Book Review: Frost Blood (Frostblood Saga #1 ) – Elly Blake

synopsis single

 

Seventeen-year-old Ruby is a Fireblood who has concealed her powers of heat and flame from the cruel Frostblood ruling class her entire life. But when her mother is killed trying to protect her, and rebel Frostbloods demand her help to overthrow their bloodthirsty king, she agrees to come out of hiding, desperate to have her revenge.

Despite her unpredictable abilities, Ruby trains with the rebels and the infuriating – yet irresistible – Arcus, who seems to think of her as nothing more than a weapon. But before they can take action, Ruby is captured and forced to compete in the king’s tournaments that pit Fireblood prisoners against Frostblood champions. Now she has only one chance to destroy the maniacal ruler who has taken everything from her – and from the icy young man she has come to love.

 


 

My Thoughts 2

 

`Enter a world where fire and ice are mortal enemies…`

 

There are two problems here. 1) The synopsis sounds familiar. Like, Red Queen  by Victoria Aveyard familiar. 2) That backside tagline- Sounded also a little familiar.

The fire and ice thingy immediately had me thinking of the Starks and Targaryens. Was I going to read about that in this YA – Fantasy – Romance saga? Good God…

Will this Ruby chick in `Frost Blood` be another Katniss / Feyre / Mare copy? Hmm…

Frost Blood 2
Cover version I don´t have

I mean- We´ve seen this happen before, right? Authors will latch onto the trend-wagon, creating their own versions of an already successful bestseller. Which is fine, I guess. You can´t reinvent the wheel. But you can try to perfect it.

I´m going to keep this nice and simple:  I wasn´t too mad about this book.

Yes, it´s exactly like every other dramatic YA fantasy book. It has almost the same elements: A young badass ( and also slightly annoying ) world-changer Heroine, good vs. evil, arguable romance, bla bla bla… Despite having already read this type of story many times before I can say without a doubt that I enjoyed this one more than I did others. As in – Other popular YA fantasy romance bestsellers.

I enjoyed `Frost Blood ` so much more that I´m willing to give the next book a try.

Frost Blood
Cover version I have

I will say, though, that the writing didn´t knock me out of my socks. It was clean and simple. Nothing to go nuts over, in my opinion.

All in all not a bad read.


 

Would I recommend this book? Yeah, I would. I would even recommend reading `Frost Blood` before reading all the other similar bestsellers. It´s easy on the mind and entertaining.  A great introductory book for anyone new to the YA fantasy romance world.

Would I reread this book? Maybe.


 

The Cover – 3 Stars:   A rose. A frosted rose. * sigh * Not terrible but also not what I would consider fabulous, either.

The Story – 3 Stars:   Been there. Done that. Bought the book 5x before. But still a decent adventurous read.

The Characters – 3 Stars:  I was going to rate the characters with 4 stars but then I remembered how little I knew of the Heroine. I would have liked a little more background info on her. Fingers crossed I´ll get more of that in the next book.

My emotional state after finishing this read:  Relatively happy.

 

3 stars

 

You can purchase `Frost Blood` ( Frostblood Saga #1 ) by author Elly Blake on Amazon.com

Book Review: Tara Road – Maeve Binchy

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With each new book, Maeve Binchy continues a remarkable progression of sales and audience growth, reaching fans of all ages and backgrounds with her matchless wit, warmth, and sheer storytelling magic. “Tara Road,” her first full-length novel since “The Glass Lake,” again shows her incomparable understanding of the human heart in the tale of two women, one from Ireland, one from America, who switch lives, and in doing so learn much about each other, as well as much about themselves.Ria lived on Tara Road in Dublin with her dashing husband, Danny, and their two children. She fully believed she was happily married, right up until the day Danny told her he was leaving her to be with his young, pregnant girlfriend. By a chance phone call, Ria meets Marilyn, a woman from New England unable to come to terms with her only son’s death and now separated from her husband. The two women exchange houses for the summer with extraordinary consequences, each learning that the other has a deep secret that can never be revealed.

Drawn into lifestyles vastly differing from their own, at first each resents the news of how well the other is getting on. Ria seems to have become quite a hostess, entertaining half the neighborhood, which at first irritates the reserved and withdrawn Marilyn, a woman who has always guarded her privacy. Marilyn seems to have become bosom friends with Ria’s children, as well as with Colm, a handsome restaurateur, whom Ria has begun to miss terribly. At the end of the summer, the women at last meet face-to-face. Having learned a great deal, about themselves and about each other, they find that they have become, firmly and forever, good friends.

A moving story rendered with the deft touch of a master artisan, “Tara Road” is Maeve Binchy at her very best — utterly beautiful, hauntingly unforgettable, entirely original, and wholly enjoyable.


