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review 2015-08-11 20:41
The romance could have been a tad better..
Scotsman of My Dreams - Karen Ranney

***This review has also been posted on The Social Potato

Scotsman of My Dreams ended up being a very fun book to read but as much as I enjoyed it, I also thought there was way too much buildup for the romance.

Minerva and Dalton make a fantastic team and while they were a team for huge chunks of the book, they were also on opposite sides for most of the book. So while the tension between them was amazing, I hated that they weren’t on the same side. It meant that it took longer for their relationship to develop to a point where they could admit feelings and it also meant that there was a certain level of distrust between the two.

Minerva and Dalton are both fantastic characters in their own right and I LOVED reading about them as characters but  I wanted more from them together which was why I cannot give this book the 4 stars I would have otherwise.

Moving on though, I DID enjoy many aspects of the buildup especially since Minerva and Dalton worked together a lot and they were so FLIPPIN CUTE!

Minerva is an independently wealthy woman who never had the time for any sort of relationships after her parents died and left her in charge of her younger brother. Minerva took what she got and raised her brother and instead invested her time in her interests, archaeology.

Dalton, on the other hand, is an ex-rake. He made some poor decisions and decided to go fight in the civil war for the funsies and learnt that war wasn’t what he thought he was. Unfortunately, he also got injured, lost his sight and returned to a newly inherited earldom because of his older brother’s death. Dalton was dealt many blows in one go but these blows really helped him grow. He was no longer the cocky, poor decision making Dalton of the past, but rather a new Dalton who realizes how much of his life he wasted because he was ‘bored’. It was so much fun to watch him develop over the course of the book and I loved seeing the part Minerva played in helping him get there.

Their romance is fantastic (my issues aside) and I loved seeing them help each other overcome their insecurities.

This book was so much fun to read and I’d definitely recommend it if you are looking for a quick fun HR to read that won’t fail to make you swoon!

Note that I received an eARC of this book from the publisher in exchange for an honest review

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review 2015-08-11 20:38
Strong female leads + super cute love interests = WIN
When a Scot Ties the Knot - Tessa Dare

***This review has also been posted on The Social Potato

Tessa Dare is amazing. I know it’s taken me some time to warm up to her works but I will say that once I started her Castle Ever After series, I was sold. This series has been a joy to read and the best thing about it is that all the books can be read as standalones. The books have almost nothing in common besides the main character of each book inheriting a castle. 

One of the best things about this series is the MCs and this book was no exception. Maddie is a fantastically strong female lead who hates crowds and is a tad romantic. It’s why, to avoid the ton during her own season, she made up a suitor and that came to bite her in the ass almost a decade later.

My favorite thing about Maddie was just how easy it was for me to relate to her. I loved when she talked about the way society always made it seem like marriage was everything and made women feel as they needed to measure their self-worth in terms of whether or not they were married. I loved how this was reflected clearly by the fact that she had to make up a suitor to avoid unwanted attention. I also loved that in spite of her fear of crowds; she had actually managed to make a life for herself aside from society and did what she most enjoyed.

Logan was the perfect love interest for her and goddangit did he win my heart over. He is no lord, or rake or anything really. He is just a captain who will do anything to protect his soldiers, including blackmailing. And he also just happens to be the person who received Maddie’s letters to her made-up suitor. I loved Logan’s loyalty to his soldiers and how much he cared for them. But I also loved seeing him come out of his shell and begin to trust the people around him. If that doesn’t win you over, maybe his love for books, and the fact that he read Pride & Prejudice will (HE ALSO PUT ON SPECTACLES TO READ AND I WAS A GONER. )

So, unsurprisingly, I loved the romance between the two and enjoyed the buildup plus the circumstances surrounding their courting.

This book was definitely 100% worth it and I just want to re-read it because it was so good and it made me so ridiculously happy. If you haven’t checked this series out yet, you NEED TO because you don’t know what you’re missing out on.

Note that I received an eARC of this book from the publisher in exchange for an honest review

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text 2014-05-06 02:00
Reading progress update: I've read 8%.
Allegiant - Veronica Roth

Alright, so when we are in Tris' POV this is actually moving at a decent clip, then it switches and I still think I'm reading Tris, honestly I don't usually look at the chapter titles, and it throws me that she's thinking about herself in the third person and referring to herself as a man... Then I realise we've switched and my eye twitches a little. The concept is still strong, but the delivery has stagnated. 

