Book Review – These Vengeful Hearts

This book was provided via Netgalley in return for an honest review.

Book – These Vengeful Hearts

Author – Katherine Laurin

Genre – YA Contemporary Mystery

Release Date – 8 September 2020

Review – 3.8 blossoms

Book Review

A secret organization at Heller High School can grant favors or deal out punishments. Only no-one knows who they are or why they do what they do. But Ember Williams is hell-bent on finding out and getting in.

“Half of the school treated them like the Boogeyman…”

Why was Ember so obsessed with getting into this organization. For revenge, to take down the Queen of Hearts – the leader – down, for what they did to her sister. But it’s more than just that… She might also secretly…

Well, you’ll just have to read the book to find out what happens. Ember is an interesting character who keeps a few people close and there are some lines she won’t cross. Being someone with a moral compass pointed to good, wanting to get into this type of secret club took all her determination…

I liked how Katherine wrote an open ending, while answering the biggest of your questions. Now the only question is what will happen next? Quite a nice page turner mystery for young readers to sink their teeth into.

Book Review – Demons Lie

This book was provided to me via Netgalley in return for an honest review.

Book – Demons Lie

Series – The Girl’s Guide to Witchcraft and Demon Hunting #1

Author – Sherry D. Ficklin

Genre – YA Paranormal Urban Fantasy

Release Date – 31 October 2018

Review – 3 blossoms

Book Review

Aria is a witch and a demon hunter. Her life was turned upside down after she watched a demon kill her mother. Then her father abandoned her and committed suicide. Alone and full of rage, she hunts demons and closes the doorways through which they come into our world.

Aria is a strong protagonist and conflicted by what’s right and what she hopes for. When she finally feels like she had found people who can be family, she tries to keep her distance in order to do her job. But things work out a lot differently than she expected.

This was a good first installment for a urban paranormal series. I’d be more than happy to continue reading this series. Aria will climb into your heart with her sass and Maddie will be the younger sister you’d want to protect. Ben is an enigma, in more ways than one. We will be hoping for the best with him, and his future.

Book Review – Sugar Kisses

Book – Sugar Kisses

Series – 3:AM Kisses #3

Author – Addison Moore

Genre – New Adult Contemporary

Release Date – 10 February 2014

Rating – 4.3 blossoms

Book Review

This might just be my favorite book yet. Roxy is a strong, independent woman who was hurt by an idiot. Then she moves in with Cole, Baya’s brother, and refuses to fall for the Whitney Briggs College manwhore.

“I planted my Tampax right next to his razor. It was my way of saying, hello, I have a vagina that your penis will never invade. I bleed once a month, and if you don’t stay out of my way, chances are, you will, too.”

Cole never dreamed his true love would walk into his apartment and want his kitchen more than him. Women fall over themselves to have a night in his bed, but she couldn’t care less…

“… famous last words, the bitch is melting.”

Their romance, the fact that they didn’t instantly fall in love, their obvious flaws make them real. Like friends I’m getting to know better with each book. This is not a deep romance, but rather a fun, easy read, with flirty words and a sassy main female protagonist.

Book Review – Winter Kisses

Book – Winter Kisses

Series – 3:AM Kisses #2

Author – Addison Moore

Genre – New Adult Contemporary

Release Date – 1 November 2013

Rating – 4 blossoms

Book Review

“I used to believe in love. I used to believe that two people and one lifetime equaled happily ever after. I used to believe that the strong arms that once held me tight would always protect, never leave, never give up on us.”

The 3:AM Kisses series have now become my guilty pleasure reads when I need a break from fantasy books. This one was more of a short story, easily read in one sitting. Addison’s laugh-out-loud, sexy writing will have you smiling a lot. There is no crazy big plot or amazing reveal. You just know that the main characters will end up together.

We got introduced to Laney in book one and in this one her ‘happily ever after’ takes center stage. This was for sure the fastest read. If you need a pick-me-up with humor, a perfectly imperfect man called Ryder, and sexual scenes that might make your toes curl, then settle in with a nice hot drink. Best enjoyed in winter – of course – with some hot chocolate, is all I’m saying.

Book Review – The House of Styx

This book was provided to me via Netgalley in return for an honest review.

