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ellemoe

ellemoe

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When I See You (A Novel)
Katherine Owen
Progress: 13 %
We Were Liars
E. Lockhart
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Campbell
C.S. Starr
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Red Rising
Pierce Brown
Progress: 8 %
Hungry
H.A. Swain
Progress: 20 %
Grasping at Eternity
Karen Amanda Hooper
Progress: 14 %
Untold
Sarah Rees Brennan
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You Know What You Have to Do
Bonnie Shimko
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The Corollaria
Courtney B. Jones
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J.E. Alexander

Not For Me

Wicked Games - Sean Olin

This one is a DNF for me. Once I realized where the novel was going, I saw that it was not for me. I don't like to read stories where mental health issues are used as plot devices. They tend to fail at whatever the author intends and irritates me as a reader. The first chapter was absolutely beautiful and I thought it would prove to set the stage for the remainder of the book. I was wrong and quickly discovered "Wicked Games" was not the book for me. I'd give it 2 out of 5 stars for effort and the flawless first chapter. Had I read any further into the book, it'd be a definite 1 star read.

A Treat Not To Be Missed...

Cake - Lauren Dane

I really enjoyed Cake. Mmm … just saying the name makes me yearn for the sugary confection. I didn’t love it only because of a few repetitive lines and the short length. To be fair, it is a novella and I knew that going in. The thing is, with this being such a good story, I wanted more of it. I wanted to know more about Wren and her life. She has two moms, a brother, and we don’t really get into how that shapes her as a person. Yes, we learn she sees family as those you go home to and the friends you have around you, but I’d love to know how her views have been shaped by her upbringing. She’s such an awesome woman—she’s strong, ambitious, and knows what she wants. Her mothers have something to do with that, though I believe one does more than the other. That’s why I want more background. It’d be great to know who helped Wren become the woman she is. The same goes for Gregori. We learn about his parents and how life was for them in Russia, but we don’t get any real feel for who he is and how his life has been influenced by his youth. I mean, the man sold his first piece of art at the age of 15! That’s quite the accomplishment. There has to be more to him, though, especially with his love for sweets. I get why Dane titled this book Cake—because it’s all sweet, satisfying, and goes straight to your hips.

 

If Cake were longer, I wouldn’t have felt the rush toward the happy ending. A bit of drama comes up in Wren and Gregori’s friendship/relationship but it’s realistic. It doesn’t go into the typical romance tropes—the ex trying to come between them, or countless dalliances with other people. The hiccup deals with their feelings and is handled with adult sophistication. I can’t express how refreshing that aspect of this story is—to have two adults who are going through a rough patch actually come to terms with their relationship and handle it with maturity. Again, I wish the novella were a full novel so we’d get the ins and outs of the distance that was put between them, the emotions they experience with missing one another or what have you, and the realization of what they mean to one another. The ending comes upon us so swiftly, you get the feeling you missed something.

 

Other than my desire for more back story and more pages of this thrilling, romantic, and sexy piece, I reveled in this tale. I could probably read it a few more times and fall in love with it a bit more. It’s a romance that doesn’t dwell on the petty, little things. Wren isn’t one to play games, going after her man with abandon. While Gregori thinks he knows what’s best for Wren, she makes sure he knows she’s a grown ass woman and can decide what she wants on her own. Make no mistake, what she wants, she gets. I highly recommend Cake to fans of contemporary fiction, romance, and lovers of strong, independent women. You won’t be disappointed with this read. And hey, if you think it’s too short (like I do), go ahead and read it again. Maybe even three times. It’s that good. Almost as good as cake.

 

I was provided an ARC by NetGalley and Harlequin for an honest review.

Source: http://www.yourentertainmentcorner.com/?p=41863
Stuck - Stacey D. Atkinson

Stuck is in a way a coming-of-age tale that puts you into the mind of the MC, Odette. This poor girl feels she’s stuck in her current circumstances without a way out. There’s no real threat or issue keeping Odette where she is other than her lack of self-confidence. I call BS on that, though, because she’s only as stuck as she wants to be. Atkinson introduces us to Odette through a daily play-by-play of her life, the town she lives in, and those who influence her most. The secondary characters aren’t as important as they could be, but a few play an important role in Odette’s life. She has a younger sister at home and a worthless mother she supports with a dead end job. At 23 years old, I’m a bit ashamed of Odette’s stance in life. Also, the repetitiveness of Odette’s day puts you in her head more than you want to be. It’s almost too much and doesn’t allow for much sympathy for Odette’s plight. She starts off as an insecure liar and develops into a self-assured bender of the truth. I say that because she doesn’t accept a few things she should as truth and tries to make herself feel better by creating her own truth.

