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review 2016-05-04 11:19
Review: If I Was Your Girl
If I Was Your Girl - Meredith Russo

If I Was Your Girl by Meredith Russo was a very hard to read because the pages would constantly blur from my unshed tears. My tears were of sadness, as well as joy for Amanda, a seventeen-year-old girl who goes to live with her divorced father in order to start at a new high school as a senior. Her father doesn’t understand Amanda, and Amanda feels responsible for her parents’ divorce. Amanda has been bullied her entire life, filled with confusion and fear to the point she tried to kill herself. The reason is because Amanda was once Andrew. She was born a boy but always felt she was a girl stuck in a boy’s body.


The beauty of If I Was Your Girl, is that Amanda has hope even after all the horrible things that happen to her. She’s a survivor, and may seem to be a victim (but she isn’t) who deserves to be happy and loved. She does find love, first with her mother who has always supported her. When Amanda, still as Andrew asks why her mother cares that Amanda wasn’t successful in her suicide attempt, her mother responds she wants her son alive not dead, even if it means her son will transform into a female because that’s what she is inside. Amanda’s father is well written also because we see his rage at first to witness his son at a young age wanting to be a girl. We see her father’s initial rejection of both Amanda and his mother. He runs away because he can’t face or understand why his boy wants to be a girl. His father then holds out a hand finally, wanting Amanda to live with him. Amanda takes this chance, knowing if anyone in her new town or school finds out that she used to be Andrew, she could be bullied, ostracized or worse.


Amanda makes friends right away, including catching the eye of Grant, a super sweet guy who’s smitten with Amanda the moment he sees her. Grant may be too good to be true, but you don’t care because you want Amanda to be happy and experience falling in love for the first time. Amanda soon has a group of friends with all different personalities and traits. Amanda also realizes that everyone has secrets and hidden shame. There’s the bisexual school druggie outcast Amanda befriends who ‘s having a secret affair with another one of Amanda’s friends who comes from a very conservative Christian family. Grant also has secrets about his family he feels he must hide from his peers. Amanda, as the audience knows, has her secrets. But unlike Grant and her new friends who are willing to show them to Amanda, at what cost is Amanda willing to share hers?


Flashbacks of Amanda’s former like as Andrew are shown, and hit you in the gut, specifically when Amanda was still Andrew as a little boy, trying to impressed his Dad who wants him to be in sports and stick up to the bullying. I especially grew weepy over the beautiful relationship Amanda has with her mother. We see Amanda embrace her true self both inside and out, complete with her transformation like a caterpillar who becomes a butterfly.


It’s been a long time since I’ve had such an emotional, visceral response to a book like If I Was Your Girl. We need more books like this, especially in the Young Adult genre, and for readers who are like Amanda. If I Was Your Girl is the must read book of 2016, and will most likely be my favorite book of this year.


Powerful, gut wrenching and just so wonderful with everything in between. If there is one book you read this year, it must be If I Was Your Girl.



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review 2014-07-21 16:14
Review: Six of Hearts
Six of Hearts - L.H. Cosway

L.H. Cosway continues to astound me with every book she writes. Six of Hearts is her best book to date. There is so much "swoonage" in these pages that romance readers will want to hold this book close and not let go. L.H. writes the most original type of stories with very unique characters (unlike any author I'm currently reading). Her heroes are the ultimate Prince Charming's with unlikely careers, and the heroines seem fragile and innocent with slight self-esteem issues, but aren't weak minded or TSTL. Six of Hearts hits it out of the park, and is now one of my favorite reads for 2014.

