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review 2017-07-25 20:24
Arc Review: The Marriage Pact by Michelle Richmond
The Marriage Pact: A Novel - Michelle Richmond

I found this story frightfully intriguing with a fascinating concept at its core.
Jake the therapist and Alice the lawyer, both successful in their own careers, receive a gift on their wedding day that will change their lives forever.

The concept of the story and “The Pact” itself is jarring at times, intriguing at others. It draws the question does the perfect model of marriage exist? Once the couple joins the Pact, it becomes the overseer that makes sure each couple succeeds at being perfect. If they “choose” not to follow its rules then they will face the consequences.

As newly weds, Jake and Alice weren’t sure what to expect of marriage but had a fairly good idea due to their own past history with their parents. The way I see it, one of the two became more content with the idea of the Pact because it became a sort of guide to accomplish what was wanted out of the marriage. The other partner was more reluctant to accept it because of fear that anything could change what they had already built together.

Alice appeared as a cold and distant person yet content with the role of a wife and I found that contradicting. As the story progressed and she got herself in deep waters with The Pact, Alice herself makes a confession that puts her in a better light and her role starts making more sense. Perhaps it’s the fact that the story is told from Jake’s perspective but I found him more likable and more relatable. There was a time in the story that I actually wondered if they were meant for each other or if the marriage was just an illusion they created for themselves because they didn’t seem to be in love.

To be honest, the book started a bit slow for my taste, so much so that I had to put it down several times and then come back to it. By almost 45% of the book, it was just ok but nothing out of the ordinary. And then it started to pick up and that was when I was unable to put it down and everything started to click and fall into place.

The book is full of quotes and facts that albeit provided an insight into Jake’s mind I thought at the time were somewhat random. It was later that I realized they were there to help me understand the underlying idea and helped tied up all events together. It took me a while to understand the full notion of the plot and tie up the knots once I finished reading the book (blame it on my slow-working brain) but all in all it was an enjoyable read.

I received this book from Netgalley at no cost to me and I volunteered to read it; this is my honest opinion and given without any influence by the author or publisher.

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review 2017-07-25 17:12
Nyxia/Scott Reintgen
Nyxia (The Nyxia Triad) - Scott Reintgen Nyxia (The Nyxia Triad) - Scott Reintgen

Emmett Atwater isn't just leaving Detroit; he's leaving Earth. Why the Babel Corporation recruited him is a mystery, but the number of zeroes on their contract has him boarding their lightship and hoping to return to Earth with enough money to take care of his family.

Forever.

Before long, Emmett discovers that he is one of ten recruits, all of whom have troubled pasts and are a long way from home. Now each recruit must earn the right to travel down to the planet of Eden--a planet that Babel has kept hidden--where they will mine a substance called Nyxia that has quietly become the most valuable material in the universe.

But Babel's ship is full of secrets. And Emmett will face the ultimate choice: win the fortune at any cost, or find a way to fight that won't forever compromise what it means to be human.

 

OHMYGOODNESS this book was 10/10 and I am so in love and I need the sequel now and you need to read it now.

 

It's kind of like Divergent meets Ender's Game, and if anyone loved the Remnants series as much as I did, I have a feeling the sequels could have the same amount of philosophy.

 

And I could not put it down.

 

So nyxia is a substance found on another planet that can be manipulated in many ways, and that gives this book a fantastical element. But a realistically fantastical element. Like sci-fi with a bit of magical realism thrown in. It makes for a really unique plot that, though it incorporated elements of other books I've loved, was different to anything I've read before in many ways.

 

But the characters are really what sell this book. I am in love with each and every character because I feel like I got to know them all and they are all so very human and flawed and perfect and real. And there was such a variety, too! I do wish that some had been fleshed out more, but I felt like there was respect given to each of the different cultures that were represented as well. Even the medics in this book have their own stories and purposes.

 

I was especially enamoured with Morning and with Kaya. Oh, and Bilal--finally, an accurate representation of Middle Eastern culture casually in a book. The least interesting character was Emmett, our main character, but I love him anyway. His self-doubt and self-determination and adoration of his family made him a really easy narrator to follow beside.

 

The book has a futuristic element to it that gives Earth more intrigue too, and I loved elements such as music that were incorporated into it. I loved the commentary on healthcare and on money and on morals.