 

While the book doesn’t boast a traditional love triangle, there are two men who come into Odette’s life and make her look at things through a magnifying glass. Henri is a great character. He’s sweet, seems genuine, and truly likes Odette for who he believes she is. Of course, if she hadn’t lied about herself upon first meeting him, I think he would have liked her even more. Being truthful is such a huge deal when building new relationships. Odette doesn’t know this because of her lack of experience with boyfriends, living a deceitful life, and her loud and often incorrect, best friend Sarah who gives the most awful advice. Sarah definitely deserves the ‘worst BFF ever’ award. I wouldn’t listen to a word that girl says. Now, Ben … what can I say about him? He’s an enigma and remains one since we don’t learn much about him. But he has the most pull on Odette, even though she doesn’t answer the call. Ben is similar to Odette in that he doesn’t have much in life and doesn’t worry about living beyond the here and now. He’s so down to earth and is what Odette needs to keep her grounded. Odette falls into the trap of wanting to be more than she is because of who she hangs out with. I think the author does a great job of showing us how clueless Odette is to her own feelings by putting her in the sight of both men.

 

The setting of the quaint fishing village is beautiful. You can smell the ocean air, hear the seagulls near the boardwalk, and feel the bright sunshine on your skin while reading. I don’t know much about lobster fishing but feel like I’ve learned quite a bit with Stuck. It also doesn’t hurt that Odette takes to sailing like a fish to water and it becomes her new obsession. With that occurrence, she begins to see there is more to life than working a dead end job, providing for people who don’t care about you, and not living your dreams.

 

The issues between Odette and her mom need to be addressed. Atkinson does not do a good job of conveying Odette’s feelings to her mother. Too much is left unsaid or up to interpretation. Her mother doesn’t take anything Odette says seriously nor does she care how much she’s hurt her. Then there’s Odette’s younger sister who is on a collision course with life-ruining circumstances. The talk Odette needs to have with her sister never happens, and the author missing the chance to send her your readers a positive message is a (huge) disappointment.

 

Though riddled with plot holes, I enjoyed reading Stuck and would recommend it to other readers of women’s fiction. I’m not sure if there is a sequel in the making, but Stuck feels a bit unresolved. I’d love to know where the wind blows Odette and if she finally feels she’s where she wants to be in life.

 

I was provided an ARC by Net Galley and the publisher Mirror Image Publishing for an honest review.

Source: http://www.yourentertainmentcorner.com/?p=44579
Rush Me - Allison Parr Needs serious editing but wasn't as bad as I thought it would be. Have some issues with Rach and pretty much all the make characters. Something's not quite right with this book.
The Booby Trap - Anne B. Walker This was a little better than OK. I was going to quit reading early on but decided to push through and give it a try. I think this could have been a better novel if the focus was more on what Bambi was trying to accomplish with her research. I feel like her being the super smart intelligent and strong woman she was, she didn't really show that side of her much. I don't get why she'd want to downplay her intelligence to play into a stereotype. Being a feminist, you'd think she'd be appalled to even consider such a thing. I didn't feel the characters were completely flushed out or like I knew them, but I wanted to get to know them. I enjoyed reading the story once it got going, but still felt like something was missing. I almost feel short changed in that we kind of got to know a little something about most of the characters, and the side characters who were introduced were only a means to an end. Bambi's mother is mentioned and what happened to Bambi as a kid gets glazed over, then we meet the mother for 2.4 seconds and that's the end of that. I don't know. I can't say I'd read this again or recommend it to anyone. It doesn't feel like a complete novel and the missing piece has left me scratching my head.

I was provided an ARC by NetGalley and the publisher for my honest review.
The Lies We Tell - Elizabeth Dunk Original review posted here: http://www.yourentertainmentcorner.com/?p=41736.

