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Wednesday, July 3, 2019

June 2019 | Monthly Consumptions

Happy Summer Everyone!!!
June was a great reading month for me. I was able to read some of the ARCs I received at BookExpo as well as read some book that were already released that I have been wanting to read for a while!

The first show I watched this month was HBO's Big Little LiesBased on the same-titled best-seller by Liane Moriarty, Big Little Lies weaves a darkly comedic tale of murder and mischief in the tranquil beachfront town of Monterey, Calif. Amidst doting moms, successful husbands, beautiful children, and stunning homes exists a community fueled by rumors and divided into haves and have-nots, exposing fractured relationships between husbands and wives, parents and children, and friends and neighbors. Told through the eyes of three mothers – Madeline, Celeste and Jane – the series' narrative explores society's myths regarding perfection and its romanticization of marriage, sex, parenting and friendship. Reese Witherspoon, Nicole Kidman and Shailene Woodley star as the three prominent Mothers of Monterey. I strongly dislike each one of these mothers, but I cant help but watch the drama unfold. They have pulled me in with their fire-side wine chats and pristine houses. I am so invested, I just want to know what is going to happen next! Tantalizing and thrilling till the last drop! 5 out of 5 stars.
Tuesday, July 2, 2019

PAST PERFECT LIFE BY ELIZABETH EULBERG REVIEW

Past Perfect Life by Elizabeth Eulberg
Release Date: July 9th 2019
Source: ARC from Book Expo
Format: Paperback
Pages: 336
Buy it: Amazon|B&N|Book Depository


        Small-town Wisconsin high school senior Allison Smith loves her life the way it is-spending quality time with her widowed father and her tight-knit circle of friends, including best friend Marian and maybe-more-than-friends Neil. Sure she is stressed out about college applications . . . who wouldn't be? In a few short months, everything's going to change, big time.
        But when Ally files her applications, they send up a red flag . . . because she's not Allison Smith. And Ally's-make that Amanda's-ordinary life is suddenly blown apart. Was everything before a lie? Who will she be after? And what will she do as now comes crashing down around her?

        Ally lives quite an ordinary life. In fact it might be too ordinary considering she is struggling to think of anything substantial to write about in her scholarship applications. But that all changes when her whole world is flipped upside-down and the girl that Ally thought she was is no longer.
        This was a good and quick read but was nothing exceptional. With a synopsis that is filled with suspense, this story lacked any sort of thrill. There was potential for this story to be reviting, but this story was focused around Ally's emotions and her adjusting to her new life. I was waiting this entire book for a single monumental moment, but there was no real climax or plot twist. While the secret that was reviled at the beginning of the book was quite dramatic, the reactions were average and not interesting at all. The plot and writing were nothing groundbreaking. My highlighter was not used once because there was not a single line that made me feel something. 
        The pacing was slow and the characters were nothing special. They felt one dimensional and bland. While nearly all the characters were likable, the lacked development that would make them more interesting. The mother pissed me off because she was irrational and not considerate of Ally's situation. The relationships between family members were cheesy and typical. I just want to see something more from some of these books. I'm tired of the same old story, with the same old characters that offer nothing new. I will refer to Jordan Peele's statement on casting white men in movies:

        I have trouble writing reviews for average reads, because I have no passion for the book. I would give Past Perfect Life 3 out of 5 stars. Past Perfect Life is out July 9th 2019.

What types of books do you want to see more of? PoC, LGBTQIA+, Disabilities, etc?
Let me know in the comments down below!

Thanks Hons,
Lee Chand

• • I received this ARC from Bloomsbury in exchange for an honest review • •
Tuesday, June 25, 2019

LOCK EVERY DOOR BY RILEY SAGER REVIEW


Lock Every Door by Riley Sager
Release Date: July 2nd 2019
Source: ARC from Book Expo
Format: Paperback
Pages: 368
Buy it: Amazon|B&N|Book Depository

        No visitors. No nights spent away from the apartment. No disturbing the other residents, all of whom are rich or famous or both. These are the only rules for Jules Larsen's new job as an apartment sitter at the Bartholomew, one of Manhattan's most high-profile and mysterious buildings. Recently heartbroken and just plain broke, Jules is taken in by the splendor of her surroundings and accepts the terms, ready to leave her past life behind.

