Tag Archive | romance book

A Violet, Violent Spring by Devyani Saini| Book Review

35620875Book: A Violet, Violent Spring
Author: Devyani Saini
Series: Standalone
Genre: Contemporary 
My Rating: 1/5 Stars

*A Violet, Violent Spring was sent to me by the author in exchange for an honest review*

“What are you Miana Mehra?” I stared, searching for some witty reply before he continued, “You’re a dream. A wonderfully normal dream.”

I don’t think I’ve ever given a book a one star rating, but here we are.

Mia meets her colourful and handsome next door neighbor on her way to her best friend’s wedding. It turns out his destination was the same. From there, Mia runs into him multiple more times, which prompts them to begin a relationship that could either work in their favour or fall apart completely.

I asked myself multiple times while reading this: “What is the point?” Nothing about it grabbed me. The story had no plot, no beginning, middle, and end. The characters were basic, boring, cringy, and problematic. I can go on.

So I have about three pages of notes and I believe the best way to organize them in this review is through a list of the good and the bad. Here we go…

The good:

-I like the different cultures in this story. And I like how the author clearly included things like “ohh british people apologize a lot.” I didn’t know that but it’s clear she wrote it from experience.
“British social customs were tedious indeed. Smiling and apologizing constantly! Even flower boy seemed roped in by them.”
Once in a blue moon warmth.
“London is a beauty in summer but bitter and spiteful in the winter.”
-The only times I actually enjoyed reading this book was during the prologue and epilogue. I don’t know what it was, but it gave off a different feel from the actual story. It was separate to me, and the writing intrigued me. Maybe it was because the epilogue was not in Mia’s perspective, but who knows.
“First of all, it’s a sweater. Second of all, we are past having to categorize pieces of cloth according to gender. We are an evolved species, thank you very much.”

The bad:

SEXUAL ASSAULT WARNING PAGE 201. (That was the page in my digital copy of the book).
-No events have really grabbed my attention. It’s basic. It’s boring.
-Did not like the build-up to the romance. Like “oh of course he was her driver, of course he showed up to her apartment when she was half naked.” It’s so set-up it hurts.
-Cringy wordings/descriptions. But I seem to expect it now from contemporaries.
-There is no flow.
-Mia labels and judges people. “I resisted the urge to say Thug and Emo Hick.” I feel like this is meant to be funny? But it’s not funny. It has quite the opposite effect on me actually.
-They have to travel to the same locations at the same time uncoincidentally. I get it if they run into each other but they live right next door from one another. Use that to prompt their relationship. This is too unrealistic and cringy. The first time was fine, but two times?
“Are you seriously going this way?” I laughed at us and at fate, though it seemed cheesy to say. It wasn’t like this was the first time something like this happened to us. He knew it as well as I did.”
-Also did I mention I feel nothing for these characters?
Banter is supposed to be fun, especially between potential romantic couples, but the banter is just not working for me here.
-This is just a series of boring events and jokes that aren’t funny.
“Smiled silently.” As opposed to what? Smiled loudly?
‘Nothing. Just that… most people wouldn’t comment on shoes.” YES THEY WOULD. ESPECIALLY WHEN YOU WEAR BUNNY SLIPPERS. But apparently people comment on legs. IS THIS HOW SHE FLIRTS?
-Please stop fake gasping.
-Fine decline the bff but not the hot next door neighbor.
-What are the stakes?
-There are moments that have potential but are destroyed in the next sentence.
“I imagined his vocal cords vibrating inside his larynx. The source of such a fantastic and breathless sound was literally just air rushing against two infolding’s of mucous membrane.” “… lightly pressing his thumbs against the part of my coxal bone which jutted out from beneath my skin.” I understand that Mia is studying to be some kind of nurse or doctor, but I have no words for these descriptions.
-Now let’s begin with the problematic parts:
“It’s not nothing and you’re going to tell me. It’s the least you can do after that night you took me out.”
“For the record it’s only assault if I stick my tongue down your throat.”
“Where are you going?”
To India to visit my family. During my next break.”
“You should tell me these things.”
“Why? It doesn’t concern you.”
“You are literally living with me. And you sucked my face. So yes, to an extent it does.”
“I’ll tell you everything. But not now.”
I wanted it to be not ever, but Luhan was right when he said these kinds of things were his concern, at least to an extent.
“You can’t say you didn’t like it.” [The sex from last night]
Then the sexual assault that I don’t want to quote.
-What is with this entitlement and controlling nature they have towards each other. Because we kissed, you have to tell me. And yes Mia you are acting entitled but he isn’t any better.
-I’ve lost count of the amount of times I’ve made a “what the hell am I reading” face.
THIS BASICALLY SUMS UP THE BOOK: “We were just moments, at the end of it. Moments strung together by circumstance and unwound in the same way. The story thus woven is unwoven.” This book literally is just moments between them. NO PLOT.