Initial Thoughts

Upon first reading, I didn’t realize The Lies We Tell is set in Australia. I’m looking at sentences, pulling out words that don’t belong, thinking “Something isn’t right here.” Yep, completely missed that I was reading an Australian author. Color me stupid. So with that initial mix-up, I was already turned off. However, I was intrigued by the premise of a girl who serves her time (though she doesn’t really go to jail, so that makes this a bit of a misnomer on my part) after taking the blame for a crime she didn’t commit. I thought it would be an exciting redemption tale, and was looking forward to jumping right into a great read. What I got is the story of a woman who allows her family loyalty to rule her life. I can’t tell you folks how pissed I get when reading a story of a woman who takes crap and abuse from a family member out of some convoluted sense of “He used to love me like blah, blah, blah before.” Can you say doormat? Honestly, Sia is the floor beneath the doormat. You know, the part that gets ignored because it’s being walked on? I’ve never read a character who seemingly takes abuse in exchange for love from a “loved one” to such an extreme that I don’t feel sorry for them. There is no pity for Sia. I kept thinking she should stand up for herself and take charge of her life since she has various opportunities to tell her father to shove it. But she is stupid beyond stupid for putting herself in harm’s way to save a man who doesn’t believe anything she does is ever enough. You get kicked in the gut enough times, you eventually want the kicking to stop. Oh, but not Sia. She seems to like it and unbelievably want more! Talk about your daddy issues …

Talk About Frustrating

The writing is good. I can’t say I wasn’t pulled into the story, because I was but I also can’t say this is riveting literature either. My frustration level was at an all time high with Sia. I was dying for her to develop a backbone and not be such a major pushover. “She’s failed her father. How, she didn’t yet know but it was clear she had. Now she had to work out how to make it right.” This internalized revelation comes during a point in the story where she realizes she can’t bail her father out of his own mess, once again, and beats herself up for it. I wanted to scream at the pages, I was so pissed off! I guess I have to give it to Dunk for knowing how to write an infuriating character. But here, it ruins the story because Sia is an enabler and it kills her credibility as a positive, strong character. I mean, the woman takes out a home equity loan to bail her good-for-nothing alcoholic father out of jail, not knowing whether she’d be able to afford the payments. I love my dad, but not that damn much. Look, I get that everyone has their breaking point but it takes a hell of a lot to get Sia to that point. It was too much for me and I wanted to quit reading more times than I can count. I didn’t though because I felt I needed to finish the novel to provide an accurate review of the material.

What the What?

I should probably preface this next section with a bit of an explanation. After realizing the story takes place in Oz and that I was unnecessarily correcting Dunk’s faulty English, I thought The Lies We Tell was going along pretty good. Sia was making her way through life and I was getting to know her as a character. Then, a few odd things occur. Two children are introduced and we’re sort of led to believe they are Sia’s kids. Not a serious issue, but I don’t like being misled. It’s at this point in my reading that I thought The Lies We Tell was more of a novel about redemption. I must have missed the erotica romance label because all of a sudden the hero is introduced and it’s insta-love! There’s talk about being tied up, dominance, and voyeurism. I swear I got whiplash from the abrupt change in plot direction. For Sia to be such a pushover, her preference in the bedroom is a little out of character. But, what do I know? I’m just the reviewer, not the author. This turn of events is off-putting. And in relation to the title, I can’t tell you how unbelievable the story becomes. The lies that are told relate to how the people in the hero and heroine’s families lived their lives—being untrue to their nature because of fear or lack of support in Australian society. I get what Dunk was trying to do by pointing out the lack of support for homosexuals in their society, but her efforts fall flat. I need realism in my fiction if an author is trying to make a point about something so relevant in the world today.

I’d say skip The Lies We Tell if you have an overwhelming fear of whiplash when reading plot points. This isn’t my cup of tea but it could be yours if you like heroines who take physical abuse and disrespect from a parent, a hero who’s a redemptive douche, and a small dash of tie-me-up/tie-me-down kink that’s added to spice things up a bit.

I was provided an ARC by NetGalley and Escape Publishing for an honest
review.

Ink (Paper Gods, #1) - Amanda Sun Might alter my rating once I think in this. Lots of issues with this one. Review to come.
Cake - Lauren Dane Original review can be found here: http://www.yourentertainmentcorner.com/?p=41863.

I really enjoyed Cake. Mmm … just saying the name makes me yearn for the sugary confection. I didn’t love it only because of a few repetitive lines and the short length. To be fair, it is a novella and I knew that going in. The thing is, with this being such a good story, I wanted more of it. I wanted to know more about Wren and her life. She has two moms, a brother, and we don’t really get into how that shapes her as a person. Yes, we learn she sees family as those you go home to and the friends you have around you, but I’d love to know how her views have been shaped by her upbringing. She’s such an awesome woman—she’s strong, ambitious, and knows what she wants. Her mothers have something to do with that, though I believe one does more than the other. That’s why I want more background. It’d be great to know who helped Wren become the woman she is. The same goes for Gregori. We learn about his parents and how life was for them in Russia, but we don’t get any real feel for who he is and how his life has been influenced by his youth. I mean, the man sold his first piece of art at the age of 15! That’s quite the accomplishment. There has to be more to him, though, especially with his love for sweets. I get why Dane titled this book Cake—because it’s all sweet, satisfying, and goes straight to your hips.

