Category Archives: Series

adult books
August 29, 2016 posted by Nichole

Book Review: Playing for Keeps by R.L. Mathewson

Playing for KeepsDone with being the world’s biggest pushover, Haley decides that things are going to change starting with the aggravating neighbor who has too much charm and not enough restraint. What she didn’t expect was to be sucked into his world, but Haley has a game plan and she won’t let herself forget just what the bad boy next door is capable of.

The last thing Jason expected was for his little shy neighbor to go Rambo on him over some ruined flowers. After he decides to take her under his wing he can’t help but notice that she fits very nicely in his life. Now the only thing left is to convince her that this is anything but a game.

My Review:

Playing for Keeps started out super cute. I was a big fan of the whole “I hate my neighbor, but he’s super hot” vibe that the book had going on. I also really loved the banter and pranks between the two main characters. On the flip side, I do wish that their had maybe been a little more steam and sexiness between the two of them. I will say that both of their characters rotated between acting a little too juvenile and a little too grandma and grandpaish.

What really confused me about Playing for Keeps is that the two main characters were a couple by like 25% of the book. I’m not talking the type of couple who is dating and still getting to know each other. No, I’m talking about the sort of couple who sleeps together every night and knows each others tells. It was around this point that I started getting a little confused since 25% of the book was still left. Unfortunately, I had some valid concerns about this. The rest of the book was really just random filler space and made it realllllllllly long. I would have liked to see more of a buildup for the MC’s relationship and more sexiness between them.

One of my biggest complaints about this book was Jason’s character. He came across as very juvenile and immature. Sure, he was funny. I also really liked some of those funny moments that he demonstrated. That being said, he was just a little too juvenile and immature for my taste. He laughed at everything, he was over the top dramatic, and he just wasn’t somebody that I could ever see myself dating. I really wanted him to have some hardcore sexy moments and that just never happened.

Since I mentioned my dislike for Jason’s character, I guess I do have to mention by dislike for Haley’s character. While I didn’t dislike Haley as much as I did Jason, I found her very grandma like. It was difficult to warm up to the 29 year-old virgin who acted like she was 65. She had no backbone, she whined a lot, and she sometimes had the maturity of a 10-year-old girl in the pit of a Justin Beiber concert. Her qualities made her perfect for Jason’s character, but I couldn’t stand them as a couple.

I’m really sad that I ended up disliking this book, because I was a big fan of the first 15-18% of the book or so. Then, it reached a point where all I wanted to do was skim the book. In fact, I couldn’t even make it to the end of the book. It was just that bad. I don’t see myself really continuing with this author. At least it was free….

Rating: : ★☆☆☆☆

Book Reviews
August 19, 2016 posted by Nichole

Book Review: A Court of Mist and Fury (A Court of Thorns and Roses #2) by Sarah J Maas

A COURT OF MIST AND FURYFeyre survived Amarantha’s clutches to return to the Spring Court—but at a steep cost. Though she now has the powers of the High Fae, her heart remains human, and it can’t forget the terrible deeds she performed to save Tamlin’s people.

Nor has Feyre forgotten her bargain with Rhysand, High Lord of the feared Night Court. As Feyre navigates its dark web of politics, passion, and dazzling power, a greater evil looms—and she might be key to stopping it. But only if she can harness her harrowing gifts, heal her fractured soul, and decide how she wishes to shape her future—and the future of a world cleaved in two.

With more than a million copies sold of her beloved Throne of Glass series, Sarah J. Maas’s masterful storytelling brings this second book in her seductive and action-packed series to new heights.

My Review:

HOLY CRAPOLA. OH MY GOSH. I don’t even know how to write this review. For real, I’m in such mourning right now. I honestly just picked up the book and reread the whole thing again right after finishing it. How the heck am I supposed to wait until 2017 to read the third book. How is that a possibility?! What was I thinking not waiting for all the books to be released for I started reading this series?! WHAT WAS I THINKING?! Seriously, I need some support right now. My heart is absolutely shattered that I’ve already finished this book.

