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Archive for the category “3.5 Stars”

Review: A Thousand Boy Kisses by Tillie Cole

A Thousand Boy Kisses

A Thousand Boy Kisses
Author: Tillie Cole
Publisher: Tillie Cole
Published: March 15, 2016
Genre: Young Adult, Romance, Contemporary

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Synopsis new

One kiss lasts a moment. But a thousand kisses can last a lifetime.One boy. One girl. A bond that is forged in an instant and cherished for a decade. A bond that neither time nor distance can break. A bond that will last forever. Or so they believe.When seventeen-year-old Rune Kristiansen returns from his native Norway to the sleepy town of Blossom Grove, Georgia, where he befriended Poppy Litchfield as a child, he has just one thing on his mind. Why did the girl who was one half of his soul, who promised to wait faithfully for his return, cut him off without a word of explanation?Rune’s heart was broken two years ago when Poppy fell silent. When he discovers the truth, he finds that the greatest heartache is yet to come.A stand-alone young adult tearjerker romance, recommended for ages fourteen and up.

my thoughts new

Tillie Cole is a new-to-me author. I have heard a lot of great things about her books and A Thousand Boy Kisses is one of them. The cover is so beautiful as well as the title. I must say though that I wasn’t prepared for its intensity and heaviness. The moment I started it, I knew it would be a challenging book to read because of its melancholy tone. It sure was. The story was more poignant than I’ve expected.

“Maybe we’re like a cherry blossom, Rune. Like shooting stars. Maybe we loved too much too young and burned so bright that we had to fade out.”

Rune Erik Kristiansen and Poppy Litchfield have been best of friends since they were kids. Their friendship started when Rune and his family left their roots in Norway and started their lives in the U.S. He didn’t want to live in the new country where it required him to speak English and adapt to the culture, but when he met the beautiful and bubbly child Poppy, his feelings changed. The two of them grew up and somehow developed a much deeper relationship as the year went by. Poppy, whose grandmother passed away, grew up with a goal in life to collect a thousand boy kisses. It’s an idea left by her grandma to her. Each time she gets a kiss from her special boy, the details should be written in a pink heart and be placed in a jar. The boy kisses, of course, were given by Rune.

“It’s okay to laugh. It’s okay to smile. It’s okay to feel happy. Or what’s the point in life?”

This book is a real heartbreaker. It actually reminded me of those books I’ve read in the past that made me cry a river (I won’t mention any title because it would be a spoiler). I was able to connect with the story. However, I failed to appreciate it even more because of its predictability. I knew exactly what’s about to come even before the ‘twist’ in the early part of the book happened. I wasn’t surprised when Poppy finally revealed why she went away and didn’t communicate with Rune anymore.

Also, lots and lots of cheese were thrown everywhere. I couldn’t even count the number of sappy dialogues and scenes. For me, they are a little bit exaggerated. Not to mention how their conversations slowly became repetitive each chapter.

Despite the flaws I’ve mentioned, the ending somehow moved me. I was blown away by the things that happened. Of course I knew at the back of my mind that their story would end that way, but still, I wasn’t prepared for it. There was still a small part of me that longed for a different ending. A twist, perhaps. A Thousand Boy Kisses, as a whole, was a highly emotional YA love story. It’s a book that touches the soul and makes you realize a lot of things in life. If you love heavy, angsty, and heartbreaking books, then this book is the one that you should devour. Just prepare lots and lots of tissues. You will really need them.

Rating:

three point five

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Review: Heartbreaker by Kat Bastion with Stone Bastion

Heartbreaker (Unbreakable, #1)

Heartbreaker
(Unbreakable #1)
Author: Kat Bastion, Stone Bastion
Publisher: Kat Bastion, Stone Bastion
Date of Publication: March 22, 2016
Genre: Romance, New Adult, Contemporary

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Synopsis new

Kiki Michaelson wants one wild night to forget her starving-artist worries. Simple.

Only instead of Darren Cole becoming her one-night stand, he taunts her with a challenge. Then while she’s trying to best him at his own game, he turns out to be the last thing she’s prepared for: someone she wants to keep.

Which means all he can ever be…is a friend.

Darren Cole never allows a girl to get close—not close enough to matter.

