ARC Review: Sinful Secrets by Melissa Ohnoutka

Sinful Secrets

Sinful Secrets
Author: Melissa Ohnoutka
Publisher: Entangled Publishing
Date of Publication: November 14, 2016
Genre: Romance, Adult, Suspense, Contemporary


Synopsis new

Event planner Joanna McNamee is scrambling to ensure her father’s company Christmas party goes smoothly, but one disaster after another has her convinced someone is trying to sabotage her career. With the help of a man from her past who she’s still not sure she can trust, she puts the pieces together and realizes her business is the least of her problems—a cold-blooded killer is out to destroy her father and take her as his prized possession.

The last thing Deputy Ryker Kane expects is for a simple truck hijacking to throw him back into the middle of the Black Widow case he’d been forced to abandon, not to mention right into the arms of the sweet woman he’d let walk away ten years earlier. When he finds Jo Jo kidnapped and drugged, he has to use all his wits and skills honed from years as a detective to save them both. Despite the secrets between them, Ryker’s bound and determined to give them a second chance at love.

my thoughts new

I’m sad to say that I really didn’t enjoy this book. Maybe because my expectations were different. I expected it to be more on the romantic side than on the suspense since the cover and the synopsis tells otherwise. Apart from that, there were just so many issues that made me dislike it.


So the story was all about event planner Joanna “Jo Jo” McNamee and Deputy Ryker Kane who used to have an affair in college but weren’t able to see each other again due to Joanna’s issues about men. Now after several years they meet again and it happens when Jo Jo gets herself into trouble. Sad to say, Jo Jo no longer wants to engage herself with Ryker again so she pretends that she doesn’t know him.

Pathetic girl. I know, right? Jo Jo is one of the heroines that are wearing on my nerves. All throughout the book she was all like “I don’t want him” blah blah… and I just don’t know why she kept on saying that. I have no issues with Ryker. I believe he’s a good guy and his intentions are good but I can’t see the reason why Jo Jo was hell-bent on avoiding him.

The writing style was good, but it didn’t keep my attention. I wished it was written in 1st person POV. I felt like the narrations from both Jo Jo and Ryker were jumbled and confusing.

And as I mentioned, the majority of the book (85%) fell into the suspense/action side. There were little to no romantic scenes. Also, the chemistry between these characters was non-existent. It’s difficult to like a book when you don’t feel a spark between the characters. Sinful Secrets, for me, was a difficult story to like. 😦

(An ARC was provided by Entangled Publishing and NetGalley in exchange for an honest review)


1 star new

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GR signature 2

Review: More Than This by Jay McLean

More Than This (More Than, #1)

More Than This
(More Than #1)
Author: Jay McLean
Publisher: Jay McLean
Published: July 10, 2013
Genre: New Adult, Romance, Contemporary
My Rating:

1 star new


Synopsis new

When Mikayla imagined her prom night, she envisioned a fairy-tale evening full of romance. So when betrayal and tragedy come in quick succession, Mikayla is completely destroyed. Suddenly, everything she loved and everyone she relied on are tragically, irrevocably gone.

Jake, a handsome boy she just met, happens to witness her loss. With no one to turn to, Mikayla is forced to depend on this near stranger and his family, and he in turn is determined to take care of her. But Mikayla—thrust into adulthood with no one to guide her—is desperate to contain her grief and hide what she considers to be her weakness. Mikayla and Jake both want more, but despite their growing closeness and intense chemistry, she tries to keep her distance and protect her heart. As he does everything in his power to win her trust, Mikayla must choose between remaining alone and safe or letting love in.

my thoughts new

(SPOILERS ahead…)

It took ever ounce of control I had not to DNF this book. It’s one of the most unrealistic stories I’ve ever come across with!

Here are the reasons why I didn’t like it:

UNREALISTIC PLOT – This is a work of fiction, I know. But why make the whole thing unbelievable to the extreme?Mikayla found out one day that her boyfriend cheated on her with her best friend. That same day, she also met the gorgeous guy with a sexy Aussie accent named Jake and well, instantly felt attracted to him. THAT VERY SAME DAY, she experienced great loss when her family members were murdered. The next day, she became part of Jake’s family and Jake’s family offered her shelter even if she’s a complete stranger. Okay, I don’t mean to sound so selfish and insensitive here because the girl lost everything she had, but honestly, all shit happened in one day?

