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review 2018-03-13 05:37
Review for Knox (Out of the Cage #3) by Lane Hart
Knox (Out of the Cage #3) - Lane Hart

What an adorable, sensitive, dork Knox turned out to be! I’ve read all three books in the series and I can’t really say he’s my favorite but he is definitely the sweetheart of the three!

In this third and final installment we get to know more about Knox and how he ended up at the house with the other kids. His backstory was not as tragic as the other’s however I think it made him more endearing and sweet. The romantic story actually takes place parallel to the two previous books so I definitely recommend reading them before jumping to this one.


I’m not really sure how to feel about Jade. There were some issues with her character that just didn’t click with me. Some of the things she did and said felt out of sync with the woman she was supposed to be. Nevertheless, the attachment she and Knox formed felt genuine and honest, so even if it all started as insta-lust, by the end of the book I could definitely tell there would be much love and respect between them.


***** This book contains what I consider a very graphic description of non-consensual sex, which in my book means rape, so heads up. *****


I received this book at no cost to me and I volunteered to read it; this is my honest opinion and given without any influence by the author or publisher.

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review 2018-03-11 18:28
A Princess in Theory by Alyssa Cole
A Princess in Theory: Reluctant Royals - Alyssa Cole

Naledi (Ledi) Smith has been on her own for most of her life, bounced around in foster care after her parents were killed in a car crash. Now she's a grad student with multiple jobs and a supposedly upcoming epidemiology internship that she still hasn't been contacted about. The spam emails she keeps getting that say she's betrothed to a Prince Thabiso from some country called Thesolo do not amuse her.

As it turns out, the emails aren't spam. Prince Thabiso has been looking for his betrothed for years. He hopes to find her and either bring her back to Thesolo or finally convince himself that they aren't soulmates the way he'd been told as a child they were. His assistant, Likotsi, tracks her down, but their first meeting doesn't go anything like Thabiso expected it would. Ledi mistakes him for a new waiter named Jamal, and rather than clear up the misunderstanding, Thabiso decides to just go with it. He'll get to see how Ledi behaves around him when she's unaware that he's royalty, and being a waiter can't be that hard, right? (Ha!)

I pre-ordered this because both the cover and publisher's description made it look cute and fun. A contemporary romance in which an ordinary woman learns she's actually a princess sounded like it'd be right up my alley.

The setup was excellent, and the sample "spam" emails made me laugh. I loved Ledi, who was afraid to let her guard down and who worked so hard and was still worried that none of it would be enough. She relaxed her guard around Thabiso a bit more quickly than I would have expected, although that could have been due to the way he subconsciously reminded her of things from her childhood.

Plus, Thabiso had some great moments. He listened to and remembered the things she said. Because he knew she was always taking care of herself and everyone else, he tried to set up times that were solely about her and taking care of her. The bit with the grilled cheese sandwiches was cute (although the way the next chapter started made me think he'd accidentally burned the apartment down).

I winced every time he put off telling Ledi the truth, although I could usually understand his reasons for doing so. There was one scene that really bothered me, though. He arrived at Ledi's apartment, fully intending to tell her the truth, only to have her start kissing him. He wasn't so overwhelmed by her kisses that he couldn't think - he actually did slow things down enough that he could have stopped everything and told her right then. Instead, they had sex, he worried that she'd call him Jamal, and he figured he'd tell her sometime after they were done. It made it seem like he cared more about having sex than he did about Ledi.

This part upset me so much that I spent the rest of the book mentally rewriting it. I came up with a couple alternatives that would have still led to Ledi being hurt and angry enough for the rest of the book to happen, but would have made Thabiso a little less horrible. Unfortunately, the scene happened the way it happened. Cole dealt with it by having Thabiso make Ledi an offer she couldn't refuse, something that would force her to spend enough time with him that she'd eventually soften towards him and forgive him. She did, of course, and I could understand why, for the most part. Unfortunately, I never quite forgave him.

Although I was upset with Thabiso in the second half of the book, I still really loved the "royal life" scenes. Ledi's trip to the airport, in particular, was great. I loved her meetings with family members - I wonder if Nya will ever get her own book? - and I was glad that Thabiso defended Ledi whenever his mother started to act horrible.

For the most part, this was a really good book. It would have been an excellent one if it hadn't been for the last "trying (but not really) to tell her the truth" scene, which unfortunately slightly soured the rest of the book. Oh, and one little slightly spoiler-y complaint: why did Ledi, who should have known better,

keep taking pills without ever once asking (or even wondering) what was in them?

(spoiler show)

I'm going to wait and see what reviews say about the next book before deciding whether to get it. I'm iffy about Portia, Ledi's friend and the next book's heroine. Almost every time Portia was mentioned, Ledi worried about the amount she drank and whether spending time with her would mean more work and anxiety than relaxation. A Princess in Theory ended with her in therapy and hopefully drinking less, but I'm still wary. Meanwhile, I'm crossing my fingers for a future book starring Likotsi, Thabiso's well-dressed lesbian assistant.


(Original review posted on A Library Girl's Familiar Diversions.)