Being totally honest, I hated like the first 70ish pages of this book. Let me try and explain without giving away any spoilers. Okay: I HATED what was done with some of the characters. While that opinion never changed throughout the book, it did finally reach a point where it kind of just moved on and I wasn’t stuck in that rut anymore. And once it gets through that part, it’s smooth sailing from there. Seriously, whenever I was reading this book, I was DEVOURING it. I couldn’t even function properly when I was away from it. I would be away from the house, and I would just turn to whomever and say “I miss my book so much right now.” For real, I’m a big gooey pile of a mess right now. My heart cannot take this one bit!

If you thought that A Court of Thorns and Roses was brilliant, then you haven’t even started to realize the true definition of brilliance. The detail, the action, the romance, the character. HOLY. MOLY. Everything was so spot on and well written. This was like Harry Potter on crack. I need like ten more of these books RIGHT NOW.

There are several new characters introduced in this second book, and I loved every. single. one. of. them. Usually, there’s a least one new character that you really can’t stand. Nope. I’ll take them all again. Everyone was so fantastic and spot on. I LOVED THEM ALL!

And Rhys. OMG. I’m 100% team Rhys. ONE HUNDRED PERCENT. I can’t even. THOSE SCENES. Who else is team Rhys!?!?!?!?!?!?!?!?!?!?!?!!?!?!?!?

And that ending?!!?!? OH MY LANTA! I can’t even. For real. I need to shut my mouth right now before I spoil anything for ya’ll.


Rating: 250+ stars!

Book Reviews
August 12, 2016 posted by Nichole

Book Review: A Court of Thorns and Roses (A Court of Thorns and Roses #1) by Sarah J Maas

A COURT OF THORNS AND ROSESShe stole a life. Now she must pay with her heart.

When nineteen-year-old huntress Feyre kills a wolf in the woods, a beast-like creature arrives to demand retribution. Dragged to a treacherous magical land she knows about only from legends, Feyre discovers that her captor is not an animal, but Tamlin—one of the lethal, immortal faeries who once ruled their world.

As she dwells on his estate, her feelings for Tamlin transform from icy hostility into a fiery passion that burns through every lie and warning she’s been told about the beautiful, dangerous world of the Fae. But an ancient, wicked shadow over the faerie lands is growing, and Feyre must find a way to stop it . . . or doom Tamlin—and his world—forever.


My Review:

Breathtaking. Heart pounding. Tear Jerking. Gorgeous. Phenomenal. Outstanding. Blood Pressure Rising. All the Feels. These are key words to describe how I felt about A Court of Thorns and Roses by Sarah J Maas. By far, one of the best books that I have read in 2016, if not in my whole life. This book…..there’s not enough words to describe how I feel about this book. I’m sure that I cannot accurately explain how much I loved this book. I’m already in mourning, just from finishing the first book, because I know that I only have one left. And, I sit here, writing this review, trying to figure out how I can accurately describe and explain my love for this book; how I can convince all of you readers to go out and buy this book. Buy, borrow, trade, beg. Whatever you have to do to get this book in your hands. Because this? This was a work of art.

A Court of Thorns and Roses is a Beauty and the Beast retelling by Sarah J Maas. It features Feyre, a human girl whose family fell from riches to poor. Feyre’s family now lives in a run down cottage.  She lives with her crippled father, two selfish sisters, and Feyre is responsible for them all. Due to that responsibility, Feyre ends up owing a debt to the Fae and must now spend the rest of her life in their world. From there, Feyre experiences love, betrayal, pride, and what it really means to fight for what you believe in.

This book started out amazing, stayed consistent with that amazingness, and ended on an even more amazing note. There is not one negative thing to say about this book. It was absolute perfection. I don’t even know how someone can WRITE that well! This may be my most powerful statement ever, but it’s true: This book is on the Harry Potter level.

The whole Fae realm was realistic, imaginative, colorful, vivid, and beautiful. I was able to picture each scene, each character, and every feeling and emotion inside of my head. It was like watching a movie, the words blending into pictures inside of my head. Sarah J Maas’ writing is on a level of it’s own and she brought breath to those words.