MIKAYLA – Mikayla is also one of those unbelievable heroines ever existed. She just lost everything but I couldn’t believe her way of coping. It didn’t take her a week to move on. She can even laugh with Jake’s friends and she even had time to entertain such unnecessary thoughts.. like how Jake is so damn sexy and how his accent always gets her and so forth and so on.

INSTA-LOVE – YES. Insta-love big time!!!

SIDE CHARACTERS – Why everyone that is close to Jake treats Mikayla like the way they treat an old-time friend confuses me. How did these people instantly warm up to her? They’ve just met her and then, just like that? So unbelievable!


I cannot bring myself to recommend this book to others because it’s completely over-the-top . Much as I tried, I just couldn’t like this book. I was groaning inwardly and rolling my eyes at every scene. Ugh. Overall, this book wasn’t for me. I didn’t feel connected to everything.


1 star new

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xo pearl

DNF Review: After by Anna Todd

After (After, #1)

(After #1)
Author: Anna Todd
Publisher: Gallery Books
Published: October 21, 2014
Genre: Romance, New Adult, Contemporary
My Rating:

1 star new


Synopsis new

Tessa is a good girl with a sweet, reliable boyfriend back home. She’s got direction, ambition, and a mother who’s intent on keeping her that way.

But she’s barely moved into her freshman dorm when she runs into Hardin. With his tousled brown hair, cocky British accent, tattoos, and lip ring, Hardin is cute and different from what she’s used to.

But he’s also rude—to the point of cruelty, even. For all his attitude, Tessa should hate Hardin. And she does—until she finds herself alone with him in his room. Something about his dark mood grabs her, and when they kiss it ignites within her a passion she’s never known before.

He’ll call her beautiful, then insist he isn’t the one for her and disappear again and again. Despite the reckless way he treats her, Tessa is compelled to dig deeper and find the real Hardin beneath all his lies. He pushes her away again and again, yet every time she pushes back, he only pulls her in deeper.

Tessa already has the perfect boyfriend. So why is she trying so hard to overcome her own hurt pride and Hardin’s prejudice about nice girls like her?

Unless…could this be love?

Now newly revised and expanded, Anna Todd’s After fanfiction racked up 1 billion reads online and captivated readers across the globe. Experience the Internet’s most talked-about book for yourself!

There was the time before Tessa met Hardin, and then there’s everything AFTER … Life will never be the same.

my thoughts new

First DNF book of the year.


One of the things I hate doing so much is DNF-ing a book because it feels bad to leave it when you’ve invested yourself in it in the first place. But sometimes you just have to quit because it just doesn’t work out for you. And you can no longer fool yourself and hope that things will get better as the story goes.

So yeah.. I DNF-ed this book for these reasons:

1. Writing Style – This book is poorly written and executed. I see so much potentials in this book but it fails to hold my attention most of the time because of the boring writing.

2. Plot – You can never find an absolute plot in this book. Every chapter is a complete waste because of so many unnecessary scenes that don’t make any sense at all.


3. Main Characters – If you can’t love the main characters, then there’s no reason to continue it. Why pretend and fool yourself? Tessa and Hardin are both immature characters. They always bicker like children and wow, their childish behavior annoys the crap out of me! And don’t even get me started on Hardin’s attitude! Gaaah this guy makes me want to pull my hair out because he’s simply such a prick!

4. Cheating – Just so we’re clear, I despise books with cheating, but I admit that there are books that I loved even when there’s cheating involved but that’s because they’re simply well-written and well-justified. But this? A girl cheats on her boyfriend just because her boyfriend is boring and omg there’s a tattooed and pierced boy-next-door who’s way hotter and exciting than him. What the actual f*ck? And damn Hardin. This guy! He knows the girl has a boyfriend and yet he continues to seduce her just so he can prove that he’s a sex god!



I did try to like this book, honestly. But I just can’t. It was a waste of time. Nuff said.


1 star new

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xo pearl

Review: Beach Bar Baby by Heidi Rice

Beach Bar BabyBeach Bar Baby
Author: Heidi Rice
Publisher: Harlequin (US)
Publication: January 1, 2014
Genre: Romance, Contemporary
My Rating:


After some bad news, Ella jets off to sunny Bermuda for a bit of solo R&R…

By day six, surrounded by honeymooners and smug-marrieds, she has to admit the solo bit is getting a teeny bit boring! Why say no to a casual date at the bar with ripped, tanned and enigmatic Cooper Delaney?