        As she gets to know the residents and staff of the Bartholomew, Jules finds herself drawn to fellow apartment sitter Ingrid, who comfortingly, disturbingly reminds her of the sister she lost eight years ago. When Ingrid confides that the Bartholomew is not what it seems and the dark history hidden beneath its gleaming facade is starting to frighten her, Jules brushes it off as a harmless ghost story . . . until the next day, when Ingrid disappears.


        Searching for the truth about Ingrid's disappearance, Jules digs deeper into the Bartholomew's dark past and into the secrets kept within its walls. Her discovery that Ingrid is not the first apartment sitter to go missing at the Bartholomew pits Jules against the clock as she races to unmask a killer, expose the building's hidden past, and escape the Bartholomew before her temporary status becomes permanent. 


        Ominous. Addicting. Pulse-poundingly perfect. Riley Sager's Lock Every Door is page turner filled with twists and turns that will leave you speechless in the end. Sager unravels this story piece by piece beautifully before your eyes. Lock Every Door with its sinister plot develops from a who-done-it to a what-the-hell-is-even-HAPPENING! Riley Sager's newest is out tomorrow July, 2nd 2019

        No visitors. No nights spent away from the apartment. No disturbing the other residents. Those are the only rules for Jules Larsen's new job as an apartment sitter at the notoriously creepy Bartholomew. Having lost her job, her boyfriend and her home, Jules agrees to live in the Bartholomew without question. When fellow apartment sitter Ingrid shares the Bartholomew's dark history, Jules brushes it off as meaningless ghost stories. It is not until Ingrid goes missing the next day that Jules begins to question everyone and everything.

        The only fault that I have with this book is that it did not have enough suspense for my liking. The majority of the book was spent like a game of Clue, wandering around to different people in different rooms asking random questions hoping to get somewhere. I wanted it to be more thrilling throughout rather than just at the end. But I will say that this ending did make up for lack of excitement in the earlier half of the book. I would give Lock Every Door 4 out of 5 stars!

What are some of your favorite thrillers? Let me know in the comments down below!

Thanks Hons,
Lee Chand

• • I received this ARC from Penguin Random House in exchange for an honest review • •
Saturday, June 22, 2019

SIX OF CROWS (SIX OF CROWS #1) BY LEIGH BARDUGO

Six of Crows by Leigh Bardugo
Release Date: September 29th 2015
Source: Purchased
Format: Hardcover
Pages: 462
Buy it: Amazon|B&N|Book Depository

Ketterdam: a bustling hub of international trade where anything can be had for the right price—and no one knows that better than criminal prodigy Kaz Brekker. Kaz is offered a chance at a deadly heist that could make him rich beyond his wildest dreams. But he can’t pull it off alone. . . .

A convict with a thirst for revenge


A sharpshooter who can’t walk away from a wager


A runaway with a privileged past


A spy known as the Wraith


A Heartrender using her magic to survive the slums


A thief with a gift for unlikely escapes


Kaz’s crew is the only thing that might stand between the world and destruction—if they don’t kill each other first.


        After reading Leigh Bardugo's Shadow and Bone series, Six of Crows is a massive step-up. While reading Shadow and Bone and Siege and Storm, I had problems with the inconsistent pace and lack of plot through the middle of the book. Bardugo's writing in this book is elevated, action-packed all while being perfectly paced. The balance between set-up/action was done impeccably; I felt that I immediately knew the characters so when the story picked up, the story encapsulated me.
        The amount of highlighted lines in this book has me struck, considering there were none in my Shadow and Bone series. The way Bardugo fabricates the thoughts and emotions of these characters, it is as though you are feeling them for yourself. And since these story is told through multiple perspectives, you are allowed to learn more about these characters and the depth of their relationships.
"Matthias knew monsters, and one glance at Kaz Brekker had told him this was a creature who had spent too long in the dark –– he'd brought something back with him when he'd crawled into the light."
         By far the best part about this book is its cast of characters. The crew that Kaz Brekker has assembled is unlike any other. Each one of them plays a vital role in this heist and each of them bares a dark past making them willing to risk it all. The members of this crew are ruthless, but when it comes to each other their admiration is palpable. The slow burning romance between Kaz and Inej is TEARING MY LIFE APART! They both know what they want, but are too afraid to express it. ugh slow burn is just so hard for me to read! I want the mushy gushy like yesterday, but the wait makes the reward so much sweeter.
        Six of Crows drew me in from the jump with its stunning prose and captivating storytelling. As soon as I put this book down, I was desperate to get my hands on its sequel Crooked Kingdom. With beautifully-broken characters and vivid writing style, Six of Crows gets 5 out of 5 stars from me!

