Tuesday, December 6, 2016

Review: The Pawn by Skye Warren ~ #ReadIndie

Title: The Pawn
Author: Skye Warren
Series: Endgame #1

Publication: December 6th 2016
Genre: Contemporary Romance
Purchase: Amazon | Barnes & Noble  | Kobo

Rating: 3/5

"Sinfully sexy and darkly beautiful, The Pawn will play games with your heart and leave you craving more!" - Laura Kaye, New York Times bestselling author

The price of survival...
Gabriel Miller swept into my life like a storm. He tore down my father with cold retribution, leaving him penniless in a hospital bed. I quit my private all-girl's college to take care of the only family I have left.

There's one way to save our house, one thing I have left of value.

My virginity.

A forbidden auction...

Gabriel appears at every turn. He seems to take pleasure in watching me fall. Other times he's the only kindness in a brutal underworld.

Except he's playing a deeper game than I know. Every move brings us together, every secret rips us apart. And when the final piece is played, only one of us can be left standing.

* * * * * * * * * * * * * * *

THE PAWN is a full-length contemporary novel from New York Times bestselling author Skye Warren about revenge and seduction in the game of love. It's the first book in the brand new ENDGAME series.

I came very close to rating this book with four stars but I thought with the things bothering me in the book that I couldn't give it more than three, which of course is still a great rating. The start of the story was really good and promising. I was excited to see where it all would go because it was so supenseful. 

I just couldn't like the main character, Avery.  It may have something to do that the book I read before The Pawn had a really strong main character and compared to her Avery was sort of weak. I know I shouldn't compare characters like that but it might have been one of the reasons why I didn't care for Avery. She led a very sheltered life because of her father so she was very naive, which I can totally understand. I just wish she could've stood up against... well basically everyone. 

I liked Gabriel more than Avery. I liked his intensity and that he bid on Avery when she got auctioned. Only the last part in the book made me think, what the actual hell Gabriel but I guess that was part of the cliffhanger there. As much as Avery annoyed me, I did like her with Gabriel but I wished there had been a little more passion. Just a tad. 

Other things I liked other than Gabriel were Avery's best friend. She was so nice and a great friend to Avery so I would love to read more about her. I also loved the appearances of Candy and Ivan from the Stripped series (which is my favorite series by Skye Warren) and I also loved that Avery used to study mythology so she thinks about certain mythology a lot. 

Overall I always usually enjoy Skye Warren's books and I was really excited when I found out she was releasing the pawn because the premise sounded amazing. Dark romance is my favorite type of romance and Skye is one of my favorite authors in that genre. And I did enjoy The Pawn for the most part but I just didn't completely love it. But I would still recommend it because it's a quick read and the start of a new series. I really want to read the next book because of where things ended. 

         About the Author:

                     Website | Facebook | Twitter | Goodreads 
Skye Warren is the New York Times bestselling author of dark romance such as Wanderlust and Prisoner. Praised as a “true mistress of dark erotica”, her books have been featured in Jezebel, Buzzfeed, USA Today Happily Ever After, Glamour, and Elle Magazine. She makes her home in Texas with her loving family, four dogs, and one evil cat.

Monday, December 5, 2016

Monday Madness: Crooked Kingdom by Leigh Bardugo

Monday Madness is a bookish meme hosted by Bookfever & Booklover's Teaparty

You know that feeling when you feel like you are gonna go mad if you do not get a certain book right away, when you are obsessed and all you want is that one book and you will be happy? That is what Monday Madness is about. All those books you that drive you mad.

Pick a book. Talk about it- why do you want it? What has drawn you to it? Why is it making you mad with want for it.

Crooked Kingdom by Leigh Bardugo
Six of Crows #2

Kaz Brekker and his crew have just pulled off a heist so daring even they didn't think they'd survive. But instead of divvying up a fat reward, they're right back to fighting for their lives. Double-crossed and left crippled by the kidnapping of a valuable team member, the crew is low on resources, allies, and hope. As powerful forces from around the world descend on Ketterdam to root out the secrets of the dangerous drug known as jurda parem, old rivals and new enemies emerge to challenge Kaz's cunning and test the team's fragile loyalties. A war will be waged on the city's dark and twisting streets―a battle for revenge and redemption that will decide the fate of magic in the Grisha world.

