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review 2018-07-21 07:44
Unbreakable (The Unblemished Trilogy) - Sara Ella

Eliyana Ember is a reluctant queen. As vessel of the Verity—the purest of souls—only she can lead the fight against the wicked magnetism of the Void. If she fails, the paths between Reflections will cease to exist, and those she loves will remain plagued by darkness. After falling through a draining Threshold and suffering near-death, Eliyana awakens to a Shadowalker-ridden Venice, Italy. From there, she must learn to navigate mysteries of time and space. Traveling across the seven Reflections, Eliyana seeks one thing: the demise of the Void. But something else is at stake—the fate of her heart. Kyaphus Rhyen and Joshua David, brothers in arms, duel to win her hand. Ky remains ensnared and tortured by the Void. Joshua, though well-meaning, harbors dark secrets. Meanwhile, Eliyana finds herself torn, her mind and memories leading her in one direction, but her heart pulling her toward a man she knows she shouldn’t trust. How can she discern whom to believe when she cannot even depend on her own fragmented memories?

Amazon.com

 

 

 

*NOTE: This is a continuation / conclusion of a series, so we have some spoiler-y material down below. Click away now if you haven't yet read the first two books and don't want spoilers!

 

 

Eliyana is now queen of the Second Reflection and vessel for The Verity. As such, she prepares herself and her kingdom for leading an attack against The Void. She survives a fall through a Threshold that nearly kills her (attempting to suck her life force out), awakening in Venice, Italy to find the place full of Shadowalkers. From Venice, Eliyana begins a journey that takes her across the Seven Reflections, gathering info on how to most successfully destroy The Void once and for all. During all this, Eli also goes through an unexpected physical alteration that leaves her quite shaken. 

 

Meanwhile, Ky is struggling with being periodically controlled / tortured by The Void while his brother Joshua David, still not quite right in the head after the events of Book 2, has developed the early stages of DID (once referred to as Split Personality Disorder). Honestly, this part of the book was a little hard to keep straight but I BELIEVE "David" was the good side while "Josh" was the evil one?! The chapters in this book, as in the earlier installments, alternate POVs between Eli, Josh and Ky and in Josh's chapters there's a lot of first person referencing "Josh" in third person. For real, compared to the first two books, this one was a massive headache to keep sorted out. 

 

Even the world building! While impressive in the first book, in this one it was more like a literary Christmas lights tangle. Just all over the place. A ton of info dumps.

 

WAS. NOT. IMPRESSED.

 

What else went wrong? Well, Eli's sister, Ebony -- While I actually kinda liked her character in the earlier installments, in this conclusion piece I found her distractingly obnoxious. Seriously, WHAT happened to all these characters I loved so much in Book 1??!

 

Also, AGAIN the reader is assaulted with pop culture references. Goodness, Miss Sara Ella does play to a certain demographic, and HARD. This was an issue I had with the second book and right off the bat in Book 3 I already hit the "hey, young millennial!" wall. Being of the millennial generation myself... for me, being so obvious felt a little desperate to sound relevant... which is generally not really required of a FANTASY novel. But I will say she does ease up on the habit SOME as you move along in this third book. Even so, it's noticeably grating for this reader.  

 

While I found the first book very unique and gripping, having now reached this conclusion novel I find much of the series to be a sort of YA / NA soap opera with mild, not always well plotted out fantasy elements.

 

Indulge me a momentary rant: *VENICE. SERIOUSLY --- HOW DO YOU DO SO LITTLE WITH SUCH A SETTING??? -- only brief mention of some canals and St. Marks Basilica and then off to anywhere, everywhere else! Why bother working that location in at all, then? At one point, Eli is even going to the literal Land of Oz. No joke. 

 

I read this one in a day but it took ALL DAY with LOTS of breaks in between. Not because of "OMG THE FEELS. SQUUEEE!" but more like I'm so bored outta my gourd I was doing anything and everything -- even laundry and deep cleaning projects, y'all -- procrastinating going back to this book... not a good sign, but since I was sent this one for review, I don't feel right bestowing a DNF on it. 

 

Noted, Sara, you're a fan of OUAT, Disney and all things princess-y and whimsical. You're hip. You're with it. Dukka Dukka Dukka.

 

 Image result for im hip im with it

 

One line I will give Sara Ella props for though, is in Chapter 22, when Ky explains how he perceives The Verity: "Pure of heart doesn't mean without darkness... it means a desire for the light." As someone who has had a lot of darkness in her life but still strives for good, I thought this was rather well put. 

 

But yeah, maybe next go 'round, pull back on the pop culture refs just a bit, girl. 

 

 

FTC Disclaimer: TNZ Fiction Guild kindly provided me with a complimentary copy of this book & requested that I check it out and share my thoughts. The opinions above are entirely my own.

 

----------------------

 

My review for Unblemished (Book 1)

My review for Unraveling  (Book 2)

 

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review 2018-06-29 08:39
The Novel Cure: An A-Z of Literary Remedies
The Novel Cure, An A-Z of Literary Remedies - Ella Berthoud,Susan Elderkin

In terms of quantity and breadth, this might be the mother of all books on book recommendations.  Quality of the recommendations likely lies in the eye of the beholder, although there has to be something in here for everyone, just from a statistical point o view.  