Who is your favorite character from Six of Crows? Are there other heist books I should check out?
Let me know in the comments down below!

Thanks Hons,
Lee Chand
Thursday, June 13, 2019

THE UNHONEYMOONERS BY CHRISTINA LAUREN REVIEW


The Unhoneymooners by Christina Lauren
Release Date: May 14th 2019
Source: Purchased
Format: Audiobook
Pages: 423
Buy it: Amazon|B&N|Book Depository

Olive is always unlucky: in her career, in love, in…well, everything. Her identical twin sister Ami, on the other hand, is probably the luckiest person in the world. Her meet-cute with her fiancĂ© is something out of a romantic comedy (gag) and she’s managed to finance her entire wedding by winning a series of Internet contests (double gag). Worst of all, she’s forcing Olive to spend the day with her sworn enemy, Ethan, who just happens to be the best man.

Olive braces herself to get through 24 hours of wedding hell before she can return to her comfortable, unlucky life. But when the entire wedding party gets food poisoning from eating bad shellfish, the only people who aren’t affected are Olive and Ethan. And now there’s an all-expenses-paid honeymoon in Hawaii up for grabs.


Putting their mutual hatred aside for the sake of a free vacation, Olive and Ethan head for paradise, determined to avoid each other at all costs. But when Olive runs into her future boss, the little white lie she tells him is suddenly at risk to become a whole lot bigger. She and Ethan now have to pretend to be loving newlyweds, and her luck seems worse than ever. But the weird thing is that she doesn’t mind playing pretend. In fact, she feels kind of... lucky.


        Being the first Christina Lauren book I ever picked up, The Unhoneymooners surely did not disappoint, but it also was not what I was expecting at all. While this book was lighthearted and fun, with numerous plot twists, it fell flat for me.

        Ami and Olive Torres are twins that may look the same on the outside, but when it comes to their luck, these two sisters could not be more different. Ami seems to win anything she signs up for: free bridesmaids dresses, all inclusive honeymoon, free seafood buffet at her wedding to frat-bro Dane. While Olive loses her job and is living day to day with a couple bucks in her bank account. But when all the guests at the wedding contract ciguatera toxin from bad seafood, it just might be Olive's lucky day. Due to her shellfish allergy, and Dane's brother Ethan's fear of buffets, they are the only two left unscathed at the end of the day. Due to her sister's honeymoon being nonrefundable, Olive agrees to pose as newlyweds with the one man she hates, Ethan.

        The Unhoneymooners is marketed as a comedic hate-to-love story with numerous twists and turns. While I love a romantic comedy, this story offered nothing special. I could not care less about these characters since there was no depth to them. They were one dimensional and offered nothing beneath the surface.

        If you have been following me for a long time, you know I LOVE a good hate-to-love story, but this was not one. Sure, they claim to hate one another, but from the start it is clear that they love to bickering with each other. Olive basically fabricates a faux-hatred from the day she met Ethan from the way he looked at her cheese curds and that was the end. I was expecting them to look like Stitch and Lilo over here the entire time they were in Hawaii, but they end up poking fun at each other and having banter.

        That being said it was a fairly simple and fun read. It didn't encapsulate my entire being like I hope a book would do, but it still was enjoyable. I find these reviews the hardest to write because I am not passionate about my love nor my hate for this book. It just kinda stands in the middle. 3 out of 5 stars.

What Christina Lauren book should I try out next? Let me know in the comments down below!

Thanks Hons,
Lee Chand
Tuesday, June 11, 2019

RED, WHITE & ROYAL BLUE BY CASEY McQUISTON REVIEW

Red, White & Royal Blue by Casey McQuiston
Release Date: May 14th 2019
Source: Purchased
Format: Audiobook
Pages: 423
Buy it: Amazon|B&N|Book Depository

        A big-hearted romantic comedy in which First Son Alex falls in love with Prince Henry of Wales after an incident of international proportions forces them to pretend to be best friends...