 

My Thoughts 2

 

When Oprah´s book club recommends a book you better get your wallet ready to buy the book. Or, that´s what I believed.

Turns out that not everything Oprah´s Book Club recommended is worth gold.

`Tara Road` by author Maeve Binchy is a sophisticated version of what I´ve been reading for years- Women´s fiction. Tara Road

I have many things to say about this book. None of which I feel would be helpful because this is one of those reads a reader truly has to experience for themselves.

What I will say is that I was smitten with the writing.

 

The writing is beautiful – The story less so. 

 

I can´t really say why but I was bored senseless with the story. The whole thing wasn´t gripping enough to hold my attention for longer than an hour at a time.  It took me almost a month to finish this 648-page read. A month!!

I´m also a little disappointed ( after having invested so much time reading ) with the way the story ended. * shaking head * What a shame. The end was like a sweaty lukewarm, barely-there handshake.

Oprah disappointed me this time, y´all.


 

Would I recommend this book?  Yes. I know many people who loved `Tara Road`. My guess is that many more will probably love this book, too. It´s basically a chick-lit with a dash of everything I never knew I didn´t enjoy.  This book wasn´t for me.

Would I reread this book? No.


 

The Cover – 3 Stars:   A painting cover image… This isn´t something that would make me drop whatever I´m doing, you know?

The STory – 2 Stars:   The synopsis sounded a lot better than the story actually was.

The Characters – 2 Stars:   They felt as helpless and hopeless as the story felt.

My emotional state after finishing this read –  Tired.

2 stars

 

You can purchase `Tara Road` by author Maeve Binchy on Amazon.com

Book Review: When Ashes Fall – Marni Mann

synopsis single

It’s been said that you can’t love two men at the same time.
You can’t split your heart, soul, and body in half.
But I’m here to tell you, you can.
Dylan Cole is like ice, sharp and unpredictable, the thunder inside a tumultuous storm.
Smith Reid is warmth, soft and gentle, perfect like a sunny day.
Both are mine.
But I can have only one.
There are two sides to this tale.
I’m here to tell you mine.
If you think this story is about a cheater, you couldn’t be more wrong.

 


 

My Thoughts 2

The synopsis sounds dramatic. The story is depressingly dramatic.

 

`It´s been said you can´t love two men at the same time.`

 

This synopsis is like every other one for a serious ménage á trois romance. They all promise the same but few rarely deliver the intensity a love triangle has/is supposed to have. Well, there´s no love triangle in this book. At least not in a traditional sense.

So, why did I still end up buying this book? A few spoiler-free online reviews were pretty convincing. Plus I wanted to be wowed again by a massive love story about a woman who can´t make up her mind on who she wants more.

`When Ashes Fall` by Marni Mann is a story about love, loss, heartbreak, heartache, and recovery. It´s pretty much one gloomy cloud with a few rays of sunshine… That, there, is the story in a nutshell. When ashes fall

Meeh, I wasn´t blown away. Not by this book. Although, the story on its own is okay.  It´s the writing that put me off.

 

  • The story felt like I was in some gray universe. I wanted to find the legendary Color Belt and rescue Boston with some rainbows while riding on a horse named Starlite ( I´ve been watching too many Rainbow Brite episodes )

 

  • Chapter sizes were somewhere between 4 – 7 pages. A reader is able to fly through the pages and conquer 56 chapters + an epilogue with ease. While this isn´t really story threatening it is annoying knowing you get little information per scene/ chapter. For a story as heavy and emotional as this one is I would have liked a little more description.

 

  • There was POV hopping- divided by three. Sometimes I don´t need to have a third character´s point of view unless they have something relevant to add to the story. What happened here was both men and the female protagonist had voices. It would´ve been enough if one of the men and the Heroine had their moments.  You know, maybe make things a little more interesting by not knowing EVERYTHING.

 

  • The Past & Present flips. Really, I don´t like it when stories jump back and forth.

 

  • I can buy an instant-love once. I can´t buy an instant-love twice. It´s just not going to happen. This puts a huge damper on my mood because how fat are chances an instant-love happens twice to the same person? I´m not judging. Okay, I am.

 

  • An overuse of three-word sentences.

 

 

The writing and the way the story was told didn´t do it for me at all. The POV changes interrupted my reading flow. Just when I finally felt a connection with a scene it was cut off by a time leap or a different POV.

 

Would I recommend this book? No. It´s 65% depressing and 35% hopeful. But I can totally see why others would like this book. It´s romantically depressing and can touch all the right buttons if a reader likes that. I don´t, especially with the way it´s written, so…

Would I reread this book? Nope.