 

This is a reference of maladies; everything from going off the rails, to giving birth, to children, under pressure to have.  Each entry (and they are legion) has a t least one book recommendation, if not an entire list (see: turning forty-something, books on); some with commentary, some without - presumably because their inclusion is obvious.  There are also occasional sets about book collecting, b book lending, over-coming an over-hyped book, finding your book identity and so on. 

 

This is NOT a book to be tackled all at once or even cover to cover over a long period of time.  This is a true reference for those times when you need a book that is a match for your mood, or just desperate for inspiration.  

 

This is not a book for people trying to combat their TBR piles - but I'm telling you about it anyway.

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review 2018-06-08 13:01
Blog Tour w/Review - Julien

SBPRBANNER-Julien-bT.jpg

 

Confessions: Julien, book two in the steamy contemporary MMM Confessions Series from Ella Frank, is available NOW!

 

 

Confessions JULIEN AMAZON copy.jpeg

 

 

Synopsis:

 

People are complex.

Love a double-edged sword.

And when it comes to a broken heart, there are no rules, only time…

 

For the past eight years, Julien Thornton has been living with a secret. One that only a handful of people know about.

 

To the outside world, he has it all.

A thriving career. A loving husband. And a face that the American public fell for by the millions, on a reality show that inadvertently saved his life.

 

But behind the shine of celebrity, behind the easygoing nature, a crippling truth fills Julien with pain and self-loathing. It’s a truth that he fights to overcome daily with the help of his husband, Joel Priestley, and now their boyfriend, Robbie Bianchi.

 

But unlike Priest, Robbie doesn’t know what he’s helping Julien to fight. He doesn’t know what Julien did all those years ago. And with the anniversary of his sister’s death fast approaching, the time for explanations is running out.

 

And thus the question: will the princess be able to forgive the prick as the priest once did?

 

Only time will tell.

 

 

 

Excerpt:

 

Chapter One

 

CONFESSION

 

 

Those who are meant to be yours will always find you. “WE MEET again, Mr. Thornton.” A shiver of awareness raced up Julien Thornton’s spine as he stood in the jail cell of a downtown L.A. police station where he’d been thrown around an hour ago for public intoxication. He didn’t need to turn to know who was on the opposite side of those steel bars. That voice was the one he’d been hoping to hear when he’d made his “one call” and left a message after a generic voicemail. That voice? It had been on his mind since the last time he’d heard it, nearly two weeks earlier when he’d met—and attempted to steal the car of—a man who called himself Priest.

 

Julien pivoted on his heels, and when he did, he realized that he’d grossly underestimated the impact that Joel Priestley had had on him the first time around. Oui, he hadn’t been able to stop thinking about him, that was true, and oui, he might’ve purposely provoked the police officer tonight hoping he’d end up needing a lawyer. But Dieu, he’d forgotten the way Priest made his body respond. Like an inferno was licking through his veins. With auburn hair, stormy eyes, and a presence that Julien gravitated toward like a magnetic force, he didn’t think anything could prepare a person for the powerful energy Priest exuded. Not to mention that cool, judgmental stare of his. But Julien had no one to blame for that judgment but himself. Maybe if they didn’t always meet at the end of one of his week-long benders, he could have the upper hand with this man for once. And wouldn’t that be délicieux, he thought, as he looked at the lawyer who’d dropped him home two weeks before, instead of at the police station like he’d originally threatened. Priest was as put together now, at three in the morning, as he had been that afternoon in the alley. Suited up in a tailored navy number that framed his broad shoulders and emphasized the rich color of his hair, he looked sharp, controlled, and dangerous to Julien’s already unstable state of mind as he stood there sizing him up with an unreadable expression.

 

“I’m curious,” Priest finally said, as he clasped his hands behind his back and took a step closer to the cell where Julien had spent most of the night sobering up. “Did you not understand me the last time we spoke?”

 

Julien clenched his jaw and wondered if Priest realized how condescending he sounded when he spoke—or just how much it turned Julien on. “Non. I understood just fine.”

 

“Then what part of ‘I won’t be so lenient next time’ made you think that calling me to bail you out of here was a good idea?” Julien was still trying to work that out himself, but thought it might have something to do with the fact that he was drawn to this man. There was something about Priest that made him feel alive, when all he’d felt for months now was dead inside.

 

When Julien didn’t respond, Priest cocked his head, studying him closely, the disapproval rolling off him in waves. “Are you that hard up for a date that this was the only way you could think to get one?”

 

Putain, the man was arrogant. But for reasons Julien couldn’t explain, that seemed to make him all the more appealing. “You’re the one who gave me your card the last time we met. Perhaps it’s you who are hard up for a date, monsieur. Giving your number out to—”

 

“Criminals?” Priest frowned. “No. That’s called smart business acumen, considering I’m a criminal attorney.”

 

Julien scoffed. “I’m hardly a criminal.”