I haven't read Six of Crows yet but I'm reading the last Grisha books so I can move on to it soon. But ever since the cover of Crooked Kingdom got revealed I've been obsessed with it. I love this cover so much! I actually am planning to buy the book soon because I want to have it when I read Six of Crows so there's no waiting when I finish. I actually saw Crooked Kingdom at the bookstore the other day so it made me want it even more. Soon my precious, soon!

And as always don't forget to check out Christina's post! ♥

Saturday, December 3, 2016

Review: An Exaltation of Larks by Suanne Laqueur ~ #ReadIndie

Title: An Exaltation of Larks
Author: Suanne Laqueur
Publication: November 22nd 2016

Genre: Contemporary Fiction/Romance
Purchase: Amazon | Barnes & Noble | Kobo | Google Play 

Rating: 5/5

"We're so alike, you and I. It's no wonder we kept finding each other."

September 11, 1973: Eleven-year-old Alejandro Penda watches from his apartment window as Santiago, Chile falls to a military coup, destroying his family and his childhood. Arriving alone in America, he’s taken in by the Larks: a prominent family in the town of Guelisten. Though burdened by unresolved grief for his disappeared parents, he becomes fiercely loyal to the Larks, eventually marrying one of their daughters, Valerie.

September 11, 2001: Javier Landes watches from his apartment window as New York City falls to terrorism. As one of Manhattan’s top-paid male escorts, this professional lover has never lacked for company and is loyal only to himself. But in the wake of 9/11, Jav is named guardian for an orphaned nephew in Guelisten and must open his carefully-guarded heart to pain he's long suppressed.

Alex, Valerie and Jav meet first in their twenties, with a sudden attraction each finds strange and compelling. When they meet again in their forties, they discover not only is their bond still strong, but their life experiences are strangely similar. All have been shaped by separate 9/11's, and their unfinished business from the past will change everything they know about love, loyalty and friendship.

"Life has rules. You cannot come in the middle of the night and take what we agreed isn't yours."

Across three decades and two continents, Suanne Laqueur's fifth novel explores the unpredictability of sexual attraction, how family ties are forged, torn and mended, and how love's downfall can turn to exaltation.

There are absolutely no words for how much I loved An Exaltation of Larks. As I read, this book slowly wrapped around me, getting such a hold on me and making me so emotional that I just couldn't deny that this is one of the best books I've ever read. I remember I said the same about The Man I Love and I don't think you can really compare these books, but I must admit that An Exaltation of Larks was even better. This story, these characters, the writing... it all left me speechless and in such awe.

It's hard to describe what this book is about because I have so many thoughts and feelings about it and I want to keep it as spoiler free as possible because you just have to read it for yourself to really experience this incredible story. 

The characters were so special to me. Jav, Val, Alex and every other character... they were definitely not perfect but that made me love them all even more. They all touched me so much, they made me angry at times and they made me cry. And I loved how they kept finding each other.

Some scenes were a little hard to read, especially on both September 11th dates taking place in the book, but I thought that this only made the story more powerful. And then there's the prose, which was so very beautiful. This made me fall more in love with the story. 

If I could recommend only one book right now above all other I would absolutely recommend An Exaltation of Larks by Suanne Laqueur. 

       About the Author:

Suanne Laqueur’s first novel, The Man I Love won a gold medal in the 2015 Readers' Favorite Book Awards. Its other 2015 accolades include a gold medal for Best Debut Author from Feathered Quill Book Awards and being named a finalist with the Kindle Book Awards.

Suanne graduated from Alfred University with a double major in dance and theater. She taught at the Carol Bierman School of Ballet Arts in Croton-on-Hudson for ten years. She lives in Westchester County, New York with her husband and two chil-dren. An avid reader, cook and gardener, she started her blog EatsReadsThinks in 2010 and now blogs at suannelaqueurwrites.com

Friday, December 2, 2016

Gilmore Girls Book Tag ~ Part 2

In honor of Gilmore Girls: A Year in the Life me and Christina @ Booklover's Tea Party decided to post the Gilmore Girls Book Tag from Yvonne @ A World Between Folded Pages.

