Review: Kings Rising (Captive Prince #3) by C.S. Pacat

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Summary: 

Damianos of Akielos has returned.

His identity now revealed, Damen must face his master Prince Laurent as Damianos of Akielos, the man Laurent has sworn to kill.

On the brink of a momentous battle, the future of both their countries hangs in the balance. In the south, Kastor’s forces are massing. In the north, the Regent’s armies are mobilising for war. Damen’s only hope of reclaiming his throne is to fight together with Laurent against their usurpers.

Forced into an uneasy alliance the two princes journey deep into Akielos, where they face their most dangerous opposition yet. But even if the fragile trust they have built survives the revelation of Damen’s identity—can it stand against the Regents final, deadly play for the throne?

Review:

If by any chance you follow me on Goodreads you know that I hated the first book on this series. To be completely honest I don’t remember clearly what it was that put me off, if it was the violence or the sickening sensation that the romance was going to develop in some sort of romantacized Stockholm Syndrome. But everyone and their mother told me to read it, so I did. As I said, it was not a good start and I genuinely thought I would never keep reading them, however, here I find myself: finished the last book and loved it.  Continue reading

Review: A Torch Against The Night (An Ember in the Ashes #2) by Sabaa Tahir

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Summary:

Elias and Laia are running for their lives.

After the events of the Fourth Trial, Martial soldiers hunt the two fugitives as they flee the city of Serra and undertake a perilous journey through the heart of the Empire.

Laia is determined to break into Kauf – the Empire’s most secure and dangerous prison – to save her brother, who is the key to the Scholars’ survival. And Elias is determined to help Laia succeed, even if it means giving up his last chance at freedom.

But dark forces, human and otherworldly, work against Laia and Elias. The pair must fight every step of the way to outsmart their enemies: the bloodthirsty Emperor Marcus, the merciless Commandant, the sadistic Warden of Kauf, and, most heartbreaking of all, Helene – Elias’s former friend and the Empire’s newest Blood Shrike.

Bound to Marcus’s will, Helene faces a torturous mission of her own – one that might destroy her: find the traitor Elias Veturius and the Scholar slave who helped him escape… and kill them both.

Review:

Oh. My. God. Amazing! This was so much better than book one! And incredibly so! Full of plot twists, I never knew what to expect. I think I held my breath through most chapters from the very first page. Continue reading

Review: Boy Meets Boy by David Levithan

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Summary:

This is the story of Paul, a sophomore at a high school like no other: The cheerleaders ride Harleys, the homecoming queen used to be a guy named Daryl (she now prefers Infinite Darlene and is also the star quarterback), and the gay-straight alliance was formed to help the straight kids learn how to dance.

When Paul meets Noah, he thinks he’s found the one his heart is made for. Until he blows it. The school bookie says the odds are 12-to-1 against him getting Noah back, but Paul’s not giving up without playing his love really loud. His best friend Joni might be drifting away, his other best friend Tony might be dealing with ultra-religious parents, and his ex-boyfriend Kyle might not be going away anytime soon, but sometimes everything needs to fall apart before it can really fit together right.

This is a happy-meaningful romantic comedy about finding love, losing love, and doing what it takes to get love back in a crazy-wonderful world.

Review:

What a wonderful read! Seriously, this is exactly what the title says: a boy who meets a boy. It’s as simple as that.

I am amazed at the randomness, the comedy, and the faith that brings us all together and makes us hold on.

Continue reading

Review: Breaking Love (Broken Series #4) by B.B. Reid

Summary:

She’s the girl who got away, but now she’s back…

Four years was all it took.
I told myself I didn’t need friends. I didn’t need family. I sure as fuck didn’t need him.
And you know what?
I was right.
He had been inside of me, coursing through my veins.
So I cut and bled Dash Chambers until I was free.
But the day I returned to Six Forks and was thrown at his feet, I realized I would never forget how it felt to have every inch of him inside me.

…and he’s waiting.

Angel thought if she ran far enough, she’d be free.
What’s mine will always be mine.
This time I do things my way.


