The Glittering Court (The Glittering Court, #1)

Glittering Court

Author: Richelle Mead
Published: April 5, 2016
Pages: 400

Stars: 2 out of 5

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Synopsis:
Big and sweeping, spanning from the refined palaces of Osfrid to the gold dust and untamed forests of Adoria, The Glittering Court tells the story of Adelaide, an Osfridian countess who poses as her servant to escape an arranged marriage and start a new life in Adoria, the New World. But to do that, she must join the Glittering Court.

Both a school and a business venture, the Glittering Court is designed to transform impoverished girls into upper-class ladies who appear destined for powerful and wealthy marriages in the New World. Adelaide naturally excels in her training, and even makes a few friends: the fiery former laundress Tamsin and the beautiful Sirminican refugee Mira. She manages to keep her true identity hidden from all but one: the intriguing Cedric Thorn, son of the wealthy proprietor of the Glittering Court.

When Adelaide discovers that Cedric is hiding a dangerous secret of his own, together they hatch a scheme to make the best of Adelaide’s deception. Complications soon arise—first as they cross the treacherous seas from Osfrid to Adoria, and then when Adelaide catches the attention of a powerful governor.

But no complication will prove quite as daunting as the potent attraction simmering between Adelaide and Cedric. An attraction that, if acted on, would scandalize the Glittering Court and make them both outcasts in wild, vastly uncharted lands…

Review:
This book is about freedom and getting a second chance. The book opens up to an arranged marriage. The lead heroine is arranged to marry her boring and pathetically unremarkable cousin Barron Belshire. Even though She never expected to marry for love, she wasn’t sure she could marry her cousin. Well, that is she wasn’t sure she could handle his controlling mother. As the weeks pass, things don’t appear to be getting better. And thus bringing the reader to the introduction of the glittering courts. 

Glittering courts was founded to help bring more women, proper women, over to Adoria. I will admit, I can see the desire the glittering courts bring, the adventure and opportunity of a new life. As the book continues, I was periodically reminded of the similarities in plots to the selection series. Although the girls aren’t competing for a crown,they are competing for marriage. The competition isn’t as cut-throat but it’s nonetheless a completion where the main character is acting and hiding secrets. 

Cedric runs the Glittering Courts with his father and uncle. But he has many secrets. I wasn’t too impressed with Cedric. His character was thin and didn’t seem to have much to offer beyond looks and charm. I found his character frustrating for most of the second half of the book. He either needed to act on his feelings or leave things alone. I hate the in between game that is being played. 

Adelaide’s character was equally frustrating and I thought her character lacked depth as well. She came off as strong yet spoiled, saying she wants freedom but when faced with the opportunity she falls short. 

Warren seems like a nice enough guy. Kind of clumsy and rash but logistically, a good match for Adelaide. But the reasoning behind Adelaide not wanting him at first seemed pointless and ridiculous. As the book went on, Warren came off more as a closed minded and spoiled. 

The plot wasn’t extremely captivating and overall the book was alright. I found myself underwhelmed for most of the book and considered not finishing it. 

Shut up and Kiss Me (Lost Boys, #2)

shut-up-and-kiss-me
Author: Jessica Lemmon
Published: December 6, 2016
Pages: 176

Stars: 2 out of 5

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Synopsis:
Cade: I tried. I really tried. I should be out of this small town by now, finishing my law degree and partnering up with my buddies, but I couldn’t resist one last street race. Now I’m sidelined in the hospital, and while my injuries will heal, I’m not so sure my voice will return. What kind of attorney can’t talk? Yeah, exactly. I’m afraid that I won’t be able to come back from this… until Tasha Montgomery reawakens every competitive bone in my body.

Tasha: I nearly watched Cade Wilson die on that lonely stretch of road. He’s damn lucky just to be alive, even if he doesn’t realize it. I know he’s destined for bigger and better things, but I don’t mind helping him get there as he relearns everything he took for granted. Cade’s a good student, a real perfectionist; I can tell how much his stutter bothers him. But when he lets his kisses do the talking, everything else disappears. And one day, maybe he’ll be able to tell me that he wants me—as much as I want him.

Review:
Although this book was an easy read with a lighthearted plot, it wasn’t as I expected. In the past I have really enjoyed Jessica Lemmon’s work, but this book just fell short. The plot was told from duel perspective- Cade and Tasha- and I didn’t really hear a distinct voice between them. Instead, the characters sounded too similar and at times I forgot who was talking. As the story progressed, I’m not sure if I just got used to the similarities in the voices of the characters or if it actually got better.

Cade is cocky and gorgeous. He goes from having it all to not carrying about anything. After the accident, he lost everything including friends, his income, and the life he made while attending college. But underneath all of this, he is recovering from heartache and loss.