 


 

The Cover – 3 Stars:   Although I´m not a fan of character images on covers I do think the woman on the front suits the Heroine just fine.

The Story – 2 Stars:   A little too depressing for my taste.

The Characters – 2 stars:   I thought Dylan was completely unnecessary. Alix- She could´ve been more convincing. Smith, on the other hand- What a great character. But the trio didn´t have enough spark for me.

My emotional state after finishing this read: Meeh.

2 stars

 



 

You can purchase `When Ashes Fall by author Marni Mann over at Amazon.com

When ashes fall

 

 

 

 

Book Review: The Kiss Quotient – Helen Hoang

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A heartwarming and refreshing debut novel that proves one thing: there’s not enough data in the world to predict what will make your heart tick.

Stella Lane thinks math is the only thing that unites the universe. She comes up with algorithms to predict customer purchases — a job that has given her more money than she knows what to do with, and way less experience in the dating department than the average thirty-year-old.

It doesn’t help that Stella has Asperger’s and French kissing reminds her of a shark getting its teeth cleaned by pilot fish. Her conclusion: she needs lots of practice — with a professional. Which is why she hires escort Michael Phan. The Vietnamese and Swedish stunner can’t afford to turn down Stella’s offer and agrees to help her check off all the boxes on her lesson plan — from foreplay to more-than-missionary position…

Before long, Stella not only learns to appreciate his kisses but to crave all the other things he’s making her feel. Soon, their no-nonsense partnership starts making a strange kind of sense. And the pattern that emerges will convince Stella that love is the best kind of logic…

 


 

My Thoughts 2

You know, sometimes a book hits you hard and sometimes a book doesn´t. In my case, the book did nothing for me.

I can´t begin to tell you how often `The Kiss Quotient` ( The Kiss Quotient #1 ) by author Helen Hoang was recommended to me. Close friends said the book is a must-read. Fellow bloggers urged me to give this chic – lit a chance. “The Kiss Quotient is different,” they said. “You can´t compare it to other chic -lits.”TKQ

Yeah, well… The only thing I realized was how little my friends know about my reading tastes. I also have a strange suspicion that my blog buddies accidentally recommended the wrong book.

`The Kiss Quotient` is not any different from other chic – lits. And I can compare this to other books from the genre. There are often differences in the romance genre but hardly any in the chic – lit department.

To make a long story short: I wasn´t impressed. Not by what was said about the supposedly unique romance between the main characters nor by the story itself. This doesn´t mean I didn´t like the story. This just means that didn´t meet my romance novel standards.

 

  • The writing is decent but also too dry for my taste.
  • The characters were strong and flawed, which I totally appreciate. I don´t know why, but the main characters reminded me a little of Amy Farrah Fowler and Sheldon Cooper´s brother, Georgie ( characters from The Big Bang Theory ).
  • The story was enjoyable but nothing special
  • Sex overload. I´m not one to turn away from sex scenes but a girl needs a few breather breaks
  • There´s definitely a romance but it´s an insta-love.

 

I need passion, action, lust, and tension when reading a romance novel. I need a slow TKQ2burn and a potential threat. I need a palette of emotions. Basically- I need an excuse to open a bottle of wine either during or after reading. Unfortunately, this book wasn´t able to move me on an emotional level nor was it powerful enough to get me moving towards the wine cabinet.

 

 


 

Would I recommend this book? I would. Despite my `meh` attitude, I can definitely see why others would fall head over heels for this quirky romance. It´s a decent read but not what I was looking for. I think I can also add that I won´t be continuing the series.

Would I reread this book? Probably not.

 


 

The Cover: 3 Stars  –  I have the paperback copy with the rose petals shaped in a heart form. Personally, I believe the cover image is outdated but the color theme is spot on.

The Story:  3 Stars  –  Not bad at all. Just too clichéd and dry.

The Characters:  3 Stars  – Again, not terrible but also not the greatest.

My emotional state after finishing this read – Indifferent.

3 stars


 

`The Kiss Quotient` by Helen Hoang can be purchased on Amazon.com

 

Book Review:`Those Chance Encounters` by Pearl Khatri

 

synopsis single

 

𝑲𝒆𝒏𝒏𝒆𝒕𝒉:
She shattered my soul with the very first smile she gave me. I wanted her, craved her, yearned for her…
She wanted nothing to do with me, but I was an adamant bastard through and freaking through…

𝑨𝒎𝒂𝒓𝒂:
He pulled at my being with the very first wink he gave me. I desired him, ached for him, broke entirely for him.
He didn’t live up to his promise, keeping me waiting…praying…hoping…dreaming…


 

Warning From The Author ( taken from Goodreads )