1. 1000 yellow daisies
- favorite romance -

StephanieI have countless favorite romances but the first one coming to mind is Beyond the Cut by Sarah Castille, a biker romance. The bikers in this series have stolen my heart, especially Cade. I have a paperback copy of this book because I was supposed to get the e-arc but the publisher messed it up by accident so none of us got it for the blog tour so they all send us a copy. 

Christina: Wait for you by Jennifer L. Armentrout writing as J. Lynn. Beautiful and sweet book. I love it and all the others that follow in that series.

2. Jess
- an unpopular opinion / most swoon-worthy book boyfriend -

StephanieI absolutely hate Patch from Becca Fitzpatrick's Hush Hush series. Needless to say I never finished the series and I never really liked any other books featuring angels. All because of Patch.

I have way too many swoon-worthy book boyfriends. I'll just name a few here. Adrian Ivashkov (Vampire Academy), Jericho Barrons (Fever series), Oliver Montrose (FREAKS series), Jamie Fraser (Outlander), Will Herondale (Infernal Devices), Ian O'Shea (The Host) and so on and on... 

Christina: My unpopular opinion is that I ship Logan and Rory. I love Jess, he is amazing. But well so is Logan and after everything I just see him and Rory together in the end.
But book wise… Guess I have to mention the Black Dagger brotherhood books. I feel like so many love them and praise them and everything, but I just don’t see it. I can barely get through one. Basically… I hate them.

Swoon Worthy book boyfriend. Just one? There’s Bones from Night Huntress, Jace from The Mortal Instruments and his ancestor Will Herondale from the Infernal Devices as well. Perry from Under the Never sky, Matthew from A discovery of witches (I feel like this is turning into a poem or something, lol). The Host has Ian, The hunger games has Peeta and also Finnick, more recently we have Rhysand in A court of mist and fury. The Forbidden Wish has ALADDIN! And with that amazing one we end this long list.

3. First snow
- snowy or holiday read -

StephanieDoes Iced by Karen Marie Moning count as snowy? I think it does. lol

Christina: Let it Snow and The Bite Before Christmas. Especially Let it Snow is such a great holiday read, sweet and Christmassy stories.
Whereas The Bite Before Christmas is more part of a series, or two actually, so you have to know the characters for the best experience.

4. HEP Alien
- book centered around music -

StephanieGirl With Guitar by Caisey Quinn. These book center about country singer Kylie who's starting to make it in the music business and falls in love with superstar Trace Corbin. One of my favorite NA books.

Christina: Lick, Play and Lead by Kylie Scott. Each feature music and each focus on different bandmembers (and yes on purpose I did not mention the last one, cause wasn’t as good).  

5. He'd better have a motorcycle
- your book crush -

StephanieI could name all my swoon worthy book boyfriends but I'll just pick someone I haven't named yet. RHYSAND! 

Christina: Obviously there is many, but one that will always have a special place is Will Herondale from the Infernal Devices.  

6. It's repetitive and Redundant
- a book that could have been shorter -
StephanieA Game of Thrones maybe? I think it definitely works as long books with how detailed they are but it took me SO long to finished.

Christina: I have no answer. I really don’t know. I have long books sure, but none I felt that I wanted to be shorter.

7. Kirk
- the weirdest book you've ever read -

StephanieAn Abduction Revelation by Thomas L. Hay - this book wasn't bad at all, it was just a bit weird.

Christina: The Gargoyle by Andrew Davidson. Porn star drunk drives, crashes suffering burns that cause him to lose his manhood and he has to stay in the burn unit. While there he gets visits from a woman telling him stories about their former life. I had to finish it just to see what happened. It wasn’t awful or anything, just very different and writing style wasn’t really me, but yeah I had to finish to see how that ended and where it went.

8. Sookie
- a character that makes you laugh -

StephanieSimon Lewis from The Mortal Instruments. There are many characters that make me laugh but Simon really is hilarious with the things he says. Also honorable mentions: Adrian Ivashkov (Vampire Academy and Bloodlines) and Kenji Kishimoto (Shatter Me trilogy)

Christina: Recently, Cassian from A Court of Mist & Fury. One of my all time favorites though is Ian from the Night Huntress series. He is hilarious! Think Simon from the Mortal Instruments came before him though so he definitely deserves a mention as well. He just gets better and better and still laugh when I think of him and Jace grocery shopping together.

