Book Review: My Life In Shambles – Karina Halle

When Valerie Stephens made the resolution to say yes to new adventures, she never thought she’d end up in the tiny town of Shambles, fake engaged to one of Ireland’s top rugby players. But there’s a first time for everything.

They say bad things happen in threes.

After my boyfriend broke off our engagement, I lost my apartment, and was laid off from my job, I can definitely attest to that.

They also say life is what happens when you say yes to new adventures.

So when my two sisters invited me to ring in the new year in Ireland, I decided to throw all caution to the wind and go for it. I was going to let “saying yes” be my new resolution.

Little did I know I’d spend New Year’s Eve having a hot and dirty one-night stand with Padraig McCarthy, one hell of a sexy Irishman. I also didn’t know that the brooding and intense sex god was one of Ireland’s top rugby players.

A rugby player with a proposition for me:

Come with him to his tiny hometown of Shambles and pretend to be his fiancé for a few days, just so that his ailing father can have some peace of mind.

It sounded simple enough.

It was anything but.

Not when a town gets up in your business, not when the media hunts you down, not when your past comes back in the picture, not when there are real hearts and feelings at stake.

Not when there are secrets that could break you.

They say life is what happens when you say yes to new adventures.

This is my life in Shambles.


Hmm… * scratching head * I guess you could say this is the type of book that takes on a completely different route than one would expect.

`My Life In Shambles by author Karina Halle is a 350 page standalone romance that gives you all feels, even the ones you didn´t necessarily ask for.

To be honest- I´m a little torn about this book. I loved the romantic side of it but I didn´t necessarily enjoy the overall depressing vibes it gave off. My Life In Shambles is sort of a tragic romance. Heavy topics such as illness and death weigh the story down. It´s hopeful but not hopeful enough if that makes any sense?

There´s absolutely nothing wrong with the story. It´s a story well told. The writing was great. I can´t even complain about the characters. It´s just that I wasn´t looking for this type of romance.

I bought My Life In Shambles thinking I´d get something different… something maybe about life as a fake fiance of a rugby player, trying to keep her wits together while dealing with his lifestyle. Well, that´s almost what a reader gets… Only with additional gloom darkening the newly couple´s lives.

 

My Thoughts In A Nutshell…

 

Its me, not the book. The book is fine. The story is great. I just not something I´d drop everything else for as this type of story isn´t what I usually enjoy reading.

 

Would I recommend this book? I would.

Would I reread this book? Probably not.

 

The Cover – 3 Stars:  It´s cute.

The Story – 3 Stars:  Meeh. It wasn´t for me.

The Characters – 4 Stars: I actually enjoyed the MCs and even the sub-characters.

My emotional state after finishing this read – Indifferent.

 

 

If you think `My Life In Shambles` by author Karina Halle would be something you´d enjoy then click here and get a copy!

 

 

Book Review: Credence – Penelope Douglas


From New York Times bestselling author Penelope Douglas comes a new standalone…

Tiernan de Haas doesn’t care about anything anymore. The only child of a film producer and his starlet wife, she’s grown up with wealth and privilege but not love or guidance. Shipped off to boarding schools from an early age, it was still impossible to escape the loneliness and carve out a life of her own. The shadow of her parents’ fame followed her everywhere.

And when they suddenly pass away, she knows she should be devastated. But has anything really changed? She’s always been alone, hasn’t she?

Jake Van der Berg, her father’s stepbrother and her only living relative, assumes guardianship of Tiernan who is still two months shy of eighteen. Sent to live with him and his two sons, Noah and Kaleb, in the mountains of Colorado, Tiernan soon learns that these men now have a say in what she chooses to care and not care about anymore. As the three of them take her under their wing, teach her to work and survive in the remote woods far away from the rest of the world, she slowly finds her place among them.

And as a part of them.

She also realizes that lines blur and rules become easy to break when no one else is watching.

One of them has her.