Broken Love series
Book 1: Fear Me
Book 2: Fear You
Book 3: Fear Us
Book 4: Breaking Love


Review:

Another gripping story from the Broken Love series!

Breaking love is not as dark as the previous books. Dash and Willow is not fucked up as the other couples in this series. But it doesn’t mean that it is less exciting.  There is still a sense of mystery and danger. It’s intense, suspenseful and sexy!

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Continue reading

Review: The Son of Neptune (The Heroes of Olympus #2) by Rick Riordan

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Summary:

Seven half-bloods shall answer the call,
To storm or fire the world must fall.
An oath to keep with a final breath,
And foes bear arms to the Doors of Death.

Percy is confused. When he awoke from his long sleep, he didn’t know much more than his name. His brain fuzz is lingering, even after the wolf Lupa told him he is a demigod and trained him to fight with the pen/sword in his pocket. Somehow Percy manages to make it to a camp for half-bloods, despite the fact that he has to keep killing monsters along the way. But the camp doesn’t ring any bells with him. The only thing he can recall from his past is another name: Annabeth

Hazel is supposed to be dead. When she lived before, she didn’t do a very good job of it. Sure, she was an obedient daughter, even when her mother was possessed by greed. But that was the problem — when the Voice took over her mother and commanded Hazel to use her “gift” for an evil purpose, Hazel couldn’t say no. Now because of her mistake, the future of the world is at risk. Hazel wished she could ride away from it all on the stallion that appears in her dreams.

Frank is a klutz. His grandmother says he is descended from heroes and can be anything he wants to be, but he doesn’t see it. He doesn’t even know who his father is. He keeps hoping Apollo will claim him, because the only thing he is good at is archery — although not good enough to win camp war games. His bulky physique makes him feel like an ox, especially infront of Hazel, his closest friend at camp. He trusts her completely — enough to share the secret he holds close to his heart.

Beginning at the “other” camp for half-bloods and extending as far as the land beyond the gods, this breathtaking second installment of the Heroes of Olympus series introduces new demigods, revives fearsome monsters, and features other remarkable creatures, all destined to play a part in the Prophesy of Seven.

Review:

I don’t even know how to praise these books anymore to be honest.

“Jeez, Hazel,” Percy said, “tell your horse to watch his language.” Hazel tried not to laugh. “What did he say?” “With the cussing removed? He said he can get us to the top.” Frank looked incredulous. “I thought the horse couldn’t fly!” This time Arion whinnied so angrily, even Hazel could guess he was cursing. “Dude,” Percy told the horse, “I’ve gotten suspended for saying less than that…”

Continue reading

Review: Kaleidoscope Hearts by Claire Contreras

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Summary:

He was my older brother’s best friend.
He was never supposed to be mine.
I thought we would get it out of our system and move on.

One of us did.
One of us left.

Now he’s back, looking at me like he wants to devour me. And all those feelings I’d turned into anger are brewing into something else, something that terrifies me.
He broke my heart last time.
This time he’ll obliterate it.

Review:

Hello loves, it’s manu with yet another review of a book I loved (I haven’t read a book I didn’t like in so long I don’t even remember what it feels like). This is the first Contreras’s book I read but, boy, can she write!

Life goes on, but why does it have to go on without him?

Continue reading

Review: If You Stay (Beautifully Broken #1) by Courtney Cole

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Summary:

24-year old Pax Tate is an asshole.
Seriously.

He’s a tattooed, rock-hard bad-boy with a bad attitude to match.

But he’s got his reasons.

His mother died when Pax was seven, leaving a hole in his heart filled with guilt although he doesn’t understand why. What he does know is that he and his dad are left alone and with more issues than they can count.

As Pax grew up, he tried to be the kid his father always wanted; the perfect golden boy, but it didn’t work. His dad couldn’t overcome his grief long enough to notice and Pax couldn’t keep up the impossible perfect façade.
So he slipped far, far from it.

Now, he uses drugs and women to cope with the ugliness, the black void that he doesn’t want to deal with. If he pretends that the emptiness isn’t there, then it isn’t, right?
Wrong.