        First Son Alex Claremont-Diaz is the closest thing to a prince this side of the Atlantic. With his intrepid sister and the Veep’s genius granddaughter, they’re the White House Trio, a beautiful millennial marketing strategy for his mother, President Ellen Claremont. International socialite duties do have downsides—namely, when photos of a confrontation with his longtime nemesis Prince Henry at a royal wedding leak to the tabloids and threaten American/British relations.


        The plan for damage control: staging a fake friendship between the First Son and the Prince. Alex is busy enough handling his mother’s bloodthirsty opponents and his own political ambitions without an uptight royal slowing him down. But beneath Henry’s Prince Charming veneer, there’s a soft-hearted eccentric with a dry sense of humor and more than one ghost haunting him. 


        As President Claremont kicks off her reelection bid, Alex finds himself hurtling into a secret relationship with Henry that could derail the campaign and upend two nations. And Henry throws everything into question for Alex, an impulsive, charming guy who thought he knew everything: What is worth the sacrifice? How do you do all the good you can do? And, most importantly, how will history remember you?

"If someone like that would ever love me, it would set me on fire"
        HAPPY PRIDE MONTH EVERYBODY! I figured I would kick off my pride month with the book that everyone cannot stop talking about, Red, White & Royal Blue. The First Son of the United States falling for the Prince of England...this book is just filled with America's favorite past times! I will try to keep this review coherent, but after reading this book I am filled with so much glee and happiness.
        When Alexander Claremont-Diaz and his sister June fly to England for Royal Wedding, Alex drunkenly pushes his rival Prince Henry into the $75,000 wedding cake. The events at the Royal Wedding grabs the media's attention, leaving people on both sides of the Atlantic worried about relations between the two nations. As these two enemies are forced into damaged control, (photo ops, hospital visits, social media posts, etc.) the hatred between them turn into understanding. When feelings begin to develop, Alex starts to question his sexuality –– and the ramifications of a taboo relationship during his mother's re-election for her second term as president.
"He wants to match the new freckles along Henry's nose to the stars above them and make him name the constellations."
        This story is not just about love, but the hopes and dreams of these two young men aspiring to make the world a better place. They are both driven individuals who see their position as a way to make positive change. With "more reasons to fight than ever," these two make an iconic dream team that I wish was real in the world today. It is seen in not only Alex and Henry, but additionally in the people they surround themselves with. June and Nora are both unapologetically themselves, following dreams of their own, despite what others expect of them.
        McQuiston writing is optimistic and refreshing. A beautiful portrait of humanity that celebrates individuality in all of its glorious colors. Effervescent and empowering in every sense of the word. This story pulls you in and holds you with an enthralling maelstrom of breathtaking prose. This book made me laugh, it made me cry and I will FOR SURE be picking it up again. 5 out of 5 stars!

What are you reading for Pride Month? Let me know in the comments down below!


Thanks Hons,
Lee Chand
Thursday, June 6, 2019

May 2019 | Monthly Consumptions

May was such a crazy month for me and it all ended with me going to Book Expo America which was amazing and there will be a blog post about that coming up very soon! This is what I watched and read this month!


The first thing I watched this month was actually a rewatch. I rewatched Spider-Man: Homecoming since Spider-Man has to be one of my favorite Avengers. I love Toby McGuire, but Tom Holland is the perfect Spider-Man. Literally the embodiment of dorky adorableness mixed with kindness and a smart mouth. After getting to join the Avengers for a day, Peter Parker goes back to living with his Aunt May and tries to live a normal life, but is finding it difficult thanks to the new super suit Tony Stark got him. This movie is the perfect opening for the character and is all around a feel good, action packed movie. I would give this movie 4.5 out of 5 stars.