𝑻𝒉𝒊𝒔 𝒃𝒐𝒐𝒌 𝒄𝒐𝒏𝒕𝒂𝒊𝒏𝒔 𝒅𝒊𝒔𝒄𝒖𝒔𝒔𝒊𝒐𝒏𝒔 𝒂𝒏𝒅 𝒎𝒆𝒏𝒕𝒊𝒐𝒏𝒔 𝒐𝒇 𝒕𝒓𝒊𝒈𝒈𝒆𝒓𝒊𝒏𝒈 𝒎𝒂𝒕𝒕𝒆𝒓𝒔 𝒔𝒖𝒄𝒉 𝒂𝒔 𝒃𝒐𝒅𝒚-𝒔𝒉𝒂𝒎𝒊𝒏𝒈, 𝒆𝒂𝒕𝒊𝒏𝒈 𝒅𝒊𝒔𝒐𝒓𝒅𝒆𝒓, 𝒂𝒏𝒅 𝒃𝒖𝒍𝒍𝒚𝒊𝒏𝒈. 𝑰𝒇 𝒕𝒉𝒆 𝒍𝒊𝒔𝒕𝒆𝒅 𝒆𝒍𝒆𝒎𝒆𝒏𝒕𝒔 𝒎𝒂𝒌𝒆 𝒚𝒐𝒖 𝒉𝒆𝒔𝒊𝒕𝒂𝒏𝒕 𝒐𝒓 𝒖𝒏𝒄𝒐𝒎𝒇𝒐𝒓𝒕𝒂𝒃𝒍𝒆, 𝒄𝒐𝒏𝒔𝒊𝒅𝒆𝒓𝒂𝒕𝒊𝒐𝒏 𝒊𝒔 𝒂𝒅𝒗𝒊𝒔𝒆𝒅.

 


 

On  a kind note:

This is my opinion. My opinions are not facts. This review is also a pro-consumer. This means I´m offering my opinion via review to guide and possibly help indecisive readers.

 

My Thoughts 2

 

Me stumbling upon `Those Chance Encounters by author Pearl Khatri was a chance encounter. It was one of those accidental bump-ins I believe others would appreciate more.

 

It´s romantic. It´s cute. It has humor. It´s revealing. It´s supposed to be great on a level I´m not acquainted with yet.

 

Much to my dismay, `Those Chance Encounters` didn´t meet my reading standards. Not by a long shot. I´m actually disappointed.

Before I dive into a more detailed explanation of my thoughts I´d like to point out what drove me to read this book in the first place. Those

The Cover & The Synopsis

There´s no denying how cute the cover image is.  And although a little slim, I found the synopsis interesting. I figured I´d be getting loads of story with the little description provided.

So, what´s keeping me from adoring this book? Let me put it this way…

 

The whole problem with this story wasn´t the story itself. `Those Chance Encounters` had the ability to be a great story. But it was the lack of structure in all areas that prevented this from being a great read.

This is probably the most chaotic story I´ve ever read. The author included topics such as body image issues, bullying and lack of self-awareness and all I was able to see was how respectful and at the same time dismissive these topics were handled. How am I, as a reader, supposed to feel empathy when I´m hardly given the chance to develop feelings?

There were moments when I had the feeling the author made the story up. But then again, this story felt like a strong case of „The protagonist is the author´s self- insert“ and that the whole book was based on personal experiences. There´s nothing against using one or the other. But for a reader to feel both is a little confusing and doesn´t work in the book´s or author´s favor.

Which leads me to my next point:

 The writing. I discovered I´m not a fan of the author´s writing.

Wordy. Excessive. Uncontrolled. My reading flow was constantly interrupted by the overuse of words I haven´t seen or heard of in two decades, which, I might add, is exhausting. Usually, this can be a breath of fresh air while reading but in this case, I was confused and irritated.

As for the characters- I tried. When the characters are 2-D you´ll find it hard to have a connection with them. I need to be convinced by actions instead of words in order to develop a bond with fictional people. I would like to relate. I´d rather not sit here and ask myself how this character made my top 3 list of most unliked characters. I didn´t feel anything for Amara or Kenneth. I wasn´t able to warm up to them due to the indecisive character portrayal.  Let´s not forget the kinks and quirks- Yeah, no. I´d rather forget them as they added nothing valuable to each character or the story.

With that being said- I think I won´t check out another book from this author.

While I´m pretty sure this book will find fans, it wasn´t strong enough to win me over.


 

Would I recommend this book? To the people who value my opinion- No.

Would I reread this book? No.


 

The Cover – 5 Stars:   Hands down- It´s a beauty.

The Story – 2 Stars:   Trite and, at times, confusing

The Characters – 1 Star:  It´s a no from me.

My emotional state after finishing this read – I´m not happy.

1 star