Jay Fields is an amazing hero. He had a horrible childhood because of an abusive father, and then after his house burned down with his mother and brother inside, his uncle from America takes him in, but also treats him horribly. Jay becomes a runaway, and by pick pocketing, builds up his skill as an illusionist, so much so he becomes famous and rich. He travels back to Dublin for a very specific reason. It appears he wants to sue a tabloid paper that wrote a libelous article about him. He needs a lawyer, and that's when he walks into Matilda's life. She works with her father in his law office. Matilda lost her mother in a home invasion when she was a girl, and was left with scarring on her face and neck because she was thrown into a mirror. She has built a pretty nice, yet bland life for herself. She still lives with her father, who she adores and sews and creates dresses she sells on Etsy. She's looking for love and turns to on-line dating but hasn't had much success there.

Matilda is star stuck by Jay because he seems so perfect. He's handsome, personable and treats her with incredible respect, while he flirts and stares at her like she's a tasty treat he wants to devour. He ends up staying at her house in a spare room until he can find something permanent even though Matilda's father turns down the case. Jay brings fun and excitement into her world in a way she would have never imagined. He says he wants to be friends, but the way he treats her makes her think otherwise.

Things comes to a head fairly quickly between these two. Jay adores Matilda and needs her in his life. She's very special to him, which the reader figures out within their first meeting why Jay holds her dear. Jay is a breath for fresh air for Matilda, but he holds her at a distance. She can't understand why. But then his real reason for returning to Dublin is revealed and it changes everything Matilda thought she knew about Jay, and even herself.

Six of Hearts is absolutely engaging. Jay is a delight as he spends his time practicing his tricks, while wooing Matilda. The chemistry between these two is off the charts. Jay is very much a giver where Matilda is concerned. There is one such scene between them that is so hot and naughty. L.H. can sure write some passionate love scenes (even those that don't have sex in them).

There are a few twists and turns I didn't see coming regarding Jay's need for revenge. That was a nice element that kept me hooked. I also loved the secondary cast of characters, especially two female friends of Jay and Matilda who have a nice romance together.

I can't deny I'm a total L.H. Cosway fan girl. Six of Hearts cements my belief that L.H. is at the top of her game and is the next big thing in Contemporary Romance. If there is one book you read this year, make sure it’s Six of Hearts.

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text 2014-01-23 10:39
Discussion Thursdays with Luxa: When Favorite Books have Babies

Let's Discuss - (un)Conventional Bookviews


Thursdays with Luxa, formerly known as Let’s Discuss, is a weekly post hosted by Thoughts and Pens. Since she took over, Charlotte has changed the name to Thursdays with Luxa if you want to find it on her blog. The discussion posts are supposed to have something to do with books, but you can pretty much choose your own topic. You can link up to your discussion post at Charlotte’s blog, and also visit other posts and participate in the discussions they are having. When you link up, it should be to a post made in the past seven days, even if Thoughts and Pens post hers every Thursday. You don’t have to post weekly discussion posts, and you can participate when you feel like it.


Discussion Thursdays with Luxa: When Favorite Books have Babies


Actually, first I have to say thank you to Charlotte, because she’s the one who made me come up with the idea to do a discussion post about this point. It seems it is very popular to sell a new book as ‘a mix between The Hunger Games and Vampire Academy’ or ‘This has some similarities to Graceling and Beauty and the Beast’ – these kinds of blurbs really tell me nothing at all! And very often, I find them quite off-putting, too. If someone thinks they are awesome enough to compare their newest book to Graceling, for example, it means my expectations are going to be sky-high, since I loved that series. And at the first thing that either seems like a pale copy, or actually has nothing to do with either Graceling or Beauty and the Beast, I’m not going to be happy I was tricked by that stupid blurb.


I want the blurbs to be an actual short summary of the book I am about to decide if I want to read or not – and that summary has to be completely without spoilers, too. It would be great if it was like the short-pitch used to actually sell that book to a publisher or an agent or an editor. I want a book to be able to draw me in all on its own, to be interesting enough for me to pick it up without trying to surf on the wave of popular books that have been released before it. And more often than not – those books that are supposedly the babies of other books (whether those books are among my favorites or not) I will not pick up. Because it’s as if they need the hype in order to find readers, and I have no inclination to be a part of a hype-machine and just feel cheated in the end.