The other one wants her.

But he…

He’s going to keep her.
*Credence is a new adult standalone novel suitable for readers 18+.

If Credence, by author Penelope Douglas, was a movie then it would most definitely be a porn. Since Credence is a book ( not a movie ) I´m going to flat out say that this is an adventurous rated – R, polyamorous romance that touches many delicate bases ( what a way to describe a story ).

Credence is fun. It´s exciting. It´s unpredictable at times. It´s one of those romances that´ll get you all hot and ready!


What I absolutely loved about this book…

  • The beginning. Let´s face it- There are books that have a shitty start. This book belongs to one of the few that begin interesting. A 17 year old who had been neglected for most of her life becomes an orphan. Tiernan ( Heroine ) ends up leaving home ( and fame ) to live with a step-uncle in the Colorado mountains. Tiernan goes from one extreme environment to the next. I liked this type of start a whole lot because I was able to predict so many outcomes for the story… which none happened.
  • The characters. I loved Tiernan´s character development. There was a lot of strength and growth on her part.
  • The sex. Hands down- I´m a fan of graphic scenes.
  • The age gap. I do love me some good ol´ age disparity.
  • The ending. Although I wasn´t completely knocked out of my socks I still liked the way the story wrapped up.

Sounds great, right? If only there weren´t those pesky little things that I didn´t appreciate so much…

  • As much as I adored the graphic scenes I wasn´t able to warm up to the foursome thing. I´m not against polyamorous relationships but the idea of having such relations with “family” members was not easy to digest. Step-uncle and step-cousins? I´m aware that there wasn´t a blood relation involved but it still screwed with my mind a little ( possibly because I have quite a few step-family members myself and refuse to see them as anything but family )
  • Kaleb. One of the “cousins”. I felt his character didn´t receive as much spotlight. I would´ve loved more scenes with him just to be able to connect a little more.

But this is just me being picky. In the end, the only thing that matters is that I really enjoyed this book. I mean- What´s not to enjoy? Three possessive mountain men ready to give a neglected girl some attention.


Would I recommend this book? I sure would. Readers who love raunchy romances are in for a real treat with this one.
Would I reread this book? Probably.


The Cover: 5 Stars – It´s really pretty. Love the color theme.
The Story: 4 Stars – Everything was spot on except for that little bit I mentioned above.
The Characters: 5 Stars – I have no complaints what-so-ever.

Be sure to grab yourself a copy of Credence by Penelope Douglas!

Book Reviews: The Wallflower Series – Lisa Kleypas

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I stumbled upon Lisa Kleypas back in 2011… when I was on a Historical Romance mission. One historical romance led to another and before I knew it I had almost purchased every ( and I mean this in a positive way ) cheesy bundle of exaggerated fluff written by the author.

I was Amazons customer of the month back then because I kept ordering and ordering until I ran out of Lisa Kleypas books to order- that´s how great I thought they were.

Now, if you´ve been following me for a while you´ve probably noticed that I don´t talk much about historical romances. That´s because they´re my guilty bookish pleasures. I´ll have phases where I´ll rant about HR and then there are phases where all I can do is swoon over the ridiculous etiquette and romance.

Historical romances are also the only genre I love to nitpick over. It´s because of the accuracy of the details. I love it when authors do their homework and absolutely hate it when they mix eras together.

The Wallflowers books offered exactly what I´m always looking for in historical romances. They have a dash of everything with a touch of cheesiness. Heroines who are strong yet still feminine. Exciting Heroes. Always a wonderful romance development and enough blush-worthy moments that would create enough scandal to last two lifetimes.

The Wallflowers is a 5 book series about 4 young ladies ( who each get their own book ) entering London´s society with the desire to find husbands. Desperate much? Definitely.


 

Secrets Of A Summer Night ( #1 ) – Lisa Kleypas

 

Secrets Of A Summer Night Out of all Wallflowers books, `Secrets Of A Summer Night´ is my favorite. I just love a romance about a stuck up chick slowly falling for the easy-going self-made man.