And it’s never more apparent than when he meets Mila.
Sweet, beautiful Mila Hill is the fresh air to his hardened frown, the beauty to his ugly heart. He doesn’t know how to not hurt her, but he quickly realizes that he’s got to figure it out because he needs her to breathe.

When memories of his mother’s death resurface from where he’s repressed them for so long, Mila is there to catch him when the guilt starts making sense. Mila is the one…the one who can save him from his broken troubled heart; from his issues, from the emptiness.

But only if he can stop being an asshole long enough to allow it.

He knows that. And he’s working on it.

But is that enough to make her stay?

Review:

Don’t let this sunny, cute cover fool you, this ain’t no fluffy read! Although I didn’t love it, I liked this book. There were a few things that were a little over the top, in my opinion, and considering how much these characters went through it was a little too easy, but the writing style is really good and the story is interesting, alternating Pax and Mila’s povs.

And then I watch as they do chest compressions, which can only mean one thing. His heart stopped. At that realization, mine feels like it stops as well. I don’t know why. I don’t even know him. But being thrown into this intense situation makes me feel connected to him. It’s a stupid notion, but I can’t help feeling it. Even though the only thing I really know about him is his name. Pax.

At the begining of the book we’re thrown into Pax’s life, not really a life full of rainbows and unicorns. His mom died when he was little, and even though he doesn’t remember what happened he feels guilty. He has always the same dream, in which his mom is crying and begging for him, but he never gets to see what happens next. Pax’s dad never got over his wife’s death, so his relationship with Pax is next to non-existent. In the first chapter Pax is using drugs with a lady friend, Jill, and doing other things. Jill then leaves, and Pax keeps doing drugs, but this time he overdoses. Fortunately for him, Mila happens to walk by his car, and finds him covered in vomit (that scene was very gross but realistic). If it weren’t for her, he would have died that night.

I know I should tell her to run far, far from me, but of course I don’t. She’s like a ray of sunshine in the bleak hospital room and I soak her up. She’s got good, healthy energy and I like the way it feels to talk with her. She’s like a breath of fresh air. I may be the Big Bad Wolf, but even wolves need to breathe.

Even though Pax refers to himself as the Big Bad Wolf, I didn’t see him as a bad guy. Yeah of course he does drugs and drinks, but he’s not an addict, and he admits immediately that he does what he does because he doesn’t know how to cope with the void he feels. As soon as he meets Mila, he shows interest and he feels like he’s not good enough for her. But he doesn’t do anything to cover his vulnerability with her, he’s honest and real. He’s not playing games with her, since the very start.

I am pulled inexplicably to him. I can’t explain it. It’s not logical. Maybe it is the vulnerable look hiding in his glittering hazel eyes; the eyes that almost seem warm, but contain too much past hurt to quite allow that, so they appear hard instead.

Mila notices it. She’s a nice girl, a painter, who lost her parents to a car accident a few years back. She’s a really interesting character. She’s cute, funny and a little bad sometimes (Pax appreciates it).

His lips twitches. “Oh, Red. If you want to turn up the heat, you’ve got to be careful not to get burned by the fire.” And as I stare into his hazel eyes, at the golden flames there, I have the distinct feeling that I could get very, very burned.

Mila is really caring and sympathetic. She never pushes Pax too much, she obviously wants him to get over whatever is tormenting him, but she knows that he has to take the step toward recovering by himself. But she encourages him. And that’s enough for now.

I’ve never seen anything as beautiful as Mila looks walking toward me across the dining room. It’s not just because she’s gorgeous. It’s because she’s walking toward me. To be with me. Even if it’s only for tonight or for now. I gulp and grin at her. She smiles back and everything seems right with the world, a strange and unusual feeling for me.

The book is full of cute scenes like this because really Pax is so sweet, but everything is tainted by his past. And when he finally remembers what happened he shuts down. What happened was unspeakable, and everything gets into perspective for the reader, but Mila and Pax’s relationship falls apart.

If I am alone in the dark, nothing matters. I can’t hurt anyone but myself and I fucking deserve it. I close my eyes and let the darkness cradle me. It can fuck me for all I care.