Thanks for stopping by, remember to sign up for Thursdays with Luxa so I can come visit your discussion post as well.

Lexxie signature (un)Conventional Bookviews

Source: unconventionalbookviews.com/discussion-thursdays-luxa-favorite-books-babies
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review 2013-10-19 21:45
Nom Nom Nom Recommended Read!
The Wrong Billionaire's Bed - Jessica Clare

Mini Review:

I will be also reviewing this later on The Book Pushers  and will crosspost here. 



I think this is the best book yet in the series yet and I think each installment gets better and better. Audrey along with her sister are staying in a friend's cabin to help Daphne get detoxed and over the drug addiction she has been battling over the years. But Audrey didn't realise that one of the billionaire club members, Reese who is caught in flagrante with a woman in a hot tub. Things are further complicated when Audrey's childhood crush, Cade comes to stay and Audrey begins to struggle with her feelings for him and attraction with Reese. 


I loved the push and pulling between Reese and Audrey. Their scenes together was just amazing and full of sparks and snark. I was laughing out loud when they would start bickering and be at each others throats in one minute and climbing each other at the next. 

This was a fun and sexy entry in the Billionaire Club series and I loved it! 



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review 2013-10-10 20:03
Book Recommendation! Joint Review: Rogue's Possession by Jeffe Kennedy
Rogue's Possession - Jeffe Kennedy

Joint review with E_bookpusher and was originally posted on The Book Pushers. 




E: So a while ago I read and absolutely loved the first Covenant of Thrones book, reviewed here with Has Rogue’s Pawn. I enjoyed it so much that I started pestering poor Kennedy about the sequel. Time passed and she notified us that she would be writing more in this series so I was really excited and then she made me wait. Happily Rogue’s Possession is now out and I have to say that once again Kennedy blew me away. I stayed up into the wee hours of a workday morning because I was so hooked. I am recommending that you read the first installment before you start this one because they are very closely entwined.


Has: I also had a very sleepless night finishing this book because the world that Jeffe Kennedy created was so rich and full of seductive and imaginative details that I just didn’t want the book to end. But I so totally agree about reading or rereading in my case the first book, Rogue’s Pawn because this installment really felt like the middle of the story and it was a true follow-up in the trilogy. And this is a series which has rich and vivid characters and an intricate plot, and I loved that the dreamy but dark overtones from the first book continues to be strong in Rogue’s Possession.


E: Gwynn has been struggling with the rules of the world she stumbled into, sometimes winning and sometimes losing. Agreements and interpretation of agreements are all subject to how much power you have, allegiances, and how well you are able to think around the obvious linear answer. Gwynn is at a severe disadvantage because of agreements made in the first book and her lack of knowledge about exactly what her magic can do. She serves Lord Falcon as his battle mage doing what he says while attempting to minimize loss of human life and therefore loss of herself. She also has an agreement with Lord Rogue that she will allow him to sire her firstborn child. He is very eager to make this happen in the fullest extent possible but she negotiated several years before she is required to comply. This also means Rogue has a vested interest in keeping her alive and in as good health as possible. As she starts more intimate magic lessons with Rogue she starts to question why he is so insistent on fathering a child with her only to discover that he can’t tell her. But he is willing to bend/workaround/play with the rules as much as possible to help her discover the answer.


Has: This is one of the reasons why I really adore this series, because Gwynn is an intelligent and engaging character and actually used her wits to get out of difficult situations. And like in the first book, her logic and scientific reasoning is a touchstone in a crazy world, where the fae do not play by logical rules, but I do love how flustered or puzzled they become when Gwynn manages to turn the tables on them. I have to say my favourite scenes are when she has to outsmart the fae, who are pretty wily and tricky to interact with, and it was fun to see all the negotiation and sidestepping questions to get information. But I think the best ones are when she deals with Rogue and the way they flirt with each other by exchanging favours but within the boundaries they set for each other. The tension between them which I thought was hot and sizzling in the first book, was an inferno for this one!


