Review: Deep by Kylie Scott

Deep (Stage Dive, #4)

Deep
(Stage Dive #4)
Author: Kylie Scott
Publisher: St. Martin’s Griffin
Published: March 10, 2015
Genre: Romance, New Adult, Contemporary

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Synopsis new

Don’t miss a beat with the fourth and final novel in the USA Today bestselling Stage Dive series from Kylie Scott.

Positive. With two little lines on a pregnancy test, everything in Lizzy Rollins’ ordinary life is about to change forever. And all because of one big mistake in Vegas with Ben Nicholson, the irresistibly sexy bass player for Stage Dive. So what if Ben’s the only man she’s ever met who can make her feel completely safe, cherished, and out of control with desire at the same time? Lizzy knows the gorgeous rock star isn’t looking for anything more permanent than a good time, no matter how much she wishes differently.

Ben knows Lizzy is off limits. Completely and utterly. She’s his best friend’s little sister now, and no matter how hot the chemistry is between them, no matter how sweet and sexy she is, he’s not going to go there. But when Ben is forced to keep the one girl he’s always had a weakness for out of trouble in Sin City, he quickly learns that what happens in Vegas, doesn’t always stay there. Now he and Lizzie are connected in the deepest way possible… but will it lead to a connection of the heart?

my thoughts new

“Good girls don’t fall for rock stars.”

Oh man. These rock stars rock my world. Deep is the last installment of Stage Dive series and I couldn’t help but feel a little bit sad because all the characters (David, Ev, Mal, Anne, Jimmy, Lena, Ben, and Lizzy) have grown on me. How can I not?

In Deep, we finally get to have the story of Ben Nicholson, Stage Dive’s bass player, and Elizabeth “Lizzy” Rollins, Anne’s sister. Ever since Lizzy set her eyes on Ben, she has been crushing and sort of ‘obsessing’ over him. To the point where she texted him and basically flirted with him. Much as Ben tried, he wasn’t able to resist Lizzy so he flirted her back in secret. But because Mal warned him to stay away from Lizzy, and because there was a huge gap between their age, he tried to ignore her– to no avail. One night in Vegas though, the two of them had a drunken sex which later on resulted to Lizzy’s pregnancy.

“So I’d been knocked up by a rock star. Big time.”

I love unexpected pregnancy love stories. These tropes are my weakness, so I wasn’t surprised when I found myself so smitten with this book. Apart from Lizzy’s entertaining POV which made me crack up every time, I also enjoyed the push-and-pull relationship between her and Ben. It was sweet in a way that swoons and sort of frustrates you at the same. Their story wasn’t built to be perfect as each of them has flaws (especially Ben who acted immaturely in the first half of the book). But I loved how both of them became well-developed characters in the end. Especially how Ben’s principles in life slowly changed as he got to know Liz and shared a complicated relationship with her.

Yes, there were lots of bumps in the road for them but those things gave them the opportunity to explore their feelings. I also loved how the other Stage Dive characters helped them figure out their issues. (Let’s not forget Sam who’s always been there haha!) These characters are literally SQUAD GOALS!

The ending was of course, a joy to read. All of them have their piece of happy endings and I loved it. I just felt kind of emotional because the series already ended. I am looking forward to reading more Kylie Scott books, though. 🙂

Rating:

4 stars

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Review: I Won’t Break by E. Mellyberry

I Won't Break (A Broken Love Story, #2)

I Won’t Break
(A Broken Love Story #2)
Author: E. Mellyberry
Publisher: Createspace Independent Publishing Platform
Published: February 2, 2016
Genre: New Adult, Romance, Contemporary
My Rating:

4

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Synopsis new

Lea and Andrew’s story continues in this sequel to My Lea. From the city of San Francisco, the tale journeys on to the other part of the world: Jakarta, Bali, and Tokyo.

It’s been five years since Andrew walked out of his apartment and left Lea in America. Five long years without any single contact.

Andrew is now a twenty-eight-year-old man who just inherited his father’s business empire and is about to marry the granddaughter of the wealthiest man in Singapore.
At twenty-four, Lea is in the early process of sorting out her life and career back in her home country.

When Andrew’s father passed away, they are reunited again for the first time since America.
Like it or not, they are forced to revisit their past and deal with their unfinished business. For most people, love is the answer to everything. But Lea and Andrew’s love is far from ordinary. Theirs is tainted by sin and guilt. And anger. Lots of anger.