 

“Really?” Priest said, and took his time examining the six-by-eight space Julien currently stood in. He then leaned forward and said in a lowered voice, “Your current situation tells a different kind of story.”

 

Despite his “current situation,” and the reason he’d gotten himself into it, Julien felt his lips curve, and he realized exactly why he was drawn to Priest. He possessed the one thing that Julien had been looking for—the ability to take his mind off the black hole his life had become. “Maybe it’s le destin.”

 

“And what does that mean? Destiny?” Priest straightened and brought his arm around to check the time. “I doubt destiny has anything to do with it. A more likely scenario is that I was your only option.”

 

“Even if that’s true,” Julien said as he wrapped his fingers around the bars, “you came anyway.”

 

“As I said before, it’s my job.”

 

“At three in the morning?”

 

“At any hour of the morning,” Priest said, and then looked down the hallway that was devoid of anything other than dreary off-white tiles and horribly bright fluorescent lighting. “I’m going to go and see if I can get you out, and then you and I are going to have a talk.”

 

Something about the way Priest said you and I made Julien’s pulse race, and as Priest went to walk away, Julien whispered, “J’ai vraiment hâte,” and the ever-so-serious lawyer stopped in his tracks and looked back. This time when those eyes roamed over Julien, his breath caught. There was nothing cool about that stare now. There was heat, interest, and an intensity that made Julien’s fingers tighten around the bars before Priest cut the connection and walked away.

 

Julien watched him go until he disappeared around the end of the hall, and then he released his breath on a rush. Merde. He’d never been so attracted to someone in all his life, and as he stood there waiting for Priest to save him yet again, Julien knew he needed to stop what he was thinking. There was no way in hell he deserved someone like that. Non, no way at all. That didn’t, however, stop him from counting down the minutes until Priest returned to him…

 

 

Julien-AN.jpg

 

Download today or read FREE in Kindle Unlimited!

Amazon US: https://amzn.to/2LYB8Wq

Amazon Universal: http://mybook.to/ConfessionsJulien

Add to GoodReads: https://bit.ly/2HKj17D

 

 

 

 

Julien (Confessions #2)Julien by Ella Frank
My rating: 4 of 5 stars

This is book #2, in the Confessions series. This book can be read as a standalone novel. To avoid spoilers, and have a better understanding of the series, I recommend reading this series in order.

Julien has past that still haunts him. The family parts, the career decisions, and more. Now, with his relationships with Priest & Robbie this year may have a silver lining in it. Now, if only he can find it before he loses all that he has gained.

This book moves quickly. The story is so compelling, both with the relationships and the pain from before that must be overcome. I love watching these characters come together and learn to be in sync. I cannot wait to see the next installment about Priest!


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

View all my reviews

 

 

 

 

Julien-Teaser1-AN

 

 

Start the series with Confessions: Robbie today!

Amazon US:http://amzn.to/2HdQ7IU

Amazon Universal: http://mybook.to/confessionsrobbie

Add To Goodreads: http://bit.ly/2EWp3Aq

 

 

EllaFrank.jpg

About Ella:

 

Ella Frank is the USA Today Bestselling author of the Temptation series, including Try, Take, and Trust and is the co-author of the fan-favorite contemporary romance, Sex Addict. Her Exquisite series has been praised as “scorching hot!” and “enticingly sexy!” Some of her favorite authors include Tiffany Reisz, Kresley Cole, Riley Hart, J.R. Ward, Erika Wilde, Gena Showalter, and Carly Phillips. 

 

Connect with Ella:

Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/ella.frank.31/

Twitter: https://twitter.com/EllaFrank2012

Instagram: https://www.instagram.com/ellafrank1/

Mailing List: www.bit.ly/1hEYtgn

Website: https://www.ellafrank.com/portfolio

 

 

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review 2018-06-05 05:59
Haunted
Julien - Ella Frank

This is book #2, in the Confessions series.  This book can be read as a standalone novel.  To avoid spoilers, and have a better understanding of the series, I recommend reading this series in order.

 

Julien has past that still haunts him.  The family parts, the career decisions, and more.  Now, with his relationships with Priest & Robbie this year may have a silver lining in it.  Now, if only he can find it before he loses all that he has gained.

 

This book moves quickly.  The story is so compelling, both with the relationships and the pain from before that must be overcome.  I love watching these characters come together and learn to be in sync.  I cannot wait to see the next installment about Priest!  I give this story a 4/5 Kitty's Paws UP!

 

 

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

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review 2018-05-31 00:00
Triplet Babies for the Mountain Man (A Mountain Man's Baby Romance)
Triplet Babies for the Mountain Man (A Mountain Man's Baby Romance) - Ella Brooke You can run, but you can't hide. Tannen and Marnie are strangers on the run from the pain of love lost, life unexpected and dangerous situations. They were never destined to meet, yet they found each other despite the odds. What happens when you can't run from your heart's desire? In order to escape the past they find themselves lost in love and trapped in danger. Ella Brooke packs a whole lot in Triplet Babies for the Mountain Man. Steamy and dangerous temptation.
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