Then storms in Kiki Michaelson, a beautiful, fearless temptation that rocks his world off-balance. But he fights their attraction, unwilling to gamble something physical with their close ties. Until the passionate sculptor exposes her heart and breaks his wide open.

In that moment it becomes clear: she could never be just a friend.

Sometimes what you run from…is exactly what you need.

***HEARTBREAKER is a standalone, full-length new adult romance told in dual POV. Due to mature themes and adult language, this book is for those 18 and older.***

my thoughts new

First off, I didn’t know this is a spin-off and I think I could’ve enjoyed Heartbreaker more if I’ve read the previous series first. Anyways, the characters, the storyline, the writing style… they are all good! My only real (and perhaps biggest) concern is that there were so many things that confused me. The characters kept mentioning about these things and that but I found myself having no such clue what they’re all talking about.

Despite my problem though, it wasn’t difficult for me to like the main characters Kiki Michaelson and Darren Cole. They have real and special connection. And how can one not praise their chemistry that is so apparent from the first page to the last?

And for someone like me who has a penchant for angst-driven love stories, I was sold by how their romance was coated with a little bit of drama and (just mild) family conflicts. Not to mention the sweet slow burn of their romantic development which just added a little spice to the story. And oh, did I mention that Darren Cole is such a sweetheart? He’s one responsible and *sigh boyfriend material guy. Despite his baggage, he didn’t set Kiki aside. She’s one of the persons that always come first, and that’s just something.

Trust and relationship issues… these are things that very much highlight Heartbreaker. I really do think, despite the issue that I mentioned, that it is still a lovable and possibly an all-consuming romance book as a whole.

“Whenever I care too much about something-” I sucked in a shaking breath– “it gets ripped away.”

“I know.” His tone quieted. “Me too.”

“So… how do we get past that?”

He trailed his fingers along my jaw, then cupped the side of my face with his hand. “We fight harder to keep what we want.”

Rating:

three point five

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Review: Witch Emerging by Mona Hanna

Witch Emerging (High Witch, #2)

Witch Emerging
(High Witch #2)
Author: Mona Hanna
Publisher: Createspace
Published: September 27, 2013
Genre: Fantasy, Paranormal, Young Adult, Romance
My Rating:

three point five

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Synopsis new

Sequel to High Witch.

After surviving being hunted by Julius, Brayden and Ariel settle into their married life. Ariel is determined to find the other High Witches to make sure they’re alright. But there’s something going on with her pregnancy, something unusual, and she needs to find out what.

In the meantime, Hallie, an eighteen-year-old witch, is being pursued by Nicholas, a strange young man who knows about her past. What does Nicholas want with Hallie, and how are they both connected to Ariel? And what about Sean, the man Hallie loves? Will they end up together, or will Nicholas’ plan hurt all of them? The two witches will need to work hard to save those they love, and each other.

my thoughts new

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There’s a bit of an improvement in this second sequel of the series. Like the first book High Witch, Witch Emerging is a quick and easy fantasy read that you can finish in one or two sittings. This time, there are additional important characters to read about.

The storyline of the book expands when Brayden and Ariel, now a married coupe and are expecting a child, are on a quest to find the other existing High Witch in order to protect her against possible threats. However, it’s difficult to trace her when the baby in Ariel’s womb is exhibiting some strange power that troubles them. Meanwhile, the other High Witch known as Hallie is being pursued by a warlock named Nicholas who is on a mission of revenge.

There were things that I liked in this book including the writing of the author which apparently improved. The characters were given much depth and there was also enough “creep factor” that kind of made my hair raise on the back of my neck. (I started reading this witch book at 2AM so you can basically imagine the freaky feeling I’ve had.)

“Watch out for the little witch, with golden hair on her head. She’ll say your name and your fingers will twitch, and then you’ll end up dead.”

I wasn’t fully convinced by the action in this book, though. For me, that aspect fell short. I was looking for a real elaboration of action scenes, like how the casting of spells are done, how they fight an enemy using their power, etc. And I’m not just talking about the descriptions via characters’ dialogues. I want more showing and less talking.

All in all, it was a good sequel. It was better than the first book for sure. Although there were elements that were missing here, a few things however, stood out. For fans of witch and fantasy books, I recommend you to check this series out. 🙂

(Thank you to the author Mona Hanna for sending me a copy of this book in exchange for an honest review!)

