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review 2020-03-11 16:51
The Selection Trilogy by Kiera Cass
The Selection - Kiera Cass
The Elite - Kiera Cass
The One - Kiera Cass

For this review I will only be talking about the first three Selection novels by Kiera Cass that follow the story of America and Maxon, reviewing the characters and then the story-line, ending with what I did and didn't enjoy about the trilogy. I purchased the complete series through Scholastic Books last year, and I was excited to get around to reading them, which ended up being around the end of January of this year. 


I'll begin with America Singer, the main character of the story and the point of view for the books. America's character is so real and honest, which created a refreshing and exciting read through her eyes. Her heart is pure, and she always does what she believes is right regardless of the consequences.Along with this, she's very stubborn and refuses to be influenced against her views, which causes many problems for her with a lot of people. Regardless, she aspires to make Ilea a better place for her family and others living in the lower chastes. America is presented with conflict in her love life, facing a choice between her teenage love and the Prince of Ilea, both of which end up becoming a big part of her life during the Selection. 


Next up is Maxon Schreave, the Prince of Ilea and the bachelor of the Selection. He's seen as just another royal snob to America before they begin to interact, where it's revealed that Maxon is very genuine and true to himself. He's respectful and kind to America and all of the other women in the Selection, and the story proceeds to show the sides of him that aren't seen by everyone else. As his relationship with America progresses, she comes to understand that he too cares greatly about the people of Ilea and those around him, and that he's always had the same intentions as America regarding the government and society systems. To create conflict, his Father, the King, does everything in his power to shoot down all of Maxon and America's ideas.


The final main character is Aspen Leger, who is America's ex and childhood friend, and a prestigious guard at the castle. He is strong-willed and protective of America, risking his job to visit her in her room whenever he gets the chance. Aspen is a wholesome character with honest intentions for his relationship with America - which is a crucial factor of both his and America's character development in their story. 


The additional characters throughout this trilogy are done really well and had a great part in supporting the main characters through their decisions. For example, the King and Queen of Ilea, America's maids and family, and the other girls in the Selection are all characters that variously affected the development and choices of other characters. 


Regarding the story-line throughout The Selection, The Elite, and The One, I really enjoyed the consistency of surprises and plot twists and turns, and how it always kept me on the edge of my seat while reading each of the books. The way the story flowed, progressed, and connected at points was impressive and very well written. The use of the Northern and Southern rebels and their frequent attacks with varying intensity created lots of suspense that left me wondering what was going to happen next! This made it nearly impossible to put down any of the books while I was reading them, and I would give this trilogy an impressive score for how close I got to throwing each book many times, especially as I finished them. 


In the end, I really enjoyed The Selection Trilogy, and would definitely read it again, possibly even multiple re-reads. There was a lot that I loved about the books, but there is something that I wish was written differently about Maxon and America's love story. For 2 1/2 books, Kiera Cass adds quite a bit of length to the development of their relationship, with lots of ups and downs and conflicts between them, which does keep my interest, but at the end of the 3rd book, their conclusion feels soooo rushed. It's true that they've been affected by massive loss and don't want to waste any more time wandering around "maybe's", but I do wish it didn't feel so jumped at the end. 


Overall, I rate these books 5 stars because they kept my interest the entire time, the writing was impressive, the plot was amazing, and the characters were very well written and developed through the story. 2 big thumbs up for Kiera Cass, and I can't wait to read The Heir! 

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review 2019-09-23 00:00
The Elite
The Elite - Kiera Cass It made me want to read the next book to see what happens next but I really dislike America and all her indecisiveness (especially in her “love life”) and don’t care at all for both of the love interests. I still willingly read all the words and turned all the pages and tried to find the next book to read.
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review 2019-07-17 13:35
The Disgraceful Lord Gray (The King's El... The Disgraceful Lord Gray (The King's Elite, Book 3) - Virginia Heath

Well that's a first meeting that's not easy to top. He goes for a swim in a pond (naked!) and she happens on him with her widowed friend. He's spying on her Uncle and really shouldn't be seducing her, but she's very tempting and I enjoyed the read.

There were some interesting twists but I did guess the identity of The Boss, though there were a few red herrings thrown in that made me second guess my choice.

A fun read with characters I enjoyed spending time with.

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review 2019-06-04 19:18
Book Review for Insolent by TL Smith
Insolent (A Crimson Elite Novel #4) - T.L. Smith


We loved Blue and Darby's story.I have to say this story started out with a bang and a whopping surprise.The story was heart felt and was about creating life and getting to experience your one true wish in life before your times up and by experiencing that wish that you made come true you are breathing life into another that was cold calculated and lonely.

I loved seeing Darby change and grow through this story.We loved seeing him love with his whole heart and  we loved seeing that he had a caring and compassionate side to him because we only saw the brutally honest a hole who was dark and dangerous and only let a select few into his life and circle and the rest of the time acted like a douche.

Favorite character would have to be Blue we loved her from the onset of the story.We loved her vibrant personality and her infectious laughter as she brought life to the story and was a whole lot of fun but, one thing is for sure she is also dealing with heartbreak and regret herself having more in common with Darby then either of them know.

Darby and Blue had some major chemistry and some would say there where fireworks between them which would be true because this couple burned together brightly in and out of bed.

