Dream a Little Dream by Giovanna Fletcher

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Original Title: Dream a Little Dream

Year Published: 2015

Published by:  Penguin

Number of Pages: 419

First Sentence: I’m by the canal.

Goodreads Rating: 4/5

Plot:

Sarah is doing just fine. Sure she’s been single for the last five years, and has to spend an uncomfortable amount of time around her ex-boyfriend, his perfect new girlfriend and all their mutual friends. And yes, her job as a PA to one of the most disgusting men in London is mind-numbingly tedious and her career is a constant disappointment to her mother. But it’s really okay. She’s happy (ish).

But it’s not surprising that when Sarah starts dreaming about a handsome stranger, she begins to look forward to falling asleep every night. Reality isn’t nearly as exciting. That is until her dream-stranger makes an unexpected real-life appearance, leaving Sarah questioning everything she thought she wanted.

Because no one ever really finds the person of their dreams… do they?

My thoughts:

This was a really fun and entertaining book to read. I enjoyed it from the get-go and pretty much all the way through. It was definitely a feel-good book that had me laughing out loud several times. As any chick-lit books, it did have some moments where you wanted to cover your eyes in embarrassment.

Sarah was a lovely character and I could definitely relate to her and her struggles with adulting. I loved to see her grow throughout this book and get more comfortable with herself and start to challenge herself in love and life. It was fun to see her relationships with her friends and seeing the romance play out and develop.

I will say that I was a bit worried in the beginning when Sarah was irrationally mad at the new perfect girlfriend of her ex-boyfriend. Sure, having a seven-year-long relationship end because the man you believed was your soulmate must be extremely heartbreaking, especially if he immediately moves on to another girl that appears perfect. In this instance, I’d rather see the blame go to the man, who cheated and couldn’t be honest with his partner, instead of the woman that is perceived as the reason for the relationship falling apart.

Do I recommend it? 

Yes, I do.

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Arc Review: Highlander Redeemed by Laurin Wittig (Guardians of the Targe #3)

24202300.jpgOriginal Title: Highlander Redeemed

Year Published: 2015

Published by: Montlake Romance (an arc was kindly provided via NetGalley in exchange for an honest review)

Number of Pages: 272

First Sentence: Scotia MacAlpin pushed her dark hair out of her face with the back of her water-wrinkled hand, then looked up from the huge pot she was scouring as she had every morning and every evening for what seemed her entire lifetime, though it had only been a fortnight or a little more. 

Goodreads Rating: 4/5

Plot:

Scotia MacAlpin may be only eighteen years old, but she’s no stranger to trouble. Her latest incident—which resulted in a death and forced her clan into battle—has made her an outcast among her exiled people. Scotia is tired of being ignored and overshadowed by her sister, a gifted Guardian of the Targe, and she’s become hell-bent on destroying the army out to capture the ancient Highland relic for their English king.

Duncan of Dunlairig has looked out for Scotia since she started to walk. She was as restless and reckless then as she is now—only the stakes have become higher and more perilous. While the rest of Clan MacAlpin ostracizes her, Duncan secretly helps Scotia become the warrior she yearns to be. But the real test of her skills may come when he needs her help—and her long-forgotten heart—in this thrilling and romantic Guardians of the Targe tale.

My thoughts:

I had no idea that this book was the third in a series so I was really worried that this book would be unreadable without having read the first two books. However, I had no problem grasping the story or enjoying this as a sort of stand-alone. There are some things that you miss out on of course, but it was still quite enjoyable.

At first, I found Scotia to be a little spoilt brat, but the more I read I realized that she was honestly being blamed for things she wasn’t even guilty of. It wasn’t just because of her being the main p.o.v, it became obvious even from Duncan’s p.o.v. The other people had decided that she was useless and only brought trouble and couldn’t see that she was a different person from what they thought.

Duncan was an absolute sweetheart but sadly enough he also thought that Scotia deliberately tried to cause trouble for the clan. However, he did listen to her and did try to help her when he realised that she was just misunderstood.

The plot was fairly interesting. Since I had not read the first two books some things did go over my head. But overall it was interesting and quite fun to read. The girl was actually the one to save the day, the boy did not need to come in and save her. This was quite lovely.

Do I recommend it?

Yes, I do, but I would suggest that you read the first two books first.

There You Stand by Christina Lee

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Original Title: There You Stand

Year Published: 2015

Published by:  Penguin/InterMix

Number of Pages: 250

First Sentence: I swallowed past the lump in my throat and leaned over to pat Chopper, the dog I’d inherited a couple of month’s ago from Joey, my latest asshole boyfriend.”

Goodreads Rating: 5/5

Plot:

Tattoo artist Cory Easton has worked long enough at Raw Ink to know, just by looking at a dude, what his body art reveals, what makes him tick, what even makes him scared. Until he meets the quiet and remote Jude York—so unreadable, so unreachable, and so unlike anyone else, he can’t help but arouse Cory’s curiosity.

As captivating and complex as his ink, Jude is a mystery—and Cory’s falling fast and hard under his spell. Against his better judgment to steer clear.

