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: The Little Shop Of Happy Ever After ( Scottish Bookshop #1 ) – Jenny Colgan

synopsis single

Given a back-room computer job when the beloved Birmingham library she works in turns into a downsized retail complex, Nina misses her old role terribly – dealing with people, greeting her regulars, making sure everyone gets the right books for their needs. Then a new business nobody else wants catches her eye: owning a tiny little bookshop bus up in the Scottish highlands. No computers. Shortages. Out all hours in the freezing cold; driving with a tiny stock of books… not to mention how the little community is going to take to her, particularly when she stalls the bus on a level crossing…


 

My Thoughts 2

 

Naaaw. NAAAW! What a lovely read.

`´The Little Bookshop Of Happy Ever After` by author Jenny Colgan is a charming and heartwarming romance. Something I would consider to be a traditional romance with an extra pinch of coziness and rich with beautiful details.The Little shop

“Just do something. You might make a mistake, then you can fix it. But if you do nothing, you can’t fix anything. And your life might turn out full of regrets.”

 

Nina, an ex-librarian is forced to start over new and decides to get into the mobile bookshop business. She buys a van and transforms it into a bookshop on wheels.

Set in the beautiful Highlands, Nina ( MC ) goes on a journey to start a new life for herself.

Nina´s voyage wasn´t particularly exciting but it was interesting. What I loved most was how much love she had for books.. and the countless indirect book title mentions. * sigh *.

Enter the romance: 

Not really anything overly dramatic or gut-wrenching but still enjoyable. It´s simple and great for the soul. Think of this read as soul food. Comforting and uncomplicated.

The Little Shop Of Happy Ever After is a quick read. The writing is effortless. And the story is also highly predictable. I´m not really too mad about the predictability of the story, though. I wasn´t expecting too much mind blow with a chick-lit, to be honest.

 


 

Would I recommend this book? For fans of Jenny Colgan, yes. For romance readers- If you love mature fluff- yes.

Would I reread this book? I might.


 

The Cover – 3 Stars:   Chick-lit illustrations are pretty to look at but they´re all terribly alike.

The Story – 3 Stars:   A lovely comfort romance.

The Characters – 3 Stars:   Comfort romances usually have wallflower characters. Not a terrible thing but I would have loved a little more depth with the MC.

My emotional state after finishing this read – Happy.

Book Review: Give The Dark My Love ( Give the Dark My Love #1 )- Beth Revis

synopsis single

When seventeen-year-old Nedra Brysstain leaves her home in the rural, northern territories of Lunar Island to attend the prestigious Yugen Academy, she has only one goal in mind: learn the trade of medicinal alchemy. A scholarship student matriculating with the children of Lunar Island’s wealthiest and most powerful families, Nedra doesn’t quite fit in with the other kids at Yugen, who all look down on her.

All, except for Greggori “Grey” Astor. Grey is immediately taken by the brilliant and stubborn Nedra, who he notices is especially invested in her studies. And that’s for a good reason: a deadly plague has been sweeping through the North, and it’s making its way toward the cities. With her family’s life–and the lives of all of Lunar Island’s citizens–on the line, Nedra is determined to find a cure for the plague.

Grey and Nedra continue to grow closer, but as the sickness spreads and the body count rises, Nedra becomes desperate to find a cure. Soon, she finds herself diving into alchemy’s most dangerous corners–and when she turns to the most forbidden practice of all, necromancy, even Grey might not be able to pull her from the darkness.


 

My Thoughts 2

 

Puuh * pushes glasses up nose * I´m kind of struggling to find the right words to describe this YA fantasy novel. I have feelings. Strong ones.

`Give The Dark My Love` ( Give The Dark My Love #1 ) by author Beth Revis is definitely a game-changer in the YA fantasy niché. It´s dark. It´s graphic. Adventurous and a tad brutal. I really enjoyed this story. Give The Dark My Love

A young aspiring alchemist on a mission to find a cure for a deadly disease. FINALLY, something to read that can´t be compared to other YA fantasy bestsellers. FINALLY an anti Heroine. I´d be highly shooketh if it wasn´t for one thing. Mind you, this is the only thing I could have done without. The romance. It seemed as if the romance was added only for good measure. Totally unnecessary. I truly believe the story is strong enough on its own and would have been even greater without the insta-love. ( and this is coming from a romance advocate ). Aside from that, I appreciated the rest.

 

  • The title. Can we just stop for a moment to appreciate the title? Give The Dark My Love. I´m not blown out of my socks but it´s still a great title.

 

  • The anti Hero. It´s been so long since I came across an anti-heroine. Nedra ( Heroine ) is a well-developed character. Her journey from being an innocent young lady to becoming something like an evil doctor was great to read about. Her motives, her actions, what she suffered through and the way her life panned out in this book… I have no complaints. Absolutely none. Truly not bad for a YA fantasy book.

 

  • The writing was clean and sharp. Not too over the top.

 

  • The darkness. I love it when books have a certain aura. This one was set out to be dark and boy did that energy grow with the story.

 

All in all I can´t really say much about this story other than I enjoyed it and am willing to start the next one ASAP.


 

Would I recommend this book? For YA fantasy readers who don´t mind necromancy – Sure. I didn´t have a problem with it. It´s an interesting story.

Would I reread this book? I´m going to say it depends on how the story pans out. If book #2 is a disappointment and I end up discontinuing the series I won´t reread this one.


 

The Cover – 2 Stars:  The cover image is not for me. It´s very YA fantasy-ish.

The Story – 3 Stars:  It was the romance that kept me from doing a rain dance around the table. And the dual POV. I just don´t think those are worth it.

The Characters – 4 Stars:  Grey ( Hero ) should have been the first victim ever of The Wasting Death. But Nedra- Well done.

My emotional state after finishing this read: Satisfied.

3 stars

 

You can purchase `Give The Dark My Love` by Beth Revis on Amazon.com

 

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: The Kiss Quotient – Helen Hoang

synopsis single

 

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