’s Daughter by Melinda Salisbury

It’s Tuesday! The wonderful day that books are released to the world.

Today, I’m anticipating the release of The Sin Eater’s Daughter by Melinda Salisbury, which comes out Tuesday, February 24, 2015.

22536448Seventeen-year-old Twylla lives in the castle. But although she’s engaged to the prince, Twylla isn’t exactly a member of the court.

She’s the executioner.

As the Goddess embodied, Twylla instantly kills anyone she touches. Each month she’s taken to the prison and forced to lay her hands on those accused of treason. No one will ever love a girl with murder in her veins. Even the prince, whose royal blood supposedly makes him immune to Twylla’s fatal touch, avoids her company.

But then a new guard arrives, a boy whose easy smile belies his deadly swordsmanship. And unlike the others, he’s able to look past Twylla’s executioner robes and see the girl, not the Goddess. Yet Twylla’s been promised to the prince, and knows what happens to people who cross the queen.

However, a treasonous secret is the least of Twylla’s problems. The queen has a plan to destroy her enemies, a plan that requires a stomach-churning, unthinkable sacrifice. Will Twylla do what it takes to protect her kingdom? Or will she abandon her duty in favor of a doomed love?

This cover is gorgeous! I love badass heroines and a 17-year-old executioner sounds pretty badass to me. I’m also intrigued about this betrothal and forbidden love. I’m a sucker for these kinds of tropes! Looking forward to this one.

Kiss of Deception by Mary E. Pearson

I have been deceived and it is both so mind boggling and genius that I don’t want to ruin it for anyone else. Just know that not all is as it seems in Kiss of Deception by Mary E. Pearson. It was brilliant and you should read it.

16429619A princess must find her place in a reborn world.

She flees on her wedding day.

She steals ancient documents from the Chancellor’s secret collection.

She is pursued by bounty hunters sent by her own father.

She is Princess Lia, seventeen, First Daughter of the House of Morrighan.

The Kingdom of Morrighan is steeped in tradition and the stories of a bygone world, but some traditions Lia can’t abide. Like having to marry someone she’s never met to secure a political alliance.

Fed up and ready for a new life, Lia flees to a distant village on the morning of her wedding. She settles in among the common folk, intrigued when two mysterious and handsome strangers arrive—and unaware that one is the jilted prince and the other an assassin sent to kill her. Deceptions swirl and Lia finds herself on the brink of unlocking perilous secrets—secrets that may unravel her world—even as she feels herself falling in love.

As a huge fan of the love triangle, Kiss of Deception had my name written all over it. A young runaway bride, a scorned groom and a hidden assassin all in a complicated triangle of mystery? Yes, Please!

I was immediately entranced by the author’s world: The intriguing and unique wedding preparations, the royal family dynamics and the main character’s internal turmoil. I loved it. The more I read the more I loved the main character and wanted her to have everything she wanted and more.

This novel is wonderfully crafted with each chapter told from a different perspective. I loved the way the prince and assassin were both revealed and hidden in the format of the story and how the MC’s account both shed light and cast darkness on the true nature of things. Pearson, you are a genius!

I don’t want to discuss the two male characters in detail because it may reveal too much about the story. Just know that there was romantic tension and unlimited potential with both guys, and I enjoyed how the story unfolded with the MC’s feelings for each guy. Also, if love triangles aren’t your thing, this one becomes pretty clear by the end of the story. I would highly recommend this book to anyone who enjoys Young Adult, Fantasy and love triangles.

STARS: 5 out of 5

Releases and Recommendations: Lion’s Share by Rachel Vincent

It’s Tuesday! The wonderful day books are released to the world.

Today, I’m anticipating the release of Lion’s Share by Rachel Vincent, which will come out on February 23.

23507277Abby Wade has a dangerous secret.

Two months ago, she disobeyed an order, but instead of kicking her out of the Pride, Jace offered her a job. Since then, she’s been battling a completely inappropriate crush on the young, hot Alpha. But when accepting his job offer seems like the only way to keep her skeletons safely in their closet, Abby doesn’t hesitate.

Jace Hammond has a big problem.

A rogue is slaughtering humans in his territory, and he must eliminate the threat before the entire shifter species is exposed. There could not be a worse time for Abby to accept a job he only offered as a boost to her confidence. Abby is smart, beautiful, and resilient—more than enough to distract any man from the mission. Unfortunately, she may just be the worst enforcer ever to hold the title.

As they hunt the killer, Abby’s secret becomes a threat to Jace’s authority and to her own life. But the real danger is the grip she has on his twice-shy heart.

OMG! I fell in love with Rachel Vincent’s Stray series and I’ve been mourning the conclusion of that series ever since. I almost fell out of my chair when I discovered that Vincent was doing a spin-off following the much beloved Jace. I am so flippin’ excited for another wildcats novel. I will be devouring this installment as soon as possible.

Movie Review: Fifty Shades of Grey

It’s finally here! The movie Fifty Shades of Grey premiered in theaters all over the world this weekend and I was one of the many ladies standing in line munching on popcorn impatiently waiting to see the most anticipated movie of the year.

untitledFirst, I’ve read the books (duh!) and the books are always better (double duh!) so I went in knowing the movie would be a loose adaptation of the novel, but I was still hoping the movie would stay true to the plot. I was relieved to find the movie closely followed the first book’s plot to the point where the endings were the same.

I was initially concerned about Dakota Johnson playing Anastasia Steele but she did an amazing job. All the teaser scenes released prior to the movie made it seem cheesy, but it wasn’t! Thank god it wasn’t! It was actually funny and not cheesy funny. I think Dakota Johnson really pulled off Ana’s witty comebacks and initial I’m-laughing-because-I’m-uncomfortable scenes. My favorite scene was Ana at the bar drunk dialing Christian with her “You say go away and then come here and then go away.” It was hysterical! It was also spot on with the book.

Now Jamie Dornan was perfect as Christian Grey. He pulled off the damaged billionaire bachelor perfectly and exerted both dominance and betrayed his vulnerability in each scene. He really captured the essence of Christian Grey.

Now most people want to hear about the scandalous sex scenes. They were pretty true to the book and there was nudity in the film, but it was very tasteful. Granted, there was still full on BDSM going on, but it wasn’t disrespectful to women or over the top raunchy. I’m sure there were plenty of blushing faces in the theater (including mine) but it pretty much followed the book. Most people knew what they were getting themselves into anyway.

Overall, I thought the movie was a great adaptation of the book. It was fun to watch and even more fun to talk about after the fact comparing scenes from the book and movie. The ending, much like the book’s ending, left viewers with a cliffhanger. I wish the movie would have captured Christian’s anger at Ana not using the safe word more like in the book. He seemed too docile and more indifferent or disappointed than angry. That’s really my only nitpick because I think it’s important that it’s clear that Christian thinks he’s in the right and that’s why he let’s her go, not because he feels like he’s a damaged person.

I highly recommend this movie to anyone who thinks they will enjoy it. Now I know there are many haters, but it makes me mad when people who didn’t read the book or like the book go to see it and put it down. If it’s not your thing then don’t go see it!! If it is your thing, then be prepared for a treat. 🙂