The Bird and the Sword (Amy Harmon)


Swallow, daughter, pull them in, those words that sit upon your lips. Lock them deep inside your soul, hide them ‘til they’ve time to grow. Close your mouth upon the power, curse not, cure not, ‘til the hour. You won’t speak and you won’t tell, you won’t call on heaven or hell. You will learn and you will thrive. Silence, daughter. Stay alive. 

The day my mother was killed, she told my father I wouldn’t speak again, and she told him if I died, he would die too. Then she predicted the king would sell his soul and lose his son to the sky. 

My father has a claim to the throne, and he is waiting in the shadows for all of my mother’s words to come to pass. He wants desperately to be king, and I just want to be free. 

But freedom will require escape, and I’m a prisoner of my mother’s curse and my father’s greed. I can’t speak or make a sound, and I can’t wield a sword or beguile a king. In a land purged of enchantment, love might be the only magic left, and who could ever love . . . a bird? 


Amy makes words. She should have been a Teller because her words ARE magic. Much more than magic. Amy writes these words and they become life. Reality. Truth.

What a read! Holy Jesus. So good. I wanted to wait to jump into this book until all of the hype and 5 star reviews surrounding it started dying down. I don’t like my mind to be tarnished and filled with other people’s opinions. And with this one, it wasn’t. I was actually so very impressed with this story that Amy had delivered to us.

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I thought the heroine in this story was such a very strong and diligent character. My most favorite part of this whole book was watching her entire growth. Watching her grow into herself. Watching her relationship with Tiras grow. How extraordinary is it to know that the girl who has no voice, who feels invisible, has been seen and to watch it all unfold as a reader? It was an amazing experience.

My only downside was at times this story just dragged out. A few unnecessary events and conversations that just seemed to be thrown into the story. It was “wordy” at times…no pun intended.

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Even if you aren’t a “fan” of fantasy I think you should give this book a shot. I know that I am so glad that I did. I couldn’t find one word to sum up the book. Beautiful. Inspiring. Imaginative. Wild. Magical. I can’t pick just one. But the words are all there. They’re there in my heart. And they’ll stay there, Amy.

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Lost in Rewind (Tali Alexander)

Cover and blurb to come when revealed. 


One of my most anticipated reads this year was this book right here. I have loved Tali’s retro, 80’s music filled, emotional books over the last couple of years and this one was no different. Plus, Tali never disappoints me with her poignant writing style that just flows right off of the pages (or e-reader). And I mean, her wealthy knowledge of 80’s songs is just out of this world. Three books. No repeats. And yes, I went back and looked. Kudos.

I read a lot of romance. A LOT. It’s typically my go to genre. I will tell that to anybody. But Tali’s books just feel so different than most books that I read day-to-day. Yeah, it’s romance but it’s not like the typical fiction romance that has been circulating the 2010’s. The story line has a completely different feel to it. The characters are different. The whole setting and plot in general of all of her books are just different. Especially this one. The plot was unlike anything else I have read before.

I will be honest…there is insta-love. And I can’t typically deal with that BUT the “plot thickener” in the story makes it almost bearable to me. I didn’t mind it like I do with most books because everything was just electrifying and connecting. I could feel it all. And I did feel like I wanted more from Sara’s point of view. I feel like I had a some loose strands left still from Lies in Rewind but then I quickly realized that this was Jeff’s story. Sara had her turn.

Jeff’s part of the story was good in Lies in Rewind but his story completely blew me away in Lost in Rewind. I’ve always been a huge Jeff fan though. The swift pace of his story and the in-depth feelings that he expels within himself and with the other characters that surround him is just overwhelming on the best way.

Tali has delivered another story that was just a Total Eclipse of my Heart. The story flowed with such ease and comfortability, there is at least one relatable character for every one, and the amount of emotion that comes from all of these characters is just tremendous. Tali’s series has been so enjoyable to read and every one of them have delivered a different sense of ease to me.

So, I hope that when you guys read this book your hearts feel just as full as mine and your reading is just as enjoyable as mine has been. And if you just couldn’t wait for Jeff’s story at the end of Lies in Rewind I promise that you won’t be let down with this book.

