Review: Gabriel’s Rapture by Sylvain Reynard

Gabriel's Rapture (Gabriel's Inferno, #2)

Gabriel’s Rapture
(Gabriel’s Inferno #2)
Author: Sylvain Reynard
Publisher: Penguin
Published: October 11, 2012
Genre: Romance, Adult, New Adult Contemporary
My Rating:

4

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Synopsis new

Professor Gabriel Emerson has embarked on a passionate, yet clandestine affair with his former student, Julia Mitchell.

Sequestered on a romantic holiday in Italy, he tutors her in the sensual delights of the body and the rapture of sex. But when they return, their happiness is threatened by conspiring students, academic politics, and a jealous ex-lover.

When Gabriel is confronted by the university administration, will he be forced to share Dante’s fate? Or will he fight to keep Julia, his Beatrice, forever?

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“I wandered in the darkness looking for something better, something real. I found you, and I’ll be damned if I’m going to lose you.”

The angst and drama in Gabriel’s Rapture amazed me. In this sequel, we get to experience Gabriel and Julia’s relationship in a much deeper level. The book picked up where Gabriel’s Inferno left off. Everything seemed perfect when it comes to Gabriel and Julia’s relationship but unexpected situations suddenly came out which led their relationship to a different, painful direction.

First of all, I have to say that I knew it! I knew what was about to come so it didn’t surprise me when it finally happened. I was so scared of the consequences that these two will be facing when I was still reading the first book so I can say that I’m already prepared for it. What surprised me most was the pain that it caused. What happened to Julia and Gabriel was too heart-breaking.

But you know the good thing about this book? It ended beautifully that I was so glad to leave it when I turned the last page. I actually wished that it was the ending for the whole series.

Another thing that I loved about this book was the way Gabriel continued to treat Julia gently despite what happened to them. Julia, on the hand, also had a notable character development. She was able to handle things differently here and for that, I adored her.

I loved Gabriel’s Rapture as a whole. It’s one of the well-written sequels I’ve ever read because of the way it was delivered. I’m excited to find out how the series will conclude in the third book!

“She is not my equal. She is my better. She is my sticky leaf.”

Rating:

4

Buy this book at:

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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.

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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

Buy this book at:

READ ALL MY REVIEWS HERE

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.

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“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

Buy this book at:

READ ALL MY REVIEWS HERE

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.

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“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

Buy this book at:

READ ALL MY REVIEWS HERE

xo pearl

 

Review: Back To Us by Teresa Roman

Back To Us

Back To Us
Author: Teresa Roman
Publisher: Teresa Roman
Published: August 6, 2015
Genre: New Adult, Romance, Contemporary
My Rating:

4

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Synopsis new

Abandoned by her parents at fourteen, Jessica knows what it means to struggle. She’s vowed that getting her degree is the only thing she has time for, until a summer internship brings Justin into her life.

But Justin has scars of his own. A tour of duty in Afghanistan has left him with wounds. A medical discharge from the Navy leaves Justin struggling to make sense of his new reality. Then he meets Jessica; but can the two of them leave their pain in the past and make a future together?

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Back To Us is a story about two broken characters who started as strangers and who eventually became friends until they realized that they fell in love with each other. Things were not that easy for Justin and Jessica though, because these characters have inner battles they’re fighting and their issues were the main reason why getting into a relationship was difficult. Jessica’s parents abandoned her and her brother when she was 14 and since then, she has been living independently. Justin’s life, on the other hand, changed when he came back home with a broken soul after he experienced an accident in the military.

This book is not your typical love story with broken characters. It has something more than romance. It was emotionally-driven and it narrated true-to-life situations. I loved that it tackled family dilemmas and life after horrible accidents, too.

What made this book remarkable was the strength of the characters. Jessica awed me. She’s very dependent and tough and despite everything that happened to her, she didn’t lose hope.

“That’s what happened when your parents decided to dump you before you even started high school. Sink or swim, and I was one of the best swimmers I knew.”

And although Justin was vulnerable at the start (He constantly wallowed in self-pity), he developed in the later parts and decided to stand up on his own which made me teary-eyed.

It’s also quite amazing how Back To Us reminded me of the book Me Before You. You know, stories with physically and emotionally scarred heroes. :'((

When it comes to the ending, it was emotional and beautiful. I just wished that things between Jessica and her parents were settled. It could have been better if there was a resolution with her family in the end. As a whole, it was a great and a heartfelt read and full of life lessons, too. I loved the author’s writing which was simplistic and easy. I definitely recommend this book if you love emotional romance stories like Me Before You or Nicholas Sparks books. And oh, before you start wondering if it has a sad ending, nope. Your heart is safe. 🙂

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

Rating:

4

Buy this book at:

READ ALL MY REVIEWS HERE

xo pearl

REVIEW: The Sea of Tranquility by Katja Millay

The Sea of Tranquility

The Sea of Tranquility
Author: Katja Millay
Publisher: Atria Books
Published: June 4, 2013
Genre: Young Adult, New Adult, Romance, Contemporary
My Rating:

five-stars

I live in a world without magic or miracles. A place where there are no clairvoyants or shapeshifters, no angels or superhuman boys to save you. A place where people die and music disintegrates and things suck. I am pressed so hard against the earth by the weight of reality that some days I wonder how I am still able to lift my feet to walk.