If Cake were longer, I wouldn’t have felt the rush toward the happy ending. A bit of drama comes up in Wren and Gregori’s friendship/relationship but it’s realistic. It doesn’t go into the typical romance tropes—the ex trying to come between them, or countless dalliances with other people. The hiccup deals with their feelings and is handled with adult sophistication. I can’t express how refreshing that aspect of this story is—to have two adults who are going through a rough patch actually come to terms with their relationship and handle it with maturity. Again, I wish the novella were a full novel so we’d get the ins and outs of the distance that was put between them, the emotions they experience with missing one another or what have you, and the realization of what they mean to one another. The ending comes upon us so swiftly, you get the feeling you missed something.

Other than my desire for more back story and more pages of this thrilling, romantic, and sexy piece, I reveled in this tale. I could probably read it a few more times and fall in love with it a bit more. It’s a romance that doesn’t dwell on the petty, little things. Wren isn’t one to play games, going after her man with abandon. While Gregori thinks he knows what’s best for Wren, she makes sure he knows she’s a grown ass woman and can decide what she wants on her own. Make no mistake, what she wants, she gets. I highly recommend Cake to fans of contemporary fiction, romance, and lovers of strong, independent women. You won’t be disappointed with this read. And hey, if you think it’s too short (like I do), go ahead and read it again. Maybe even three times. It’s that good. Almost as good as cake.

I was provided an ARC by NetGalley and Harlequin for an honest review.
In This Moment - Autumn Doughton Not sure what to say about this one. Same old NA stuff, different packaging. Few things that bothered me; some mistakes that couldn't be ignored. Held my attention for a bit but then I started asking myself why I bought this when I knew I didn't like the sample. Won't make this mistake again.
Come Undone (The Cityscape Series, #1) - Jessica Hawkins Review to come. Better than I thought it would be even with the controversial plot line. Whew!

Star Attraction

Star Attraction - Sorcha MacMurrough No, no, no, no, no, no, no. No. No.

No.

I have no idea what this was supposed to be. It started off ok then just went off the rails. This could have been a good book but fails miserably. Needs editing. Needs major tightening up. Needs to stay all in one type of English. The MC is British which is fine. But the other characters, who are supposed to be American, all speak like they're British too. So didn't get why that happened. There's so much to say about this one but I don't have the words right now. Just know it isn't good. I only finished to find out how it would end, otherwise I wouldn't have.
Torch (Take It Off, #1) - Cambria Hebert Über cheese Fest. Review to come.
Spiral - Mila Ferrera Review to come. I've concerns about the nature of this story. Gotta do some research.

The Cop And The Girl From The Coffee Shop (Coffee Shop Girls, #1)

The Cop And The Girl From The Coffee Shop (Coffee Shop Girls, #1) - Terry Towers Not even sure what to say about this one except that I'm happy it was free. I skimmed quite a bit of it even though it's a short read. The plot is non-existent. The characters one dimensional. This was not what I was expecting at all. It got uncomfortable real fast and went quickly downhill from there. Good thing I didn't waste any money on this one because I'd be requesting a refund. As a matter of fact, this one's getting deleted. Couldn't recommend even for laughs. Though the "drama" is laughable. Much better books out there to read.
Real - Katy Evans Review to come. Just can't let this one slide.
Hussy - Selena Kitt This was a DNF for me. I couldn't get into the title and realized it wasn't what I thought it would be. I found this novel to be offensive and taking a few steps back in the empowerment of women. I believe I get what the author was trying to do, but it didn't work here. And the fact that the heroine says "Negro" in the text, completely turned me off. As far as I know, this book isn't set in the past where the word would have fit in context. Here, I found it offensive and distasteful. I had no reason to continue reading after that. The pages I did get through were skimmed and barely that. I wouldn't recommend this to anyone and can't see myself purchasing this or any other books by this author in the future.

I was provided a copy of this book by NetGalley and the publisher for an honest review.