It’s really not Coop’s style to flirt with tourists, let alone hook up with one again. But he can’t get the sweet London girl out of his head.A business trip to Europe is the perfect chance to see her. Only he finds Ella curvier, prettier…and keeping a secret he was so not expecting…!


This book was frustrating. I expected a lot since it has a very promising start but then things have gotten worse all throughout the book.

The book starts with Ella who went to Bermuda for a summer vacation. There, he met the hot, gorgeous, and rich Cooper Dellany. They instantly had that chemistry which led to flirtations and well, sex. It was supposed to be just a summer fling, but when Ella returned to London, she found out that she’s pregnant. When Cooper went to London to see her again and found out that he’s about to become a dad, their connection continued and so on…

The book has a nice concept. I love summer themed books with fluff but this book gave me a real hard time. The writing style was okay but it wasn’t smooth compared to other contemporary books. The plot progression was also slow and I felt like there was nothing going on throughout the first half.

And my biggest concern?

The characters.

I like Ella because she seems like a nice person but she’s weak as a character. I hate it when the heroine is too crazy and too patient over the guy just because she thinks he’s too perfect and good in bed. Cooper Dellany is also a very annoying man. Such an immature guy. The moment when he discovered that Ella was pregnant and the moment he freaked out was already my cue to generally dislike the book. And the moment Ella discovered that he doesn’t want to show her to his friends as the mother of his baby… WHAT A DOUCHEBAG!

I also dislike how sex became a common scene in this book. I mean, intimate scenes are spices to romance books but I think they’re already too exaggerating here.

NO, this book is a big mistake.

Rating: 1 Star

REVIEW: Lovely Vicious by Sara Wolf

Lovely Vicious (Lovely Vicious, #1)

Lovely Vicious
(Lovely Vicious #1)
Author: Sara Wolf
Published: November 4, 2013
Genre: Young Adult, Romance, Contemporary
My Rating:


Fire meets ice. Love meets hate.

Seventeen-year-old Isis Blake hasn’t fallen in love in three years, nine weeks, and five days, and after what happened last time, she intends to keep it that way. Since then she’s lost eighty-five pounds, gotten four streaks of purple in her hair, and moved to the Buttcrack-of-Nowhere Ohio to help her mom escape a bad relationship.

All the girls in her new school want one thing – Jack Hunter, the Ice Prince of East Summit High. Hot as an Armani ad, smart enough to get into Yale, and colder than the Arctic, Jack Hunter’s never gone out with anyone. Sure, people have seen him downtown with beautiful women, but he’s never given high school girls the time of day. Until Isis punches him in the face.

Jack’s met his match. Suddenly everything is a game.

The goal: Make the other beg for mercy.

The game board: East Summit High.

The reward: Something neither of them expected.

**This book contains language, some of which may be unsuitable for younger readers.

**This is the first book in the LOVELY VICIOUS series.



DNF at 46%.

I’m so sorry, guys. And I’m so sorry, AJ, my friend, who recommended this to me. :((

It’s just that… I really, really wanted to like this. But I just can’t. I mean, I’m not the type of reader who does this DNF-ing thing, but I was forced because I can’t tolerate the immaturity of this book. Yes, there was a ton of it and it was getting annoying every single second and it was already getting on my nerves to the point that I could no longer take it.

When I first met Isis at the beginning chapter, I thought she was cool, funny, and brave– a little sarcastic and snarky but tolerable, but as the story progressed, I realized she’s difficult to like and get along with. She was no longer making any sense and she kept on whining about how bad she looks and how fat she was and how shaken she was when she was ditched by her ex and how insecure she is every time she encounters her chic school mates. Ugh! Isis is one of those characters that really pull the bitch out of me and make me roll my eyes every time.

Jack, on the other hand, is– I dunno. He’s a likeable character but definitely not the one who could be labeled as a book boyfriend. He’s always too passive and I think his character development is so poor I could not really connect with him.

At some point I was trying to convince myself to continue it and read it up to the very final chapter to find out how it ends. I’ve read from reviews that it has a cliffhanger ending and I love cliffhangers because they’re challenging but I no longer have the interest to continue.