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text 2014-05-05 03:32
Reading progress update: I've read 3%.
Allegiant - Veronica Roth

So Tris and Four just so happen to have the exact same tonality for their inner monologues when the POV changes... Yep, awesome. Guys don't talk to themselves in that tone. 


Also, perspective hopping, always a blast, being the final book in the series this tells me one thing. Someone is gonna die by the end of it, how do I figure that? Because you don't do two thirds of a trilogy in First Person Present Tense from one POV and then just change it for a third instalment unless you plan to kill a motherfucker. 

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review 2014-04-17 18:19
Torn Away - Jennifer Brown

***This review has also been posted on The Social Potato

“But we’d never—not once—discussed what to do after.”

This book is one tough nut to review, mostly because after finishing it you will not feel like a tough nut, you’ll feel like someone has smashed your insides and you’ll have no idea what to do or read. Or at least that was the case for me.

I’ve had my eyes on Jennifer Brown’s works for some time now, but for some reason, I still hadn’t picked up any of her works. Then Torn Away came. This book changed my world and I am only sorry I didn’t read any of Brown’s works earlier.

Torn Away is a very heartfelt story. It tells a tale of loss and loneliness, but ultimately, this is not a tale of hopelessness. In fact, it deals with finally having faith in yourself and learning to heal.

I’ve always been morbidly fascinated with natural disasters. I have no idea why; perhaps because I’ve never really been in one. I’ve never had to experience that pain, fear, and loss. Through the eyes of our main character though, I got to share with her experience. I was terrified and scared and so, so, completely alone, and for the first time these natural disasters weren’t just something I hear about on the news - I experienced the aftermath of one and I cannot tell you how heartbreaking it was to read this book.

Jersey lost everything. Her house was torn away, her mother and younger sister died. Her world fell apart around her. She had no one left. Her step-father didn’t want her because of his own profound grief, her biological father didn’t give a rat’s ass about her, her ‘step-family’ wanted her gone, and her own paternal grandparents didn’t care. Her friends couldn’t help her and she was all alone in the world. Can you imagine what that must be like? I cannot. I couldn’t, and after reading this, I never want to have to live through that. Jersey doesn’t just magically start healing; it’s a long process. She’s been thrown around and no one wants her anymore. Her family is gone. She never got a chance to say goodbye or to tell them how much she loved them. She never got the chance to fully appreciate what she had until it was gone. How does one start healing from a loss so profound? There were times I had to get up and stop because I really couldn’t continue. I was so overwhelmed with emotions. My heart was breaking and I just wanted to hug Jersey so much. She remained so strong in spite of the situation. She may have thrown tantrums; she may have been overly emotional or just annoying with her need to be saved, but I was NEVER bothered by any of her actions. She held herself together in a situation where others might have had a complete breakdown. Hell, look at her step-father - he couldn’t keep it together long enough to help a young girl who needed him more than anything else.

Jennifer did an amazing job with Jersey’s character, but she also threw in a bunch of other wonderful secondary characters, my favorite being Kolby. I am not sure what it was about him that made me like him so much. Perhaps it was his normality and how for the moments he was present, he lent Jersey his support. He let her comfort herself with lies. He never encouraged them but he gave her that room to hope instead of crushing it.

Her maternal grandparents were such a sweet bunch. Especially compared to her paternal parents. It was touching to see how they tried, in their own way, to give her room, but at the same time they tried to help her heal.

Jennifer Brown is so clearly talented. The scenes she paints, the characters she creates - they are all so beautiful and scary at the same time.

I remember the scenes after the tornado. Everyone was trying to help one another, trying to find the injured people and their relatives, trying to stick together. There was all this confusion. In the end, it was all just truly heartbreaking.

I keep on using the term "heartbreaking" but there seems to be no other adjective that fits this book better. It truly tears out your heart and forces even the heartless (like me) to feel and even tear up a little.

I will definitely not hesitate to buy Jennifer Brown novels in the future because if Torn Away is any indication of what awaits me in her other works, then I definitely want more. I recommend this to EVERY PERSON who wants to take on a darker (in terms of emotions) contemporary novel.

Note that all quotes have been taken from an uncorrected proof and may be subject to change

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