What happened five years ago that made Andrew leave?

What happened after Twin Peaks?

What happened to their baby?

Told in both past and present events, I Won’t Break tests the limit of love when faced with grief and heartbreak, discovers the true power of forgiveness, and explores the meaning of second chances.

I Won’t Break is the sequel to My Lea (A Broken Love Story series)and cannot be read as a standalone.
Due to mature theme and content, this book is not suitable for readers under 18.

my thoughts new

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“Love was so pale compared to his internal volcano of feelings, but until someone came up with a new word for what this was, he guessed love would just have to do.”

Without a doubt, this is one of the best and well-delivered finales in a romantic duology. My tears were proof of that.

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I Won’t Break is the second and final book of A Broken Love Story series. The story picks up where My Lea left off. Just like the first book, there was a third person POV narration, but this time, it goes back and forth between past and present. I won’t be giving anything away by describing the things that happened here since it will be a spoiler, but the storyline and the series of events were so emotional and heart-wrenching. There was enough angst to keep me glued to the pages all night.

Both Lea and Andrew were amazing in this sequel. There was certainly a remarkable character development. For one thing, I noticed that their chemistry was growing stronger scene by scene. I just wished that I could change one scene, though. The part where Andrew flew to Jakarta after that particular event that changed their lives. For me it was a cowardly move, but anyways, I think that scene was the one that brought out the beauty of this finale so I couldn’t really complain. 🙂

“You’re my monster and I love you.”

There was this particular scene with Andrew’s dad that also touched me and broke my heart. That conversation was a game-changer and I think it was one of the huge reasons why Andrew became man enough to face his monsters. E. Mellyberry, therefore, is a talented storyteller. She has a way with words that could provide her readers a good emotional experience. She can make you cry in one scene and make you swoon in the next. I believe she deserves much more recognition. As a whole, I Won’t Break was a poignant and heartwarming sequel. It gave a kind of conclusion that I won’t soon forget.

“Because when you finally find the one against all odds, you give him your best and let the magic of the world carry the rest.”

(A copy of this book was provided by the author E. Mellyberry in exchange for an honest review.)

Rating:

4

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xo pearl

Review: Scoring Wilder by R.S. Grey

Scoring Wilder

Scoring Wilder
Author: R.S. Grey
Publisher: R.S. Grey
Published: June 15, 2014
Genre: New Adult, Contemporary, Romance
My Rating:

2 Stars smile

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Synopsis new

What started out as a joke— seduce Coach Wilder—soon became a goal she had to score.

With Olympic tryouts on the horizon, the last thing nineteen-year-old Kinsley Bryant needs to add to her plate is Liam Wilder. He’s a professional soccer player, America’s favorite bad-boy, and has all the qualities of a skilled panty-dropper.

• A face that makes girls weep – check.
• Abs that can shred Parmesan cheese (the expensive kind) – check.
• Enough confidence to shift the earth’s gravitational pull – double check.

Not to mention Liam is strictly off limits . Forbidden. Her coaches have made that perfectly clear. (i.e. “Score with Coach Wilder anywhere other than the field and you’ll be cut from the team faster than you can count his tattoos.”) But that just makes him all the more enticing…Besides, Kinsley’s already counted the visible ones, and she is not one to leave a project unfinished.

Kinsley tries to play the game her way as they navigate through forbidden territory, but Liam is determined to teach her a whole new definition for the term “team bonding.”

A fun & sexy New Adult Romance (age 17+)

my thoughts new

After reading R.S. Grey’s With This Heart last year, I looked forward to reading her other works because I simply loved her writing style and her swoon-worthy characters. Scoring Wilder is my second R.S. Grey read. Sad to say, it didn’t live up to my expectations.

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Reasons why I didn’t like this book:

> The heroine.

Okaaay this is getting so old and you guys are probably sick of hearing me say this, but I really hate annoying characters! Kinsley Bryant is one of those. At first, I didn’t mind her dry humor and slut-shaming attitude but the more I read, the more she gets on my nerves. Here’s a thing about Kinsley Bryant, soccer superstar and voted the #1 sexiest soccer player in the world. She’s too perfect to be true. She actually has it all. Beauty, fame, good family background. But her attitude really sucks. I hate her opinion towards other people. Also, I can’t believe she’s a soccer superstar with the kind of attitude she has while she’s on the field doing her daily drills. I don’t know but I expect A-list athletes like her to be somewhat dedicated to their goals and ambition to succeed, but I see none of those. Instead, she’s mostly distracted. Almost all her attention was focused on Liam Wilder, her sex-on-legs, hot-as-fuck coach. And oh, don’t even get me started on how she always thinks about sex even when she’s in the middle of a practice. Ugh.

