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review 2017-05-30 01:11
The Wicked Cousin by Stella Riley
The Wicked Cousin (Rockliffe Book 4) - Stella Riley

After his twin brother died and his father smothered him trying to keep him from any danger, Sebastian broke the chains to live a wild and carefree life. Now that he is a little older and wiser, he just wishes all the fervor from his younger exploits would die down.

Cassandra is less than impressed with all the stories about their wicked "cousin" but when she actually meets the man, she finds herself singing a different tune.

 

Fourth in the Rockliffe series, The Wicked Cousin focuses on Sebastian and Cassandra. I'm a newbie to this series and while it is entirely possible to start here, the extended family and friends secondary characters (heroes and heroines from the previous books) will make you wish you had read their stories. If you've read Grace Burrowes and her Windham series, the incorporation of past characters and world building is in the same vein here. I did think Riley did a slightly better job of unobtrusively weaving them in, not as much a feeling of off tangent if you're not previously acquainted with them.

 

And with the utmost reluctance, she saw what she had been unconsciously determined not to see. She saw what all the fuss was about.

 

Cassandra was our wondrously level-headed heroine, who does get a bit outshined by the hero, but always likeable. A heroine from a loving family with no horrible trauma almost seems like a novelty these days. However, the angst that was replaced with loving family dynamics, a sweet father and mother paired with an overly precocious little sister, provided heartwarming nuances and emotions more modern trends have been leaving out. I would have liked more scenes with Cassandra interacting with her sister, mother, and friends, as Riley did a tremendous job showcasing the male relationships.

 

It occurred to Sebastian that, in only a handful of meetings, he had come to like Cassandra Delahaye much more than was probably wise.

 

Our hero Sebastian is one that you won't help but fall in love with. The pain and sense of loss (both brother and sense of self) when his twin brother dies is heartbreaking. The way that Riley took this instance and constructed how it affected Sebastian, his family, and therefore their relationships added immense depth, you'll feel this story. Before we are introduced to Sebastian we learn of his persona but just like Cassandra learns, the true man is much more. His character make-up was so rich, confident, and teasing but yet vulnerable and shy at times. He was no one-trick pony or cardboard cutout, if you're a hero-centric reader, you don't want to miss Sebastian and his gorgeous garnet hair.

 

This was very much a character driven story, in which there was such an ease and flow to the writing that it envelopes you into the story. There was dramatic flair added with a scorned mistress causing problems for our couple. This provided some of the drama we all secretly love in romance but did stretch out for an unneeded extra scene; it turned around to feel like the deranged villain needed serious help instead of the truth spoke a bit harshly to her, even if it also felt justified. The story tempo is more leisurely, which with the richness of characters and story I didn't mind, but there were a few times I thought it was too slow following a bit long on offshoots. I also thought the climax of the story hit around the 80% mark and created a bit of a deflated balloon ending, however, people who like extended epilogues will probably enjoy the continuation.

 

All in all, I was a big fan of this story with its rich depth in characters and world. I've been complaining lately of story structure, definitely not a probably here, it feels like this was edited with a fine tooth comb. I'll be going back and reading the rest of the books in this series, I have a strong desire to grow more acquainted with the Duke of Rockliffe after his appearances here. There was also glimpses of a secondary romance featured and with the set-up of a duke's brother and woman who feels she couldn't be good enough for him, you can bet I'll be first in line when it gets published. We read romance to get lost in another world for some time, this is one you'll not want to come back from.

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review 2017-05-29 18:45
A Kind of Honesty was definitely more than....
A Kind of Honesty: - Lane Hayes,Seth Clayton

...kind of good.

 

I'm pretty sure that I've already mentioned this but just to refresh things. Rock star stories really are not at the top of my list to read. I don't know why they just never seem to appeal to me...however, as we all know one should 'never say never' because there are exceptions to every rule and the 'A Kind of stories' by Lane Hayes are among those exceptions for me.