Tasha is the innocently cute girl next door type whose heart is full of kindness. But to say she has ‘Daddy’ issues is an understatement. And the way her father controls her doesn’t exactly add up with an independent, almost college graduate.

Cade and Tasha’s relationship isn’t realistic and everything seemed to perfect. By the end of the book everything was wrapped up into a nice little bow and the conflict in the book seemed anti climatic. I think the thing that really bugged me about this book was how much the author told the reader instead of showing. This caused the plot to lack depth and ultimately I couldn’t become invested in the characters or the plot.

Overall, this book wasn’t really for me. I was looking for something with a little more depth and a stronger plot. I think if you are looking for a quick light read, then give this book a chance. Otherwise, you might be disappointed if you are looking for something more.

Bright Blaze of Magic (Black Blade, #3)

Bright Blaze of MagicAuthor: Jennifer Estep
Published: April 26, 2016
Pages: 368

Stars: 2.5 out of 5

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Synopsis:
Bad Things Always Come In Threes…

As a thief, I’m good at three things: hiding in the shadows, getting in and out unseen, and uncovering secrets. I put these skills to work for the Sinclair Family, one of the magical mobs that run the tourist town of Cloudburst Falls.

Everyone knows Victor Draconi wants to take over all the other Families–and kill every last Sinclair. What they don’t know is that I’m on to him, and no way will I let the man who murdered my mom get away with hurting all the other people I care about. Especially when I’ve got places to break into, stuff to steal, and Devon Sinclair fighting right by my side…

Review:
It has been a while since I’ve read the previous book in this series that it took me a little bit to understand what was happening. But once I remembered the details, it was easy to take off with this book. I hate saying this but I just wish it was better. I am so disappointed this book because I really enjoyed the first two in this series.

The writing isn’t the best but the plot is somewhat captivating and I can’t resist a female heroine who is all kinds of awesome. Except this female heroine just might be too awesome. Lila is a strong woman, surrounded by love and support but clouded by doubt, revenge, and at times loneliness. She is an amazing thief and a strong swordsman. But the death of her mother haunts her as does the threat her mothers killer poses. Although she isn’t perfect, she’s pretty close to it.

Devon is the bruiser for the Sinclair family which pretty much means he’s one day going to take over the family. With that said, what I found odd was most of the time Lila is the one leading the group, coming up with the plan, and shouting orders. When Devon does give out orders or comes up with a plan, it’s always him sacrificing himself or throwing himself in danger. Halfway through the book I wanted to roll my eyes at his stupidity. He has one of the most unique powers, compulsion. And what does he keep trying to do but hand himself over to the man who rips powers out of others. Because that sounds smart, let’s give the bad guy even more power so he can control people with his words instead of using blackmail.

I found this book to be a bit repetitive. I noticed the author continued to say the same things multiple times throughout the book. Examples include picking locks, how she can see with her enhanced sight, how she is an amazing thief…

I highly doubt I’m giving anything away by saying how Lila volunteers to fight Victor in a one on one match. We all saw this coming and if you didn’t, I’m just not sure how you missed it.  But don’t worry, I’m not going to give away the ending. I felt like this part of the book was slightly ridiculous or maybe I just thought it should go a different way. I’m not really sure which it is.. but everyone gives their support to Lila without questioning why a teenager is fighting the man with unknown amounts of magic. Ok, I can go with this, sure. Lila did save everyone and she is pretty much the perfect badass. But what strikes me as odd is how everyone believes she will win. And I mean there is no doubt, worry, concern.. They all just automatically accept her facing Victor. It was as though that thought was the most logical conclusion and everyone is at ease with it. In fact, Lila is the only one who is slightly concerned about facing Victor.

Seleste’s prophesy kind of spoiled the book for me. I wasn’t difficult to connect the dots and predict what was going to happen. I don’t remember the other books being this predictable but this one seemed to be.

Overall, I wanted so much from this book and I didn’t get it. I’m not sure if there will be a forth to this series because the author, in a way, left it open. Looking on Goodreads, my review is not the norm. Most people seemed to have really enjoyed this book. My suggestion, if you have come this far in the series, give the book a shot. Who knows, you might love it.

It Ain’t Easy Being Jazzy

It Aint Easy Being JazzyAuthor: Quanie Miller
Published: October 15, 2013
Pages: 280

Stars: 2 out of 5

Where to buy:
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Synopsis:

Jazzy secretly wants to get back together with her ex-boyfriend, Curtis, so when he calls and reveals that he’s got something important to tell her, she’s got no idea that he’s about to propose—to her first cousin and bitter rival, Mercedes.

The annual family dinner is coming up, and fearing that she will spend the evening seething while Mercedes flaunts her four carat engagement ring in her face, Jazzy asks Reggie, an Adonis she met at the mall, to accompany her. As fate would have it, not only did Reggie and Mercedes used to date; that backstabbing, leopard print wearing cow is still carrying a torch for him! Revenge. It’s never been so sweet.

