Royally Screwed by Emma Chase

I fell head over heels in love with Royally Screwed by Emma Chase. This is the first book I’ve read by this author and I can’t wait to read more.

29991719.jpgNicholas Arthur Frederick Edward Pembrook, Crowned Prince of Wessco, aka His Royal Hotness, is wickedly charming, devastatingly handsome, and unabashedly arrogant; hard not to be when people are constantly bowing down to you.

Then, one snowy night in Manhattan, the prince meets a dark haired beauty who doesn’t bow down. Instead, she throws a pie in his face.

Nicholas wants to find out if she tastes as good as her pie, and this heir apparent is used to getting what he wants.

Dating a prince isn’t what waitress Olivia Hammond ever imagined it would be.

There’s a disapproving queen, a wildly inappropriate spare heir, relentless paparazzi, and brutal public scrutiny. While they’ve traded in horse drawn carriages for Rolls Royces, and haven’t chopped anyone’s head off lately, the royals are far from accepting of this commoner.

But to Olivia, Nicholas is worth it.

Nicholas grew up with the whole world watching, and now Marriage Watch is in full force. In the end, Nicholas has to decide who he is and, more importantly, who he wants to be: a King… or the man who gets to love Olivia forever.

I’m a sucker for a fairy tale and what’s better than a prince falling in love with an ordinary, modern-day girl? This story had all the ups and downs expected of a fairy tale without seeming predictable. I felt it was well-paced with the necessary smaller steps needed to form a substantial relationship before the “falling” in love part.

I listened to the audiobook, and generally listening has an impact on how the story is read/heard, but it definitely made all the difference in this story because the Prince had a European accent and Olivia had an American one. The narrators did an excellent job and it added another layer of enjoyment to hear the story told as it should. I, for one, never read a book silently in my head in the correct accent so it made the story more dimensional.

I was surprised at the ending. As expected, it was happy, but it also had a dose of reality, which I found refreshing. It was the pieces of reality that peeked through the fairy tale lens that made this story unique.

At the end of the day, I just simply enjoyed this book. It had me laughing out loud, grinning like a fool and happy-sighing throughout. If you’re a fan of New Adult romance with a fairy tale twist, give this one a try.

STARS: 4 out of 5

All I Want for Christmas is…Books!

It’s no secret that my dream Christmas has Santa lugging a heavy-duty sack that can accommodate the significant weight of all the books on my Christmas list. Rudolph and his friends have to do extensive conditioning prior to flying to my house to make it in one trip. I’m confident that I’ve made it to the “Nice” list and I’m ready for Santa to pay up.

Christmas Day is another opportunity to sit next to the fireplace, drink heavily self-medicated egg nog and disappear into the crisp pages of a new novel. Here’s a list of books I’m anticipating from the big man himself.

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Frostblood by Elly Blake

27827203.jpgSeventeen-year-old Ruby is a fireblood who must hide her powers of heat and flame from the cruel frostblood ruling class that wants to destroy all that are left of her kind. So when her mother is killed for protecting her and rebel frostbloods demand her help to kill their rampaging king, she agrees. But Ruby’s powers are unpredictable, and she’s not sure she’s willing to let the rebels and an infuriating (yet irresistible) young man called Arcus use her as their weapon.

All she wants is revenge, but before they can take action, Ruby is captured and forced to take part in the king’s tournaments that pit fireblood prisoners against frostblood champions. Now she has only one chance to destroy the maniacal ruler who has taken everything from her and from the icy young man she has come to love.

Fast-paced and compelling, Frostblood is the first in a page-turning new young adult three-book series about a world where flame and ice are mortal enemies—but together create a power that could change everything.

So Santa would have to pull some strings and bring me an ARC to get this on Christmas Day since it doesn’t release until January 10, 2017, but I’ll take a pre-order IOU in my stocking if I must. This YA Fantasy describes a world with fire and frost powers and a king’s tournament. I’m practically drooling on my keyboard in anticipation of this epic sounding story.

Rookie Move by Sarina Bowen

27190530The first novel in a sexy new series featuring the hockey players of the Brooklyn Bruisers and the women who win their hearts—from the USA Today bestselling author of the Ivy Years series.