9. It's a lifestyle. It's a religion
- one book that means more to you than any other -

StephanieArtemis Fowl and Airman by Eoin Colfer. Artemis Fowl is my favorite book ever and Airman just gives me so many feels! 

Christina: Actually a hard one, all my books mean something to me. But the Mortal Instruments books really brought me and my best friend closer way back then. We bonded over the love of these books and this world.

10. Rory
- a favorite character who is a bookworm -

StephanieKaty from the Lux series. She's even a blogger! And Mac from the Fever series likes books too so I have to mention her again. 

Christina: The first I encountered and one who is still my favorite is Katy from the LUX series by Jennifer L. Armentrout. Great book and Katy is an awesome character, Reader and blogger.

Now we felt that someone was missing. Logan. Rory’s two other guys, Dean and Jess are there so only fair that Logan should be here, too. Plus we both love him.

11. Logan
- “Ace”. Favorite nickname for character –

StephanieMy favorite nickname for a character is "Rainbow Girl" that Barrons calls Mac *at times* in the Fever series. I also love it when he calls her Ms. Lane but not sure if it counts as nickname since Lane is her last name. But I just think that Rainbow Girl is so precious for them. 

Christina: Can’t I go with Logan’s nickname for Rory? I love it so! I squealed when he called her Ace in the revival. However, definitely some to choose from in the book world. Matthew from All Souls trilogy by Deborah Harkness calls Diana “Mon Coeur” which is just French for my heart or something, but the way he uses that nickname to express his love to her by calling her that is just beautiful. 

Check out Yvonne's Gilmore Girls Book Tag answers here.
Check out Christina's Gilmore Girls Book Tag answers here.

Thursday, December 1, 2016

Review: Dollars by Pepper Winters ~ #ReadIndie

Title: Dollars 
Author Pepper Winters
Series: Dollars #2
Publication: November 18th 2016

Genre: Dark Romance
Purchase: Amazon | Barnes & Noble | Google PlayKobo

Rating: 5/5

“I should never have asked for a night with you. This would never have happened if I’d had more willpower.”

A thief met a possession and did what he did best.
Now, he has to live with the consequences.
Including the girl he claimed.

Pimlico was stolen and sold all before her twenty-first birthday.
Two years with a master who almost killed her is over.
She has a new master now.
A master who demands everything, expects everything, and requires ultimate access to her mind.

Elder broke countless rules when he took the girl who wasn’t his.
She confuses and bewitches him, but his fascination won’t save her from his desires.

He wants to know her.
She wants to forget.
Together…they’re doomed.

By now it's become a habit to say "holy shit" after I finish a book by Pepper Winters. And it's no different with Dollars. This was some book, you guys! I actually thought it was even better than the first book, Pennies. And that says a lot because I thought Pennies was amazeballs. But Dollars had me totally mesmerized, simply because of Pimlico and Elder. 

Dollars was somewhat different from Pennies, in my opinion. The focus definitely lay even more on Pim and Elder and their relationship. After the events at the end of book one, Pim had to heal a lot. In the meantime she and Elder started getting to know each other more. The more the spend time together, the more their feelings seemed to grow for each other. And even though Pim still didn't speak and basically is captive by him, Elder just knew her inside. Their attraction to each other is super intense in this book and it all comes to an explosion at the end. 

I'm a huge fan of Pepper's writing. I felt that with Dollars her writing was even more gorgeous and lyrical. This story was just so damn beautiful the way it revolved around Pim and Elder. They have a different sort of relationship than in any of Pepper's other books but they have so quickly turned into one of my favorite book couples. 

There were of course some side characters that were introduced in this book. And I must say I really liked Michaels, the doctor on board of Elder's ship. I'd love to read some more about him in any of the next books. 

I have no clue what book three will hold, but I already want to read it so badly. I will wait pantiently, thoug, because I know that Pepper will absolutely deliver something amazing like she always does. She never ever disappoints!

        About the Author

Pepper Winters wears many roles. Some of them include writer, reader, sometimes wife. She loves dark, taboo stories that twist with your head. The more tortured the hero, the better, and she constantly thinks up ways to break and fix her characters. Oh, and sex... her books have sex.
She loves to travel and has an amazing, fabulous hubby who puts up with her love affair with her book boyfriends.

♥ Holly's Boys ♥

Highly recommended story to check out!