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review 2018-03-06 18:55
#15 - Hero at the Fall by Alwyn Hamilton
Hero at the Fall - Alwyn Hamilton

Hero at the Fall is the third and final book in the Rebel of the Sands trilogy and it was an epic conclusion to one of the best series I have ever read (no exaggeration here, I am telling you, go read it if you haven’t already).

If you do not know anything about the story, I advise you no to read this review because it may contain spoilers of previous events. Just know that it was amazing (and that you have to read it. Oh wait; I’ve already said that earlier. READ IT!)

It follows the events of the previous book (that had quite a rough ending) and I was excited about knowing how these beloved characters would manage to get out of this tricky situation (again). You always think it is hopeless until something you had not thought about happened and all end well (not for everyone though, spoiler alert, there are many deaths in this book).

I was so happy to meet with Amani again who is definitely one of my favourite heroine of all time. She is strong and fragile at the same time, she knows what she wants and she won’t hesitate to put herself in danger to save those she loves and to achieve her goals. She is stubborn and quite hot tempered and I loved everything about her. All the characters in this book are so unique and so lovable, each and every own of them. Amani and Shazad’s friendship is GOAL. It was so beautiful to read about their relationship, which is one of my favourite female friendships in books.

The storyline was a bit predictable but it still contained many twists I was not ready for. I am still not over some of the events that happened in this book, I was not ready for this series to end. Although some events were predictable, I was so happy for the ending, which was perfect. I was sad, angry, frustrated, happy, excited and hopeful at the same time. I can still picture myself reading those last chapters and wondering how I was supposed to go on with my life after that.

The best part about this series is Alwyn Hamilton’s writing style. It is easy to follow but it has such a unique quality to it. Every single word is well chosen and there is a beautiful simplicity to it. I really enjoyed it and I know for a fact I will be reading every single book of this author, because I’m hooked.
This was such an epic adventure and I definitely recommend this series. If you love magic, desert creatures and bad-ass characters, this is for you!


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review 2018-02-24 22:56
Forbidden Song (Hearts of Metal Book 5) by Brooklyn Ann
Forbidden Song (Hearts of Metal Book 5) - Brooklyn Museum

This is the fifth book in the Hearts of Metal series but I promise it can definitely be read as a standalone. I know this because I’ve only read the previous book yet I never felt lost. 
I love how the author was able to weave so many characters into one book without making it feel convoluted. All of them felt true to their nature, including “slutty” Cliff, who can still be a jerk at times but now that we start seeing things from his POV it’s impossible not to have feelings for the guy. Christine’s independent spirit causes more trouble than not but even so she was a lovable character because it was not mischief what drove her but an honest will to live her own life. 

I felt this book centered more around the dynamics of the band’s members and their personal struggles, but even so it did not lack in the romance department. Christine and Cliff’s relationship may take a backseat at times but it’s always present throughout the book. Their emotions are all palpable and when they were together it was all but fire on the pages! The mix of drama and funny, laugh-out-loud moments made this book pretty enjoyable. And the fact that we get to visit with all of the other bands, including Rage of Angels (from the Bride of Prophecies series) makes it a memorable one as well. In short, I think this story is the perfect tease because if anyone picks this one up before the previous books in the series will want to get them all and start reading them asap. 

***I received this book at no cost to me and I volunteered to read it; this is my honest opinion and given without any influence by the author or publisher.***

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review 2018-02-24 22:52
No Earls Allowed (The Survivors #2) by Shana Galen~ 4 of 5 stars
No Earls Allowed (The Survivors) - Shana Galen

Neil is sent on a new mission: bring Lady Juliana back home after she’s spent months away taking care of orphan children. What was supposed to be an in-and-out kind of mission turned out to be the life changing event that neither Neil nor Lady Juliana had planned on. 

The story was a riot and a half. Neil is the kind of man that may seem reserved but in reality is pretty laid-back. I liked that he knew what to do, when to do it, and best way to go about facing a new challenge. Even though Juliana was pretty inexperienced in everything she set her mind to, she was no simpleton and faced everything with as much mettle as she could muster.

The plot itself was unpredictable and unique. I mean, I don't think I've read about ladies accepting rats for pets of their children (ee-ew, eewww, EEEWWWW!). The children were sweet and good-natured, even those that rebelled and may had caused some trouble because of their circumstances showed great character. I for one don't like reading much about children but when they are written with as much heart and wit then I will take them any time! Juliana and Neil simmered in passion for each other but didn't take their relationship to the next level until they knew for sure that's what they both wanted. And when it happened it was sublime, real, and oh, so sweet. I always complain about authors creating this far-fetched, earth-shattering event when the couple makes love for the first time because although nice to read, is it really like that in real life? I thought the author did a great job here giving me a more realistic, couple-in-love moment. 
I also loved that all the survivors made an appearance. We dug farther into the lives of some of them and we get to see more of Ewan, my boyfriend from the first book-- I mean the hero from the first book in the series. The story had a villain that didn't get to play much of a villain however his presence gave the survivors plenty to do and caused Juliana lots of headaches and heartaches. If anything I would have liked Juliana's growth to be more palpable but it was more on paper than in her character. All in all it was a great read that left me wanting more. 

** I was gifted a copy of this book and I volunteered to read it; this is my honest opinion and given without any influence by the author or publisher. **

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