In a Dark Dark Wood (Ruth Ware)

Pick What should be a cozy and fun-filled weekend deep in the English countryside takes a sinister turn in Ruth Ware’s suspenseful, compulsive, and darkly twisted psychological thriller. Leonora, known to some as Lee and others as Nora, is a reclusive crime writer, unwilling to leave her “nest” of an apartment unless it is absolutely necessary. When a friend she hasn’t seen or spoken to in years unexpectedly invites Nora to a weekend away in an eerie glass house deep in the English countryside, she reluctantly agrees to make the trip. Forty-eight hours later, she wakes up in a hospital bed injured but alive, with the knowledge that someone is dead. Wondering not “what happened?” but “what have I done?”, Nora tries to piece together the events of the past weekend. Working to uncover secrets, reveal motives, and find answers, Nora must revisit parts of herself that she would much rather leave…


I was a fan of this book, very much so. I felt like it was different and suspenseful and every once in a while I like to indulge in books like that. Luckily, I think from the first chapter my wheels were already spinning, eager to learn more about this story.

I felt like the writing itself had an eerie feel about it. A couple of times, just reading one sentence would give me the goose bumps. The setting was for sure nothing short of horrific. The author did an exceptional job at setting up this creepy atmosphere right from the beginning. One of my quirks about thrillers is the fact that sometimes the book is so slow-building I get bored and end up not liking the book but this one flowed very nicely and quickly. And the characters this author wrote all created this strange dynamic that just worked. For being the first book this author has released I am quite impressed. There is not just ONE “main character”. I feel like each and every character in this book plays a huge role that gets filled by each one wonderfully.

“People don’t change, they just get more punctilious about hiding their true selves.”

I think my only complaint with this one was the predictability. Although I did not see everything coming, I seen a couple things but it wasn’t so horrible that it ruined the story for me. I also was able to come up with so many different scenarios and it was so much fun letting them all play out in my head. Wrong or not.

I really cannot get over how creepy of a setting that this author created. It was beyond perfect for the story and the plot of the whole story was just magnificent. And the writing and inner dialogue was just so fitting. Although the major twist is pretty predictable, the characters, story line, and writing really and truly make up for that. Not to mention, since this book is mainly character driven it complements the plot very nicely.

So not only was I invested in all of the characters but also the story as a whole! I would recommend this book for anyone wanting something different or thrilling or just wanting something to make you think.

Dearest Clementine (Lex Martin)

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Twenty-year-old Clementine Avery doesn’t mind being called bitchy and closed off. It’s safe, and after being burned by her high school sweetheart and stalked by a professor her freshman year of college, safe sounds pretty damn good.Her number one rule for survival? No dating. That is until she accidentally signs up for a romance writing class and needs material for her latest assignment.

Sexy RA Gavin Murphy is more than happy to play the part of book boyfriend to help Clem find some inspiration, even if that means making out…in the name of research, of course.As Gavin and Clem grow closer, they get entangled in the mystery surrounding a missing student, and Clem unwittingly becomes a possible target. Gavin tries to show Clem she can handle falling in love again, but she knows she has to be careful because her heart’s at stake…and maybe even her life.

I didn’t love this book and I didn’t hate this book. I did enjoy how fast paced and light this read was though.

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My only downfall with this this book was Clementine. I just couldn’t dig in with her to latch on and connect. I’m not sure if it was my lack of empathy or just my lack of interest in her. Anyways, when you can’t connect to the main character herself you’re bound to establish some problems with the way she acts and if she annoyed you rather than the book as a whole.

I enjoyed the characters banter back and forth and the secondary characters more than I did the plot of the story. Gavin was great. Until he turned into a huge walking/talking cliche. But then he was great again.

Another good part of this book was the underlying mystery and eeriness to the book.

If you’re looking for just a quick and light read I think you would be pretty safe with this one. It was very predictable but all in all I felt like the writing and the characters made it a decent enough book.

Tears of Tess (Pepper Winters)

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“My life was complete. Happy, content, everything neat and perfect.
Then it all changed.
I was sold.”

Tess Snow has everything she ever wanted: one more semester before a career in property development, a loving boyfriend, and a future dazzling bright with possibility.