Book – The House of Styx

Series – Venus Ascendant #1

Author – Derek K√ľnsken

Genre – Science Fiction, LGBTQ+

Release Date – 18 August 2020

Rating – 4 blossoms

Book Review

This one took me weeks to read, not because it was bad, but rather because it was so dense and well written that I took my time to absorb every detail. There is always something happening – character growth, romance, adventure – this book had it all. Add the Venusian life, the clouds, and the scientific intricacies, and you’ll need to really focus or you’ll miss something big!

For most of the book, we follow three of the D’Aquillon family members, getting different perspectives of their lives in the cloud banks of Venus. Each one of them (Pascal, Marthe, and Emile) have their own struggles to face. There is great LGBTQ+ representation in this book, without overshadowing the overarching mystery of the plot.

There’s also a Down Syndrome character present, which we see even less of in books. The government urged the D’Aquillon family to abort, since his mental defect would weaken the population – which the parents refused – and the government then refused him medicine. This added another line of tension to the story.

The main plot is fully based in science, and I’m sure that I’ll never be able to explain this part well. It was so interesting to read, immersive and well thought out, that even a unscientific person like me could enjoy the book. Also, spoiler – there is a cliffhanger ending…

Derek’s writing had me hanging onto his every word with its detail. I felt transported to the clouds of Venus, feeling the excitement, danger, longing, loss, desperation and fear with the characters. I haven’t read a fictional book with this much diversity in years either!

A definite must-read for Sci-Fi fans!!

Book Review – Lies, Lies, Lies

This book was provided to me via Netgalley to read and review honestly.

Book – Lies, Lies, Lies

Author – Adele Parks

Genre – Thriller

Publisher – MIRA Books

Release Date – 5 September 2019

Rating – 3.5 blossoms

Book Review

Here’s the thing, I want to start out by saying I don’t want to spoil anything with this review, but you have to know this book has a trigger warning for sexual assault.

Now, this is a ‘on-the-edge-of-your-seat’ ‘slow-burn’ read. You will need to invest your time, and be prepared for some discomfort. In saying this, I thoroughly enjoyed and took my time with this read.

Simon is an alcoholic, a blackout drunk with no self-control. All he seems to think about is where his next drink will come from. But he also loves his wife, Daisy and his daughter, Millie. For him things went downhill fast with a suspected secret his wife seems to be keeping.

“Some people like maple syrup in their coffee, he liked whisky. It didn’t mean anything. It certainly wasn’t a dependency.”

Daisy was timid, shy, introverted, insecure. She keeps her secrets close, hides her insecurities behind her smile. All the choices she makes are to keep Millie safe.

“It’s not that I’m wise or considerate. It’s more that I’ve never had the self-assurance to trust my gut. The thing about people is that it takes years, and years, and years to know them. Really know them. Because we hide things, all of us, all the time. We’re ashamed, cautious or secretive. Sometimes, we just have trust issues and feel people need to earn the right to knowledge about our true selves. We don’t gift it generously. And even when you finally think you know someone, something changes. We can’t know each other. It’s a fool’s game trying to.”

So much happens and you’re right there going through it all with Daisy and Simon. The twists and turns had me gasping at times. I, at one point, had to stop reading to get some fresh air. It’s intense, the web of lies spun, being unspun slowly…

If you love thrillers that make your heart ache and turns you inside-out, pick this one up. It will stay with you long after you’ve finished reading!

Book Review – The Heart of Lies

Book – The Heart of Lies

Series – Paradise Valley Mystery #2

Author – Debra Burroughs

Genre – Romantic Suspense, Mystery

Release Date – 27 November 2013

Rating – 4.3 blossoms

Book Review

While Emily is still trying to find out who her dead husband really was and why he lied to her, a new threat is descending on Paradise Valley, and this one will affect Emily’s inner circle. While both Isabel and Emily are almost immediately suspicious, they have no idea how bad things will really get.

We get some multiple points of view in this read, although most of the main story is still seen through Emily’s viewpoint. Debra has great character transitions, which makes the story easy to follow.

Oh my word, Colin might just be the perfect man for Emily. He tries his best to be there for her and keep her safe, even though sometimes she doesn’t make it easy for him at all.

I found some typos and missing words, but not nearly enough to detract from the flow of the story.

