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review 2017-06-18 00:34
The Love That Split the World by Emily Henry
The Love That Split the World - Edith Wharton, Mark Twain, Emily Bronte, Jules Verne, Robert Louis Stevenson, Richard Henry Dana Charles Dickens

Genre: Science Fiction Romance


Year Published: 2016


Number of Pages: 390 pages


Date Read: 4/23/2017   



Publisher:  Razor Bill

 

 

Love


“Love is giving the world away, and being loved is having the whole world to give.”


I must admit that I rarely read romance novels that deal with time traveling since time traveling stories tend to confuse me due to trying to figure out what events are going on in the present versus what events are going on in the future and sometimes, the line between past, present and future can be blurred in certain stories. One such novel that I had read called “The Love That Split the World” by Emily Henry actually dealt with time travel and I have to tell you that it was one doozy of a read!

Natalie Cleary was your average high school student who is friends with her ex-boyfriend Matt Kincaid and Megan and lives in a happily adopted family with her siblings Jack and Coco and life was going well for Natalie. One night however, Natalie meets up with a mysterious boy named Beau at her high school football game and the two instantly fell in love with each other. But then, Natalie starts noticing some weird things going on around her small town in Kentucky, such as a preschool suddenly appearing where the garden store should have been and when the people in town suddenly disappear before her very eyes. It was then that a mysterious old woman called “Grandmother” came to Natalie’s dreams and gave her a warning that she has three months to save someone she really cares about. So, Natalie spends the majority of the book trying to find out who she is going to save while spending some time with Beau and trying to figure out these weird events happening around her town.

I have to admit that for a time traveling story, Emily Henry has definitely done a great job at putting a unique spin to the usual time traveling story as its core focus is the romance between Natalie and Beau and how they try to stay together throughout the different time rifts that goes on throughout their worlds. I also enjoyed the relationships between the characters, especially between Megan and Natalie and Natalie and Beau. I loved the fact that Natalie usually confides in Megan about her various visions that she has and how Megan is so understanding about Natalie’s “odd” dreams and visions as it is nice to have another character who knows about the main character’s secret abilities without having the reader go through the entire book wondering if the main character will ever reveal their secrets to anyone else. I also enjoyed the relationship between Natalie and Beau, although I found it a bit too contrived at times that Natalie suddenly thinks that Beau is her true love upon their first meeting. I loved the fact that Natalie and Beau truly love each other and I really like their cute little bantering with each other, despite the turbulent situation that they are stuck in.

The reason why I gave this book a three-and-a-half-star rating is because while the story had a strong start at the beginning, the story got a bit confusing once the time travel elements got introduced and I started to lose a bit of interest in the story due to being constantly confused about what is really going on with Natalie and Beau’s time traveling shenanigans. I also got a bit annoyed with Natalie throughout certain parts of the story as it seems like all she does is whine and complain about how bad her life is and how she is indecisive about her feelings about Matt when it is obvious that she would rather be with Beau in pursuing her relationship. Also, there were times where the pacing was a bit slow, especially during the scenes where the time traveling aspects were being explained in full detail and I was hoping for these scenes to be shorten so that we could get to the action sequences much faster.

Overall, “The Love that Split the World” may had had a strong start, but the story came apart once the time traveling aspect was introduced and it might be difficult for some fans of time traveling stories to get into. However, it is an interesting read for anyone who is a fan of time traveling romances!

Review is also on: Rabbit Ears Book Blog

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review 2017-05-13 23:31
Wicked Intentions by Elizabeth Hoyt
Wicked Intentions - Elizabeth Hoyt

Genre: Historical Romance


Year Published: 2010


Number of Pages: 531 pages


Date Read: 2/18/2017   



Publisher:  Gale Cengage Learning (Large Print)

 

 

Series: Maiden Lane #1

 

 

Wicked

I would like to thank NetGalley and Grand Central Publishing for providing me a copy of this book in exchange for an honest review.

“Every word you have ever uttered, is engraved upon my heart.”


Hoo boy! It has been a while since I had last read a historical romance novel and what better way to start off the new year than to read a historical romance novel by a new author? When NetGalley offered me a new historical romance book online, I was tempted to try this novel “Wicked Intentions” by Elizabeth Hoyt out, since I had never read a romance novel by Elizabeth Hoyt before, despite hearing her name pop up in many romance discussions. After reading this book, I was so blown away by the raw and real romance shown in this novel!

