Wednesday, 23 November 2016

Before Beauty by Brittany Fichter


**PLEASE NOTE THIS REVIEW MAY CONTAIN SPOLERS** 

With the freedom of the kingdom at stake, can an accursed prince and a broken beauty move beyond their hatred for one another, not only to break the curse, but to find love as well?

Prince Everard’s father spent the boy's youth forging the prince into a warrior. Upon the king’s death, however, Everard realizes he’s lost himself somewhere along the way, and in his pain, makes a decision that brings a dark curse upon both him and the great Fortress that has so long guarded the people of Destin.

The prince's sin doesn’t simply affect those of his citadel, however. Isa, the daughter of a local merchant, has suffered the prince’s hasty temper before, and it changed her life forever. When Everard’s final outburst cuts off his people’s source of protection with the curse, he demands that she, a crippled commoner, comes to help him break it. All the while, Destin’s northern enemy crouches at the foot of the Fortress’s mountain, waiting for the right moment to capture the stronghold that has stood for a thousand years.

Can Ever and Isa move past their brokenness to save Destin together, or will they and their beloved kingdom remain under darkness forever?

With Beauty and the Beast being one of my all time favorite stories I have read many re-tales.
This is a brilliant re-telling and one I know I will read again. 

The story started off different than other re-tales. Where most start off with the Prince already cursed, this version actually introduces you to the Princes when he is just a boy, which was a nice surprise. 
Instead of being introduced to the 'Beauty' first, Brittany opens the book with Prince Everard (Ever), where we see him for the boy he is, trying to become the man his father wants him to be.

Interestingly Brittany had decided that the King and Prince have powers of blue flames granted to them by the fortress that is their kingdom. And Ever seems to be the strongest one for generations. This aids them in battle and also allows them to heal injuries.   

A rather unfortunate meeting with Isabelle -who is playing the Beauty of the story-leaves the prices despising her for years, even though he doesn't see her again for more than a decade.
The book then moves onto the boy now turned into a respected Prince and solider, preparing to choose a bride. 

Here we are introduced to Nevina, who is the main antagonist. She wields a dark power compared to Ever's own blue fire, which allows her to create nightmares and torture her foes, even friends. She had attended Ever's ball hoping that he would forget the torment she caused him as a child and pick her as his wife. When she realizes this is not going to happen, she declares war on Ever and his Kingdom.

The king falls in the attack on Nevina, meanign Ever must now become king. However, he has become someone the fortress believes unfit to rule. At the coronation, the fortress refuses him and sends the land into darkness. The only way to regain his lands and finally defeat Nevina is to break the spell. 

Another twist that Brittany puts in her book, is making the Beauty imperfect. Isabelle has never been beautiful, her wrist and ankle were beyond repair when they were broken by a horse when she was child.
She walks with a limp and cannot do the tasks that other women can due to her damaged hand. 

After her fiancee leaves her she thinks she has no purpose anymore. Then her father seeks shelter from the snow storm in the fortress where the cursed Prince demands that he send his daughter to him in three days. 

Prince Ever hopes Isabelle will be the one to break the curse. Isabelle doesn't even know where to begin. She despises the Prince. 

But perhaps he was not the man she had thought he was all this time.

Overall, with the new elements that the author has added to her characters, and the story she has created kept me hooked until the end. 

The only minor I can point out is that she seemed to refer to her character by the wrong name at one point. It is stated within the first few chapters of the book that Prince Ever's mother is named Queen Louise, but then half way through the book she is referred to as Queen Monica, then at the end she is Queen Louise again.
Just a minor point and nothing that ruins the book. 

If you love fairy tales then this is a book you will certainly enjoy.

Better yet, it has TWO sequels which I will be moving onto soon. 

 

 






Sunday, 18 September 2016

Dragon Rose By Christine Pope




 "For the first time, I understood reality could be so much lovelier than dreams"

Dragon Rose is a book from the Tales of the Latter Kingdoms series by Christine Pope.
If you like re-telling of classic Disney stories but with a new twist then this series is something you should definitely have a look at.  

At the beginning of the book we meet Rhianne, the eldest of 4 daughters who is being courted by a much older man, hoping she will marry him.
Her mother thinks this is a good suit for her daughter, but Rhianne has different ideas. 
Selflessly saving her best friend from a marriage to the Dragon of Black's Keep, Rhianne offers herself as his bride.