In high school they were the perfect couple—until the day Georgia left Leo in the cold…

Hockey player Leo Trevi has spent the last six years trying to do two things: get over the girl who broke his heart, and succeed in the NHL. But on the first day he’s called up to the newly franchised Brooklyn Bruisers, Leo gets checked on both sides, first by the team’s coach—who has a long simmering grudge, and then by the Bruisers’ sexy, icy publicist—his former girlfriend Georgia Worthington.

Saying goodbye to Leo was one of the hardest things Georgia ever had to do—and saying hello again isn’t much easier. Georgia is determined to keep their relationship strictly professional, but when a press conference microphone catches Leo declaring his feelings for her, things get really personal, really fast….

As far as I’m concerned Sarina Bowen can do no wrong. I have loved every single one of the stories that she’s published. Even when I wasn’t sure about the premise, she still sucked me in with her masterful writing and unique characters. I’m hoping Santa brings me the entire Brooklyn Bruisers series because I’m a sucker for a Hockey romance and Sarina does it better than anyone else.

Mistborn: The Final Empire by Brandon Sanderson

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In a world where ash falls from the sky, and mist dominates the night, an evil cloaks the land and stifles all life. The future of the empire rests on the shoulders of a troublemaker and his young apprentice. Together, can they fill the world with color once more?

In Brandon Sanderson’s intriguing tale of love, loss, despair and hope, a new kind of magic enters the stage — Allomancy, a magic of the metals.

 

 

 

I hear nothing but amazing things about Brandon Sanderson’s Mistborn series and it’s been on my TBR list for a while. The size of this series is intimidating but my love for fantasy means I won’t give up until I try it. Having it on my shelf brings me one step closer to finally getting around to reading it.

American Queen by Sierra Simone

30314992It starts with a stolen kiss under an English sky, and it ends with a walk down the aisle. It starts with the President sending his best friend to woo me on his behalf, and it ends with my heart split in two. It starts with buried secrets and dangerous desires…and ends with the three of us bound together with a hateful love sharper than any barbed wire.

My name is Greer Galloway, and I serve at the pleasure of the President of the United States.
This is the story of an American Queen.

 

 

I’m not sure if this is an accurate representation, but American Queen screams the tv show Scandal to me and I can’t wait to devour it’s goodness. It has great reviews and I’m a huge sucker for a love triangle.

A Promise of Fire by Amanda Bouchet

27015399.jpgCatalia “Cat” Fisa is a powerful clairvoyant known as the Kingmaker. This smart-mouthed soothsayer has no interest in her powers and would much rather fly under the radar, far from the clutches of her homicidal mother. But when an ambitious warlord captures her, she may not have a choice…

Griffin is intent on bringing peace to his newly conquered realm in the magic-deprived south. When he discovers Cat is the Kingmaker, he abducts her. But Cat will do everything in her power to avoid her dangerous destiny and battle her captor at every turn. Although up for the battle, Griffin would prefer for Cat to help his people willingly, and he’s ready to do whatever it takes to coax her…even if that means falling in love with her.

I’ve had my eye on this Fantasy Romance for a while and I’m always down for an enemies-to-lovers romance. This book has rave reviews and Cat and Griffin sounds so shippable to me.

What about you? What’s on your Christmas list?

The Angelfall Trilogy (Penryn & The End of Days) by Susan Ee

Angelfall by Susan Ee has been on my radar for years. I’ve just never taken the time to pick it up. Once I did, I couldn’t put it down and I devoured the rest of the trilogy back to back. Once I’d turned the last page, I was still left hungry and wanting more.

27274908.jpgIt’s been six weeks since angels of the apocalypse descended to demolish the modern world. Street gangs rule the day while fear and superstition rule the night. When warrior angels fly away with a helpless little girl, her seventeen-year-old sister Penryn will do anything to get her back.

Anything, including making a deal with an enemy angel.

Raffe is a warrior who lies broken and wingless on the street. After eons of fighting his own battles, he finds himself being rescued from a desperate situation by a half-starved teenage girl.

Traveling through a dark and twisted Northern California, they have only each other to rely on for survival. Together, they journey toward the angels’ stronghold in San Francisco where she’ll risk everything to rescue her sister and he’ll put himself at the mercy of his greatest enemies for the chance to be made whole again.

I am still in awe over the simplicity and awesomeness of this series. The main protagonist Penryn is so brave and good. I couldn’t help but relate to how normal she is and be humbled by how tightly she clings to her humanity in this post apocalyptic world. She’s the perfect kind of heroine — the kind you can’t help but root for.