Lazarus Huntington, Lord Caire, was known throughout London as being a notorious rake who would pleasure himself with any woman he came across. However, his main goal in this story is to find the person who murdered his former mistress Marie and he ends up enlisting the help of Temperance Dews, who was a widowed woman running a foundling home that her family established. Unfortunately, Temperance and her family were having a hard time trying to maintain the home since they did not have enough money to support the home. So, Lord Caire decided that he will introduce Temperance to high society so that way she can find a benefactor who could support the foundling home. But in exchange for that, Temperance must help Lord Caire find Marie’s killer in the dangerous streets of St. Giles and even though Temperance and Lord Caire did not get along with each other at first, they both soon realize that their feelings for each other might grow into a passion that might consume them both!

Wow! I must admit that this was a pretty awesome read for my first novel by Elizabeth Hoyt! I was amazed by the dangerous yet sensuous world that Elizabeth Hoyt had crafted and how the characters all try to survive in this type of world without being corrupted themselves. Elizabeth Hoyt has done a fantastic job at intertwining the murder mystery plot of Marie’s murder into the romantic plot line between Temperance and Lord Caire as it was interesting in not only trying to discover who Marie’s murderer is, but it was great seeing the growing romantic relationship between Temperance and Lord Caire! But what I loved the best about this book was how Elizabeth Hoyt wrote each character, especially Temperance and Lord Caire! I loved the fact that both Lord Caire and Temperance are shown as both having flaws (Lord Caire is a rake, while Temperance has a dark past that she has trouble telling people about) and I loved the fact that Lord Caire was trying to get Temperance to open up about her past and Temperance was trying to show Lord Caire what true love is all about. Although, the only nitpick I have about the characters was that I wish we knew more about Temperance’s family members like her brothers Winter, Concord and Asa and especially her sister Silence who has her own side story in this book. Also, I have to say something about the…. SEX SCENES. I must say that this novel probably has the most graphic yet sensual depiction of sex scenes I have ever read in any romance novel and it was quite an unusual yet mesmerizing experience to behold!

For anyone who does not like strong violence and sex scenes, this novel has plenty of violence and sex scenes that might make some readers squirm a bit. Regarding the strong violence, there are scenes where the victims of the murders have their stomachs torn open by the murderer and it is described in graphic detail. The same goes for the sex scenes are they are described much more graphically in this novel than in any other romance novel.

Overall, “Wicked Intentions” is a fantastic read if you are into historical romances that manage to combine murder mystery into the plot line and I definitely cannot wait to read more stories from the rest of the characters in this story!

Review is also on: Rabbit Ears Book Blog

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review SPOILER ALERT! 2016-07-16 11:02
The Storyteller by Antonia Michaelis
The Storyteller - Antonia Michaelis


Genre: Contemporary Romance / Thriller



Year Published: 2011



Number of Pages: 402 pages



Date Read: 7/14/2016
 


Publisher: Amulet Books

 

Storyteller

“Go away princess. Leave your outlaw alone. You won't change him... go away, Anna, far away, and don't ever come back. The fairy tale doesn't have a happy ending.”

Okay…I am seriously at a loss of words in how to describe my feelings for this book…I mean seriously; I had never, EVER read a book that turned out quite like this! Alright, so before I go into details about my thoughts about this book, this book is called “The Storyteller” by Antonia Michaelis and was translated from German by Miriam Debbage and I have to say that this was one of the most shocking and heartbreaking romance novels I had ever read!

Anna Leeman was your average high school student who dreamt of exploring more in her life than just studying and hanging out with her inner circle of friends all the time. One day, however, Anna’s life changes when she finds a child’s doll on the floor of the student lounge and finds out that it belongs to Abel Tannatek, the school’s Polish peddler drug dealer. Anna then becomes fascinated with this drug dealing loner and wanted to learn more about him by following him everywhere. When Anna follows Abel to his home, she discovers that Abel is living with his six-year-old sister Micha and he has been trying to take care of her, despite the fact that he is too young to be her guardian. Anna then begins to help Abel avoid the social services who want to take Micha away from him and during that time, she ends up falling in love with Abel. Unfortunately, at the same time, several people, who have close connections to Abel and Micha, ended up getting murdered and Abel is the prime suspect!

Can Anna prove Abel’s innocence or is Abel not as innocent as he looks?

Read this book to find out!


