reviews

Red, White & Royal Blue by Casey McQuiston

collage image. Close up on a flag with a star for texas, then a zoomed out shot of a round dome building with flowers. Text reads "She's very much what Alex holds in his memory as the sanctified idea of southerness at it's best: always generous and warm and sincere, work-strong and reliable, a light left on. Red, White & Royal Blue by Casey McQuiston

When I picked up Red, White & Royal Blue at Apollycon 2019 I knew I was interested in the book’s plot, but I didn’t realize how much I needed it in the current climate. Casey McQuiston acknowledges she started this before 2016’s election and it gives the idea of a future much different than today’s. It’s full of hope and love something we need more of every day.

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Miscellany

Reveiw: A Lesson in Thorns by Sierra Simone


Sierra Simone is a go to banana pants wild ride of an author for me. A Lesson in Thorns does not disappoint, but it doesn’t quite stand up as strong as her standalones for me.

The plot revolves around a group of six friends who were pulled apart as kids. The reunite as the house Thorncombe is undergoing renovations. I don’t want get to detailed on the whole plot because honestly it’s a ride.

It’s easier to talk about what I liked in this book which was the writing, the way it all unravelled. Sierra Simone is a poetic writer and her books kind of unfurl like a flower as you read them. You pick up new words. The sex scenes are incredible and tantalizing.

The things I didn’t love are more numerous. It was a winding plot. Oftentimes you were left feeling confused on the story and wondering what was going to happen. It all fell together a little to nicely at the end. The characters get some growth, but not enough with each one to explain some of the end. The attempts to be mysterious was meh. This book is so different from anything else by Sierra Simone as a series it really does end on a cliffhanger a big pet peeve for me.

I’m still interested in reading the next one, but I figure it will take me awhile to get through it. I come to Sierra Simone for a wild ride and this just felt like a long prologue to what is coming in the next few books.

Rating: 3 Stars

HEA/HFN: No, this is a series with a cliffhanger

Representation: LGBTQIA+

Content Warnings/Trigger Warnings: Deceased Parents, Murder, BDSM, Blood

Miscellany

Review: Wicked and The Wallflower by Sarah MacLean

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Hello, I am Isabel and I’m addicted to Sarah MacLean. If nothing has confirmed it this book has. I need to finish reading her backlist and I need every other book in this new series immediately.

We open by meeting Felicity Faircloth who you might remember from book 3 in Scandal and Scoundrel series. Don’t worry though you really don’t need the backstory for this one, but you will finish it and want to go back to those it’s pretty arbitrary details overall.

Either way I love the fact that this world ties into my favorite series by MacLean and we follow quite possibly the most interesting wallflower I’ve ever met. Felicity is full of independence, surprises and no fear of her emotions when comes down to getting what she wants. Devil is the king of the underground and running ice… Well more than ice but really that’s the key point. We follow Felicity and Devil as they both try to play each other for different means. I’ll leave the plot at that.

Let’s talk about the writing and how amazing this book is. I have read 7 of her books to date and this one is my favorite. The world building was incredible, I could see it all so vividly it was incredible. I can’t wait to see the rest of this world!

This is a must read for any of my romance friends 5/5 stars go pick this up!

reviews

Review: Royal Treatment by Tracy Wolff

 

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Genre:  Contemporary Romance

Series: Yes

Book number in series: 2 of 2

Rating: 3.5

Amazon Goodreads

Royal Treatment starts off extremely strong and well paced. Garrett and Lola have a chance run in at a local lake. It becomes apparent that Lola is a take no shit kinda girl and awesome. Garrett is your troubled hero who Wolff manages to make realistic and likeable. His struggles make sense and are well thought out.

 

There is some treatment with the mental health issues that rubbed me the wrong way. I do want to caution those who have triggers around PTSD and torture/abuse to not read this or go in with the knowledge it is there.

 

But onto the happier things. I really enjoyed my time with these characters. We had just enough drama to keep you interested between the sex. I loved watching Lola and Garrett develop as people on their own and together. Outside of one moment that had me going WHYY I was really happy with how they interacted.

 

I have not read the first book in this series, but like most romance it works as a stand alone quite well.  So pick it up if you want a fun contemporary royal story.

reviews

Review: Pretending He’s Mine by Mia Sosa

Pretending he's mine

Amazon | Goodreads

This is my first Mia Sosa book and it won’t be my last. I’ll preface this by saying I bought the first book as soon as I finished this one and I’m excited to read the sequel.

I found the story itself really engaging and enjoyable. We follow Ashley and Julian in the age old trope (that is oh so good) around the older siblings Best Friend. Years of pent up sexual tension come bubbling to a head as Ashley crashes at Julians house AND they have a pretend relationship. I was sold on the premise almost immediately.

Pretending He’s Mine is well written but lacks in some of the things I generally look for in romance. There is to much in the other characters heads for my taste. We read a lot about both Julian and Ashley fantasizing about each other instead of seeing them take action. Much less the fact it took a long time for them to really act anything out.

The positives of this book are more than the negatives though. I loved how the family dynamics were handled and how much growth we saw with the characters. They had relatively healthy family relationships and the drama of the entire book was pretty minor. I liked that it felt more real and not as unrealistic issues we often read about in contemporaries. Also the conflict and resolution happened pretty quickly. I did have my yelling at the book moment when Ashley and Julian hit their main conflict, but we got to see them fix their problems like adults.

Overall I enjoyed my time with these characters and left interested enough to buy the first book and want to read book 3. This really is the epitome of a solid 3 star read for me. I liked it but that’s about it. Perfect palette cleanser too after a heavy read!

If it sounds up your alley be sure to pick it up!

reviews

Review: Take the Lead by Alexis Daria

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Genre:  Contemporary Romance

Series: Yes

Book number in series: 1 of 2

Rating: 4/5

Amazon | Goodreads

First things first. This book was killer. Seriously a new favorite. I have a new auto buy author. I am blown away by this book. It was more than I expected and I can’t wait to read the sequel.

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reviews

Review: Zenith by Sasha Alsberg and Lindsay Cummings

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Genre:  YA Science Fiction

Series: Zenith

Book number in series: 1 of ??

Rating: 2.5/5

 

 

 

 

I truly appreciate a good space adventure. I’m a Mass Effect addict yes even to this day 1-3 are amazing! I loved the series so much. I love a good team up adventure as well, enemies to friends or former lovers to friends to lovers again tropes. Zenith promised a lot of things I thought I would love. It didn’t deliver on all those items.

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reviews

Review: Breath of Fire by Amanda Bouchet

 

 

Genre: Fantasy RomanceBreathofFire

Series: Kingmaker Chronicles

Book number in series: 2 of 3

Rating: 3/5

Amazon | Goodreads

 

 

 

 

 

 

I really adored the first book in this series A Promise of Fire. I really feel like Amanda Bouchet has created a really amazing world here. It’s a beautiful blending of mythology and a new fantasy world of sorts. The sequel wasn’t as good as the first, but I’m still left interested.

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