 

This is an excellent book. If you've ever enjoyed sci-fi or YA, I 100% recommend it. If you haven't, I still recommend it. Though maybe wait until the sequels are out so that you don't have to deal with a cliffhanger! :)

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review 2017-07-25 13:30
Lord of Shadows by Cassanra Clare
Lord of Shadows - Cassandra Clare

It honestly still surprises me how invested I can be with books. While this book wasn't the best thing I ever read, it was still so good and kept me reading even though it's incredibly long and probably doesn't need to be. These books are kind of like my guilty pleasure, but I'm actually not that guilty about enjoying these.


I have always really enjoyed Cassandra Clare's writing style. There are such vivid descriptions and her world is very imaginative with so many parts, but it works so well and doesn't feel like it's too much. I also love that the emotions the characters feel are so real and believable. It's so real that it's easy to feel the happiness and sadness the characters are feeling. 


For the most part, I absolutely adore the characters. I love how strong Emma is, but how she's also vulnerable in ways that make her human. She isn't an untouchable heroine that's hard to connect to because they might be too perfect and I really enjoy that. Julian has to be my favorite character by far though. His love for his family is so sweet and I just feel so much for him. The fact that he can be sweet, but also ruthless is what really makes me love him though.


Another thing that I really enjoyed about this book was the character development for Livvy, Ty, and Kit. In the last book I had complained that the siblings, except for Mark and Julian weren't developed enough. I'm so glad that Kit's point of view was introduced because Livvy and Ty became more central to the plot and less like background characters that were there only when it was convenient. The friendship that develops there is honestly one of my favorites and seemed to work so well.

 

I really love Julian relationship with Emma throughout this series, but I did get frustrated by them a lot for the majority of this book. Neither one will talk to the other about their feelings because they believe the other doesn't feel the same way and it's just so frustrating. I didn't understand why Emma couldn't tell Julian what she learned from Jem at the end of Lady Midnight. Why she thought that was a good idea I'll never understand.


I wish there had been more of Cristian in this book. She played a very central role for the first half of the book, but she gradually seemed to become less important as the story progressed. I was really interested in her relationship with Mark and Kieran, so I hope there's more about them in the next book. I also thought that this book was very long and probably didn't need to be as long as it is. It wasn't really slow or boring, but there were a few parts that didn't seem entirely necessary.


Overall, I really enjoyed this book and I will definitely be looking forward to the next one, but apparently that one doesn't come out until 2019. Why is it so far away? That wait is going to be like City of Heavenly Fire all over again. Of course this book had to end on a cliffhanger too.

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review 2017-07-25 09:22
A Short Time To Die
A Short Time to Die - Susan Alice Bickford,Rachel Dulude

Deep in Central New York in village ruled by a crime family, Marly escaped her stepfather and his father, but she is nowhere to escaping their grasp. When some bodies turn up almost fifteen years later, Marly's story will slowly start to unravel.

I found the story of Marly quite interesting, and also the murder mystery itself was quite nice. I thought I had figured it out quite early on, but some questions remained unanswered for some time. All female characters, both good and evil, were particularly strong characters. In the end, I thought the conclusion came a bit quick compared to the rest of the story, but all in all it was a very nice mystery book.

Thanks to the publisher and Netgalley for providing me with a free copy of this book in exchange for an honest review!

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review 2017-07-25 08:05
Release Blast - Can't Stop Lovin' You
 
Brawley must find a way to convince Maggie 
that their one true home is with each other.
 
 
CAN'T STOP LOVIN' YOU
Maverick Junction #3
Lynnette Austin
Forever

 

 
THERE'S NO PLACE LIKE HOME
 
Maggie Sullivan can't wait to get out of Texas. Luckily, she just got the break she needed to make her big-city dreams a reality. But then Brawley Odell swaggers back into Maverick Junction, looking hotter than ever in his dusty cowboy boots and well-worn jeans. He's the guy she still dreams of at night. The guy who broke her heart when he left her behind.
 
Fed up with city life, Brawley jumps at the chance to return home and take over the local vet's practice—and get back to the smart, sassy woman he's never been able forget. He couldn't be prouder of Maggie's new wedding-dress business . . . until he realizes it may mean losing her all over again. Determined to win her back, Brawley must find a way to convince Maggie that their one true home is with each other.