There are lots of stories about how the Lord of Black's keep became a dragon, everyone knows he was cursed, but no one knows why or how to break the curse. 

Will Rhianne be the one to break it? Or will she perish like his many brides before her? 

"No, Rhianne" he exclaimed, and his arms tightened around me. "Fight it. You must fight it, my darling."

Christine Pope keeps you immersed in this story with great characters and a story line that will have you hooked. 

Her writing keeps the book flowing at a great pace and doesn't go to heavy into things that will never concern the character again.

As much as Lord Theran, the Dragon of Black's Keep is a private character you feel you get to know him well enough to want him to get his happy ending, but he is still held back from the reader a great deal so to keep the mystery surrounding him and his curse.

The only thing I would have liked to have seen more of was the Dragon form itself, it appears only twice in the whole book and only for a paragraph or two at most. The rest is Theran in his human form.
Also the only interaction Rhianne and Theran had was when they had dinner together at night. It would have been interesting to see the characters together in a different inviroment. 
at the end you never hear what happens to the servants with their new Lord and how they have reacted, which would also have been nice to see. 

Over all it was an very enjoyable read and I am certainly going to be picking up the other stories in this collection!





Thursday, 8 October 2015

Cursed by Jennifer Armentrout Review


Dying sucks
...and high school senior Ember McWilliams knows firsthand. 

After a fatal car accident, her gifted little sister brought her back. Now anything Ember touches dies. And that, well, really blows.

Ember operates on a no-touch policy with all living things--including boys. When Hayden Cromwell shows up, quoting Oscar Wilde and claiming her curse is a gift, she thinks he's a crazed cutie. But when he tells her he can help control it, she's more than interested. There's just one catch: Ember has to trust Hayden's adopted father, a man she's sure has sinister reasons for collecting children whose abilities even weird her out. However, she's willing to do anything to hold her sister's hand again. And hell, she'd also like to be able to kiss Hayden. Who wouldn't?

But when Ember learns the accident that turned her into a freak may not've been an accident at all, she's not sure who to trust. Someone wanted her dead, and the closer she gets to the truth, the closer she is to losing not only her heart, but her life.

For real this time.

PLEASE NOTE THIS REVIEW CONTAINS SPOILERS!

I know this book was released a while ago, but I am just trying to get through my "to read" pile and this is one I have been meaning to get to for a while.

In Cursed we meet Ember, a girl who died in a tragic car accident with her father but was brought back to life by her younger sister Olivia. Now anything that Ember touches... dies.

Understandably, she has become withdrawn from society because of this and spends most of her time being mother to her younger sister as her own mother is unable to do so. 

Whilst out grocery shopping with Olivia her ex boyfriend -who she has a rather hostile relationship with- comes over to her and after a verbal argument, ends up touching her, causing his death. 

This leads to Ember and her family being taken in by Cromwell. A man who has a gift of his own and houses other children with gifts. 
There she meets Hayden, Cromwell adopted son who also has a gift. Cromwell wants his son to stay away from Ember for his own safety since she can't control her gift. But Hayden is too curious to listen and believes he can help Ember control it. 

Reading Cursed I wasn't as normally excited as I normally get reading a Jennifer Armentrout book. Usually, I can't put it down until its finished. 
She is one author who is really good at finishing all points and not leaving anything unanswered, yet when I finished this book I immediately looked online to see if there was a sequel. I was sure there hadn't been a sequel released and I couldn't find one either yet there seemed to be two things I noticed that were left unanswered. 
1/ They thought the teacher was the one responsible for the crash and her fathers death but he says that he had nothing to do with it. So who was it? 
2/ At the end when Ember is in hospital she vaguely regains consciousness and there is a woman talking to Cromwell dad about her being very important and she cannot be harmed.
It seemed that Jennifer Armentrout intended for there to be a sequel but it hasn't happened yet and I am unsure whether one is planned. (please someone correct me if I am wrong about any of this)


Over all the writing was very good and the plot was interesting. So I am giving this book a rating of 3 out of 5 stars. I would be really interested in a sequel or novella to complete this story 














Wednesday, 13 May 2015

Wanted By Kelly Elliott

Spoilers within Review!

Verbally abused by her mother for years, 18-year-old Ellie Johnson always believed she would never be loved or wanted by anyone. She focused all of her attention on her grades and getting into the University of Texas to start a new life away from her mother. 