Mila doesn’t know how to help him, and in the end only Pax can. Pax doesn’t feel worthy of love and everything that went down with the people who were supposed to love him seems to prove him right. But Mila believes that love never fails, is she right? Is love enough? Will Pax ever be able to believe it too? Read If You Stay and you’ll find out!

manuela calloway sisters

Review: Bad Romeo by Leisa Rayven

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Summary:

When Cassie Taylor met Ethan Holt at acting school, sparks flew. She was the good girl actress. He was the bad boy about campus. But one fated casting choice for Romeo and Juliet changed it all. Like the characters they were playing, Cassie and Ethan’s romance seemed destined. Until he broke her heart and betrayed her trust. Now the A-list heartthrob is back in her life and turning her world around. One touch at a time.

Cast as romantic leads once again, they’re forced to confront raw memories of the heartbreaking lows and pulse-pounding highs of their secret college affair. But they’ll also discover that people who rub each other the wrong way often make the best sparks.

Review:

Hello beautiful people! It’s manu here, and I’m so happy today because I’m always happy when I find a new book to love, and that book, today, is  Bad Romeo (Starcrossed #1)!

He has one of those faces that stops you when you’re flipping through a magazine. Not textbook handsome, but mesmerizing. Like a book cover that begs you to flip it open and get lost in the story.

This is Rayven’s debut novel, so, unfortunately I have to wait till April 28th *shakes fist in air* (when Broken Juliet Starcrossed #2 comes out) to read more of her books, and how unfair is that? I’m pretty sure I’d read her grocery list in awe. I feel like an addict suddendly left without the object of his addiction. (I’m being dramatic, I know.) But let’s get into the good stuff.

I pause outside the door. I can do this. I can see him and not fall apart. I can. I sigh and press my forehead against the wall. Who the hell am I kidding? Yeah, sure, I can do a passionate play with my ex-lover, who broke my heart not once, but twice. No problem. I bang my head against the wall.
If there were a Nation of Stupid People, I would be their queen.

Cassie Taylor is a stage actress who finally gets into Broadway, cast as the lead role in a romantic play. All is good, expect that the ex-lover-who-broke-her-heart-not-once-but-twice was casted too. She hasn’t seen him in 3 years, and even though she’s been miserable and she’s not even close to being over him, Cassie believes this is something she can do. Cassie is a very strong character, even if she doesn’t seem to see herself as strong, she’s fierce, challenging, and funny. She covers herself with this angry mask but it’s only that, a mask. Truly, she’s a girl who gave her heart to her first love, and got it back broken into pieces.

I pull open the door and stride in. Before I even see him, I can feel him watching me. I resist looking for him because that’s what I want to do, and one thing I’ve learned with Ethan Holt is to push down my natural instincts. Following my gut is how things got screwed up between us. It told me I could have something from him, when in fact he offered me nothing.

Obviously, it’s not easy to trust him now. Ethan seems different, but once you get burned you stay the hell away from fire. I, on the other hand, not knowing what happened, fell completely in love with Ethan (sorry, Cassie, I’m totally on your side, I swear). He’s this adorable brooding, kinda awkward, handsome, incredible actor. He exudes passion on and off stage. I wanted to be mad at him, even before I knew what happened, but it was just impossible.

As I pull out my water bottle, my bag slips off the seat and flops loudly onto the floor. Everyone stops to stare. I grind my teeth when I hear a low chuckle. Screw you, Ethan. Not even going to look at you. I pick up my bag and throw it back on the chair. The chuckle happens again, and I swear to the Almighty God of Justifiable Homicide, I’m going to murder him with my bare hands.

Cassie tries to avoid Ethan and her feelings but she feels his presence before she even sees him. They share a crazy chemistry and, I swear, they could burn the whole world just looking at each other. And, well, they have to kiss, touch, look intensely at each other and put all their emotions out there when they’re on stage. Cassie wants to believe that they can separate the characters they’re playing from themself but that’s just wishful thinking. If possible, things off-stage are even harder.

I’m trying to sound bored out of my mind. I don’t want him to know what he’s doing to me. He doesn’t deserve this reaction. More importantly, neither do I.