NOW AVAILABLE IN PRINT!!
 
 
 
 
 
 
 

Brawley Odell figured his life wouldn’t be worth one plug-nickel the second he stepped foot inside Maggie’s shop. Too damn bad. He hadn’t driven the thirty miles from Maverick Junction to back out now. He was goin’ in.

 

After all this time, he’d come home…and she was leaving.

 

He grasped the brass knob and shoulder-butted the oak door. It flew open, the bell overhead jangling. Maggie Sullivan, all that gorgeous red hair scooped into a jumbled mass, stood dead-center in the room. Dressed in a skirt and top the color of a forest at twilight, she held a fuzzy sweater up in front of her like a shield. Those amazing green eyes widened as he stormed in.

 

We need to talk.” He ignored the woman at the back of the store who flipped through a rack of tops.

 

What the—?”

 

He held up a hand. “Don’t speak. Not yet.”

 

Her mouth opened, then closed.

 

Anger boiled in him, but he needed to find some modicum of control. Taking a deep breath, he held it for the count of ten, then slowly released it. “Did you plan on telling me?”

 

Her eyes narrowed, but she said nothing.

 

You’re invited to New York City for a showing of your new line, and you don’t share that with me? I have to learn about it secondhand?”

 

Last I heard this wasn’t about you, Brawley. In fact, my life, my business has absolutely nothing to do with you.”

 

His jaw clenched. “Anything that affects you is my business, Mags.”

 

She snorted. “Get real, Odell. You gave up any and all rights years ago.” Her head tilted. “Why are you even interested? You want to attend so you can show off your latest Dallas Cowboy cheerleader? Maybe order her trousseau?”

 

He shot her a deadly look, one that had made grown men back away.

 

Not Maggie. She actually took a couple steps toward him. The woman had no survival instincts. Another reason she had no business heading off to New York alone.

 

She tapped a scarlet-tipped finger on her chin. “Oh, that’s right. There’d be no trousseau for your honey, would there? Maybe a weekend-fling outfit for your date du jour? A one-night-stand set of lacy lingerie.”

 

Shut up, Maggie.”

 

Make me.” Her eyes flashed.

 

This time the look in his eyes must have warned her she’d treaded too close to the edge. She stepped back.

 

You challenging me, Maggie?”

 

When she wet her lips, his gaze dropped to her mouth, followed the tip of her pink tongue as it darted out.

 

Only one way I could ever get you quiet,” he said.

 

Her hand shot up. “Don’t even think about it.”

 

No thought required. Been wanting to do this a long time now.” He closed the distance between them and dropped his mouth to hers. Fire. Smoke. Hell, a full-out volcanic eruption.

 

 

 

 

Can't Stop Lovin' You (Maverick Junction, #3)Can't Stop Lovin' You by Lynnette Austin
My rating: 4 of 5 stars

This book is # 3, in the Maverick Junction series. This book can be read as a standalone novel. For reader enjoyment, and to avoid spoilers, I recommend reading this series in order.

Brawley is moving back to his hometown. He wants to take back the one who got away. Only she is about to make a second slip right through his fingers. Again. Can the secrets of the past be overcome to find the happiness they deserve?

Maggie is finally getting her dreams to come true with this big move to New York. While it is far from her Texas home, it provides opportunity and customers she needs to get her dress designing firmly off the ground. What she may pay in the end is a different story.

This series is just as sweet as it is sassy. This book was the one I held my breath for. Let me tell you, it is absolutely worth it! Characters like these, are why I read romance. They have the spark about to ignite, and just need a little flame.


***This copy was given in exchange for an honest review only.

View all my reviews

 

 

 

 

 

 
 
Lynnette Austin, a recovering middle school teacher, loves long rides with the top down and the music cranked up, the Gulf of Mexico when a storm is brewing, chocolate frozen custard, anything by Blake Shelton, Chris Young, and Thomas Rhett, and sitting in her local coffee shop reading and enjoying an iced coffee. She and her husband divide their time between Southwest Florida's beaches and Georgia's Blue Ridge Mountains. Having grown up in a small town, that's where her heart takes her—to those quirky small towns where everybody knows everybody...and all their business, for better or worse. Writing for Grand Central and Sourcebooks, she’s published twelve novels and is at work on a new series.
 

 

 


a Rafflecopter giveaway

 

 

 

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