E: I enjoyed the transition from discovering an entirely new world to one of discovering more about its inhabitants, what drives them, and exactly how even the little things Gwynn does have a ripple effect that grows as time passes. Gwynn also came more into her own with both negotiation and finesse in her magic skills. However, nothing, especially in this world, is gained without paying a price and Gwynn continued to learn that lesson. She was forced to face one of her deepest fears, move beyond her experience to take control of the situation, and allow others the right to exercise their own free will. I was really impressed at how much Gwynn grew over the course of this installment from a bewildered person who was basically a puppet with power to someone who was willing to bend the world rules to achieve what she wanted. I also enjoyed her interactions with Rogue even more this time. The initial power imbalance was starting to level out and Rogue’s perception of Gwynn had changed from looking at an obligation who was making things harder to a desirable individual who could become a partner.


Has: Yes! I loved that her character grew so much from the scared and confused woman to a woman who is embracing her magic and using her wits and not taking prisoners. I definitely agree with you that she was more of an equal footing with Rogue, in fact I felt that he was catching up with her a lot of the times especially in the first half of the book. I also liked the hint of things to come with her abilities coming to the fore and that it provided an interesting contrast with Rogue and his own hidden abilities. I really loved the synchronicity of that especially on how it interlinks with their power dynamics. I also definitely agree and loved that Gwynn faced up to one of her major fears in this book, and again highlighted how much growth and changed she underwent, but at the same time she didn’t lose her sense of humanity and empathy.


I also adored the new characters that were introduced such as Athena who joins Gwynn’s ragtag crew of friends and servants. It was interesting to see the follow-on effects from when Gwynn initially changed Athena to her becoming more self aware and developing a more serious and kick ass personality that lived up to her namesake. And Walter the Wizard, who like Gwynn found himself in the land of the fae and is a sorcerer, and was part of several of the most humorous scenes in the book which had me chuckling away. They both added colour and humour to the cast of established characters who were alive and so very vibrant that they leaped off the pages for me. I have also fallen more in love with Gwynn’s pet familiar, Darling. He really shined in this book and was part of one of the best combat scenes and who added his own twist in a lot of levels in the David and Goliath myth – when you read this scene you would agree with what he asks of Gwynn later on!


E: I loved the variety of challenges that Kennedy threw in Gwynn’s path and I have strong hopes that the next book will allow the aspects of Rogue’s character that I caught glimpses of in this story to come to more prominence. Kennedy created and continued to expand a very visual lush different world. She kept the action, tension, and romantic elements nicely entwined as the story progressed. Kennedy also included a couple surprising twists towards the end, well they surprised me even though looking back I could see the trail of crumbs. This was another great installment that was well worth waiting for. Now I can’t wait for the next one!
I give Rogue’s Possession an A.


Has: Rogue’s Possession for me was a fantastic followup to the first book, and unlike other trilogies – this didn’t fall into the pitfalls of middle book syndrome but actually answered some questions and pushed the plot further as well as developing the characterization. I am also left on tenterhooks to see how things are played out because the ending brought many things into play, which I can’t wait to see what happens next. But overall, this installment was really highlights that this is one of the most imaginative, seductive and darkly sensual fantasy romances I’ve ever read. There is a real emphasis on the characters and the plot as well as the world-building which is explored in much more depth but retains the surreal and dreamy tone with great touches of humour as well as darkness. While the romance, which has a real sexual frission is more cerebral but leaves me wanting for the next book and I suppose the best things in life are worth waiting for! But overall I loved how this book ended which was beyond perfect and I cant wait to see what happens next with the eccentric and colourful characters that Jeffe Kennedy has created. This is definitely one of the most unique series I’ve read!

I also give Rogue’s Possession an A!

Source: thebookpushers.com/2013/10/10/joint-review-rogues-possession-covenant-of-thorns-2-by-jeffe-kennedy
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