Goodreads | Bookstagram

Advertisements

Archer’s Voice by Mia Sheridan | Book Review

34388244_1801622533236972_7326360831334023168_nBook: Archer’s Voice
Author: Mia Sheridan
Series: Standalone
Genre: NA Contemporary Romance
My Rating: 3.5/5 Stars

“You brought the silence,
The most beautiful sound I’d ever heard.”

I’ve seen Archer’s Voice around for years while going on hunts to discover captivating romances to read. Yet for some reason I always breezed past it, never acknowledging that it could potentially be a story in which I would enjoy. It wasn’t until recently when a spark hit and I realized I needed this book, needed this new adult romance in my life immediately. But going into it, for the most part, blind, I wasn’t expecting it to be different, to be refreshing, to stand out from all the other romances I’ve read in the past.

Haunted by the dark event that changed her life, Bree Prescott needed to get away. A road trip and a fresh start far from home was what she believed was her cure. This is how she found herself in the small town of Pelion. A town that has ignored a tragic event and an isolated boy for too long. Then Bree arrives, she asks questions, she breaks the silence. And she falls in love. Archer is alone, feels unworthy, and is scared to break free from a life he’s always known. Bree is the first person to show him he is capable of more.

“Try to believe that maybe more light shines out of those who have the most cracks.”

To start, I thought it was funny how this romance gave me thriller vibes in the beginning. I mean a girl enters into a small town, lives in a cottage alone, the town has secrets. Not that I have ever picked up a thriller book to know what signs to look for, but I had to remind myself that I was reading a romance, not something chilling.

As I’ve already pointed out, this was a refreshing read in the new adult romance genre. Why? Because we were given an untraditional relationship. This basically means that from the romances I’ve read in the past, this one stood out because it didn’t follow a formula that I’m used to. The roles were reversed.

I appreciated Archer’s character because usually the male protagonist in romances are not like him. He’s a virgin. And I appreciated the fact that his virginity and lack of skills in that area was a plot point for him and not for Bree. Because really, how many male protagonist virgins do you read about in romances? Where the female protagonist takes the lead and shows him the ropes? Seriously, I would love to know. He’s sensitive, shy, sweet, nervous, and yes, I was definitely swooning for him. He was also highly insecure. And I was insecure about Archer’s insecurity, if that makes any sense, because I completely connected with him in that aspect.

“This is that burden I was talking about, Bree. This is what the burden of loving me looks like.”
“Loving you isn’t a burden. Loving you is an honor and a joy, Archer.”

Bree, she was an easy character to love, but I was cringing a little at how forward and eager she was to know about Archer through other people. As if she had any right to his secrets before she properly met him. It just felt a little off to me.

Obviously going into any new adult romance, I know to prepare myself for cringy dialogue and description. And yes, this book did not “disappoint” me with a lack of  cliché phrases. When I tell you they were everywhere, I mean it. Especially when Bree described her relationship and feelings towards Archer.