Tuesday, June 4, 2019

MY FEET STILL HURT | BOOK EXPO 2019


        Wow! Book Expo was everything I dreamed of and more! Being surrounded by so many amazing book lovers and authors is an experience I hope near and dear to my heart. For those of you that do not know, Book Expo is a book trade fair that is held the Wednesday-Friday before BookCon. Nearly every major book publisher runs a booth where they showcasing upcoming titles, cool merch, and socialize with other book lovers. Many authors, librarians, bookstores and book reviewers attend the event to see what is new in the industry and what they should be looking forward to. Book Expo is filled to the brim with so many free books that have yet to come out, it honestly just makes you want to frolic through the booths and sing.
        I was able to get my hands on so many amazing books, but others were so close. Ninth House, Reverie. The Starless Sea. I will see you in a few months. Here are some of the books I am excited about and was able to snag during my three day trip to Book Expo!
Sunday, June 2, 2019

WITH THE FIRE ON HIGH BY ELIZABETH ACEVEDO REVIEW


With the Fire on High by Elizabeth Acevedo
Release Date: May 7th 2019
Source: Purchased
Format: Audiobook
Pages: 400
Buy it: Amazon|B&N|Book Depository
        With her daughter to care for and her abuela to help support, high school senior Emoni Santiago has to make the tough decisions, and do what must be done. The one place she can let her responsibilities go is in the kitchen, where she adds a little something magical to everything she cooks, turning her food into straight-up goodness. Still, she knows she doesn’t have enough time for her school’s new culinary arts class, doesn’t have the money for the class’s trip to Spain — and shouldn’t still be dreaming of someday working in a real kitchen. But even with all the rules she has for her life — and all the rules everyone expects her to play by — once Emoni starts cooking, her only real choice is to let her talent break free. 

        Emoni Santiago is an aspiring chef and unapologetic teenage mother who is stubbornly committed to following her dreams, despite what others might think of her. Emoni may be a teenager, but she is multifaceted and refuses to fall victim to people's projections of shame on young people of color with children. Anchored by her grandmother, Gloria, and her 'baby girl,' Emma, Emoni goes through her senior year of high school fearlessly, only skeptical of who she can trust while pursuing her desire of becoming a chef.
Sunday, May 19, 2019

V. E. SCHWAB GIVEAWAY WINNERS


And the lucky winners are... 

Thursday, May 16, 2019

I SPY THE BOY NEXT DOOR BY SAMANTHA ARMSTRONG REVIEW


I Spy the Boy Next Door by Samantha Armstrong
Release Date: May 25th 2019
Source: NetGalley ARC
Format: EBook
Pages: 254
Buy it: Amazon|B&N|Book Depository

Four p.m. spy sessions are the highlight of Mallory Taylor’s day. Observing the boy next door—one with a body and an attitude to match—has her perched beside her window so often it can't be healthy.

When she finally convinces her mom to let her go to public school, Mallory comes face to face with her neighbor, Troy Parker. And he makes it clear he wants nothing to do with her. His rejection awakens a newfound tenacity and maybe even a touch of recklessness. But when Troy starts to show up when she needs him the most, Mallory can’t help but wonder if there’s more to him than he’s let on.

Taking chances, breaking rules, and following her heart is all new to Mallory. And no one warned her just how fickle hearts can be. When she discovers that Troy isn’t at all the guy she imagined him to be, secrets rise to the surface that will change her life forever.

*This is a standalone mature YA/new adult contemporary romance.
 


        Mallory Taylor is a naive, homeschooled, virgin who spy's on the hot, tattooed, motorcycle-driving boy next door. This book was a total cliche taken from stories we have heard many times before. From Mean Girls, (the homeschool girl becoming friends with the edgy girl and the gay kid) to the bad boy fighter that is seen in so many stories. While all these tropes seem unoriginal, this story is executed fairly well with quite an original plot twist though it was predictable.
Wednesday, May 15, 2019

MISCHIEF AND THE MASTERS BY CHERISE SINCLAIR [MASTERS OF THE SHADOWLANDS #12] REVIEW


Mischief and the Masters by Cherise Sinclair
Release Date: November 15th 2016
Source: Purchased
Format: Audiobook
Pages: 436
Buy it: Amazon|B&N|Book Depository


She wants a short, sweet Master. One Master.

The two devastatingly dominant Drago cousins have other ideas.