The last thing Ellie expected was to fall in love with Gunner Mathews, a starting linebacker for the University of Texas football team and not to mention, her brother's best friend. 

Gunner only has two passions in life, football and his grandfather’s ranch, until he falls for his best friends little sister. He will stop at nothing to show Ellie how much he wants her, even if it means he has to move faster than she would like. 

Gunner knows they are meant to be together forever, but Ellie keeps denying her feelings out of fear of being hurt again. Every time he gets close to winning her love, something pushes her away again. Will Ellie ever be able to let go of the past and let him into her heart, and will Gunner be patient enough to wait for her? 

What will it take for them to realize they are all each other have ever WANTED?




I noticed on a Facebook post that this book was now free. The blurb sounded good so I decided to download it. 
I have to admit though that I have given up on it as of Chapter 9.
There were a few things that i didn't like about this book. 
The first being that Jefferson and Ellie and brother and sister, and due to their terrible upbringing by an alcoholic mother they are pretty close siblings.
However, at times I felt like there relationship was just too close for siblings.
Some examples are : 

  1. Jefferson calls Ellie honey. A whole damn lot. 
  2. In one chapter he lifts her hand and kisses it! (yes, kisses it! I'm sure it's the back of the hand as well)
  3. Ellie says (in chapter 3 i think) that Jefferson is "the most handsome man" she had ever seen (girl that's your brother!)

One of the other let downs of the book was that the first few chapters are repetitive as well. You get one chapter from Ellie's point of view. Then you get the same chapter from Gunners point of view. So you are re-reading all the same dialogue again, the only thing that is new is you see what Gunner and Jefferson were doing before coming to save Ellie and you get to hear Gunners feelings. The chapter from his point of view was just not needed i felt. Would have perhaps been good as a bonus scene at the end or on the authors website. 

Another thing that bothered me was that i was on chapter 9 and the book was still on the same afternoon/night. You hadn't even read on to the next day yet, so to me, the book was just going far too slow.

It is constantly shoved down your throat that Jefferson is major protective of his sister and has kicked guys asses before because of the way they have treated Ellie. Ellie tells you this, Ari, Ellies friend tells you this. Then you hear from Gunners POV how many times Jefferson has threatened bodily harm to any of his friends if they try it on with his sister, and has even gone to the extent of not even letting any of them meet his sister. Including Gunner his best friend of 3 years whom he lives with. Then on the first day (as stated the only day I read about in the book) Ellies boyfriend gets caught cheating and she punches him in the face, majorly hurting her hand and Jefferson and Gunner have to take her to hospital. 
Gunner realizes he is head over heels for a gal he has known only a matter of hours, and tells Jefferson he is attracted to his sister and after all the protectiveness crap you have had to read and hear about time and time again, Jefferson is okay with it!! (What the heck!?).
His reason being that Gunner is the only guy he would trust with his sister. Which doesn't explain why he has let the guy meet her in 3 years!

As far as Gunner is concerned you get told many times (again in the same day within the book) that he has an erection at the slightest thing Ellie does. I am sure it was mentioned 6 or 7 times at least that he was turned on because she smiled or ate or blinked! He even has to leave the room on a few occasions because of it.

All in all the only thing i am happy with about this book was that it was free. The book has just been re-edited as of 2015 so i dread to see what the old edited edition was like

I started writing this review with an idea of 3 stars as the rating but after thinking more of the book and the things that bothered me with it. The rating has dropped to 1.5







Sunday, 8 February 2015

Hero by Samantha Young

"Caine Carraway in a business suit was gorgeous. Caine Carraway out of a suit was sexy as hell."


What a roller coaster of emotions this book takes you through.
At times I think I was more in love with Caine than Alexa and then other times all I wanted to do was knock some sense into him.

Caine doesn't think her deserves love or happiness due to decisions he has made in his past. The last person he was expecting to change this was Alexa Holland, the girls whose father ruined his life and started him on his journey of being alone.

Samantha writes this book beautifully. The book takes you through every emotion imaginable, pain, hurt, loss, love, laughter, regret, but you never feel overcome by them as there is humor placed at just the correct moments. 

The chemistry between Caine and Alexa is so well written and she was the perfect counter for his dominant male attitude. One of the main things I enjoyed about their relationship was that she pulled him up if he was out of order or crossed the line and the outcomes were very entertaining.