From the very first book, my favorite secondary character has to be Penryn’s mom. She is such a badass! I loved the twist with her mental instability that might just be appropriately placed religious fervor. From the moment she came on the scene carting her rotten eggs and displaying random bursts of violence, I fell in love with her. She was such a unique and unexpected character that heightened the levels of comedy and drama while adding heartwarming touches.

This book is my favorite kind of romance. Penryn and Raffe’s relationship was slow-moving and natural despite them being enemies and fighting for their very lives on a daily basis. I loved that Penryn was driven by selflessness and they were each strong in their own right. The fact that their relationship wasn’t center stage was beneficial to the book, which centered around the angels v. humans end of days battle. The action drove the story and I couldn’t get enough. I particularly liked Penryn and her connection to the angel sword. It made her supernatural abilities seem realistic and the sword was a character in it’s own right.

Overall, I really loved this series. I want more from Susan Ee. I can see now why so many love her stories. If you love YA Fantasy, this is the series for you.

STARS: 5 out of 5

The Beast by J.R. Ward

As a long-time fan of the Black Dagger Brotherhood series, it was a no-brainer to continue the saga with The Beast by J.R. Ward.

25293695.jpgNothing is as it used to be for the Black Dagger Brotherhood. After avoiding war with the Shadows, alliances have shifted and lines have been drawn. The slayers of the Lessening Society are stronger than ever, preying on human weakness to acquire more money, more weapons, more power. But as the Brotherhood readies for an all-out attack on them, one of their own fights a battle within himself…

For Rhage, the Brother with the biggest appetites, but also the biggest heart, life was supposed to be perfect—or at the very least, perfectly enjoyable. Mary, his beloved shellan, is by his side and his King and his brothers are thriving. But Rhage can’t understand—or control—the panic and insecurity that plague him…

And that terrifies him—as well as distances him from his mate. After suffering mortal injury in battle, Rhage must reassess his priorities—and the answer, when it comes to him, rocks his world…and Mary’s. But Mary is on a journey of her own, one that will either bring them closer together or cause a split that neither will recover from…

There were a lot of things I loved about this book. It had the characters I know and love, the fight against the lessers, and the fear of the Band of Bastards fighting against the throne. The story primarily surrounded Rhage and Mary (hence the name The Beast), but there were plenty of other points of view captured. My favorite being V’s and a very comical conversation with his mate about children. I’m also totally on Team Assail and I want him to have his happy ever after. The book was exciting, sensual and complete. However, it felt a little stagnant.

The Beast felt like it was frozen in time. It fit the formula of a BDB story and gave us bits and pieces of the world but it didn’t move forward and progress as much. I think it’s because it was a continuation of an “old” story, that is, the story of Mary and Rhage who are already in love. Sure, something new and life-changing happens for them, but there isn’t that core “falling in love” story to tie everything together. With this book and the previous, The King, the pace of the story slowed significantly.

However, I feel that will no longer be a problem because the ending of The Beast leaves a lot open-ended for some BDB progress. For one, a major character is no longer in the picture. Who will fill the void? Also, the next book, The Chosen, will FINALLY be Layla and Xcor’s story, which I’ve been waiting on forever. With the fresh blood and new love, I feel this series will be right back to where it needs to be.

STARS: 4 out of 5

Nevernight by Jay Kristoff

Nevernight by Jay Kristoff was a delightful surprise from the moment it arrived on my doorstep. Amazon had seen fit to gift me with a signed copy, so I was feeling pretty special as I embarked on this dark, twisted tale of Mia Corvere.

26114463.jpgThe first in a new fantasy series from the New York Times bestselling author.

In a land where three suns almost never set, a fledgling killer joins a school of assassins, seeking vengeance against the powers who destroyed her family.

Daughter of an executed traitor, Mia Corvere is barely able to escape her father’s failed rebellion with her life. Alone and friendless, she hides in a city built from the bones of a dead god, hunted by the Senate and her father’s former comrades. But her gift for speaking with the shadows leads her to the door of a retired killer, and a future she never imagined.

Now, Mia is apprenticed to the deadliest flock of assassins in the entire Republic—the Red Church. If she bests her fellow students in contests of steel, poison and the subtle arts, she’ll be inducted among the Blades of the Lady of Blessed Murder, and one step closer to the vengeance she desires. But a killer is loose within the Church’s halls, the bloody secrets of Mia’s past return to haunt her, and a plot to bring down the entire congregation is unfolding in the shadows she so loves.