But falling for Reggie? Holy crap! That wasn’t part of the plan! She’s got enough on her plate as it is; restaurant shootouts, a neurotic boss, a mother who spies on the neighbors, and a sister and best friend with man problems that could land them on Jerry Springer. Who has time to fall in love? So when Curtis comes sniffing around again—this time, with an accusation that sends her blood pressure shooting through the roof—the one good nerve that Jazzy’s got left has just about run its course.

Review:

I’ll be honest, it was difficult to get into this book. The writing style wasn’t easy for me to fully enjoy. I felt like there was a lot of filler information that didn’t really add anything to the main plot. A lot of it I couldn’t relate to, some of it was funny, but overall this was the main reason I struggled getting into the book.

As you dig into the book, you realize the story is packed full of family dysfunction (who can’t relate to that) and a bit of good old fashion drama. There were times I honestly thought the characters were crazy and some of the situations are over the top.

Jazzy has some spunk to her personality and is a strong character. She knows what she wants and isn’t easily swayed. I think I would have loved this book if there wasn’t so much filler information.

Meat

Meat

 

Author: Opal Carew
Published: July 26, 2016

Stars: 2 out of 5

Amazon $2.99

 

Synopsis:
I ran into Rex Keene—literally—when I was trying to catch my flight and his muscled, tattooed arms stopped my fall.
Then our flight gets canceled, and we’re stranded in the same hotel room together…it ended up being the steamiest night of my life.
All I knew is that I had to see him again.

I just didn’t expect him to show up a week later in the restaurant I manage…as our new head chef.
But the generous, tender man I spent that night with is gone; instead he’s arrogant, demanding, and terrorizing the staff.
But he won’t give up until we’re together – and I’m not sure I can stay away.
Which man is real?
Who is Rex Keene?

Review:

Ok, so the cover is a little cheesy but the synopsis is what drew me in. And oh man, this book had me laughing from the start. The introduction of Rebecca and Rex was awkward with instances of romantic gestures and swoon worthy touches. Realistically, I don’t think something like this would actually ever happen. But the idea is intriguing.

Rebecca is first introduced as a complete and utter mess. Leaving her aunts funeral, her emotions are all over the place. But as her confidence grows, her character at times becomes more enjoyable. The thing that bothered me about her was how she would cry and become overly emotional, making a big deal out of a simple kind jester. I actually started thinking at one point during the book- was Rebecca treated poorly or has no one ever done anything for her? I felt like her emotions ruled her life, making reckless decisions based on emotional highs or lows. And even more, it really irritated me how Rebecca ran away from explanations. A couple times in the book Rex would try to explain something of importance and she couldn’t handle it, always shutting down, running away, and stopping the conversation before it started. I wouldn’t say Rebecca is a strong character.

Rex is a strong, attractive man with a sweet and dirty sexuality. Oh and did I mention his ‘flaw’? Rex is not only walking sex, he is also hung like a horse. The head being “larger than a large plum” and the length something to intimidate the most experienced and send woman all over the world running.. Haha, ok I get the idea he is supposed to be enormous but the way he is described makes him sound like a freak of nature. And probably someone who should still be a virgin because of his size.. Not have specific tastes. But what do I know, maybe I’m wrong..

This book is highly sexual with dominant and submissive sexual acts/scenes. More specifically slave/master play. Although I think this was on the more mild side, I can see how this might not be some peoples cup of tea. I felt like the author had a general knowledge of what a D/s or Master/slave relationship looked like but I felt like it was missing the depth usually involved in these types of relationships. And like I said,  the sexual acts were really mild and closer to adventurous vanilla sex.

I felt like some of the language was really cheesy and overdone. For example, his giant spear filled her to the limit. Spear, I guess that’s one way to describe a mans genitala. I think I was having a hard time getting into the book and because of this, little things bugged me.

Rex and Rebecca’s relationship moved at a ridiculously fast pace. Considering how many arguments they had and how little they know each other, I just can’t wrap my head around the ending. Overall, this book wasn’t really for me. It was a fast paced book, easily read in one day. Some of the sexual scenes were steamy and fun to read about but the plot lacked depth and real substance. Or maybe it was how weak and emotional Rebecca’s character was that made it seem that way.

The Sway (Classified #1)

Sway

Author: Ruby Knight
Published: May 17, 2016
Pages: 186

Stars: 2 out of 5

Synopsis:

Her mission is to get close to him for inside information.

His mission is to kidnap her for a supernatural militant group.

Recruited in her teens for a life of espionage, Julia Caldwell, now 19, is theyoungest CIA agent on record. Her mission is simple: get close to Cole Thomas for intel on his father, a known and dangerous weapons dealer. As she grows closer to Cole, something is off. He might not be who she thinks he is. And worse, his mission will put an end to hers.