Readers who enjoy a good romance will get a thrill out of A Court of Thorns and Roses. Tamlin, Lucien, and Rhysand were the real stars of the show and are currently fighting to own my heart. Don’t worry: I wouldn’t really say that this book has a love triangle going on! Although, that could possibly happen in the following books. It doesn’t even matter, though. Each one of these studs is so amazing. So breathtaking, hunky, arrogant, strong, powerful. There aren’t enough words to describe them. I don’t even know who to choose. I wonder if you will. The best part is that even though there is a powerful romantic theme throughout this book, it doesn’t dominate the entire book. It’s very well done!

I loved A Court of Thorns and Roses so much, but what I really want to talk to you about is the action scenes. OH. MY. LORD. Those scenes! I have to watch myself here, because I don’t want to spoil anything for you, but HOLY COW! THOSE SCENES! First of all, there is so much going on in this book. For real, you might think you know what’s going to happen, but you don’t. You really don’t. Trust me, this book is LONG, strong, and it’s got it going on. There is so much that happens. It is so flipping strong and action packed throughout the whole thing. And those scenes?! I pictured every single one of those sings in my head. I devoured every single word, sometimes rereading passages to relive the moment. PERFECTION!

Feyre. I haven’t bragged about Feyre, yet, have I? Feyre is such a strong and powerful female lead. She had a heart and she loves fiercely, but she’s also very proud and independent. She knows how to take care of herself and get things done. She knows how to fight for what she believes in. She is, by far, one of the best female leads that I have ever read about. I loved her so much. Every female needs to read Feyre’s story.

One thing that I will say is that Bloomsbury marketed this book incorrectly. For some reason, they are marketing this book as a Young Adult Book. This is DEFINITELY a New Adult book and could even be considered an adult high fantasy. There are some sexual scenes and encounters. Nothing overly graphic, but those scenes to exist. My mom read this book first and had absolutely no idea that this was marketed under the YA category and was super confused why this wouldn’t be in the adult fantasy section.

I feel like there’s so much more that I can say, but I don’t want to slip and mess anything up for anyone. I don’t want to take away this story from anyone. So, on my last note, I will tell readers once again that this book is amazing. It is a must read!

Rating: : ★★★★★


adult books
August 8, 2016 posted by Nichole

Book Review: The Darkest Angel (Lords of the Underworld #4.5) by Gena Showalter

Darkest AngelThe Darkest Angel, which is a Lords of the Underworld tale, is Gena’s story in this (Heart of Darkness) anthology.

An iron-willed demon assassin, the angel Lysander has never known lust—until he meets Bianka. Spawned from the bloodline of Lucifer, the beautiful but deadly Harpy is determined to lead the pure-hearted Lysander into temptation….

My Review:

I’ve been so curious about Lysander for quite awhile now. Lysander just kind of pops up in the books. Unless you look it up (or read this review,) it’s not really explained that Lysander actually has his own novella. So, it might be a little confusing to readers to just have him kind of pop out of nowhere. Lysander’s story is right before Aeron’s story, and it’s really short. It’s about his greatest temptation, Bianka, and their relationship together.

If you remember from Sabin’s book, Bianka is Gwen’s older sister and a Harpy. Bianka is fierce, badass, in your face, and totally aggressive. She also wears her heart on her sleeve, which she probably would never admit out loud. Paired with Lysander, who is completely opposite from Bianka and sheds light everywhere, they make a fierce power couple! I definitely shipped this couple. They were smoking hot and had so much chemistry!

The one thing that I would have changed about this novella is that I would have made it a full length book. Having it be so short hindered it in some places and made it feel a little squeezed together and rushed. I would have preferred to see more of a progression of Lysander and Bianka’s relationship rather than watching them fight it out at the very beginning and then rushing into love. I understand that’s how it had to be as a novella, but preferences!

We haven’t really had a ton of face time with Gwen’s sisters. So, I’m really excited to see them making appearances and creating relationships of their own. I didn’t realize how funny they were! While I’m writing this, I’m currently on Kaia’s book, and OMG! The theatrics, hysterics, and laugh out loud moments! I could read about these Harpies all day long.

One quick thing: It was a little weird to have Lysander be such a jackwad. You would think that the angels would be super nice and friendly. Maybe it makes sense because Bianka is technically a demon (and so are the Lords of the Underworlds,) but it was sometimes really awkward and weird to witness him be so cold and stern. Another thing that was kind of weird was to have him be a virgin. Come on. Nobody wants to read about the male virgin!