Will she even survive to initiation, let alone have her revenge?

The surprise and delight continued from the opening chapters when Kristoff used a unique storytelling technique with paralleling narratives that had the same actions but different outcomes right off the bat. As someone who admires the way people can put a variety of 26 letters together, I was blown away. Kristoff’s writing style and ability to mold a story into a compelling narrative is awe-inspiring.

The story of Mia is truly a dark tale. Don’t expect a happy ending or an assassin school that coddles its fledglings, but do expect justice, a whole lot of JUSTICE. At 428 pages, Kristoff creates a well-paced fatalistic journey where an orphaned girl seeks to become a famed assassin to avenge her murdered family. With her dark powers and the constant company of the “not-cat,” Mia is at once both relatable or entirely other as she fights for her dream. I loved the idea of the not-cat eating her fear. I loved that she was a total smartass. The dialogue in this novel is definitely meant for a older YA audience.

Nevernight is not for the faint of heart. There is death and danger and violence. There is no respite for anyone in this bloodthirsty novel. I enjoyed the competitions as the students fight to become blades at the service of the Lady of Blessed Murder. The relationships between them were complex — torn between making friends, identifying enemies and just trying to win one of the four coveted spots.

Most notable is Mia’s relationship with Tric. I wouldn’t say it was romantic by any means but there was a level of caring that was both intriguing and heartbreaking as the story progressed. Another favorite character was the librarian Aelius. He had one of my favorite quotes from the novel:

“Listen, girl,” Aelius sniffed. “The books we love, they love us back. And just as we mark our places in the pages, those pages leave their marks on us. I can see it in you, sure as I see it in me. You’re a daughter of words. A girl with a story to tell.” (p. 243)

As a reader, this quote rings true, but encased in this story, I could appreciate the foreshadowing and prophetic nature of his comment.

I feel as if my words fail me. I cannot do this book justice with this review. Nevernight was a wonderfully terrible tale, and as the first book in a trilogy, I can’t wait to see what dark, horrific things Kristoff comes up with next.

STARS: 5 out of 5

The Fill-In Boyfriend by Kasie West

I love Kasie West’s stories. They are so endearing. I find myself unable to control the smile plastered on my face while reading, and The Fill-In Boyfriend is no different.

18660447When Gia Montgomery’s boyfriend, Bradley, dumps her in the parking lot of her high school prom, she has to think fast. After all, she’d been telling her friends about him for months now. This was supposed to be the night she proved he existed. So when she sees a cute guy waiting to pick up his sister, she enlists his help. The task is simple: be her fill-in boyfriend—two hours, zero commitment, a few white lies. After that, she can win back the real Bradley.

The problem is that days after prom, it’s not the real Bradley she’s thinking about, but the stand-in. The one whose name she doesn’t even know. But tracking him down doesn’t mean they’re done faking a relationship. Gia owes him a favor and his sister intends to see that he collects: his ex-girlfriend’s graduation party—three hours, zero commitment, a few white lies.

Just when Gia begins to wonder if she could turn her fake boyfriend into a real one, Bradley comes waltzing back into her life, exposing her lie, and threatening to destroy her friendships and her new-found relationship.

There was a time when I thought I didn’t like Contemporary YA, but that must have been the Twilight phase when it was paranormal/fantasy or nothing. However, I’m happy to report that I DO like Contemporary YA very much, and Kasie West is the main reason.

Her books have fun characters with depth. Her writing is always in the moment and her characters learn and grow throughout the story. She always has a unique premise for a timeless love story between two teenagers.

The Fill-In Boyfriend was so much fun. I was laughing and smiling throughout the whole debacle as Gia and Hayden work through their “need” for a fake boyfriend/girlfriend. I loved that they were so natural together and fought the way they felt about each other because, ya know, awkward teenage emotions.

I had a soft spot for Hayden’s sister Beck. I was that emo, loud-mouthed girl in high school, where it was me against the world, so I totally felt her character. Plus, it was nice to see such a strong brother-sister bond.

The lesson regarding social media addiction, searching for validation in others and loving oneself came through pretty clear in this book, but I didn’t feel like it was a forced lesson. The characters learned them on their own and the reader was just a spectator that can either take it or leave it.

I recommend this fun read to anyone who likes a sweet romance, characters with wit and an endearing story about family, growing up and finding love.

STARS: 4.5 out of 5