Her life destroyed by a stalker, Uzuri Cheval starts anew in Tampa and joins the exclusive Shadowlands club. Unconvinced of her claims that she can overcome her fear of big men without help, Master Z gives her a time limit. And she is improving--until she hears the stalker is out of prison. Now her time limit is up, and the Masters will intervene, which is okay--as long as whoever helps her is short. Okay, sweet and gentle would be good, too.

But two Doms? Dangerously experienced and dauntingly powerful cousins? No way.

Having volunteered in every hellhole in the world, Dr. Alastair Drago is ready to settle down. Detective Max Drago has joined him and, once again, the cousins share everything. A house, lives, problems…and whatever submissive catches their interest. One mischievous submissive has definitely caught Alastair’s. However, having been burned by a woman, Max remains detached…until little mischief’s troubles turn deadly.

•• PLEASE DO NOT READ THIS BOOK IF YOU ARE UNDER THE AGE OF 18 ••

Tuesday, May 14, 2019

MIDNIGHT BLUE BY L.J. SHEN REVIEW


Midnight Blue by L.J. Shen
Release Date: January 4th 2018
Source: Purchased
Format: Audiobook
Pages: 338
Buy it: Amazon|B&N|Book Depository

From bestselling author L.J. Shen, comes a new, standalone, contemporary romance. 

It should have been easy.
I needed the money. He needed a babysitter to keep him from snorting himself to death.
I was cherry-picked especially for him. Responsible. Optimistic. Warm. Innocent.
The worst part is that I should have known better.
Alex Winslow. British rock star. Serial heartbreaker. Casanova with whiskey eyes.
“Don’t get near the devil in a leather jacket. He’ll chew you up and spit you out.”
Guess what? I didn’t listen.
I signed the contract.
World tour. Three months. Four Continents. One hundred shows.
My name is Indigo Bellamy, and I sold my soul to a tattooed god.
Problem was, my soul wasn’t enough for Alex Winslow. He ended up taking my body, too.
Then he took my heart.
Then he took my all.


•• PLEASE DO NOT READ THIS BOOK IF YOU ARE UNDER THE AGE OF 18 ••

        By now we all know that L.J. Shen writes the best the most incredible alpha assholes that you can't help but fall in love with. They have an edge to them that is shocking and sexy. It is her specialty so it is no surprise when we come across yet another in Midnight Blue. This has to be one of my favorite rockstar romances. As someone who fantasized about being the backstage lover to multiple rockstars and boyband members, this book fulfilled all my fantasies. A British bad-boy rockstar that is tortured, damaged and beautifully broken had me gushing with every word. Alex Winslow is brash, rude and incredibly arrogant, yet I melted once he opened his smart-ass mouth and told the world to go fuck itself. Midnight Blue had everything you could want in a rockstar romance novel. The ups and downs of an industry that feeds into celebrity gossip, the drugs and sex that all seem so gruff and dirty and the overdramatic musicians and management that surround an egotistical, entitled rockstar. Now throw in an unsuspecting girl to flip everything on its head and you've got yourself a great novel.

Monday, May 13, 2019

SCANDALOUS BY L.J. SHEN [SINNERS OF SAINT #3] REVIEW


Scandalous by L.J. Shen
Release Date: September 22nd 2017
Source: Purchased
Format: Audiobook
Pages: 315
Buy it: Amazon|B&N|Book Depository
They call him The Mute for a reason.
Hard, cold and calculated, he rarely speaks.
When he does, it’s with disdain.
When he does, his words aren’t meant for me.
When he does, my stomach flips and my world tilts on its axis.
He is thirty-three.
I am eighteen.
He’s a single dad and my father’s business partner.
I’m just a kid to him and his enemy’s daughter.
He’s emotionally unavailable.
And I am…feeling. Feeling things I shouldn’t feel for him.
Trent Rexroth is going to break my heart. The writing isn’t just on the wall, it’s inked on my soul.
And yet, I can’t stay away.
A scandal is the last thing my family needs. But a scandal is what we’re going to give them.
And oh, what beautiful chaos it will be