 

Not only are the stories contained in this series beyond good but for me Seth Clayton is the perfect narrator for them.

 

Tim is the drummer for the rock band Spiral, which this series centers around. While he's been in each book we've really learned very little about him until now. We know he's the drummer and we know he's bisexual and  really that's about all we've learned until now. But 'A Kind of Honesty' changes all that we learn all Tim's secrets with this story and there are a few. 

 

Carter Hamilton-Temple is a successful financial consultant and a very rich man in his own right. He's also Zeke Gulden's best friend. We met Zeke in previous stories and learned all about Zeke in 'A Kind of Romance'. Carter may have money and the smarts to make money for his clients but what he doesn't seem to have is much luck when it comes to men.  He's had his heart and his trust broken more than once and as luck would have it the men who have done this turned out to be bi, so needless to say when Carter and Tim get together, Tim's already got one strike against him.

 

When Tim finally ends his relationship with his super-model from hell girlfriend. He decides it's time to explore the other side of his bisexuality and takes himself to a less than glamours gay bar with the intentions of getting laid and as fortune would have it, just about the time he's decided he picked the wrong place to put his plan into action in walks one of the hottest men Tim's set eyes on in a while. Luckily for him that man likes what the sees when he sets eyes on Tim. Mission accomplished after a couple of drinks they head out to a dive hotel and get their groove on. These two men are seriously hot together. They like their sex down and dirty...maybe not quite as dirty as their present surroundings though...

 

The real surprise comes for both of these men when they are once again brought face to face at a birthday party for a mutual friend. But it's no surprise when both men decide that they want to continue what started in that seedy L.A. hotel room...more down and dirty sex without the strings and hopefully cleaner surroundings.

 

As they explore their mutual attraction those strings just seem to add themselves. Both Tim and Carter start to find their happiness getting tied to one another and things become complicated pushing each man to his limits, until things explode and Tim is left alone with the realization that if he wants to keep what he's found with Carter, he needs to make some changes sooner than he thinks he's ready to.

 

I would have to say that when it comes to 'rock star' books this series is definitely at the top of my favorites list. Quite often if I read books that involve the music industry the MCs tend to be country & western performers, which is pretty ironic considering that I'm not really a C&W fan. I've read a couple other rock star series and one or two standalones that I enjoyed but honestly along with the 'Sinners' series by Rhys Ford, this is definitely my other top choice.  

 

My point being simply put Lane Hayes has done what only a very few authors have accomplished and that's to get me to not only read but thoroughly enjoy and look forward to a rock star series. In the scheme of things not really a big deal to anyone other than me. But from my perspective ...well, quite honestly I'm more than a little impressed.

 

Add to this the fact that somebody somewhere had the wisdom or just plain good luck to utilize the talents of Seth Clayton for the audio books and  this series for me has been a huge success. 

 

Listening to Seth Clayton narrate an audio book is a bit of a different experience than  I've come to expect from most narrators. I'm not sure that he really ticks my 'basic audio book' checklist. Although I have no problem in terms of knowing who's speaking and his voices are definitely expressive and consistent...ok, let's just say he hits the mark on these things for me and move on to what really appeals to me...which seems to be his voice in general. There's a comfortable tone to it no matter what character he's portraying. It feels like I'm curled up with a cup of coffee and a good friend who's telling me their story...it's comfortable and inviting.  I just really like his voice and no, it's not in that 'ohmygod, he sounds so hot' way although he does the sexy thing just fine as well.

 

One of my biggest issues with audiobooks was the fear that my inner 12 year old would run amuck during those intimate moments in a story and spoil things for me and while it has happened on occasion not once during any of these books did that little brat make an appearance and if it was going to happen this would have been the story...because hello!...dirty talk here, in abundance. But if it's done right it's howt!!! hella', hella' hot!!! and if not well...it's just a giggle fest waiting to happen...trust me there were no giggles to be found here, at least not from me. I was too busy fanning myself.