“Owned by body and soul – some kind of primal connection that must have been there before I existed, before he existed, before he or I ever breathed the same air, something written in the very stars.”

When phrases like this are constant, it begins getting a little too dramatic and over-the-top for my taste.

So much of the same cringy descriptions graced my eyes. “I smiled then grinned and laughed through my grin then smiled.” Obviously this is not a direct quote from the book. I’m just being extra. But descriptions along this line existed throughout. It played a significant role in my reading experience and the outcome of my thoughts on this book.

I hate expecting things when reading, but in the middle of this book, when things were going well, I dreaded it because it was a given that a downfall was coming. This book had a fast start, but a slow middle and end for me. I lost interest in the characters. I just stopped caring.

I wanted to end this review with one last thing this book did that I appreciated. There was no love triangle. Bree weeded out the asshole early, choose the man she wanted, and stuck to him through all the good and the bad.

“I wish you could see yourself through my eyes. I wish you could read my mind so that you would know how much I want you, no one else. There could be three hundred men after me right now, and it wouldn’t matter. Because none of them are you, Archer Hale. None of them are the man I love.”

GoodreadsBookstagram

Melody’s Key by Dallas Coryell | Book Review

25630326_1632040703528490_1299693702_nBook: Melody’s Key
Author: Dallas Coryell
Series: Standalone
Genre: Contemporary Romance
Release date: June 24th 2016
Publisher: AsherRain Publications
Page count: 334
My Rating: 3.5/5 Stars

*Melody’s Key was sent to me by the author for an honest review. All opinions are my own.*

“You can make it stop. You literally tell yourself ‘it will be ok’, as many times as it takes throughout the day. You do your damnedest to put the stuff you can’t control out of your mind…and you hope. You refuse to let anything take that away from you.”

I was extremely ecstatic to receive a request to read and review Melody’s Key, my first ever request for review might I add. Due to the fact that it is a contemporary romance book, one of my favourite genres. I found myself having both positive and negative feelings towards aspects of the writing style and story that I will go into more detail below.

Tegan Lockwood has ambitions she forces herself to suppress because her need to assist her family is her top priority. Her family business, which involves an ancient home that once belonged to her ancestors, is what they rely on for their financial needs. Though times are difficult, and Tegan’s family barely gets by with paying the bills. So it’s no surprise that the Lockwood’s not only welcome groups of vacationers into their large home to entertain them with the stunning sights the place has to offer. But they also agree to host Mason Keane, a famous American pop star who needs a quiet retreat from his crazy life, to Tegan’s utter dismay. Tegan’s harsh judgment toward Mason slowly alters as she realizes that not all the rumors are true. The two begin to bond over their shared love of music and song writing as a trust develops between them. They confide in each other about their pasts, and as time goes on, their friendship becomes something more.

I want to start out by saying that the setting of this story completely enchanted me. The descriptions of this house, the dunes, the gardens, and the sea all surrounded me as I was happy to visit this unique setting through Tegan’s experience but also wished that I could escape there myself. There was a historical aspect to the story that was interesting, which also tied in with the ancient house. Tegan discovered love letters between her ancestors in the attic of her home, a secret possession that we were able to read to see the source of how Tegan was able to regain her hope for love. The letters contained the dramatic story of a romance separated by class and war. I found the wording of parts of the letters to be cheesy and over the top, but I assume that makes sense given the time they were supposed to be written. We only read from one side, the mysterious man that signed off every letter with Lost without you. The attic was a trove of history that I was begging Tegan to uncover. I was intrigued by this connection of history to the setting, which gave the story much more depth than I was expecting.34449524

As for the writing style in general, there were a lot of cliché phrases and descriptions that I had trouble taking seriously. I was even disappointed when I realized that Mason was a “troubled” pop star who needed an escape to re-evaluate his life. I would definitely say that this is a trope I am not extremely fond of, hence my reaction. Though I was pleasantly surprised by how much I enjoyed Mason’s character as I got to know him better. Since he was in refuge, seeing him in action as a pop star wasn’t heavily highlighted. Certain parts of the story accentuated how much of a big deal he was, but his initial laid-back demeanor and casualness  around Tegan and her family allowed me to like him a lot.