•• PLEASE DO NOT READ THIS BOOK IF YOU ARE UNDER THE AGE OF 18 ••

        How the hell does L.J. Shen manage to do it every single time? Although each of the Hotholes have the same defining characteristic, they all manage to bring something new to the table making each story more incising than the last. Scandalous is complex, emotionally riveting and an intricately plotted work of art. I always expect the unexpected with the Hotholes and this book did not disappoint, being both thought-provoking and guaranteed to steal your heart. What is different about this story is that the Hotholes are now grown and experienced, willing to make sacrifices for each other that they would have never made in book one.
        Trent Rexroth has always seemed like the most tame of the Hotholes, but that was only because he was quiet–– and you know what they say about the quiet ones. He was crude, straightforward, blunt and uncompromisingly himself. I was fascinated by every move he made, every word he spoke, and his thought process through it all got me all hot and bothered. How slowly he peeled himself back to reveal the complex, beautiful creature underneath. The only girl to hold Trent's heart thus far has been his daughter Luna, whose mother disappeared on them both without warning. Having a daughter that doesn't utter a word, Trent breaks out of his shell only for her, trying everything to make her feel comfortable. As far as his love life goes, it is nothing but raw, dirty, animalistic sex and thats it. No kissing. No flowers. Just hot, hedonistic fucking.
Sunday, May 12, 2019

AGAIN, BUT BETTER BY CHRISTINE RICCIO REVIEW


Again, but Better by L.J. Shen
Release Date: May 7th 2019
Source: Purchased
Format: Audiobook and Hardcover
Pages: 384
Buy it: Amazon|B&N|Book Depository

From one of the most followed booktubers today, comes Again, but Better, a story about second chances, discovering yourself, and being brave enough to try again.

Shane has been doing college all wrong. Pre-med, stellar grades, and happy parents…sounds ideal—but Shane's made zero friends, goes home every weekend, and romance…what’s that? 

Her life has been dorm, dining hall, class, repeat. Time's a ticking, and she needs a change—there's nothing like moving to a new country to really mix things up. Shane signs up for a semester abroad in London. She's going to right all her college mistakes: make friends, pursue boys, and find adventure! 

Easier said than done. She is soon faced with the complicated realities of living outside her bubble, and when self-doubt sneaks in, her new life starts to fall apart. 

Shane comes to find that, with the right amount of courage and determination one can conquer anything. Throw in some fate and a touch of magic—the possibilities are endless.


        Let me start this out by saying that I have an immense love and respect for Christine and her YouTube channel. For years as soon as I finished a book, I would scroll through her channel looking to see if she had a BookTalk about it. I love to way she is so emotional about the books she reads and how she can ramble on and on about a topic for ages straight from her head... but that doesn't necessarily translate well written down into a book. In short, Again, but Better needs to be written again, but better.

        This book was bad... and I mean BAD BAD. The amount of times my eyes literally rolled as I read this book, I'm fucking surprised they're not stuck there. Everything about this book made me cringe that it was almost unbearable to get through. I got the audiobook just so I could give it a fair chance, because physically reading the book made me want to throw it in the trash. I wanted to do anything else with my time besides read this book.

RUCKUS BY L.J. SHEN [SINNERS OF SAINTS #2] REVIEW

Ruckus by L.J. Shen
Release Date: May 23rd 2017
Source: Purchased
Format: Audiobook
Pages: 369
Buy it: Amazon|B&N|Book Depository
Rosie 

They say that life is a beautiful lie and death a painful truth. They're right. 
No one has ever made me feel more alive than the guy who serves as a constant reminder that my clock is ticking. 
He is my forbidden, shiny apple. 
The striking fallacy to my blunt, raw, truth. 
He is also my sister's ex-boyfriend. 
One thing you should know before you judge me; 
I saw him first. I craved him first. I loved him first. 
Eleven years later, he waltzed into my life, demanding a second chance. 
Dean Cole wants to be my bronze horseman. My white knight has finally arrived. Hopefully, he isn’t too late. 

Dean 

They say the brightest stars burn out the fastest. They’re right. 
She sets my mind on fire. 
All smart mouth, snarky attitude and a huge heart. 
In a world where everything is dull, she shines like fucking Sirius. 
Eleven years ago, fate tore us apart. 
This time, I dare it to try. 
Getting to her is a battlefield, but man, that’s why they call me Ruckus. 
Rosie LeBlanc is about to find out how hard I can fight. 
And conquering her will be the sweetest victory.