Overall, I thought this was a cute novella. I am glad that I read it. However, I would have preferred that it was a full length novel so that we could see some more character development from the main characters and their romantic relationship. That being said, I definitely think it’s important to read this novella if you’re a loyal fan of this series!

Rating: : ★★★☆☆

adult books
August 4, 2016 posted by Nichole

Book Review: The Darkest Whisper (Lords of the Underworld #4) by Gena Showalter

darkest whisperNew York Times bestselling sensation Gena Showalter returns with her long-awaited next installment of the Lords of the Underworld series…

He is the keeper of Doubt and his entire world’s about to be rocked.

Bound by the demon of Doubt, Sabin unintentionally destroys even the most confident of lovers. So the immortal warrior spends his time on the battlefield instead of the bedroom, victory his only concern…until he meets Gwendolyn the Timid. One taste of the beautiful redhead, and he craves more.

Gwen, an immortal herself, always thought she’d fall for a kind human who wouldn’t rouse her darker side. But when Sabin frees her from prison, battling their enemies for the claim to Pandora’s box turns out to be nothing compared to the battle Sabin and Gwen will wage against love…

My Review:

For those of you who have been nervous to read Sabin’s story, because he hasn’t received all that much face time in the series, FEAR NOT! Sabin’s story is definitely one of the best in this series, so far, and exceeds so many of the standards and expectations previously laid out in the prior books. Sabin and Gwen melted my heart, mushed it into goo, and then rebuilt all over again. The Darkest Whisper is, by far, one of my favorite books of 2016. I just could not have asked for very much more.

The Darkest Whisper focuses on Sabin, the demon of Doubt, and Gwendolyn the Timid a.k.a scary ass Harpy. This is the second book in this series that has focused on a female lead character who is an immortal. Let me tell you, it WORKED! Books 1 and 3 had human female lead characters. While that was awesome, there was something just a little too weak about them. The Immortal females (Anya and Gwen) are super badass and can take care of themselves in an instant. For those of you who are on the fence about Gwen being called Gwendolyn the Timid, let me be the first to tell you that there is not much Timid about her. She is definitely badass and in your face. Gwen had so much spunk, passion, and determination. I would say that her timid moments were really more passionate moments between her and Sabin.

Speaking of Sabin, HOLY HOTNESS. Oh. My. Lord (I guess that phrase is actually pretty accurate!) I absolutely adored Sabin. He was tough, fierce, loyal, sexy, romantic, and a little bit of an arrogant asshole. I loved watching Gwen bring him to his knees and for Sabin to realize that he wasn’t God’s gift to humanity. I loved watching him realize that a female could slither into his heart and that he wasn’t as cruel and uncaring as he might have once thought he was. Gwen was just what Sabin needed in his life. And as a couple? SWOOOOOOOOOOON! Now I have to decide who I love more: Lucien and Anya or Sabin and Gwen. It might just be a toss up.

Honestly, I was a little nervous going into The Darkest Whisper for two reasons: 1) Even though Sabin is introduced in book 1, we don’t really get that many moments with him. So, I originally had thought that his book was creeping up a little too soon. And, 2) I was a little nervous about him demon, Doubt. I wasn’t sure how Sabin could be paired with another female without his demon doing irreparably damage. I really shouldn’t have worried about either of those concerns. Everything in this book was handled just perfectly! Amazing!

On a slightly negative sight, I did have a few complaints. 1) I wish there would have been some more sexy or romantic/sweet moments between Sabin and Gwen. That’s one thing that I really think that the author needs to work on, especially since each book focuses on different characters. I especially would have enjoyed to see something that made Sabin stand out from the rest of the Lords. That could have been a quirk, a nervous habit, a pet name for Gwen, something that he liked in bed, etc. I don’t care what it would have been. In all of the books, though, all of the Lords are kind of blending together because they aren’t exhibiting anything unique that separates them from the rest. Yes, they are Lords. However, they are also men. Not all men are the same. 2) I was really confused why the Hunter guy who hates Sabin wasn’t showcased more in Sabin’s book. I think it was book 3 that made such a huge deal about him hating Sabin and why exactly he hated him. I think he made like one tiny appearance in this whole book. Since it was specified that the Hunter hated Sabin the most, I had expected to see a big showdown between the two of them. 3) Finally, I had a slight complaint about the big action scene. I’m actually going to talk about this in the next paragraph, because I actually have some good things to say about that scene as well.