Rating:

three point five

Buy this book at:

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Review: Big Rock by Lauren Blakely

Big Rock

Big Rock
Author: Lauren Blakely
Publisher: Lauren Blakely Books
Published: January 6, 2016
Genre: Adult, Romance, New Adult, Contemporary
My Rating:

three point five

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Synopsis new

It’s not just the motion of the ocean, ladies. It’s definitely the SIZE of the boat too.
And I’ve got both firing on all cylinders. In fact, I have ALL the right assets. Looks, brains, my own money, and a big c&$k.
You might think I’m an as%*$le. I sound like one, don’t I? I’m hot as sin, rich as heaven, smart as hell and hung like a horse.
Guess what? You haven’t heard my story before. Sure, I might be a playboy, like the NY gossip rags call me. But I’m the playboy who’s actually a great guy. Which makes me one of a kind.
The only trouble is, my dad needs me to cool it for a bit. With conservative investors in town wanting to buy his flagship Fifth Avenue jewelry store, he needs me not only to zip it up, but to look the part of the committed guy. Fine. I can do this for Dad. After all, I’ve got him to thank for the family jewels. So I ask my best friend and business partner to be my fiancée for the next week. Charlotte’s up for it. She has her own reasons for saying yes to wearing this big rock.
And pretty soon all this playing pretend in public leads to no pretending whatsoever in the bedroom, because she just can’t fake the kind of toe-curling, window-shattering orgasmic cries she makes as I take her to new heights between the sheets.

But I can’t seem to fake that I might be feeling something real for her.

What the hell have I gotten myself into with this…big rock?

BIG ROCK is a standalone, dirty romance novel written from the guy’s POV by NYT Bestselling author Lauren Blakely…

my thoughts new

Best friends and business partners pretending to be an engaged couple? This may not end well. lol

It’s my first time to read a book written by Lauren Blakely. I’ve heard so many great things about her books and seeing most of my friends on Goodreads enjoying them, I couldn’t help myself but try one. And I did enjoy. Big Rock is a quick and hilarious book and it’s a perfect combination of sweet and sexy.

The narration actually reminds me of Emma Chase’s Tangled— It’s all done by the male protagonist. Spencer Holiday is a man with so many accomplishments. He is the owner of the famous dating app known as Boyfriend Materialand the son of a successful jeweler. Apart that, he also co-owns a downtown bar with his best friend Charlotte Rhodes. One day he decided to help his father turn over his jewelry shop to the high-profile businessman Mr. Offerman, but he was trapped when he learned that the man is conservative and meticulous when it comes to the previous owners’ background. It ended up with him announcing that he is engaged to Charlotte. Now since Charlotte is trying to move on from her ex’s cheating affair, she agreed to pretend as his fiancée.

I admit that the plot is a little bit worn out. I’ve read these kinds of stories before. Best friends turned to lovers… pretend couples falling in love in the long run… friends with benefits thingy… Alright, maybe I have read enough books with these tropes and this is the reason why I wasn’t really thrilled on what’s about to happen to the characters. It was pretty much predictable to me as I’ve already visualized that Charlotte and Spencer’s relationship will step up to a new level.

“But you’re not supposed to be attracted to your best friend like this. That’s not how it works. I’m probably going to have to get checked into a fascility to deal with the amount of attraction I have for you. I’ll ask them to remove it, and they’ll say, ‘Sorry, sir, it’s spread across your entire body and we can’t take it out.”

But even though I found the plot to be a cliché, the fact that Spencer’s POV is so entertaining, I enjoyed the book so much. It also helped that Spencer’s character is pretty attractive and amusing. At first I thought he was an arrogant jerk because, who would think otherwise when he says something like this in an opening line?

“My dick is fucking awesome.”

Lol.

So yeah.. Despite the clichéness of this book, this was a fascinating read. There was certainly a love story. And although I found the romantic development moving a little too fast, I totally understood it since the book is quick and short-length. For fans of rom-com books, you need to read this book and meet Spencer Holiday!