•• PLEASE DO NOT READ THIS BOOK IF YOU ARE UNDER THE AGE OF 18 ••

        I don't know how it is possible for me to fall even further down my L.J. Shen rabbit hole, but baby we are in too deep now. After reading Defy, Vicious and Pretty Reckless, there was a slow pattern emerging amongst Shen's male leads, but that all changed with Dean 'Ruckus' Cole. When we first meet Dean in Vicious, he is the fun-loving, quick to smile, anything to have a good time party boy of the 'Hotholes'. It would be easy to write him off as one dimensional, but in Ruckus you get to see the multifaceted character that is Dean Cole. A man with much more depth and darkness than the other hotholes.
Saturday, May 11, 2019

DEFY BY L.J. SHEN (SINNERS OF SAINTS #0.5) REVIEW

Defy by L.J. Shen
Release Date: October 18th 2016
Source: Purchased
Format: Audiobook
Pages: 165
Buy it: Amazon|B&N|Book Depository
Defy is a smutty, insta-love, insta-lust short novella. Defy is a prequel to Vicious (Sinners of Saint #1). It is recommended, but unnecessary, to read Defy before reading Vicious.

First included in Hot for Teacher Anthology: 19 Stories Filled with Lust and Love.

My name is Melody Greene, and I have a confession to make.
I slept with my student, a senior in high school.
Multiple times.
I had multiple orgasms.
In multiple positions.
I slept with my student and I enjoyed it.
I slept with my student and I’d do it all over again if I could turn back time.
My name is Melody Greene, and I got kicked out of my position as a teacher and did my walk of shame a la Cersei Lannister from the principal’s office, minutes after said principal threatened to call the cops on me.
My name is Melody Greene, and I did something bad because it made me feel good.
Here is why it was totally worth it.


•• PLEASE DO NOT READ THIS BOOK IF YOU ARE UNDER THE AGE OF 18 ••


        After enjoying Pretty Reckless and Vicious thoroughly I figured I had to read the story where it all came from. Melody Greene and Jaime Followhill are the prelude to all of our All Saints High's drama-filled and smutty stories. Jaime is your typical L.J. Shen love interest: one of the four hotholes, all-star football player, and the principle's son. And he just so happens to have the hots for his English teacher, Melody Greene.

Friday, May 10, 2019

VICIOUS BY L.J.SHEN (SINNERS OF SAINT #1) REVIEW




Vicious by L.J. Shen
Release Date: December 27th 2016
Source: Purchased
Format: Audiobook
Pages: 339
Buy it: Amazon|B&N|Book Depository
Emilia

They say love and hate are the same feelings experienced under different circumstances, and it’s true.The man who comes to me in my dreams also haunts me in my nightmares. He is a brilliant lawyer. A skilled criminal. A beautiful liar. A bully and a savior, a monster and a lover.

Ten years ago, he made me run away from the small town where we lived. Now, he came for me in New York, and he isn’t leaving until he takes me with him.

Vicious

She is a starving artist. Pretty and evasive like cherry blossom. Ten years ago, she barged into my life unannounced and turned everything upside down. She paid the price.

Emilia LeBlanc is completely off-limits, my best friend’s ex-girlfriend. The woman who knows my darkest secret, and the daughter of the cheap Help we hired to take care of our estate. That should deter me from chasing her, but it doesn’t. So she hates me. Big fucking deal. She better get used to me.



•• PLEASE DO NOT READ THIS BOOK IF YOU ARE UNDER THE AGE OF 18 ••


        I am now addicted to L.J. Shen books! If steamy angst is not your style, then I suggest ignoring my next few posts because I am hooked. And if these books ARE your style, I demand that you pick every single one immediately. If you're not into the whole asshole thing then you will probably be able to leave Vicious behind, but if you do, this is the most perfect asshole in all the books I have ever read. There is one aspect of Shen's writing I love and it's the fact that she is a master at writing an antihero. She takes us to the brink wondering if there is any way her character can redeem himself whilst making us fall head over heels in love with a cold, arrogant and vindictive bastard. We see this again in Barron Spencer (Vicious,) your typical All Saints High football star. They all seem so bad for you on paper, but yet they feel so SO SOOO GOOD.