I really loved that even if in the end Cassie was helpless with Ethan (how can she control her heart beating way too fast whenever he is around?), she has so much self-respect. She knows that she’d probably do anything for him if he asked the right way, no matter what happened, but she tries, because she loves herself. Cassie knows what power Ethan has over her, how easily he could make her the happiest, most loved person on earth, but also how easily he could ruin her, shatter her heart, again.

When I hear the door open, I know it’s him without having to look. “Cassie?” I keep my eyes closed. Not seeingn him is easier. “Please look at me.” I can’t. I want to be strong, and looking at him makes me the weakest woman on the planet.

She doesn’t want to be okay with whatever he wants to give her this time, she deserves more than that. Ethan has to show her he’s really changed, that he won’t run as soon as emotions get real. He has to show her that they can start over. The fear of losing someone is just a side effect of love.

Dear Diary, the more time I spend with him, the more he invades my dreams. I don’t want to remember, but he pushes through. He’s here, under my hands. His lips on my skin. It’s perfect and warm, and I tell myself he won’t run away this time. I hold him to me, willing away the fear, willing him to lose himself in me. To stay. And even though he’s already writtenn a tragedy, I want to change his mind.

What happened when they were together in college? Don’t worry, the book alternates chapters between the present and when they first met. I freaking loved it! It was amazing to see how the whole experience changed them. Cassie was so much more careless, she liked Ethan and even if he told her he’d never be able to give her more, she went for him. They developed a beautiful friendship, made a lot more appealing by the undeniable attraction they felt for each other (Cassie’s voice is just so funny, when I wasn’t sobbing I was always laughig).

I shouldn’t stare at his ass. No good can come of it. Still, he’s being nice to me, so I decide to be nice to his ass and allow myself to notice how hot it looks in his jeans.

But Ethan wasn’t upfront about his feelings as Cassie. He was scared out of his mind of love, and relationships in general. A heartbreak and something else made him become closed off. His reactions to Cassie freaked him out. But he didn’t know how to stay away from her. In the present days, though, he’s the opposite. He wants Cassie back, he knows they can be perfect for each other.

“Everyone else is just going to be second best for us.”

And he’s ready to fight for her.

 

“Cassie, I’ve worked really hard to be in a position to even think about trying to fix things with you. If I thought, even for a second, that I could hurt you again, I wouldn’t be here.”

Reading the book I actually felt them being pulled to each other against their will, trying to get away but always ending up with their arms wrapped around each other. I felt so much with this book, it’s all about Cassie’s feelings and sensations. And Rayven’s descriptions are so intense and accurate, I could tell what Ethan was feeling without him saying anything.

This is what love feels like. To no longer belong to yourself. To be pulled from what you know into what you feel.

Is it possible to start over? Or are some reltionships broken beyond saving? Ethan is sure that what they feel for each other is enough, that it would be absurde to not be together because they’ll never feel like they do for someone else. Cassie needs some convincing, though.

“I just need you to know that the second you’re ready to try again with us, I’m going to kiss the hell out of you. I’m going to kiss you until you see stars, and hear angels, and can’t stand up for a week. I hope you realize that.” My heart is thundering when I say, “Holt, if I’m ever ready, you’ll be the first to know. I promise.” He gives me a half smile. “So kissing is off the menu, but you should know I’m also offering free hugs today-strictly platonic- for the first beautiful woman who requests them.” I laugh, probably too loud, and step forward as he wraps his arms around me.

*sighs*

The ending freaked me out so much I had to get another copy of the book to be sure mine wasn’t missing some pages (yep, it really happened). It’ll leave you wanting more. Waiting for the next book is gonna be torture *cries* But in the meantime you can enjoy yourself with some scene from Ethan’s POV! You can find them on Rayven’s Wattpad (here). *happy dance*

“I never realized how much it hurt to not be with you until I saw you again, and the pain went away.”

I could quote the whole book, that’s how much I loved it! But I’m going to stop now for your sake.

I hope you read Bad Romeo and fall in love with these characters as much as I have. Let me know!

manuela calloway sisters