Something specific that I didn’t understand was why Tegan was talented as an artist. Her specialty is song writing and music, but then her artistic skill got thrown into the mix. It didn’t seem to do anything for her as she developed throughout the story. It was mentioned in passing with not much to show for it.

As for the relationship development between Tegan and Mason, it was not instalove, which I really appreciated. Their back and forth was hilarious and adorable at times and I loved the backdrop of Teagan’s family being involved. Such as her sister’s enthusiasm at matching the two together.

With reading the book in general, the further progress I made, the more my enjoyment of the story grew. Especially the last forty pages where I couldn’t stop reading as I anticipated the results of Tegan’s ambition. There was even a point where I couldn’t stop grinning at the adorableness of what was going on. Another unique aspect of the story were the songs. The author wrote and sung the songs included in the story, which I enjoyed listening to when the songs came up in the book. As I flipped to the last page, I was so focused on the story that I didn’t realize I had reached the end. I would definitely say I’m interested in reading more about Tegan and Mason’s story in the future.

The Goal by Elle Kennedy | Book Review

Image result for the goal elle kennedyBook: The Goal

Author: Elle Kennedy

Series: Off-Campus, #4

Genre: New Adult Contemporary Romance

My Rating: 4.5 Stars

“We all hurt. We all love. We’re the same. And your past, who you live with, where you came from, it doesn’t have to matter. You’re creating your own future, and I want to see where the road forward takes you.”

This book took me by surprise in a good way. I found it to be so different from the previous books in the series because of the maturity and seriousness of the situations the main characters had to go through. The Goal follows Tucker and Sabrina. Tucker, despite having multiple hookups of his own, is this sweet, charming, chivalrous, and quiet guy. Sabrina is an ambitious, hardworking woman who people label as bitchy because of these attributes. These two characters were different from the characters we were introduced to before but that doesn’t mean that Kennedy wasn’t able to get me attached to them.

From the end of the third book, The Score, we learn the situation Tucker has found himself in after he reveals it to his friends. For some reason I thought that The Goal was going to start off from that point in Tucker’s life, but it made more sense when I realized that we were going back to around the time The Score first took place. Throughout The Score, Dean questioned Tucker’s whereabouts and whether or not he was hiding something and The Goal reveals exactly what was going on with him.

These were new characters, it was a new story, but it also meant we had to relive certain heartbreaking events that occurred in the previous book. I just didn’t want to have to go through these emotions or read about these characters going through these emotions all over again.

The Goal follows Tucker and Sabrina through their last year of college. They meet at a bar and end up having a connection that predictably leads to a hookup. Sabrina doesn’t mind a good hookup but she could never have anything beyond that. Her plans are to go to law school, which means working two jobs to afford tuition as well as being completely focused on her current studies to maintain good grades. Tucker doesn’t believe that whatever happened between them that one night was just a one-time thing. As much as he wants to be with Sabrina again, he gives her the space she needs in order to figure it out. He never wants to push her too far. He puts her needs before his desire and allows whatever relationship they have to be on her terms. But life gives both of them difficult decisions to make when they are forced to go down a path that was never in their agenda. They both learn the hard way that life doesn’t always follow a plan.

This book felt so long to me. It had nothing to do with the actual length of the book but with the fact that these characters went through so much in the span of a year. It felt as if I read about multiple years of their lives. I’m in no means saying this was a bad thing, I actually really appreciated the journey they went through and by the end of the book I was wishing that I could continue to read more about their story.

I thoroughly enjoyed not just this book but this series as a whole. It was fast paced, addicting, funny, and I ended up loving all the main characters we got introduced to and all the relationships that got developed.