 

If you're like me and rock star stories aren't really your thing all I can say is check this series out, I think you'll be pleasantly surprised and if you like rock star stories you seriously need these books. These guys are all awesome and hot or maybe they're just awesomely hot...whatever, it works.

 

Sadly for now I'm 'kind of' out of audio books from this series but book 4 is coming soon and with any luck the audio book will follow without too much delay and Seth Clayton will still be the narrator...sorry, I don't want much...I just want it all. 

 

********************

An audiobook for 'A Kind of Honesty' was graciously provided by the publisher in exchange for an honest review.

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review 2017-05-29 18:03
Review: A Court of Wings and Ruin (A Court of Thorns and Roses #3) by Sarah J. Maas
A Court of Wings and Ruin (A Court of Thorns and Roses) - Sarah J. Maas

 

Looming war threatens all Feyre holds dear in the third volume of the #1 New York Times bestselling A Court of Thorns and Roses series.

Feyre has returned to the Spring Court, determined to gather information on Tamlin's maneuverings and the invading king threatening to bring Prythian to its knees. But to do so she must play a deadly game of deceit-and one slip may spell doom not only for Feyre, but for her world as well.

As war bears down upon them all, Feyre must decide who to trust amongst the dazzling and lethal High Lords-and hunt for allies in unexpected places.

In this thrilling third book in the #1 New York Times bestselling series from Sarah J. Maas, the earth will be painted red as mighty armies grapple for power over the one thing that could destroy them all.

 

*First off. If you have not read the previous books you should not read this review, because it will contain spoilers from the first two books.*

 

OMG. I loved this book so much. I didn’t think I could love it more than A

court Of Mist and Fury, but I did. I loved everything about this book. The writing, the characters, and the journey it takes us on.  It started out a tad slow but that could have been because she was back in the Spring Court. Also we get knee deep into and war is upon the people we learned to love and even maybe hate throughout the previous books.  

This book was a complete rollercoaster ride of emotions. I laughed one minute and cried the next. Or went from swooning to wanting to stab someone in the eyes. Plus it was action packed and had so many twist and turns I was thought I would get whiplash.

To of course not spoil anything about this book I will not go too much into detail about all the characters or of course what is happening to them, I will just make a quick overview and thoughts about them.

Feyre, loved her, while last book was all about her PDST this book is about healing and moving on for her, but also helping her sisters transition into the fay world.

I really liked that she was not just fine from one second to the next that she still had her moments and panic and not all was just forgotten. But I think what I loved most was her journey and how much she really has grown since book one. It is clear early on, how much she has grown and how far she is willing to go.

Rhysand .….My man Rhysand………. What is not to love about him. Again we saw how much he is willing to give to protect those he loves. But also how much he already went through to protect them. The more we know about him the more I love him, I didn't even know if it is possible to love him more. His speech before the final battle may or may not have left me in tears.

Lucien, as I mentioned about the other two books I always had a soft spot for him. I really like him but we still need to learn so much more about him. Even though we learn some really surprising things about him. As it ended in last book with his mating bond he deals with it in this book.  I’m not sure if it has been said yet but I have a feeling we see more of him in the next books. I have a feeling there is much more about him to tell.

Speaking about the next books and Lucien, I think we will also see and learn more about Elain. I really didn’t care for her in this book. She was a little left out of everything or so it felt like. We learned very little about her and her new Fae powers. She seemed more of a burden most of the time than anything else. I think or maybe even hope that we get more of her also in the next books.

Tamlin, yup he is still around and kicking. We also learn some new things about him. But overall I do not know if I ever can trust him. Though he does has his good moments in this book as well.

Mor. I loved Mor in this book and we also learn more about her and her past and what she would like for her future. I felt so much for her at times.

Amren, wow overall just wow. I always enjoyed her but this book toped it all. Again we learn much more about her as with most of the other players in the book. She also kind of take Nesta under her wing.