For their two year anniversary, Brax surprises Tess with a romantic trip to Mexico. Sandy beaches, delicious cocktails, and soul-connecting sex set the mood for a wonderful holiday. With a full heart, and looking forward to a passion filled week, Tess is on top of the world.

But lusty paradise is shattered.

Kidnapped. Drugged. Stolen. Tess is forced into a world full of darkness and terror.

Captive and alone with no savior, no lover, no faith, no future, Tess evolves from terrified girl to fierce fighter. But no matter her strength, it can’t save her from the horror of being sold.

Can Brax find Tess before she’s broken and ruined, or will Tess’s new owner change her life forever?

I LOVE STOCKHOLM SYNDROME. I do. To each their own that’s what I say. I love Stockholm syndrome even more when it’s written so beautifully. Like this one…

“A human is adaptable. A human heart is not.”

The hero in Tears of Tess was impeccable. He was just so likable to me from the get go. I sensed that there was something about him that connected me to him, I just hadn’t gotten to it yet. But when I did, I wanted to pat myself on the back for having such a great judgement of character. Or maybe I’m just a sucker for damaged heroes? The heroine was wonderful. She was strong, feisty, and not too whiny. Most books in this genre I can’t read because the heroines turn me off but Tess was great. I feel like Pepper wrote believable characters that had great depth.

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“Monsters find each other in the dark.”

The sex was hot. It wasn’t cheesy, raunchy, or annoying. It was just….hot.

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The story line wasn’t over done or overly exaggerated. I felt like the pace of the story was great and it kept me intrigued throughout the whole book. Not to mention, Pepper has some superb writing. The inner dialogue was great. And the epilogue was WONDERFUL!

I felt too many emotions with this book. I haven’t read an erotica in a while either so it was nice to jump back into it with this read. I feel like if any one is wanting to dip their feet into a “darker” read this would be a great start for them.

After I Do (Taylor Jenkins Reid)

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When Lauren and Ryan’s marriage reaches the breaking point, they come up with an unconventional plan. They decide to take a year off in the hopes of finding a way to fall in love again. One year apart, and only one rule: they cannot contact each other. Aside from that, anything goes.

Lauren embarks on a journey of self-discovery, quickly finding that her friends and family have their own ideas about the meaning of marriage. These influences, as well as her own healing process and the challenges of living apart from Ryan, begin to change Lauren’s ideas about monogamy and marriage. She starts to question: When you can have romance without loyalty and commitment without marriage, when love and lust are no longer tied together, what do you value? What are you willing to fight for?

This is a love story about what happens when the love fades. It’s about staying in love, seizing love, forsaking love, and committing to love with everything you’ve got. And above all, After I Do is the story of a couple caught up in an old game—and searching for a new road to happily ever after.

You know, marriage is a scary thing. It’s very scary. One morning what if you wake up and realize you don’t love your spouse anymore? After being married for five years and over months you lose your spark what do you do? It’s hard to know how a marriage is going to pan out or if it will stay strong so this book was a wonderful glimpse into this uncanny thing called marriage.

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“Here is what I can tell you. All that matters in this life is that you try. All that matters is that you open your heart, give everything you have, and keep trying.”

I wish my husband would read this book. Not because our marriage is bad. Not because I feel like we will get a divorce. But because the lessons that this book instilled is just amazing and eye-opening.

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This book is scary in the sense of you see all of these things you don’t ever want to happen but it can happen. It’s all real. And I imagine it hurts just like I hurt while reading this book. All of this book resonated with me so well. With myself, my marriage, my family. All of it.

The best part of this book was this: you get so connected to one character or multiple characters. You’ll connect with someone. Personally, I connected to Lauren and Ryan’s story almost immediately. The whole book was written immensely well.

“Just because you can live without someone doesn’t meant you want to.”

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Basically I couldn’t put this book down. It was honest and raw. I feel like even if you have a solid marriage you should read it. If you don’t love your husband any more you should read it. This is also one of the most realistic books I have ever read.

Avoiding Commitment (KA Linde)

 

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Jack and Lexi never had a typical relationship. After 2 years without speaking, she receives a phone call that changes everything. He unexpectedly asks her to convince the new girl, Bekah, that he’s ready to commit. Jack is calling now after everything they had been through because there is another woman. She can’t believe it.