While all of the books in this series, so far, have showcased more than just the main character (branching out to short scenes of the other Lords,) this specific book has wayyyyyy more of those scenes. There’s actually this huge action scene toward the end of the book that is not focused on Sabin and Gwen. I absolutely LOVED that this book focused more on those scenes. However, I would have liked to see more detail in the action scene itself. It sort of felt a little bit rushed. I needed a little more suspense.

Overall, I absolutely adored this book. I loved Sabin and Gwen so much. I really hope that we get some more sneak peeks at them in the following book! GO READ THIS SERIES!

Rating: : ★★★★☆

adult books
August 2, 2016 posted by Nichole

Book Review: The Darkest Pleasure (Lords of the Underworld #3) by Gena Showalter

the darkest pleasureReyes is a man possessed. Bound by the demon of pain, he is forbidden to know pleasure. Yet he craves a mortal woman, Danika Ford, more than breath and will do anything to claim her–even defy the gods. Danika is on the run. For months she’s eluded the Lords of the Underworld, immortal warriors who won’t rest until she and her family have been destroyed. But her dreams are haunted by Reyes, the warrior whose searing touch she can’t forget. Yet a future together could mean death to all they both hold dear….

My Review:

The Darkest Pleasure is the third book in the Lords of the Underworld series and focuses on Reyes and Danika as the main “couple” of the story. Danika was introduced to us in the very first book and also made appearances in the second book, as well. Please note that it is very important to read this series in order. They can’t really be read as standalone romances because there is just so much going on plot wise.

I have to be honest, I was a bit shocked that Reyes and Danika’s book was the third book. I kind of anticipated their book being later on so that we could see more of the struggle behind their relationship and more stolen moments between them. I suppose it does make sense that their book had to be so soon, mostly because of Aaeron (spelling?) but it just seemed to really just creep up out of nowhere. Despite the fact that I thought their book occurred a little too soon in the series, it was definitely action packed, romance filled, and heart pounding!

For those of you who might be a little bit on the fence about reading this book, because you might think that it might be a little too gory for your personal taste, have no fear. That was my biggest worry about this book. Reyes is possessed by the demon of Pain and finds pleasure in inflicting as much pain on himself as possible. Meaning, lots of cutting himself, breaking bones, etc. I’m not much into gore with either books or movies, so I was a littttttle bit concerned about going into this book. Kudos to the author for highlighting his demon without making it offensive. Pain is definitely mentioned and there are some scenes that showcase that pain. However, there were no scenes that made me have to skim or flip the pages. There were no gross sex scenes or weird creepy moments between Reyes and Danika. So, rest assured, this book is safe to read!

My biggest concern with this book, and I didn’t think that it would happen, was that I found it a little bit…..cheesy. While there were definitely some shocking scenes that I didn’t see coming, I kind of felt that it just went over the top of ridiculous. I did enjoy the fact that we got to learn more about the Gods, artifacts, and more about why Danika’s family is so important. However, it was just a little too bizarre even for a paranormal book. Don’t get me wrong, I still really enjoyed the story. It just wasn’t my favorite in the series.

Another thing that I had a slight issue with was Danika’s character. Let me first tell you that I still hadn’t warmed up to her after meeting her in the first two books. I definitely wish that I would have had more time getting to know her throughout the series and maybe some more personal scenes between her and Reyes. Since I didn’t have that time to get to know her or witness those essential moments between her and Reyes, I started out this book already not loving her all that much. Danika had too much of an “in your face” personality for my taste. I did enjoy that she always stood up for herself and that she had a fierce, independent, loyal façade about her. On the flip side, I would have enjoyed a bit more of a submissive personality from her. At least during certain moments of the book. While I love strong female leads, I am also someone who really digs a slight submissive quality to my female characters. It’s just a personal thing.