The rumors of Jude’s past overshadow him—whispers of prison and an unmentionable secret that’s kept him in the protective shadows of a local motorcycle club. As Cory probes deeper, he wonders how much he really wants to know. Especially since Jude has awakened something inside him that has been buried too long—and has him feeling completely alive for the first time in forever…

My thoughts:

This was such an amazing book! I’ve had it on my Kindle for ages because my wifey (Kayla) recommended it to me but I just took forever to pick it up. It was such a good read though, and reading it ended with me devouring all of Lee’s M/M romance books (for real, I’m not kidding. Took me like four days and it was well worth it).

I absolutely loved these characters from the get-go and just had to know what was going to happen next for them. Cory was an absolute sweetheart and a bit of a dork. Jude was the more silent brooding type but still a sweetheart. Together they were magical and I fell head over heels in love with both of them.

The characters in this book overall were fantastic and I loved most of them (there are of course some bad eggs in there). Because of this, I was so happy when I found out that Lee had written more books in this universe.

The plot was really great with the perfect mix of humour, drama and motorcycles to make it a great read. The drama never became soap-opera like, which it has a tendency to do in some books, but instead stayed at a realistic level. There are some fun and interesting twists and turns that kept me interested all the way through. Brilliant read.

Do I recommend it? 

Hell yes, I do!

Incarnate by Jodi Meadows (New Soul #1)

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Original Title: Incarnate

Year Published: 2013

Published by: Katherine Tegen

Number of Pages: 374

First Sentence: What is a soul, but a consciousness born and born again?

Goodreads Rating: 4/5

Plot:

New soul

Ana is new. For thousands of years in Range, a million souls have been reincarnated over and over, keeping their memories and experiences from previous lifetimes. When Ana was born, another soul vanished, and no one knows why.

No soul

Even Ana’s own mother thinks she’s a nosoul, an omen of worse things to come, and has kept her away from society. To escape her seclusion and learn whether she’ll be reincarnated, Ana travels to the city of Heart, but its citizens are afraid of what her presence means. When dragons and sylph attack the city, is Ana to blame?

Heart

Sam believes Ana’s new soul is good and worthwhile. When he stands up for her, their relationship blooms. But can he love someone who may live only once, and will Ana’s enemies—human and creature alike—let them be together? Ana needs to uncover the mistake that gave her someone else’s life, but will her quest threaten the peace of Heart and destroy the promise of reincarnation for all?

My thoughts:

I really liked this book. I sort of stumbled over it when I was at the library and just decided to borrow it. I am glad that I made that choice. It was an enjoyable read and pretty good.

The world was really interesting and at the same time kind of scary. I think it was because the idea of being constantly reborn and always remembering your previous lives is kind of difficult to grasp (I mean, I can hardly remember what I did last week) and I think it is scary to think of death, but imagine remembering every single time you died. Horrible, and quite traumatic, two things that are actually mentioned in the book.

This is a world where there are no “new souls” being born, instead, everyone is reincarnated. This means that our main character, Ana, is an anomaly for having a new soul. All the other inhabitants believe that she is a sort of killer since a person was killed and their soul disappeared. Ana has therefore been sort of shunned and mistreated her entire life. But she is a great main character, she doesn’t seek pity from others, instead, she just wants to be understood. This is reasonable, considering the fact that she is being accused of a crime she didn’t commit.

Sam, along with some others, believe that Ana is innocent and good. He, therefore, tries to integrate her into the society and make people see her as innocent and as the person she actually is. I liked Sam, he was an interesting and complex character, that I really enjoyed reading about.

The plot was really entertaining and quite fun. It was somewhat weirdly paced though, with some parts flying by and others dragging on for quite some time. But overall, it was a really entertaining and enjoyable book.

Do I recommend it? 

Yes, I do.

Strange and Ever After by Susan Dennard (Something Strange and Deadly #3)

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Original Title: Strange and Ever After

Year Published: 2014

Published by:  HarperTeen

Number of Pages: 416

First Sentence: I was not supposed to be here.

Goodreads Rating: 4/5

Plot:

It has been a tumultuous time for Eleanor Fitt since life as she knew it in Philadelphia came abruptly to an end. Although the Spirit-Hunters Joseph, Jie, and Daniel have helped her survive, Eleanor has lost just about everything.

And now, Jie is missing taken by the evil necromancer Marcus. Eleanor is determined not only to get her back but to finally end this nightmare. To do so, she must navigate the hot desert streets of nineteenth-century Egypt amid the rising Dead, her unresolved feelings for Daniel, and her volatile relationships with Joseph and Oliver, her demon. And it won’t be easy. Because Allison, her friend from Philadelphia, has tagged along, becoming strangely entangled in Eleanor’s mission.

It will take all of Eleanor’s powers of black magic, and all of Daniel’s and Joseph’s trust, to succeed. But there will be a price.

My thoughts:

I read the two first books in this trilogy pretty quickly, but then I hit a reading slump and it took me ages to actually pick up the third book. It didn’t help that I managed to get the ending of the book spoiled. Knowing what was going to happen kept me from picking it up. In the end I figured I better get it over with, and the book is really good so it was worth it.