We meet Annabelle- Proper, well-spoken, beautiful and determined to find a husband who´ll save her and her family from financial ruin. Enter Simon Hunt- Not exactly the nobleman Annabelle´s looking for. Powerful, persistent and oh so irresistible Simon might not be the person Annabelle wants but he´s wealthy and willing to help Annabelle. Will the first wallflower find true love?

As I´ve said- This one is my favorite from all the Wallflower books because it has that push and pull romance I love so much. It has a Heroine who´s underestimated and judged from the start and a Hero who sees there´s more to the Heroine than her pretty face. A nice slow story development with holy hot steamy scenes. My kind of romance.

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It Happened One Autumn  ( #2 ) – Lisa Kleypas

 

It Happend One Autumn ( Wallflowers #2 )With book #2, `It Happened One Autumn` we meet Lillian Bowman, an independent young and wealthy American who´s ( yes, you´ve guessed correctly ) on the lookout for a husband. The highly opinionated beauty falls for the snobbish Marcus, Lord Westcliff, who couldn´t be more different from Lillian even if he tried. Because of their cultural differences, they have a bumpy and tense relationship but eventually slide into a smooth moving romantic pace.

This one was my second favorite Wallflower book. It´s not better or worse than the first one, just different. And I enjoyed it. `It Happened One Autumn` carries the enemies – to – lovers theme and has a great story development. What I loved most was the action-filled end scene. And the romance! Good Lawd, is Marcus and Lillian´s story romantic. Favorite part: The first secret garden scene.

 

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Devil In Winter  ( #3 ) – Lisa Kleypas

 

Devil In Winter ( Wallflowers #3)

 

Wallflower #3, Evangeline. I thought her story in `Devil In Winter` ( book #3 ) wasn´t as powerful as the ones of her fellow wallflowers. Evangeline is the most reserved and shiest of all 4 girls. Her stammer is a problem but her inheritance isn´t. Not for Viscount St. Vincent. When she meets the man with the dangerous reputation she offers him a deal. One he can´t turn down.

Okay. This story wasn´t terrible but it wasn´t as exciting as the first two were. I liked Evangeline but wasn´t so hot on the bad-boy-on-a-mission, St. Vincent. We first meet him in the first 2 books and even then I didn´t care much for him. I´m all for the villain – finally – sees – the – light themes but I sort of had the feeling that something was missing.

Still, a decent read with romantic parts.

 

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Scandal In Spring  ( #4 ) – Lisa Kleypas

 

Scandal In Spring ( Wallflower #4 )

 

It´s Daisy Bowman´s ( sister to Lillian ( book #2 ) ) turn to find herself a suitable husband and in book #4, `Scandal In Spring` she finds the wrong candidate, or is he the right one?
I´m not sure what I expected but it certainly wasn´t this. `Scandal In Spring` is a satisfying historical romance but it didn´t touch me the way book #1 and book #2 did. If I´m honest- I can compare this one with book #3 a little. Nice but not earth-shattering.

 

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Only one book is missing in this feature- The Christmas novella  `A Wallflower Christmas` ( book # 4.5 ).

Wallflower Christmas

 

`A Wallflower Christmas` is a cute novella where the wallflowers meet up again. Uuhm, personally, I´m not too fazed about this addition. I´d say this novella was written for the dedicated fans and no one else. I enjoyed it but I could have done without as the Wallflowers, for me, ended with book #4.


 

All in all The Wallflowers books are fun and so SO romantic. For fans of Lisa Kleypas a MUST READ.

