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review 2020-01-07 00:28
4.3 Out Of 5 STARS⇢ Protect the Prince (Queen of Shards #2) by Jennifer Estep
Protect the Prince (Crown of Shards #2) - Jennifer Estep

SYNOPSIS FROM AUTHORS WEBSITE

 

Magic, murder, adventure, and romance combine in this second novel in the exciting Crown of Shards saga from New York Times and USA Today bestselling author Jennifer Estep.

Everleigh Blair might be the new gladiator queen of Bellona, but her problems are far from over.

First, Evie has to deal with a court full of arrogant, demanding nobles, all of whom want to get their greedy hands on her crown. As if that wasn’t bad enough, an assassin tries to kill Evie in her own throne room.

Despite the dangers, Evie goes ahead with a scheduled trip to the neighboring kingdom of Andvari in order to secure a desperately needed alliance. But complicating matters is the stubborn Andvarian king, who wants to punish Evie for the deaths of his countrymen during the Seven Spire massacre.

Dark forces are also at work inside the Andvarian palace, and Evie soon realizes that no one is safe. Worse, her immunity to magic starts acting in strange, unexpected ways, which makes Evie wonder whether she is truly strong enough to be a Winter Queen.

Evie’s magic, life, and crown aren’t the only things in danger—so is her heart, thanks to Lucas Sullivan, the Andvarian king’s bastard son and Evie’s … well, Evie isn’t quite sure what Sullivan is to her.

Only one thing is certain—protecting a prince might be even harder than killing a queen…

 

 

THE KEY POINTS OF THE STORY⇣

 

HIGH FANTASY WITH AN URBAN APPEAL

POISONINGS & ASSASSINATION ATTEMPTS

INTRIGUE

MAGIC

ADULT ROMANCE (DEFINITELY NOT YA)

GARGOYLES

 

THE DEETS⇣

 

AUDIO PERFORMED BY Lauren Fortgang

BOOK COVER I liked the cover on Book #1 better...but it's cool.

SETTING Bellona & Andvari

SOURCE Libby Audiobook (Library)

AUDIOBOOK LENGTH 12 hours, 40 minutes

 

MY THOUGHTS⇣

 

Despite excellent narration, an intriguing plotline, and exceptional action scenes, I found myself not into this quite as much as I was the first book in the series, but only slightly.  The best part and a new addition to this series were the gargoyles...I've never read anything with gargoyles before...and I quite liked this author's take on them.  Who knew a stone could be so lovable. 

 

If I had pinpoint what it was about this book that I didn't care for, it would have to be all the lies and deceptions going on between the two main characters.  I guess I thought Evie wasn't into that kind of drama and whatnot. Overall, I will continue with the series and I'm still hanging in there until the end, Book #3, Crush The King is due out March of 2020.

 

MY RATING 4.3 STARS | GRADE A-

 

THE BREAKDOWN⇣

Plot 4.2/5

Characters 5/5

The Feels 4/5

Pacing 4.3/5

Addictiveness 4/5

Theme or Tone 4.3/5

Flow (Writing Style) 4.5/5

Backdrop (World Building) 5/5

Originality 5/5

Ending 4.3/5

 

 

 

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review 2019-10-27 15:21
3.8 Out Of 5 STARS for The Black Wolf by JA Redmerski (more like a review of the series so far...)
The Black Wolf - J.A. Redmerski

In the Company of Killers #5

 

FEATURING

 
Romantic Suspense
Contract Killers
Sex Trade Take Down
Sex-Plicit...Sort of
Book 5 of 7 (So Far)
Series Rating So Far...Around 4 STARS
Full Cast Narration*
 
 
LINK TO SERIES SYNOPSIS (AUTHOR'S WEBSITE)
 
 

MY RATING⇢ 3.8 STARS | GRADE B



 
 

 

MY THOUGHTS

 
I really like this series...I wouldn't say I love it, not like some...because there are some readers who really love this series.  Like ravenously.  The series as a whole is Dark Romantic Suspense that only has a smattering of romance and is heavy on the suspense and the darkness.

The dark subject matter varies from sex slavery to hired assassins to extreme torture...to revenge killing.  I've rated every book in the series at or around the 4-star mark...and I've been thinking why haven't I been able to give it five stars?   The dark subject matter, in particular, those books in the series that delve into the world of sex slavery take you to a place that's not only difficult to read about, it just feels wrong to give it five stars because of the f*cked up subject matter.  But...also, on the other hand, I have read another series that is all about sex slavery the Dark Duet by CJ Roberts and rated it 5 stars and I still believe it deserves those stars because those books have really stuck with me.  They took me to the mindf*ck edge and tipped me over.  Unfortunately, In the Company of Killers has only taken me to the mindf*ck edge...but hasn't tipped me over the said edge.  Not yet, anyway, and I know this Author is capable of tipping me over the edge because of her book Everything Under the Sun.  I loved it...and I'm trying to be patient while waiting for the sequel already. 
 