Whoa…just whoa….This was one of those books that I could not decide on how to voice my opinions on the whole experience because this book has things that are so wrong that you should find yourself hating this book for how certain things turned out; but at the same time, it was one book that really kept you on the edge of your seat and you just found yourself wanting more from the characters and the story itself! I mean, who would have thought that I would be reading a romance novel that has murder in the center of the plot and pulls off quite a plot twist that I did not see coming a mile away? Antonia Michaelis has truly woven an extremely intense and tragic tale about the joys and dangers of having a romantic relationship with a mysterious bad boy. What made this book stand out from the other romance novels was the fact that it was deconstructing the ideal bad boy hero archetype that we often see in romance novels and actually turned this aspect into something disturbing and tragic for the main anti-hero of the story. Antonia Michaelis really made the characters stand out in this book as they were each deconstructions of the typical romantic archetypes found in most romance novels. Anna Leeman, the heroine of the story, is shown to be innocent and yet yearns for more adventure in her life. However, she is shown to be less unsure of what she really wants and due to being extremely young, she does not know the dangers of the real world very well. Abel Tannatek is shown as your typical bad boy hero who is mysterious and is often moody towards people; but he is shown to have an extremely dark and dangerous side that might put his relationship with Anna in jeopardy. Bertil is shown as a jealous boy who expresses great hatred towards Abel due to him being a romantic rival for Anna, but it is shown that his distrust towards Abel may be founded for a reason. Gitta is shown to be Anna’s best friend, but she is rarely there for Anna, especially when Anna starts distancing herself from Gitta throughout the story. But probably my most favorite part of this book was the storytelling segments told by Abel regarding the little queen and her dangerous journey to the mainland! I loved the way that Antonia Michaelis made the storytelling segments relate to the real life struggles of Abel and Micha as it helps give the readers clues as to what is really going on with Abel and Micha’s life and also pointing out that just because the story that Abel is telling is a fairy tale, does not mean that everything that happens in real life will wrap up nicely like in most fairy tales.

Storyteller

For those of you who do not like strong language and violence, this book does have some strong language such as some mentions of the “s” and “f” words and some violence, which involves several characters getting shot and killed.

[There are some disturbing and troubling scenes in this book, but probably the most prominent for me was the scene where Abel rapes Anna. Even though this was the point in the book where we start to see Abel’s true nature, it was still unsettling for me to see a rape scene in this book since I do not take well to rape scenes. But what troubles me more about this scene was how Anna took it as even though we still see Anna reeling over from Abel raping her, the fact that she still loved him even after he raped her makes me feel uneasy. I guess if I was in that situation (and I really, REALLY hope I never do get in that situation), I would not be as forgiving as Anna. (hide spoiler)]

Overall, “The Storyteller” is easily one of the most disturbing yet most heartbreaking and shocking novels I had ever read and anyone who loves reading about books that deconstruct the romance genre should definitely give this book a try!


Review is also on: Rabbit Ears Book Blog

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review 2015-12-04 17:43
Brown-Eyed Girl by Lisa Kleypas (Travises #4)
Brown-Eyed Girl (Travises, #4) - Lisa Kleypas

Genre: Contemporary Romance
Year Published: 2015
Number of Pages: 291 pages
Date Read: 11/19/2015
Series: Travises #4
Publisher: St. Martin's Press

 

 

FINALLY! The fourth book in Lisa Kleypas’ “Travises” series has finally arrived and I got the chance to read this book in its glory! “Brown –Eyed Girl” is the latest book by Lisa Kleypas and it continues the adventures of the Travis brothers (and their sister Haven) as they find true love in the most unlikely places! This time, Joe Travis is going to get all the loving in this latest installment of the “Travis” series!

Avery Crosslin is a wedding planner who is well known around Texas as she continues to attain rich and powerful clients for her growing wedding business. But one day, when she attends a lavish wedding she planned herself, she meets up with Joe Travis, the youngest brother in the wealthy Travis family and from then on, Avery’s life has changed forever! Unfortunately, since Avery had her heart broken in the past, she refuses to let Joe get anywhere near her heart, but Joe Travis is one man who always gets what he wants and he definitely aims to make Avery his!