Full of rage and without a purpose, former pianist Nastya Kashnikov wants two things: to get through high school without anyone discovering her past and to make the boy who took everything from her pay.

All 17 year-old Josh Bennett wants is to build furniture and be left alone, and everyone allows it because it’s easier to pretend he doesn’t exist. When your name is synonymous with death, everyone tends to give you your space.

Everyone except Nastya, a hot mess of a girl who starts showing up and won’t go away until she’s insinuated herself into every aspect of his life. The more he gets to know her, the more of a mystery she becomes. As their relationship intensifies and the unanswered questions begin to pile up, he starts to wonder if he may ever learn the secrets she’s been hiding or if he even wants to.

The Sea of Tranquility is a slow-building, character-driven romance about a lonely boy, an emotionally fragile girl, and the miracle of second chances.

Please Note: This book contains mature content including profanity, drug/alcohol use, and sexual situations/language.

MY THOUGHTS…

Josh is my escape. He’s my hiding place.

Beautiful, extraordinary, emotionally-driven, and just the right kind of book that can make you cry and laugh and swoon at the same time.

The Sea of Tranquility is perfectly well-written. I am so surprised to find out that it’s Katja Millay’s first and only book so far. Clearly, this book is not a work of a novice. It’s an amateur’s masterpiece. I am so hoping that this author will work for another novel again because I need more of her writing style!

This book took me by surprise because I did not expect it to be this good. The way she creates characters that are broken make me feel awed. More so when these characters eventually took a step towards healing and found their way to each other.

*Sigh*

This book. It’s going to be hard for me to forget this. Everything is just so remarkably beautiful! I enjoyed every page of it (which explains why it took me days to finish it). I love reading some of its beautiful lines over and over. Can’t help it. 😉

My Ratings for this Book: 5 Stars in a Sea of Tranquility!

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REVIEW: The Coincidence of Callie and Kayden by Jessica Sorensen

The Coincidence of Callie and Kayden (The Coincidence, #1)

The Coincidence of Callie and Kayden
(The Coincidence #1)
Author: Jessica Sorensen
Publisher: Sphere
Published: August 8, 2013
Genre: New Adult, Romance, Contemporary
My Rating:

five-stars

From the bestselling author of The Secret of Ella and Micha comes a mesmerizing novel of fate, friendship, and the healing power of love . . .

For Kayden, suffering in silence was the only way to survive. If he was lucky, he could keep his head down, do as he was told, and make it through the day. But one night it seemed like his luck-and his life-might finally end . . . until an angel named Callie appeared just in time to rescue him.

Callie has never believed in luck. Not since her twelfth birthday when everything was taken from her. After the worst was over, she locked up her feelings and vowed never to tell anyone what happened. Now, six years later, she continues to struggle with the painful secret that threatens to consume her.

When fate lands Kayden and Callie at the same college, Kayden is determined to get to know the beautiful girl who changed his destiny. Quiet and reserved, Callie still fears letting anyone else into her world. But Kayden is certain that Callie has come back into his life for a reason. And the more he tries to be a part of her life, the more he realizes that, this time, it’s Callie who needs to be saved . . .

MY THOUGHTS…

Callie saved me that night from a fight that would have probably left me dead, but she also saved me from myself. Before her, I was dying inside; there was nothing in my heart, but an empty hole.

This is without a doubt, one of the best New Adult – Contemporary books I’ve had so far. I love everything in The Coincidence of Callie and Kayden! It’s one of those books that have everything you want in a contemporary read that will leave you feeling awed. It’s just *sigh* perfect!

If you want to read something that has to do with dark past and secrets with a bit of heavy drama and a sizzling romance, then this book is for you. I love how Jessica Sorensen evoked such deep emotions in me when I least expected it. The characters– Kayden and Callie are one of the amazing characters I’ve met. The chemistry is seriously visible. And I love the fact that each time they interact, you can really feel the sexual tension between them.

And let me tell you that the very first moment you’ll meet the characters, you’ll instantly feel the connection. They’re two troubled, f*cked up characters with emotional wounds that will really tug your heart. And oh, the romance is good. Every freaking kissing and make-out details of Callie and Kayden is emotional and moving you will basically find yourself hanging on to every word the author writes.

After reading the book, I had a very huge desire to find the second installment and grab another bite ‘coz ugh, it feels not enough. The ending is a total cliffhanger (though I really don’t mind). 🙂

As a whole, The Coincidence of Callie and Kayden is totally a must-read.

“In the existence of our lives, there is a single coincidence that brings us together and for a moment, our hearts beat as one.”

My Rating for this Book: 5 Stars

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