 
 
 

THE BREAKDOWN⇢  

 
Plot 3.8/5
Narration Performance 4.3/5
Characters 4/5
The Feels 3.7/5
Pacing 4/5
Addictiveness 4/5
Theme or Tone 3.7/5
Flow (Writing Style) 4/5
Backdrop (World Building) 3.7/5
Originality 4.3/5
Ending 4/5 Cliffhanger "to be continued..."
_____
 
Book Cover It's okay...don't get me started on the whole cigarette thing...
Setting Italy mostly...
Source Own Audible Audiobook
Length 9 hours 34 minutes
 
 
*FULL CAST NARRATION AS FOLLOWS
 
 Luke Daniels - NIKLAS
Kate Reinders - IZABEL
Susannah Jones - NORA
Nelson Hobbs - FREDRIK (MAYBE)
Stephen Bel Davies - VICTOR
 
I READ THIS FOR FREE SPACE (POE) SQUARE
 
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review 2019-10-19 15:16
4.3 Out Of 5 STARS for The Reigning and the Rule by Calia Read
The Reigning and the Rule - Calia Read

Surviving Time #2

 

FEATURING

 
Time Travel
Requires A Suspension of Belief
Historical Romance
The Early 1900's
Mystery
Sex-Plicit
Rating for Book #1 - 3 Stars

 
LINK TO Book #1 SYNOPSIS (AUTHOR'S WEBSITE)
 

MY RATING⇢ 4.3 STARS | GRADE A-

 
 

 

MY THOUGHTS

 
I only gave book #1 in this series 3 STARS, I had issues with plot holes and the overall believability of the time travel.  I think my main issue is usually in time-traveling books the person goes through time but remains in the same location.  This has Serene changing locations...like by states and all.  But if I set that issue aside and just go with it, I found this second book to be much better.  Also, the plot holes were filled up, for the most part, and everything started clicking into place for me.  She doesn't just time travel...she changes time and it has some drastic results.

I still loved the connection between Serene and Etienne, which I also did in the first book, their chemistry is what makes the story.  His reaction when she cusses like a sailor or talks about whores and sluts is absolutely priceless.  If any man brought up in that era can go with that kind of talk from a lady...he's a keeper.

This time around, though, I was wishing she would stop waffling on her feelings for him and going over something again and again...I feel like this kind of indecisiveness in romance books is just done for filler, and this book doesn't need filler, it clocks in at 479 pages, after all.  There is enough going on plotwise that fewer pages of it would be welcomed.  The ending has some surprising elements that I won't give away...but they are so significant that I decided to start the third and final book straight-away.
 
 
 
 
 

THE BREAKDOWN⇢  

 
Plot 4.3/5
Characters 5/5
The Feels 4.3/5
Pacing 3.8/5
Addictiveness 4.3/5
Theme or Tone 5/5
Flow (Writing Style) 4.3/5
Backdrop (World Building) 4.3/5
Originality 4/5
Ending 5/5 Cliffhanger Yes! More than one, actually.
_____
 
Book Cover It's really pretty.  I love the new covers for the series, actually.
Setting Present Time Champaign, Illinois &1913-ish Charleston, South Carolina
Source Kindle eBook (KU)
eBook Length 479 pages

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review 2019-09-22 15:44
3.2 Out Of 5 STARS for Veiled by Karina Halle
Veiled - Karina Halle

 

 

FEATURING

 
The Veil Between the Living and Dead
Supernatural (TV Show) Vibe
Spin-Off of Experiment In Terror Series
Romance Between An Immortal and A Human
Demons & Ghosts
Sex-Plicit
May-or-may-not Be a Series...


With Audio Performed by Jo Raylan
 
 
 

MY RATING 3.2 STARS - GRADE= C+

 

 
 
The Synopsis is in Italics...my thoughts on the synopsis are in Bold.
 
LINK TO AUTHOR'S WEBSITE (where I pulled this from)
 
She just wanted a normal life.
He had other plans for her.
Would you go through Hell for the one you love?
VEILED is a STANDALONE paranormal romance and urban fantasy from the New York Times bestselling author of The Lie and The Pact.

Death.
It’s something that Ada Palomino has always known so well, having grown up in a house of horrors, surrounded by a family plagued by ghosts and demons and things that go bump in the night.
But after the sudden and tragic death of her mother two years ago, death has never felt so personal.
Or so close.
Now eighteen, Ada is trying to move on with her life and the last month of summer holds nothing but sunshine and promises with her first year at a Portland design school just around the bend.
That is until her increasingly violent and realistic dreams, dreams of other worlds, of portals and veils where her mother is tortured and souls bleed for mercy, start to blend into reality. Ada has to lean on her older sister, Perry, to try and make sense of it all but even then, she’s never felt more alone.
Then there’s Jay. Tall, handsome and deeply mysterious, Jay would be just another stranger, a familiar face on the bus, if it wasn’t for the fact that Ada has met him before.
Every night.
In every single dream.
And the more that Ada is drawn to him in both worlds, the more she’s in danger of losing everything.
Including her heart.
And her very soul.