The Score by Elle Kennedy | Book Review

Image result for the score by elle kennedyAuthor: Elle Kennedy

Book: The Score

Series: Off-Campus, #3

Genre: New Adult Contemporary Romance

My Rating: 4.8 Stars

“Dean Di Laurentis is in my blood now. I didn’t expect the intense sexual chemistry between us, but it’s here, and it’s addictive, and I don’t know how I can ever give it up.”

I knew it. I knew I was going to love this book and I hate that it’s over! My high level of enjoyment for The Score was the same as my enjoyment for The Deal. There were many factors that prompted me to quickly get hooked into the story. I was addicted to the characters, to the plot, and to the writing style. All of this combined resulted in a fast paced read that I couldn’t put down.

The Score is the third book in the off-campus series by Elle Kennedy and it follows the story of Dean Di-Laurentis and Allie Hayes.

Dean is of course an attractive, rich hockey player who isn’t just a player on the ice. He has a number of hookups under his belt and doesn’t envision himself ever stopping until a drunken hookup with Allie Hayes. Allie is newly single after a long committed relationship and her former boyfriend is far from giving up to win her back. This steers Allie to desperately hide away from him in her best friend’s boyfriend’s house. Dean also happens to live there and despite her efforts to ignore him, the night doesn’t quite turn out the way she planned. Allie seems to think that whatever happened between them should remain a one-time thing but Dean can’t get her out of his mind, which results in multiple determined attempts to change her mind.

There was just something about these two that had me rooting for them to be together from the moment I read the synopsis of the book.

I personally think that this was the steamiest but also the most heartbreaking book in the series. It definitely played with my emotions given all the unexpected events that took place in both the character’s lives.

I loved reading about how Dean and Allie’s worlds collided. They were such an unlikely pair and yet there was no mistaking the chemistry and passion they had towards one another. This book, without a doubt, has become one of my favourites in the Off-campus series and it left me wanting to know more about Dean and Allie’s story when I finished reading it.

The Mistake by Elle Kennedy | BOOK REVIEW

Image result for the mistake by elle

Book: The Mistake

Author: Elle Kennedy

Genre: New Adult Contemporary Romance

My Rating: 4.5 Stars

“And just in case my reaction to your idiocy didn’t make it clear where I stand with us, then let me spell it out for you.” I whirl around to scowl at him. “I love you, you stupid jackass.”

I enjoyed reading The Deal, the first book in the off-campus series. It was a great break from continuously reading fantasy and emotionally draining books. The Mistake was no different. I laughed and cried. Picking this second book in the series up had always been in the back of my mind, and I’m so glad that I decided to give it a chance despite never wanting to read companion novels in the past. What I love about these books is that they are fast paced, steamy romances. They obviously have their fair share of angst and cringy descriptions thrown in there, but they’re highly enjoyable reads to dive into when you’re experiencing a reading slump or need a fun and quick read.

The Mistake follows John Logan in his third and fourth year of college. He’s on the school’s hockey team and he and his teammates are well known and idolized around campus. Logan hasn’t been in a relationship in a while and doesn’t really plan on getting into one until he meets a freshman named Grace when he accidently shows up at her dorm. They start hanging out, and though Logan is usually just into hook-ups, he finds that it’s more than that when it comes to Grace. He genuinely likes her and reality sinks in when he makes a mistake that drives her away. This whole dispute leads to his senior year of college and he’s far from giving up. He’s determined to not only get her to forgive him but to agree to date him.

I loved Grace’s character more than I was expecting to. She didn’t have the most outgoing personality, which I could usually relate to, but that didn’t stop her from taking matters into her own hands by not allowing anyone to make decisions for her. Logan’s character was great too. He is obviously an attractive guy who used to sleep around, but as the book continued we really got to see what’s under the surface, what demons he’s battling, and what a caring and loyal person he is to his friends and family. I gave The Mistake a 4.5 star rating, which is slightly lower than my rating for The Deal. Even though I enjoyed this book a lot, The Deal still remains my favourite in the series so far.