Follow Lexi in this heart wrenching drama as she relives her past relationship, or lack thereof, with Jack, and not just in her own mind, but to his fiance-to-be. Throw in Bekah’s hot brother who always seems to be in the right place at the right time, a past with more secrets to unravel than you can even imagine, and you get a recipe for disaster.

Find out what happens to Lexi as she travels to Atlanta to get the closure she so desperately desires from Jack, and how the bumps of life seem to keep getting in the way.

Jesus Christ. I feel like I just binge watched a terrible season of The OC all day. For real. In the past, I’ve tried to read this book three times. Each time I could never get past 20% and now I get it. I know why.

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I’m just gonna go right ahead and say this. I fully believe I am Team Jack. The asshole right? But his character was the only three dimensional character I read about in this angst of a story. He had depth and he was a like-able guy. Also, I had a Jack in my younger days. So of course I’m more drawn to him. I feel like Lexi was so stupid I don’t even have an adequate insult for her. I am actually drawing a blank because the whole time I read her actions I want to just scream at her. Chyna was my shit. She was an amazing secondary character. Props.

Beckah…nobody likes you. Nobody.

Ramsey…I’m still onto you.

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Lexi…I’ll tell you this one time and one time only: once a side chick always a side chick. Let it go honey & grow a backbone.

Also, the excuse “I love you and want to be with you but not right now” is really ridiculous. Just complete bullshit

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Especially because Jack LITERALLY told Lexi that at least 180 times and she never listened. Or even GOT IT. Home girl, he is just biding time. Set your feelings aside and bone him if that’s all you want to do. Christ.

Can we also talk about how unrealistic this book was? I’m talking about what female in their right mind calls up their boyfriend’s exes and wants information from them? NO GIRL DOES.

The only thing this book gave me was heart palpitations and the urge to Facebook stalk the old guy that used to play hot potato with me like Jack did with Lexi. Thanks.

The Fall Up (Aly Martinez)

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I wanted to jump.
He made me fall.

As a celebrity, I lived in the public eye, but somewhere along the way, I’d lost myself in the spotlight.

Until he found me.

Sam Rivers was a gorgeous, tattooed stranger who saved my life with nothing more than a simple conversation.

But we were both standing on that bridge for a reason the night we met. The secrets of our pasts brought us together—and then tore us apart.

Could we find a reason to hold on as life constantly pulled us down?

Or maybe there’s only one direction to go when two people fall in love at rock bottom—up.

This was a quick and decent read. And the cover is absolutely breath taking. I just don’t feel as if it was one of my favorite reads.

There were some really funny lines in here. I highlighted more funny lines than anything else. So, the author expelled her humor greatly throughout the book and through her characters. They made me LOL quite a bit.

The writing was just good. I found quite a bit of typos and grammatical errors but the quick paced story made up for it. The characters in this book didn’t spark any of my interest at all and they’re development just never appealed to me (mainly because the author never displayed their growth properly IMO). And DON’T get me started on the insta-love.

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I didn’t much care for any of the secondary characters either. They all felt so bland to me and didn’t play a real huge role in any of the story. Most of them didn’t even feel the least bit of real to me.

The sex was hot, for sure but I think it was a little too much for the book and for the subject the author meant to touch on. I feel like every two minutes these people were having sex. Or they were talking about when they were gonna have sex next. Or where.

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Let’s be real for a minute though, okay? There was so much unnecessary drama in this book it was almost exhausting. There was. It almost felt forced. Like the author just threw stuff in the to keep the story going.

I do feel like this book had so much potential with the subject matter that Aly took on but there was just too much FLUFF. Cheese. It was cheesy. Overly-Cheesey. It just made me want to eat chicken and drink beer. That’s about it.