Even though I had my complaints about this book, I LOVED that this storyline dived more into some of the other characters, as well as more interactions with the Gods and the Hunters. One thing that I really love about this series is that, even though each book focuses on a main couple, there is a strong plotline that continues with each book.

Overall, this book wasn’t my favorite in the series. However, that’s going to happen with each series that focuses on different characters. Reyes and Danika didn’t happen to be my favorite couple in this series and because of that it wasn’t my favorite book. However, I still really enjoyed this book, and I love the series, and I would totally recommend it to paranormal lovers!

Rating: : ★★★☆☆

adult books
July 30, 2016 posted by Nichole

Book Review: Steadfast (True North #2) by Sarina Bowen

steadfastShe’s the only one who ever loved him—and the only one he can never have.

Jude lost everything one spring day when he crashed his car into an apple tree on the side of the road. A man is dead, and there’s no way he can ever right that wrong. He’d steer clear of Colebury, Vermont forever if he could. But an ex-con in recovery for his drug addiction can’t find a job just anywhere.

For Sophie Haines, coming face to face with the man who broke her heart is gut-wrenching. Suddenly, he’s everywhere she turns. It’s hard not to stare at how much he’s changed. The bad boy who used to love her didn’t have big biceps and sun-kissed hair. And he’d never turn up volunteer in the church kitchen.

She knows it’s foolish to yearn for the man who returned all the heartsick letters she wrote him in prison. But the looks he sends her now speak volumes.

No one wants to see Sophie and Jude back together, least of all Sophie’s police chief father. But it’s a small town. And forbidden love is a law unto itself.

My Review: 

Steadfast is one of the most heart-ache inducing, high blood pressure raising, eye misting, bringer of all the feels kind of book that I’ve read in a really long time. I was addicted from the very first page and soared through the rest of the book. After finishing Steadfast, all I want in my like is some more Jude and Sophie. There was just not enough of them for my aching heart!

I fell in love with Jude in the first book of this series, Bittersweet. I just knew he had a huge, complicated story to tell that I wanted to know all about. If possible, I feel even more in love with Jude in Steadfast. Some of that might have been because of how real is story is. Recovering from drug addiction is a real world issue that made the story itself more interesting and more realistic. The only slightly weird thing for me was that I have no experience with drug addicts or drug addiction. Sometimes the storyline itself seemed so far off what I’m used to dealing with in every day life. However, I really enjoyed reading about Jude’s journey from start to present.

Funny enough, I would have sworn that the love interest would have been May. I had thought that Jude and May had a lot of chemistry in the first book, so I just assumed that’s where this book was going to go. I was a little bit surprised when it turned out to be Sophie. Don’t get me wrong, I loved Sophie! It just took me a little bit off guard. Jude and Sophie’s chemistry, though? Hot damn! They were sizzling! Definitely a power couple to read about!

One thing that I really loved about Steadfast was that it went back and forth from the past to the present. I would have liked to see some more moments from the past, as well as some scenes from Jude’s time in prison. I would have preferred more of a balance between the two simply because I really enjoyed the scenes from the past. I also would have enjoyed some more scenes of Sophie and Jude getting to know one another.

The only thing that I really disliked about Steadfast was that it was kind of long. It almost felt like a bunch of fillers were being added to keep the story going. The story itself, especially toward the ending, didn’t reach its full potential. I would have liked to see some more powerful, romantic scenes between Jude and Sophie. I also would have liked the investigation itself to be more lengthy and to see some more scenes between Sophie and her father. We were told from the very beginning that Sophie’s dad hated Jude, but he really only had like two or three scenes in the book. I would have like to see that confrontation. I felt that Sophie’s dad needed to play a bigger role than he actually did, and I was kind of let down that it didn’t play out that way. Another thing that disappointed me was the ending. Again, I just felt that it seemed really rushed and kind of just thrown together in some spots. The last half of this book had so much potential. I’m just a little disappointed that it didn’t reach the level it could have.

Even though I had a couple problems with the story, I can honestly say that Steadfast is one of my favorite reads of this year, so far. It was so powerful, real, romantic, and heart pounding. I would definitely recommend this read for all romance lovers!

Rating: : ★★★★☆