 

My overall rating for all books

 

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You can purchase The Wallflowers by clicking the titles below. Enjoy reading. ❤

( Book #1 )   Secrets Of A Sumer Night

( Book #2 )   It Happened One Autumn

( Book #3 )   Devil In Winter

( Book #4 )   Scandal In Spring

( Book #4.5 )  A Wallflower Christmas

 

 

 

 

 

 

Book Review: What We Do In The Light – Stylo Fantome

Just one month ago, Valentine O’Dell got her heart ripped out – yet another problem to add to her rapidly growing list. Between fighting to bring her sick grandmother home, searching for a new apartment after being evicted, and trying to figure out how exactly she’s going to pay for everything, she doesn’t have time to cry over a broken heart.

Then Ari Sharapov walks back in and tries to solve everything.

Ari may have gained a little more control in his life, but there’s still one area he doesn’t have a grip on – Valentine refuses to believe anything he says. Gone is the girl who wanted someone to take care of her, and in her place is a woman who’s willing to take everything he has to offer, but without giving anything of herself in return. He’s used to fighting battles in a courtroom, but convincing her of his feelings will be his biggest struggle yet.

Maybe it’s time for this relationship to be brought to light.


 

 

Well… * takes a deep breath *  Let´s just say I´m bummed about  `What We Do In The Light`( book #2 ) by author Stylo Fantome.

The whole story was a little lackluster. All the tension from book #1, `What We Do In The Night`, was gone. Key characters suddenly disappeared from the pages ( only to be mentioned shortly towards the end ) and the focus was more on the questionable back-and-forth relationship between the romantic couple.

The constant “Yes! Oh, wait… NO! Oh to hell with it- Let´s give it a try. Meeh, I changed my mind.” drove me nuts.

 

Problems were easily solved with money.

The main characters ( romantic couple ) had no clue how to leave each other alone ( which would´ve been in everyone´s interest ). The actual threat of the story was… there was none. Any possible threats were removed, thus leaving the indecisive lovebirds to support the book with their unnecessary shenanigans. Their characters were beautifully created in book #1 but they weren´t strong enough to carry their story alone.

All in all, I´m bummed. This installment sort of ruined the uniqueness book #1 provided.

 


 

The Cover – It´s pretty. And the title is catchy.

The Characters – The few who remained weren´t putting much effort.

The Story – It´s a no from me.

My emotional state after finishing this book- Disappointed.

 

 

Book Reviews: Griffin Family- Suzanne Enoch

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It´s Suzanne Enoch time, y´all! With all the Historical Romances I´ve been collecting over the years I thought it was time to write reviews for my guilty reading pleasures.

Are you familiar with Suzanne Enoch´s books? I wasn´t. It actually took me a while to discover the author or her books ( possibly because I was too caught up with finishing every Lisa Kleypas book out there ) but when I did stumble upon Suzanne Enoch on Amazon I was a happy Historical romance camper.

I remember having seen the cover of `Sin and Sensibility´ ( book #1 ), thinking I should give the book a go. Minutes later I ordered all books from the Griffin Family series. Days later, I inhaled all four books. I felt and still don´t feel any shame.

I will say this, though: Reading this series was a rollercoaster ride for me. Each book did something different for my emotional household.

Are you ready for the mini-reviews for book #1 – #4? Have a seat.

trenner

Sin and Sensibility ( book #1 ) – Suzanne Enoch

 

Sin And Sensibility #1

 

The brother´s best friend. Set in a time where etiquette felt like it was above the law, we meet Elenore Griffin, sister to overbearing older brothers. Elenore is ready for an adventure, but not ready to settle down and give in to the pressures of society. Just when Sebastian ( oldest brother ) has enough of Elenore´s wish for independence they both strike a deal. Only that deal is more twisted than it´s supposed to be.
Enter Valentine Corbett, London´s drop-dead gorgeous bad boy and best friend to Sebastian Griffin. Elenore can have her freedom IF she stays out of trouble. And what better way to make sure that doesn´t happen? One employs unofficially babysitter- namely, Valentine.