Life Interrupted (Yessi Smith)

I am a blank canvas that even the artist in me doesn’t know how to fill. My life started the day I escaped and woke up in the hospital. Escaped from reality. Escaped from fear. Escaped from him. Nothing exists before that, and as the days trickle by, I’m positive there’s nothing after that either. I try though. For Poppa, who hasn’t left my side since I woke up, I try to I am a blank canvas that even the artist in me doesn’t know how to fill. My life started the day I escaped and woke up in the hospital. Escaped from reality. Escaped from fear. Escaped from him. Nothing exists before that, and as the days trickle by, I’m positive there’s nothing after that either. I try though. For Poppa, who hasn’t left my side since I woke up, I try to live. But every attempt is futile. So I escape again and start fresh on a small island, where there aren’t any expectations to fulfill. Where family and friends I don’t remember can’t look at me with sadness and disappointment. And when Travis Keillar comes into my life everything changes. The memories I’ve lost become unimportant to the memories I’m creating with him. For the first time since I opened my eyes that fateful day in the hospital, life smiles back at me. Until it doesn’t. Until he comes back for me. For revenge of crimes I don’t remember committing.


Wtf did I just read? And I don’t mean that in the good way I mean that in the “man, there goes the time I will never get back or see again” way. Because really, I will never get that valuable reading time back. But I get it, you win some you lose some. Some of my trusted friends were talking about this book so I bought it and ugh. Let’s begin shall we?

The only think I enjoyed about this story was Holly. I really enjoyed her and I enjoyed her coping mechanisms. I also enjoyed the writing! It was very wonderful and flowed nicely. But the story just lacked for me. I also enjoyed Mando’s POV. I liked being shifted to his thoughts and almost would have preferred to stay with his thoughts at most parts.

HOLY PLOT HOLES, BATMAN!! Don’t tell me you didn’t see them because they are all throughout the entire book. Honestly, had Yessi filled those holes, this might have been a 3 or 4 star read for me. I had way too many questions and way too many eye rolls though. The suspense that people were raving about just wasn’t there for me. I didn’t have that nail biting experience that everyone else had. Some of it was actually quite predictable.

INSTA-LOVE, EW!

All in all, it was just “MEH” for me. I skimmed the last 30% pretty hard just to get past the lulls. There was nothing realistic in the least to me. No police, no FBI. There was ONE Psychiatrist. That is it. The middle of the book was tremendously SLOW. Which sucked because the first part of the book was so fast paced. Then you get to the ending and literally……wow……that?

Razorblade Kisses (RL Griffin) 

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Her name is Emery Shaw…Emily Sanders…Emma Simpson. Her family was well off, she ran. They looked for her, she hid. They found her, she ran again. Tragedy strikes, she gets even. The fact is, she doesn’t know who she is, she tried to run, to hide and make a life for herself, but that backfired. No one knows her except her best friend, Rachel, if that’s even an adequate word for what they are to each other. Rachel helps her build a life for herself below the radar, which is fine until the unthinkable happens, knocking Em out of her unfeeling cocoon. When her house of cards comes tumbling down she runs again, until the one person who can change her mind finds her. **Due to adult situations, language and possible scenarios that may be difficult for some readers to take…take a breath before you start this one. It’s gritty and not pretty. Nothing is pretty here. Whiskey is a good thing.**

Okay, so the cover isn’t my favorite, I’ll admit it. BUT!!! What a great, written story. Just bravo. Especially since it’s the type of books I enjoy reading. You know the kind…where you hurt 80% of the time

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The story line was eery and wonderful. I don’t think I got bored at any point throughout the story. The timeline made it feel like I spent all of these years with these characters. Emery was a well developed character. I feel like her strength was very well defined and her way of coping was very justified every time life knocked her a curve ball. Rachel stole the show. From the very first time emery met her I was so in love with her. They’re connection solidified my love for this story.

One thing I didn’t like. Sometimes an author gets you so attached to a character and I was attached to Noah. Very much. Maybe because I met him before Tim? I don’t know but I missed him. He was just…so great.

“Hope is a funny thing, because the feeling is unmatched, like nothing else, but when it’s dashed, it leaves you empty. When the world crushed the hope she had now, the promise of tomorrow whispered “try again” in her ear.”

NOAH guys. NOAH!! RL…I’m looking at you! His character was everything in this story.

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Emotional books are the ones that I sway to. I’m just more drawn to them. I like feeling and I like being so drawn in and connected to well written characters and with Razorblade Kisses I felt like I got the whole package. So many feelings. Up then down. And it’s one hell of a journey.