So yeah, this book unfortunately did not get me. Again, I’m sorry especially for the guys who loved this book. I really am. 😦



REVIEW: The Iron Daughter by Julie Kagawa

The Iron Daughter (The Iron Fey, #2)

The Iron Daughter
(The Iron Fey #2)
Author: Julie Kagawa
Publisher: Harlequin Teen
Published: August 21, 2010
Genre: Fantasy, Young Adult
Romance, Paranormal
My Rating:


Half Summer faery princess, half human, Meghan has never fit in anywhere. Deserted by the Winter prince she thought loved her, she is prisoner to the Winter faery queen. As war looms between Summer and Winter, Meghan knows that the real danger comes from the Iron fey—ironbound faeries that only she and her absent prince have seen. But no one believes her.

Worse, Meghan’s own fey powers have been cut off. She’s stuck in Faery with only her wits for help. Trusting anyone would be foolish. Trusting a seeming traitor could be deadly. But even as she grows a backbone of iron, Meghan can’t help but hear the whispers of longing in her all-too-human heart.


(Beware of spoilers! 🙂 )

Why, why, why did I expect too much? I’m sorry but I can no longer convince myself that I will like this book. I decided to discontinue it at 35% because (I hate to say this), this book is disappointing.

First of all, The Iron King was simply one of the best fantasy books I’ve read and I even rated it 5 stars. This book, however, is surprisingly not the one that I have really expected. I can’t bear with the characters. They totally ruined the book.

Meghan– the used-to-be brave and headstrong female character I have loved in The Iron King, suddenly became too vulnerable and soft JUST because she’s too in love and obsessed with Prince Ash– who, by the way, doesn’t even care for her and doesn’t even hesitate to tell her to leave him alone.

WTH? He’s definitely not the kind of male character that will entice me. I have sooo much expectations with him after the first book, that perhaps in the second installment his character will be better and will eventually improve. Did I get it? Nope.

“But after tonight, we’ll be enemies. Your father and my mother will be at war. If I see you again, I might kill you.” His eyes narrowed, and his voice turned cold. “For real this time, Meghan.”

No. Ash is such a jerk, annoyingly cold, proud guy who’s soo freakin’ scared of his mommy. Sorry, but his name’s already erased on my book boyfriends. Lol. 😀

Going back to Meghan, this girl has really changed here. I want to kick her in the a** for being such a naive, cry-baby character she’s kind of getting on my nerves. 😦

The plot is also slow and not so promising. My friends told me things will be better in part 2, but I don’t think I still have the interest to go on. Maybe I should focus on other series and just let everything in The Iron Fey pass.

My Rating for this Book: 1 Star


REVIEW: Zomburbia by Adam Gallardo


Author: Adam Gallardo
Publisher: K-Teen
Expected Publication: August 26, 2014
Genre: Horror, Young Adult
My Rating:


“Scary, freaky, and original. Get this book!” -Nancy Holder Lifeless. Slow-moving. Brain-dead.
“Welcome To Zomburbia.”

My name is Courtney Hart, and I’m here to tell you about things that suck. Being born in a podunk town like Salem, Oregon, for one. Living in a world infested with zombies? That, too. And the meat heads I go to school with? I think I’d actually take the undead over them most days. But I have a plan to get out of here and move to New York. I just have to keep selling Vitamin Z along with your fries at The Bully Burger. The secret ingredient? Zombie brains.

I’ve noticed things are getting even worse lately, if that’s even possible. The zombies seem to be getting smarter and faster. If I can avoid being arrested, eaten by shufflers, or catching the eye of some stupid boy, I should be able to make it through finals week still breathing. . .

“Gallardo’s world-building is innovative and fascinating, sick and twisted and unexpectedly touching. You’ll want to check that your zombie apocalypse closet is well stocked.” -Molly Harper White

“Readers are guaranteed plenty of mayhem and romance, laughter and heartbreak.” -James Patrick Kelly


I received an ARC of this book free from the author and netgalley in exchange for an honest review.

I didn’t expect anything in this book, and I’m just glad because honestly, it wasn’t a good read for me. The book didn’t have anything to tickle my interest. No excitement, no thrill, nothing but bouts of pure boringness.

There isn’t any terrifying scene and I wasn’t even scared, to think that it’s a horror genre. Added the fact that the main character, Courtney, is one mean, selfish, rude, and annoying character. She literally ruined my reading mood she’s getting on my nerves all the time!

The plot is generally dull. Not even those zombie attacks made the entire book interesting. There are also lots of characters in this book– characters that don’t even help. The only good thing about this book is that the author is witty and funny, but that didn’t make the story engaging at all. 😦

My Rate for this Book: 1 Star