Always believing the government’s story that her purpose in life was to keep the world safe, Julia doesn’t know who to trust or who to believe. But now, THE SWAY has a different story—a different purpose for her—that goes well beyond all she ever imagined.

Review:

This book is difficult for me to review. As an adult, this book was not for me. The adolescent immaturity and instant love was too much. But if I was a teenager, I can see this book being a big hit. This book touches on the emotions and insecurities teenagers face. And all the ‘firsts’ when it comes to love and relationships.
Julia is a 19 year old who has been manipulated by the government. Although she is exceptionally smart and strong, she has an immature nature about the way she does things and acts. Even though she is nineteen, she acts much younger and focuses on her crush instead of more important things, like saving the world. And let’s not forget within a couple weeks her love interest went from enemy to my one and only love.
The plot was a combination of x-men mixed with the fantastic four. Although there were some lively plot twists, there wasn’t anything entirely amazing about them. I felt like the author added things to the plot not because they necessarily made sense, but because they were needed to lead the plot in the direction she wanted. The plot itself was an easy read and didn’t get very deep. The writing was not very strong and overall made the book weak.
Again, I think a younger generation would enjoy this book. There seem to be a good amount of positive feedback on goodreads.

Brave Enough (Tall, Dark, and Dangerous, #3)

Brave Enough

Author: M. Leighton
Published: April 5, 2016
Pages: 288

Stars: 2.5 out of 5

Synopsis:

He was the most charismatic man I’d ever met. Strong, tough, brave. Bold as hell. Something told me Tag Barton could have anything—anyone—he wanted…and he wanted me. It didn’t matter that he was wrong for me in practically every way possible. It didn’t matter that my father would hate it.

I couldn’t resist him. Even if I’d known who he really was and what he was really capable of.

When he suggested we pretend to be engaged, I thought he was the answer to all my problems. He wasn’t. And, in his wake, he left nothing but scorched earth and me, just another casualty of my father’s war.

Can I believe him now when he tells me he loves me?  Or is he nothing more than a beautiful, breathtaking lie?

Review:

Weatherly is upper class and is exhausted of always having to be perfect, look perfect, act perfect, date the perfect guy who will fit into her perfect world.. It isn’t until her father informs her that she either loses her trust fund or marry a man to solidify a business merger that she runs away to the family vineyard to form a plan. Weatherly is soft, sweet, flirtatious, but her upbringing has left her a bit naive. As the story progressed, her character got on my nerves. I think the thing that bugged me the most was how soft she was. I wouldn’t necessarily say she had much for common sense.
Tag maintains the vineyard Weatherly’s father owns. And he is dead set on getting Weatherly under him. But is it because of his plan or the growing attraction he has for her? Tag is a secretive guy who cares deeply for his family. He is an expert at flirtation and innuendo phrases. His one liners were a little much but I did enjoy the mystery behind his character.
The chemistry between Weatherly and Tag is instantaneously thick. That might have something to do with Tag walking in on Weatherly touching herself while taking a bath. But as the book continues, I can’t help but think Weatherly’s reaction to Tag is similar to a young adolescent who desperately wants to get laid. The way the author describes her reactions is a bit over the top. For example, I felt like her nipples would harden at the slightest thing and she would become turned on with just the sound of his voice. It was fun to read at first but quickly became annoying.
The book is written in a duel perspective and I can’t decide how I feel about this. At first, I couldn’t help but think the author did the book a dis justice by doing this. Even though there is a lot of mystery surrounding Tag, some of it is lost with what his internal monologue gives away. I think the flirtation, playful remarks, and the slight game that is played between Tag and Weatherly would have been more potent if the book was told strictly through Weatherly’s perspective. But near the end, I understand why the author wrote it this way. Without the duel point of view, the plot wouldn’t have been as complex without Tag, his secrets, and the insight on what he was going through.
The plot was a bit slow until the engagement. Then things really took off. Up until the engagement, I felt the plot was really fluffy and didn’t hold much as far as a plot. But once the engagement happened, aka the drama took off, then the dynamic of every relationship in the book changed.
The book was extremely unrealistic. For example, the couple gets married after knowing each other less than a month. But the really kicker is how Tag is good with marring Weatherly but it’s a struggle to say ‘I love you’. This made it really difficult for me to get into the book. Without giving away anything, I wanted to roll my eyes at Weatherly’s reaction when things start going south. There were a couple points where I actually got upset and wanted to yell, “what do you think was going to happen?!?” Which brings me back to how naive her character is.
Overall, this book wasn’t the right fit for me. I need something more realistic. This book isn’t really deep and would be perfect for those who want a steamy romance without needing to dig into a deep, complex plot. For those of you needing more out of your stories, I’m not sure this is the right choice for you.