QUESTIONS ABOUT VEILED: (This is part of the Synopsis)

Q: Is this YA?
A: No. The main character is 18 and there is sex, crude language and violence in the book. Readers sensitive to those components may not find the book suitable. If you are a reader who doesn’t like a lot of the “F” word, this is your warning…. All true.  Luckily, the "F" word and I are old friends.

Q: Is there a cliffhanger?
A: Nope! There’s also no cheating and no love triangle (think I’ve covered the bases there!) All true!  

Q: Do I need to read the series (Experiment in Terror) that Veiled is a spinoff of first?
A: Nope.
Absolutely not.  I disagree...I feel like you would have inside knowledge that would enhance this story since they're a ton of references to that series.
Veiled stands alone from that series...It didn't feel like this is true, although I'm totally guessing since I haven't read it.
Don’t listen to anyone say otherwise. EiT fans are very passionate about their series and want to share the love (and I love them for it) BUT Veiled was written specifically for those people who haven’t read EIT.
And furthermore…most importantly…IF you do decide after reading Veiled that you would like to read EIT, then I promise, promise, promise that your enjoyment of that series will not be spoiled or compromised. Trust me on this. EIT is too epic of a series to be spoiled.
PS if you are a passionate EIT fan, Veiled is a great starter to get people interested in this whole “world.” Also, all your favorites do appear in this story as it takes place right after Dust to Dust.  There are definite instances that feel like spoilers to EIT, especially since it takes place after the 9th and final book in the series.

Q: Is it horror? Your other series was and I don’t handle scary very well…

A: No, it’s paranormal romance (though I promise you there are no vampires or werewolves), and while there are creepy elements to the story, it wouldn’t be classified as horror. You’ll be fine.  This is also true.

 
 

MY THOUGHTS


Overall, it wasn't too bad, if you're into this type of urban fantasy/paranormal romance, this could be your jam...especially if you've read the Experiment in Terror Series.  Sadly, though, after finishing Veiled, I'm not feeling like I want to read the EIT series, myself.  I already know where they (Perry and Dex) end up, and I even know a few mishaps that they get into.  Also since finishing this book, my second by this author, I'm thinking I'm not necessarily a fan of her writing style.  

The narration was acceptable, but it could have been presented or produced better...it was too quiet by far, especially when she whispered.
 
 
 
 

THE BREAKDOWN⇢  

 
Plot 3/5
Narration Performance 3.5/5
Characters 3.2/5
The Feels 2.5/5
Pacing 3.5/5
Addictiveness 3/5
Theme or Tone 3/5
Flow (Writing Style) 2.8/5
Backdrop (World Building) 2.5/5
Originality 3/5
Ending 3/5 Cliffhanger Well...kind of.
_____
 
Book Cover Love the cover, actually.
Setting Portland, OR
Source Hoopla Audio (Library)
Length 9 hours, 43 minutes

 
 
I READ THIS FOR SUPERNATURAL SQUARE
 
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review 2019-09-11 21:34
2.3 Out Of 5 STARS for The Conspiracy by Kat Martin
The Conspiracy - Kat Martin

FEATURING⇢


Light on the Romane

& Heavy on the Suspense

Romantic Suspense

Missing Persons

The Beautiful People...

Cliché'd Characters & Actions

Sex-plicit

With Audio Performed by Ryan Turner

 

 

 

LINK TO SYNOPSIS (AUTHOR'S WEBSITE)

 

 

 

MY RATING⇢ 2.3 STARS | GRADE D+

 


MY THOUGHTS⇢


If you like the style of romantic suspense that was popular in the '80s and into the '90s or you like the style of Susanne Brockmann than this is probably something you'll love. This Author's style of writing reminded me of her work quite a lot...and I, used to like this...but sometimes our tastes change, including our taste in books.

 

Laden with the type of characters that are so-hot-you-can't-take-your-eyes-off-of-them and a romance that I didn't feel was truly believable. This book just didn't do anything for me...and overall it felt like she just kept throwing in plot twists to make up for actual substance. Sadly, this kind of book just isn't my cuppa, at least not anymore. I should also mention that the narration by a guy, especially this particular guy, really killed the vibe for me and maybe it could have been better if it had a female narrator for the female POV. Although, it might not have made a difference.

 

THE BREAKDOWN⇢


Plot⇢ 3/5

Narration Performance⇢ 2.5/5

Characters⇢ 2.5/5

The Feels⇢ 1.5/5

Pacing⇢ 3/5

Addictiveness⇢ 2/5

Theme or Tone⇢ 2.7/5

Flow (Writing Style)⇢ 3/5

Backdrop (World Building)⇢ 2.5/5

Originality⇢ 2.3/5

Ending⇢ 2.3/5 Cliffhanger⇢ Nah...

_____

 

Book Cover⇢ I love the sky in this cover, it's what drew me in...sadly, I was fooled by a pretty cover.

Setting⇢ Aruba and Texas

Source⇢ Audiobook (Library)

Audiobook Length⇢ 11 hours, 8 minutes

 

 

 

 

I Read This For Romantic Suspense Square

 

 

 

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