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> Unbelievable side characters

I really find Kinsley’s team mates annoying. Seriously, if you guys are a team, why would you waste so much time hating each other just because you’re competing for a guy’s attention instead of focusing on your game. That is just so dumb.

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> Insta-love

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All in all, I didn’t enjoy this book. There were sweet moments, of course, but that’s it. I still want to read more books from R.S. Grey, though. I heard Chasing Spring and The Allure of Julian Lefray are good! 🙂

Rating:

2 Stars smile

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xo pearl

Review: Idol by Kristen Callihan

Idol (VIP, #1)

Idol
(VIP #1)
Author: Kristen Callihan
Publisher: Kristen Callihan
Published: June 7, 2016
Genre: Romance, New Adult, Contemporary
My Rating:

3 Stars

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Synopsis new

Libby

I found Killian drunk and sprawled out on my lawn like some lost prince. With the face of a god and the arrogance to match, the pest won’t leave. Sexy, charming, and just a little bit dirty, he’s slowly wearing me down, making me crave more.

He could be mine if I dare to claim him. Problem is, the world thinks he’s theirs. How do you keep an idol when everyone is intent on taking him away?

Killian

As lead singer for the biggest rock band in the world, I lived a life of dreams. It all fell apart with one fateful decision. Now everything is in shambles.

Until Liberty. She’s grouchy, a recluse—and kind of cute. Scratch that. When I get my hands on her, she is scorching hot and more addictive than all the fans who’ve screamed my name.

The world is clamoring for me to get back on stage, but I’m not willing to leave her. I’ve got to find a way to coax the hermit from her shell and keep her with me. Because, with Libby, everything has changed. Everything.

my thoughts new

“Killian James isn’t just an addiction, or a summer fling. He’s becoming my everything. And that is both exhilarating and terrifying.”

(I buddyread this book with my beautiful friend Rachmi. Click her name to read her thoughts. :))

Because of its glowing reviews, I wasn’t able to resist reading this book. They were right, it was a guilty-pleasure read. The moment I started reading it, I found myself really hooked because of the interesting characters who are both inclined to music. I also found the rock star thing irresistible.

Liberty “Libby” Bell‘s life changed when drunk and messy Rock God, six-foot tall idol Killian James bombarded her in her home in a small island of North Carolina. Despite her disgust for the stranger, Libby took care of him until he woke up sober. It was days after their series of interactions when she found out that Killian was the famous lead guitarist of the band Kill John and he happened to run away for a while to keep himself away from media and the public. It was also his way of coping after what happened to his band mate and best friend Jax. Libby and Killian soon became aware of their growing affection towards each other. They also found out that they have the same passion when it comes to music, and that Libby was after all, a woman of talent behind her laid-back lifestyle.

The book actually gave me butterflies in my stomach. Killian didn’t fail to hook me with his amazing personality. So much sexiness exuded in him! I loved the way he changed Libby’s perspectives toward life and how he was able to inspire her. Libby, on the other hand, had a great character development. She learned from her mistakes and quickly realized that it’s not that good to miss once-in-a-lifetime opportunities.

I loved the premise of the story and the tone of it as a whole. It’s my first time to have a taste of Kristen Callihan‘s book and I can say that her writing makes me feel things. However, I can’t give this book more than a few stars because the second half of the book bored me. The plot kind of went downhill because of the unnecessary scenes. I think it’s because the story already focused on the sex and no longer on the deep and emotional side. Also, I wished that the book just centered on Killian and Libby’s story and there were no side stories about the other band members’ dramas. Still it was a great and enjoyable book. It made me want to read more rock star themed romance stories! 🙂

Rating:

3 Stars

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xo pearl

Review: Mud Vein by Tarryn Fisher

Mud Vein

Mud Vein
Author: Tarryn Fisher
Publisher: Tarryn Fisher
Published: April 5, 2014
Genre: Dark, Romance, New Adult, Mystery, Contemporary, Suspense, Thriller
My Rating:

5 stars new

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Synopsis new

When reclusive novelist Senna Richards wakes up on her thirty-third birthday, everything has changed. Caged behind an electrical fence, locked in a house in the middle of the snow, Senna is left to decode the clues to find out why she was taken. If she wants her freedom, she has to take a close look at her past. But, her past has a heartbeat… and her kidnapper is nowhere to be found. With her survival hanging by a thread, Senna soon realizes this is a game. A dangerous one. Only the truth can set her free.

my thoughts new

“It’s the darkness that pulls me in. Your mud vein.”