Caine is the first character I have read who I seriously think could over take Braden from On Dublin Street and we all know how much he is adored by Samantha's readers. I still can't decide which one I like best. It would be seriously epic just to sit them two down and see how they interact with one another. 

I have to say though my favorite character was Effie, the elderly neighbor who lives next to Caine. 
She was just hysterical and eccentric. Delivering humor at the right moments. Some of the things she came out with made me laugh out loud.

"Don't," I pleaded. "He told me to my face that he doesn't love me. I don't need false hope from you."
Effie scowled. "No, you need a swift kick up the ass."

If you are a fan of Samantha Young's On Dublin Street series, then you will definitely love Hero this is a book you just don't want to end.




Thursday, 5 February 2015

A Shade of Vampire by Bella Forrest

"You will only risk your life trying to escape, Sofia. So let's make this simple.
Don't ever try it again."


I bought this book after seeing it advertised on my facebook page. Not going to lie at first I was worried that it was going to be some odd vampire version of Fifty Shades of Grey. Thankfully, it wasn't. 
I must say I am now completely hooked on this series!

One of my favorite things when reading a book is when the author doesn't fill the first few chapters of the book with a lot of mindless information about the characters, as if they are trying to catch you up with the last so many years of their lives until the moment your reading from. I usually give up pretty fast with books like that.
Bella Forrest, doesn't do this. She gives slight bits of information throughout the book but still not to much that you feel like you can predict the character.

The main characters she gives us in A Shade of Vampire Sofia and Derek. 
Sofia has crossed the boundary and fallen in love with her best friend Ben. She isn't very confident and practically hides in Ben's shadow.
One bad decision to walk to the beach ends up with her being kidnapped and taken to The Shade. 
An Island that his hidden from humans where a coven of vampires reside. Including Prince Derek, newly awoken from hundreds of years of slumber.
The pairing between these two just fits perfectly. I loved the fact that Derek was no force to be reckoned with but at the same time was affectionate and caring. 
He can't understand how Sofia has got his feelings mixed up the way they are, but one thing is for sure. He will protect her at all costs.

Sofia comes out of her shell on the Island, befriending the guards and acting as carer for other human girls that were kidnapped at the same time as her. At the beginning of her time on the Island she realizes that her best chance of survival is to remain in Derek's good graces. He is after all the Prince and strongest vampire on the Island. But spending time with him makes her see he still has a sense of humanity in him, and soon she comes to realize she wants to please him but she genuinely cares for him and how he cares for her.
However, there wouldn't be a story without danger. Lucas, Derek's elder brother was the one that kidnapped Sofia and he wants her for himself. She can't be safe with him around but she can't bare the thought of leaving Derek's side.

I will defiantly be continuing with this series and can't believe it has taken me so long to come across it. It's already at book 10!!!


FIVE STARS!!!







Thursday, 22 January 2015

From Gods (Descendant Prophecies Book 1) by Mary Ting


Please note there are slight spoilers in my review

I must admit this book was hard to stick with, but I kept thinking give it more time. However, even up to chapter ten I was considering giving up. 
At the start it just seemed very slow starting and having no direction, as though the author was just writing anything until they got to the more action parts of the book. 
I found some conversations just went on and on and talking about things that were completely irrelevant.
Parts of the book were very poorly written and there seemed to be far too much of so-and-so said, then so-and-so said, and then some responses to conversations made no sense what-so-ever!
The parts of the book where one character was texting another seemed to go on forever and was just dragged out to long. Example :
miss you
miss you too
bye 
bye 
(and that is a short example)

Some things were also very unbelievable. In one scene Skylar goes to buy everyone beer and when she gets asked for ID her thought is : "I forgot i couldn't buy beer because i had never bought one before"
Really? Come on. She randomly forgot she was 18. It would have been more believable if she has said she forgot her fake ID or something. 
In another scene Mason saves Skylar from one of his brothers, asks her to stay in his bed with her so he can protect her and then wakes up in the morning and has no idea why she was there
Fair enough he was drugged but when she says about his brother he remembers instantly. (not something you would forget in a hurry)
The story didn't really hold my attention at all, the ending is left on a big cliff hanger but even that isn't making me consider reading the next book

Two of of five stars for this one!