Seriously, I loved Sin and Sensibility. It´s cute and romantic and so full of emotional fluff that I can´t find it in me to find anything negative to say. I loved Valentine. His character was a true masterpiece. An arrogant ass waiting to be loved. Elenore was… As one would expect- a tad childish at times. That can be forgiven if you consider the era and how ignorant women were kept in those days. This was beautifully highlighted in this story.

So, the arrogant, worldly ass falls for the best friend´s sister who wants to see and experience the world before she meets her unwanted fate.

Best HR couple, ever. A story well told.

5 hearts

 

 

 

 

 

An Invitation To Sin  ( Book #2 ) – Suzanne Enoch

 

An Invitation To Sin #2

 

If you ever want to read a story that feels so random- Look no further. `An Invitation To Sin` will give you that feeling right from the start. Bah, my least favorite read from the Griffin bundle. If I´m honest- Elenore´s brother, Zachary, never interested me when his character popped up in the first book. It was clear he´d receive his own let´s-find-true-love story but I didn´t think I would dislike it as much as I did. His story felt so unnecessary. His supposed better half felt equally unnecessary. Not a good match. Not a great story.

Zachary gets shit from his older brother, Sebastian, the Duke, for basically being a good-for-nothing ( I could have told Zach that during book #1. But nooo. It takes the Duke to drive the point home ). One thing leads to another and we meet Caroline, the most egoistical Heroine in the book universe. Seriously, she was a pain. How and why Zachary and Caroline ended up together will forever be a mystery to me. With their lack of chemistry, you´d think she´d have cured him for life for ever thinking about a relationship.

From start to finish- I was not in the best of moods.

1 heart

 

 

 

 

 

Something Sinful  ( Book #3 ) – Suzanne Enoch 

 

Something Sinful #3

 

A Cat & Mouse read with some adventure! And definitely a far cry from being anything like the previous book.` Something Sinful` is truly a read that feels alive and… different. Was it as good as book #1? Not for me. But that´s okay. I kind of felt like the first would be the strongest of all four books.

We meet another brother, Lord Charlemagne Griffin, the “sharper” brother, who´s book feels more like it´s set in India than in London. Okay, I´m down with that. What I liked about this book was how “exotic” it felt but also hated how “exotic” it was. There was sex overload, which I wasn´t too fond of. But other than that the core of the story was interesting. As for the couple: Yeah… Meeh. Gonna have to pass.

2 hearts

 

 

 

 

Sins Of A Duke ( Book #4 ) – Suzanne Enoch

 

Ha! We´re back on the love-gush train. `Sins Of A Duke` was exactly what I had hoped it would be- A challenge for the Hero.

Sebastian- Oldest brother of the Griffin lot, match-maker extraordinaire and almost most powerful figure in London receives his own story. And it´s a quirky one, too.

When Sebastian is set to marry a Princess from a new country he turns on his killer Duke wits and senses fraud. Of course, it doesn´t help his case that the phony Princess is beautiful beyond words.

The best thing about this book is to read about someone as controlled as Sebastian loses his composure and the iron grip he had on many things. I love when the perfect becomes flawed.  This is kind of like watching an opera where the actors drop their masks after every act.

A worthy conclusion to the Griffin Family series.

4 hearts

 


 

As a whole, I´d say the Griffin Family series deserves a 3 – rating. There was a strong start with book #1 and a floppy middle with book #2 and #3 but book #4 picked things up again. Thankfully.

Suzanne Enoch´s writing is great. Smooth and engaging. Character development was satisfying. Details were spot on. Sadly enough, I haven´t had enough interest in checking more of the author´s books out. Maybe that´ll change in the future, though.

 


 

Would I recommend this series? Yes and no. It really depends what a Historical romance reader is looking for.

Would I reread this series? I´ve already reread book #1 and book #4. The others weren´t really my cup of tea.

 


 

 

Purchase Links

( Books in reading order )

Sin And Sensibility  ♥ 

An Invitation To Sin

Something Sinful

Sins Of A Duke