Tarryn Fisher, you just left me speechless there!

This may be one of the best unsettling books I’ve read in my entire life. It’s dark and twisted, chilling and psychotic, and totally riveting. Mind-blown!

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“Someone could take your body, use it, beat it, treat it like it’s a piece of trash, but what hurts far worse than the actual physical attack is the darkness it injects in you.”

Mud Vein begins when Senna Richards woke up one day in a strange home. She didn’t exactly remember what or who brought her there. She later on found out that she’s not the only one who was abducted but also Isaac Asterholder, the surgeon who saved her from a traumatic incident months ago and the one who operated her breast cancer away. Together they did everything to survive in that inescapable place and tried to bring themselves out. But when days and weeks passed without getting any clue, their intricately deep and dark feelings were slowly unraveled which made their situation a lot more twisted.

“I am an animal, bent on surviving. I let nothing in. I let nothing out.”

It’s my second time to read a novel by Tarryn Fisher. The first one was her F*ck Love which unfortunately didn’t amaze me. I vowed to give her another chance after that and now I don’t regret it. This one is going straight to my favorites!

“I am a self-fulfilling prophecy; destroying before I could be destroyed.”

There were so many things that I loved about this book. First was of course, the impeccable writing of Tarryn that is all her own. I found myself so engaged because of the gripping quality of her writing. Secondly, the gasp-inducing thrilling scenes that the book brought. Also, the book had that certain effect, one that invited me to dig more and more to discover the mystery behind. It basically left my mind reeling in ten different directions all at once. Hands-down!

“That’s what it’s like to be a prisoner of anything. You want your freedom until you get it, then you feel bare without your chains.”

One of the things that also surprised me was the romance. I didn’t thought the romantic aspect here had a bigger role in the entire story. Which was good, in my opinion because in the end, everything just made a perfect sense.

“Being stuck on love was a real bitch to cure. Like cancer, I think. Just when you think you’re over it, it comes back.”

The plot also impressed me. I loved when the book took me from present to past and back to the present. It just made the mystery more and more interesting.

“I never thought of love as a choice. Rather, it seemed like the un-choice. But if you stayed with someone who was self-destructing and chose to keep loving, I suppose it could be a choice.”

My favorite parts of course, were those scenes when Senna and Isaac interacted before they were kidnapped. Isaac was such a perfect hero. Just one of a kind. The gentleness he exuded and the way he did everything to stay by Senna’s side after what happened to her was so admirable. I mean, damn, I can’t help but fall for this man.

“If someone was going to be digging around in my chest with a scalpel, I wanted it to be the guy who showed up and fixed things.”

And then when this conversation happened…

“Why are you here?”

He hesitated briefly then said, “Because you are.”

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Senna, I admit, was difficult to understand. Her dark thoughts and her self-destructing personality made me cringe every time. But she was uniquely portrayed in this book and scrutinizing her way of thinking was the best thing of all.

There were lots of cry-worthy moments here. I felt so connected to the characters and their emotions and everything they went through together. There was just something about their insane experience that made me feel so emotional.

“You are a stillness. And I tried to move you. It didn’t work. But that doesn’t mean you didn’t move me. I heard everything you didn’t say. I heard it so loudly that I couldn’t shut it off. Your silence, Senna. I hear it so loudly.”

Another scene that broke my heart into pieces…

“Tell me a lie, Isaac.” His fingertips trace a curlicue on my shoulder.
“I don’t love you.”

This book was also unpredictable. I developed a lot of conspiracy theories but none of them was correct. Lol. I guess I’m just not a good detective.

“You loved me so much that I started to love myself.”

Overall, this book was a real surprise. It’s a great psychological, romantic thriller. The ending of course, made me cry. (view spoiler) I think that conclusion was just the right way to end it. It was strongly delivered and it sure gave me goosebumps. I would highly recommend this amazing book for fans of dark and mystery/psychological suspense and thriller books.

“You can’t fix me,” I said, looking at his knees.
“I don’t want to.”
“I’m mangled,” I said. “On the inside and the outside.”
“And yet I love you.”

Rating:

5 stars new

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xo pearl