I do find that Eleanor has gotten more spoiled and self-centered throughout the books. It’s more “woe is me” than gritting her teeth and working to set things right. She does get called out on it by the other characters though so I assume it is a deliberate thing by Dennard. At the same time, I really like Eleanor. I have a feeling I would be pretty much “woe is me” if what happened to her happened to me. So I can sympathise but it does get slightly annoying. However, it is mostly through the first half of the book, then she buckles down and does her best to save the world.

Pretty much all the characters from the previous books (the living ones that is) return for this book. It was really nice, although some turned out to hide some pretty big secrets. It felt like we came full circle, and it really feels like you get to say your goodbyes to the characters.

The plot was pretty fun and very action-packed. Actually, the action hardly let up. It was go go go from the start til the end. But it was pretty much perfectly balanced so it never got boring or too much. Instead, it was an almost perfectly paced book and a pleasure to read. The ending however, left me a little stunned. It is the author’s prerogative to write whatever ending he/she wants, but this was not the ending I wanted. Yes, it wasn’t a totally outlandish ending, it just wasn’t where I wanted the story to end. Still, it was a really good book and an ending that worked for the story.

Do I recommend it? 

Yes, I do.

The Medium Path by Elizabeth Davies

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Original Title: The Medium Path

Year Published: 2015

Published by: Romance Beckons  (an arc was kindly provided via NetGalley in exchange for an honest review)

Number of Pages: 250

First Sentence: If I wasn’t dead, today would be my one-hundred-and-third birthday.

Goodreads Rating: 4/5

Plot:

Ruby died nearly one hundred years ago. She saw spirits of the dead when she was alive, and now she is dead she has become a guide who helps ghosts pass on. When ghosts start being taken by darkness instead of the light, Ruby is forced to seek help from a handsome and unwilling medium, who awakens emotions she never knew she had.

My thoughts:

This book started off slowly for me, but then picked up and managed to get interesting. I almost gave up after the first two chapters but stuck with it which I’m so happy about. The story turned out to be both interesting and fun.

Ruby was a quite interesting character. In body, she is only supposed to be around her late teens, but since she is a ghost she is actually around a 100 years old. That means that she is an extremely mature teenager. She still has some insecurities though and she tries to make decisions that won’t hurt others. Despite not being totally happy about her own situation she still cares for others.

Michael is an unwilling medium. As in, he has tried to ignore the fact that he is a medium for his whole life. When he meets Ruby he has no choice but to accept it, although he does it soooo reluctantly.

The plot was interesting and fun. There are several subplots that do help the main story move along, but also ensures that the book stays interesting to the end. Sure, there are some moments that aren’t that fun or interesting, but overall it was a good read. I should also say that it was predictable but that didn’t matter because the journey to the end was fun anyway.

Do I recommend it? 

Yes, I do.

Devil’s Kiss by Ella Frank (Sunset Cove #2)

29742760Original Title: Devil’s Kiss

Year Published: 2016

Published by:  Ella Frank, LLC. 

Number of Pages: 315

First Sentence: Derek Pearson pushed open the door of Leighton, Finley & Associates, and stepped out on the paved sidewalk.

Goodreads Rating: 4/5

Plot:

What do you do when the one you least expect to matter…

Ends up mattering the most?

Derek Pearson likes to think he’s an easygoing guy. Uncomplicated, upfront, and unapologetic with what he wants. His what you see is what you get attitude is on prominent display for anyone who cares to look, and his foul mouth is right there to back it up should you miss the point.

However, what you see isn’t always what you get, and only a select few have ever glimpsed the real man under the brash exterior.

Among them? Professor Jordan Devaney. Complicated, high-maintenance, and vibrant, he’s Derek’s opposite in every way. From the moment they saw each other, a love-hate relationship began.
But what happens when one person wants more?

My thoughts:

I really loved the first book in in this duology, Finley, which was fun and interesting, presenting several characters, main and minor, that had you hooked. Two of those minor characters are now our main characters, something which was very lovely since those two had me curious during the first book. I was thrilled to see that Frank had given them their own book.

Our two characters are Derek and Jordan, and you couldn’t ask for two more different characters. Derek is from a poor and homophobic family where he was abused by his drunkard of a father and unsympathetic brother. He put himself through school and started his own business despite being thought of as a lost cause. Jordan, in contrast, is a rich boy, out and proud with loving parents, who is also a freaking genius. He has had pretty much everything served on a silver platter. Despite having personal experiences that should make them either spoilt or brutish in character, they are both proper marshmallows and I absolutely loved them both. I loved that Frank created two such different characters and showed that it is not where you come from that matters, it is who you are.

The plot was kind of obvious, but that doesn’t mean that it wasn’t a fun read. Frank mixes past events with present events, which created a fun narrative. There were some unexpected twists and turns that were really fun, and Frank manages to keep the story realistic without making it boring. It has some drama, but it doesn’t feel overplayed or unnecessary. Instead, it is perfectly interjected into the story to keep it fresh and interesting.

Do I recommend it? 

Yes, I do.