The absolute best part of the series is still the friendship between Emily, Isabel, Maggie and Camille. Four very different women who love and support each other through all the ups and downs of life! #girlpower!

Another great read. I’ll be sure to continue with this series, since I really love the characters so much!

Book Review – Doon

Book – Doon

Series – Doon #1

Authors – Carey Corp & Lorie Langdon

Genre – YA Time Travel Romance

Release Date – 20 August 2013

Rating – 5 blossoms

Book Review

This is a retelling of the musical Brigadoon. Admittedly, I have not seen this musical at all and I have no idea what it’s even about…

We follow the dual perspectives of Veronica and Mackenna throughout their journey. They are travelling to Alloway, Scotland for their summer break. Mackenna is ready to take Veronica’s mind off her ex. The only problem is that Vee is too caught up in visions of a new kilt-wearing guy who is calling her to the Brig ‘o Doon.

Things get complicated really fast when they cross the bridge and find themselves in Doon, accused of being in league with an evil witch! Oh, there is also some magic, the witch is cursed and people are going missing…

I loved this book so much! I’ve been putting off reading this for a while and now I wonder why.

Veronica and Mackenna felt so realistically flawed, like they might step out of the book at any moment. The romance was realistic, not instantly fall in love nonsense… I ship Vee and Jamie, Kenna and Duncan, and Fergus and Fiona!

Doon is one magical realm hidden within our own world that I’ll want to visit for sure, right after Hogwarts (which is also located in Scotland – I don’t think this is a coincidence.)

Feels like coming home for me…

Book Review – 3:AM Kisses

Book – 3:AM Kisses

Series – 3:AM Kisses #1

Author – Addison Moore

Genre – New Adult Contemporary Romance

Release Date – 17 September 2013

Rating – 3.7 blossoms

Book Review

I haven’t read a book this fast in a long time. And since I don’t often read romantic comedies, that’s saying something. This book had me tearing up from laughing so hard. I loved every second!

Baya is a sweetheart, a good girl with a heart of gold. Her brother, Cole, is a protective man whore. Then there is Bryson, the hunk who falls for Baya, even as he was trying not to, since he is roommates with Cole, and his past haunts him still.

While most of the book is about a fun college experience with loads of sexual scenes, and cliches, there is a beautiful romance to enjoy as well. This was an easy read, fun and hilarious. Don’t expect a profound message, but if you need a pick-me-up, this is the book for you.

We read the story through dual points of view from Baya and Bryson. I thoroughly enjoyed Addison’s writing, typos and all. As an independent author, she is doing a great job with her stories. One can easily get lost in them!

Also, there is some great girl power present in Baya, Laney and Roxy…

Quotes from the book:

“Sometimes life has its way with you. It peels back the layers of your existence like the skin of an onion until the real you glows underneath, raw and painful to the touch.”

“Talk about your first day trauma and drama. As if the fact my boobs insisted on taking a look around campus wasn’t bad enough – although technically my new roommate showed me up in the boob drama department. She was large and in charge, and, holy shit, those things were spinning out of control like hands on some demonic clock.”

Book Review – Desperation

Book – Desperation

Series – The Island #1

Author – C.B. Stone

Genre – YA Sci-Fi Dystopian

Release Date – 9 July 2015

Rating – 2 blossoms

Book Review

I had such high hopes for this book. Reagan Rykehart was caught with drugs, not hers, and sent to the Grady Island Reintegration camp, but she does not make it there. She jumps off the boat and swims to the nearest shore, finding herself on Halcyon Island instead, run by David, a religious leader…

Reagan is suspicious early on, wondering whether this island is too good to be true. With all the people obliviously happy, following the rules and doing their part for the community, things seem fine on the surface.

“My skin does a little crawling thing at the way he says my name, but I can’t for the life of me figure out why.”

Reagan is a consistent character, with a bit of a temper and great intuition. Connor is a bit of an enigma, but I didn’t learn nearly enough about him to form a descent opinion yet.

But this was just a waste of time in my opinion. Just when things started to get interesting, the story ends, prompting you to get the second book. The only problem is that I’m not even invested in the story or the characters yet, so why would I want to? Even if there was potential, which there is, I wouldn’t yet be interested in finding out at all.