Wow! It has been years since I last read Lisa Kleypas’ popular “Travis” series and after I heard that Lisa Kleypas was making the fourth book in the series, of course I was excited as heck to check this book out! Lisa Kleypas has once again created a truly heartwarming and witty romance novel about the importance of true love and how true love can cure your own insecurities about yourself. I loved the way that Lisa Kleypas wrote the relationships between the characters as I actually felt warm inside whenever we see moments between the Travis family and how they try to stay together through hard times, especially during the scene where Haven goes into labor and we see the Travis family band together to be there for Haven during her time of need. But let us talk about the best part of this book and that was the relationship between Joe Travis and Avery Crosslin! I loved the way that Lisa Kleypas made Joe and Avery’s relationship come naturally as Avery had trouble being in a committed relationship due to being rejected years ago and it made it believable to me to have Avery slowly build up her relationship with Joe rather than rush into the relationship without dealing with her inner demons first. I really loved the way that Lisa Kleypas wrote both Joe and Avery as Avery is shown to be an independent wedding planner who is trying to decide what it means to fall in love again, while establishing an extremely heartwarming relationship with her half-sister Sofia which I loved reading about throughout the whole book. Now, Joe Travis was one hero that I just fell in love with immediately as he is shown to be extremely patient with Avery’s situation and I loved the way that he supported Avery throughout the book, even dealing with her insecure nature towards love. I also really enjoyed the subplot involving Sofia and Steven, the two co-workers who work with Avery, as I found their relationship with each other to be extremely heartwarming and hilarious and I would love to read more on their relationship if Lisa Kleypas decided to write a spinoff series for the “Travis” family series!

The reason why I gave this book a four star rating was because I felt that we did not get to know much about Joe Travis in this book since we rarely see things from his perspective in the story. As much as I like the fact that Avery gets a lot of focus in this story, I would have liked it better if we actually get to see things from Joe’s perspective and see more of his relationship with his family members, which we also did not get to see that much, which was pretty disappointing since I loved the Travis family as a whole.

Overall, even though “Brown-Eyed Girl” was not the best story in the “Travis” series (that honor would have to go to Blue-Eyed Devil) it is still a truly great book about the importance of true love and I definitely cannot wait to check out more books from Lisa Kleypas in the near future (especially if we get more books with the Travis family once again)!

Review is also on: Rabbit Ears Book Blog

 

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review 2015-05-14 20:30
Rin-Ne Volume 3 by Rumiko Takahashi
Rin-Ne 3 - Rumiko Takahashi

Genre: Horror / Adventure / Comedy / School


Year Published: 2009


Year Read: 2015


Series: Rin-ne #3


Publisher: VIZ Media

 

Man, I just cannot put down Rumiko Takahashi’s newest work “Rin-Ne” for nothing! This series continues to be extremely interesting and much different from Rumiko Takahashi’s other works that I just cannot wait to see where this series take the characters next!

 

Sakura Mamiya and Rinne Rokudo still have adventures dealing with the afterlife, even in this volume. But one day, an old childhood friend of Sakura’s named Tsubasa Jumonji moves into town and wanted to go on a date with Sakura! At first, Sakura was wondering how Rinne would feel about this and even though Rinne told Sakura that he does not care about Tsubasa’s feelings for Sakura, it seems that Rinne just might have feelings for Sakura…

 

This volume was pretty interesting as a standalone volume, as I liked the fact that Rumiko Takahashi introduced a new character in this volume in the form of Tsubasa Jumonji. I honestly think that Rumiko Takahashi did a brilliant job at portraying Tsubasa’s character as Tsubasa is a pretty interesting character as he is the only other character (besides Sakura and Rinne) who can see the spirits in the world of the living and like Rinne, can fight them off (even though he is not as good at defeating spirits as Rinne is). Even though I have seen the formula about a love triangle forming between the characters being played out before in Rumiko Takahashi’s other works (especially “Ranma ½” and “Inuyasha”), it was still interesting seeing a relationship develop between Sakura and Rinne and I would like to see their relationship develop even further in future volumes. Rumiko Takahashi’s artwork is as usual unique and gorgeous to look at, especially the scenes of Rinne and the gang seeing various spirits pop up in the world of the living and the spirits look so unnatural compared to the human characters which really brings out the creativity of this series.

 

Like the previous volumes, this volume does have some scary images, including images of spirits menacing the main characters. However, due to the comedic tone of this volume, some readers might be able to get through the volume.

 

Overall, “Rin-Ne Volume Three” is a truly interesting standalone volume that anyone who is a huge fan of Rumiko Takahashi’s works and anyone who loves the “Rin-Ne” series in general!

 

Review is also on: Rabbit Ears Book Blog

 

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