Rating:

three point five

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Review: The Goal by Elle Kennedy

The Goal (Off-Campus, #4)

The Goal
(Off-Campus #4)
Author: Elle Kennedy
Publisher: CreateSpace Independent Publishing Platform
Published: September 26, 2016
Genre: New Adult, Contemporary, Romance
My Rating:

three point five

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Synopsis new

She’s good at achieving her goals…

College senior Sabrina James has her whole future planned out: graduate from college, kick butt in law school, and land a high-paying job at a cutthroat firm. Her path to escaping her shameful past certainly doesn’t include a gorgeous hockey player who believes in love at first sight. One night of sizzling heat and surprising tenderness is all she’s willing to give John Tucker, but sometimes, one night is all it takes for your entire life to change.

But the game just got a whole lot more complicated

Tucker believes being a team player is as important as being the star. On the ice, he’s fine staying out of the spotlight, but when it comes to becoming a daddy at the age of twenty-two, he refuses to be a bench warmer. It doesn’t hurt that the soon-to-be mother of his child is beautiful, whip-smart, and keeps him on his toes. The problem is, Sabrina’s heart is locked up tight, and the fiery brunette is too stubborn to accept his help. If he wants a life with the woman of his dreams, he’ll have to convince her that some goals can only be made with an assist.

my thoughts new

Can I take John Tucker home?

I loved The Goal. Elle Kennedy has always been very good at this genre and once again she managed to delight me with her writing style. The book started off so good that I was like:

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But when I hit 70% Sabrina the heroine did finally get on my nerves. She’s honestly the main reason why this book didn’t make it to my 4-5 Stars list. I always have a big issue with characters that annoy me, most especially heroines who can’t seem to make up their minds and have the tendency to hurt the people who love them so much. Sabrina falls into this category.

We’ve known Sabrina in the previous books as Dean’s bitchy enemy. In this book she’s now the love interest of John Tucker a.k.a. Tucker, a Briar hockey star who lives with Garrett, Logan, and Dean. Sabrina and Tucker both have this opposing personalities. Tucker is a soft-hearted good boy with a Southern charm that could drop every girl’s panties. One who grew up as a mama’s boy, he also has this domestic side in him. Yes, ladies. He cleans the house and cooks delicious foods and does them without any complain. Now Sabrina. This female lead is an independent, strong-willed, hard-working law student who takes two jobs at a time while striving to achieve her dream of becoming a Harvard alumni. She basically grew up without parents and she lives together with her grandma and her perverted stepdad who makes me cringe every time.

Now when Sabrina and Tucker collided, I saw an immediate chemistry developing. I thought they might make an interesting couple. Even though I knew Sabrina is going to be a pain in the ass because of the attitude that she displayed since the previous books, I HAD HIGH HOPES that this girl can be redeemable. Did not happen. Well, at least not until the very last chapter. Which was so frustrating!

So while The Goal had a lot of good things that happened (like Tucker’s interactions with his fellow Hockey stars, his sexy times with Sabrina, his baby, his road towards a different “goal”), the book was not at all perfect. Things became quite off in the 3/4 part of the book and I blame it on Sabrina who turns out to be a very insensitive person.

I guess what’s really lacking here was the effective communication between our two characters. I kind of wished that things were a bit different and that the affection was not one-sided and Sabrina was honest enough to admit her feelings (if there was any) to Tucker.

Nevertheless, I still ended up enjoying this book because… TUCKER. He’s the best thing here. Compared to some of the male leads, Tucker proves that not every male character with abs and muscles is a manwhore. Give me a John Tucker character anytime and I’ll be satisfied for the rest of my life.

Through Sabrina and Tucker’s story, Elle Kennedy gave the readers a glimpse of the real world. It’s as if the book is saying, ‘Hey, this is not just about sex and hook-ups. It’s also about the result and consequences of sex and hook-ups.’ Which happens in reality.

The series, as a whole, ended up so good. I loved that all the characters have their piece of happy endings and I loved that each of them learned a lot of lessons most especially from painful experiences. They all developed into a person who has a drive to move on and trek a different road towards maturity. Best of all, their friendship remained strong until the very end. Whoa, what a journey! This series is literally New Adult at its finest! Thank you, Elle Kennedy. 🙂

(P.S. Elle Kennedy just announced on Twitter and Facebook that THERE WILL BE AN OFF-CAMPUS SPIN-OFF which would star our boy Fitzy!)

Rating:

three point five

Buy this book at:

READ ALL MY REVIEWS HERE

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