Now to Nesta, I figured she would be a power house but I had no idea how much or how much I would end up loving her and her growth. I really wpould ot mind a whole book about her, oh and Cassian of course.

Cassian and Azriel both of course play a big part in this book. I loved both of them and their journey and how much they would lay down for Rhys and the others in order to protect them all.

We met of course some new and old faces again. Some surprised me and I was shocked, thought I knew it all but boom we get a new twist.

 Overall, epic book and it left me wanting more. We get it all... love, hate, betrayal, humor, action .Some big sacrifices we made that left me in tears.

But the ending still seemed peaceful and just right for this epic journey throughout this and the other books.

I give it full 5 ★

 

 

Some of my favorite Quotes:

 

“It's a rare person to face who they are and not run from it - not be broken by it.”

 

***

 

What we think to be our greatest weakness can sometimes be our biggest strength

 

***

 

Why should I be scared of an oversized bat who likes to throw temper tantrums?

 

***

 

Words had become as forge in and hard to reach as the stars.

 

***

 

And in the distance, so faint I thought I might have imagined it, a beast’s roar cleaved the land

 

***

 

A hand brushed my back. Then Rhys groaned, "If we're all here, either things went very, very wrong or very right." Cassian's broken laugh cracked out of him.

 

***

 

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Available NOW 

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Sarah J. Maas is the New York Times and USA Today bestselling author of the Throne of Glass series (Queen of Shadows, Book 4, will be out in September 2015), as well as the A Court of Thorns and Roses series (out 5/5/15).

Sarah lives in Bucks County, PA, and over the years, she has developed an unhealthy appreciation for Disney movies and bad pop music. She adores fairy tales and ballet, drinks too much tea, and watches an ungodly amount of TV. When she's not busy writing, she can be found exploring the historic and beautiful Pennsylvania countryside with her husband and canine companion.

 

Links

Website *** Facebook *** Twitter *** Amazon

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Source: snoopydoosbookreviews.com/review-court-wings-ruin-court-thorns-roses-3-sarah-j-maas
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review 2017-05-29 07:11
Harry Potter & The Chamber of Secrets by J.K.Rowling
Harry Potter and the Chamber of Secrets - J.K. Rowling

My Thoughts-Will Open in New Window/Tab

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review 2017-05-28 23:59
This one made me happy...
A Kind of Romance - Lane Hayes

Zeke is a wallstreet success. He's living the good life, he works hard, he's earned his corner office and SoHo loft and of course he doesn't have time for love...but tell that to Zeke's dad. His dad, George runs a successful chain of bagel deli's. Everyone loves George except maybe Zeke. It's a family thing and while Zeke loves his dad, he just doesn't like who his dad was. Zeke wants to spend as little time as possible with his dad and maybe get a little payback on a certain ex-boyfriend. 

 

Benny is Will's friend...think book one. Benny is beyond fabulous, he wants to make it big as a costume designer in theater but more importantly Benny understands the importance of family and forgiveness, of getting over things and moving on.

 

I love Zeke and Benny. I'm pretty sure they're going to be my favorite couple from this series.  Zeke melted me with how he came to see Benny and just how fabulous he truly is and Benny and how he wasn't afraid to call Zeke on his b.s. when he got to full of himself but he also saw the good in Zeke. The ending of this story was heartbreakingly sweet as Zeke was forced to confront the parts of his life that fueled his anger and kept him from truly moving forward and having the life with Benny that he knew he wanted.

 

Once again the narrator for this book was Seth Clayton and once again I loved listening to the story that he had to share with me.  'A Kind of Romance' held all of the warmth and humor that I found in the first book both in the story and through the narration. I'm totally looking forward to 'A Kind of Honesty' which is once again narrated by Seth Clayton...so I'm off to grab a cup of coffee, curl up and listen to Seth as he shares yet another wonderful story with me.

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