Overall we loved the story from beginning to end.We loved seeing a man who was a workaholic fall in love not once but twice throughout this story.We loved being on this emotional journey with Blue and Darby as the story one minute had you crying the next laughing out loud but, the best part was that you found someone to love you flaws and in spite of them.What Darby considers flaws is what attracts Blue because Blue craves your dark and dangerous and possessive side of Darby and presents a challenge and life will never be dull which is what Blue craves in the first place but, in return she may except your dominance but she will never be tamed .... 
"We loved it and its characters!"

Recommended read to all and we are loving this series!



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review 2019-05-27 17:40
Thoughts: Hard Target
Hard Target (Cobra Elite #1) - Pamela Clare

Hard Target

by Pamela Clare
Book 1 of Cobra Elite



Derek Tower has spent his life at war, first as a Green Beret and then as the owner of a private black-ops company, Cobra International Security.  When a high-ranking US senator asks Cobra to protect his daughter, a midwife volunteering in Afghanistan, Derek’s gut tells him to turn the senator down.  The last thing he wants to do is babysit an aid worker.  But Jenna isn’t just another assignment.  She’s also the younger sister of his best friend, the man who died taking bullets meant for him.  There’s no way Derek can refuse.

Jenna Hamilton doesn’t need a bodyguard, especially not one hired by her intrusive and controlling father.  She knew the risks when she signed on to work in rural Afghanistan, and the hospital already has armed security.  She also doesn’t need the distraction of a big, brooding operative skulking about, even if he is her late brother’s best friend—and sexy as hell.  As far as she’s concerned, he can pack up his Humvee and drive into the sunset.  And, no, nothing her hormones have to say about him will change her mind.

From the moment his boots hit the ground in Afghanistan, Derek does his best to win Jenna over, posing as her brother so the two of them can spend time alone.  Except that what he feels for her is anything but brotherly. Stolen moments lead to secret kisses—and an undeniable sexual attraction that shakes them both to the core.  But events have been set into motion that they cannot escape. When a ruthless warlord sets his sights on Jenna, Derek will do whatever it takes to keep her safe, even if it costs him his heart—or his life.

This was another enjoyable romantic suspense from Pamela Clare, and as per usual, I bowled right through this one, stopping once only to go to sleep after three hours of being unable to set the book down.  But why the average rating?

The truth is, Pamela Clare books are wonderfully easy to slip into and get caught up in.  There's a certain attractiveness to her work that I somehow manage to hook onto without realizing it.  Her characters and story lines have heart, and she's actually rather good at writing suspense, and making you want to keep reading to find out how it all ends.  But one of the things that I've always found that Pamela gets carried away with is the schmaltz, and sometimes a way of presenting characters and situations that seem too deliberately structured to be perfect.  If that makes any sense.  It's hard to describe.

I don't mind it, because those instances are quickly overshadowed by the stuff that I DO love about her books.

Anyway, Hard Target was a pretty good start to a new series, taking place in the same world as her other romantic suspense series, I-Team, which is nice, because then you get a chance to briefly revisit some favorite characters from the past.  I especially loved the sparse guest appearances from Holly Andris, as I think she will forever be my favorite of the I-Team heroines.  And unfortunately, her few brief appearances kind of managed to overshadow our main heroine in this book, if only because, of all the Pamela Clare heroines, Holly has been the only one so far who gives us a streak of bad-ass that I loved.

No offense, and maybe this is my own issue, but for the most part, Jenna Hamilton, and the majority of the I-Team heroines (except maybe Kat James), somehow tend to end up being overly sensitive to a lot of things.  I'm not saying that Holly is without compassion or anything, quite the opposite, but she also never got faint or anything at the slightest evidence of evil.  She took things in stride, did her job, saved the world, and moved on.

But this review is about Hard Target, so let's go back to Jenna and Derek.

Truth is, while this book was pretty entertaining and attention-hooking, I did find that I wished it had been a bit more fleshed out.  Hard Target is a pretty standard romance, featuring the standard hero and heroine with hearts of gold, who are just great people all around and no flaws.  Story-wise, our author does well to bring awareness to the terrible treatment of women in Afghanistan, the lack of women's health, the lack of prenatal care, and the lack of, or even unwillingness to understand the importance of it all.  We get to see how even a Westerner like Jenna is expected to abide by cultural dictates--not speaking or even being seen in the presence of men she is not related to, as it somehow is seen as her attempting to tempt men and be flirtatious, which is evil.  We get to see how her one time breaking of the cultural rule, albeit out of the goodness of trying to save a young mother and her baby, almost caused trouble to the hospital that could have ended in her being beaten and flogged.

It's a terribly horrific thing to even think about.

The story progression itself presented well, but I feel like the entire book and each scene was a bit short and rushed.  Maybe that was just me.  The romance between Derek and Jenna was typical of Pamela Clare's love stories, but I DID like that Jenna was so open about her wants and her desires in a non-traditional romance heroine kind of way.  As per usual, the action and suspense was good, even if some parts might have been a bit overmuch.

And once again, I liked seeing Holly again, and hope to see more brief cameos from her in future... of course, only if we can naturally slip her into the story.  =P

All-in-all, a pretty good start to a new series, even if I feel like it still had potential to be seen.



Booklikes-opoly 2019

Roll #1:
How it fits:  Book is set in Afghanistan
Page Count:  261
Cash:  $3



Source: anicheungbookabyss.blogspot.com/2019/05/thoughts-hard-target.html
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