Blogtober Book Review: Our Dark Duet by Victoria Schwab

fullsizeoutput_20a2

GoodReads Summary:
Kate Harker is a girl who isn’t afraid of the dark. She’s a girl who hunts monsters. And she’s good at it. August Flynn is a monster who can never be human. No matter how much he once yearned for it. He has a part to play. And he will play it, no matter the cost.
Nearly six months after Kate and August were first thrown together, the war between the monsters and the humans is a terrifying reality. In Verity, August has become the leader he never wished to be, and in Prosperity, Kate has become the ruthless hunter she knew she could be. When a new monster emerges from the shadows—one who feeds on chaos and brings out its victim’s inner demons—it lures Kate home, where she finds more than she bargained for. She’ll face a monster she thought she killed, a boy she thought she knew, and a demon all her own.
Our Dark Duet (Monsters of Verity, #2)Review:
Our Dark Duet was the perfect ending to this duology. It did such a great job of answering all the questions I was left with at the end of This Savage Song. The story is dark and gritty and full of things that you don’t really want to think or talk about. It’s full of important themes, violence and crime, what it means to kill someone, and how the lines can be blurred when it comes to murder. Schwab wrote a beautiful story about a really challenging topic.
I still adore Kate. She’s a fierce woman, a force of nature. She’s left Verity to start over somewhere new. But of course, in her mission to hunt down the monsters, she’s led right back to her home. Only, her home is nothing like it was when she left. I really enjoyed her part of the story. Her struggle to keep this new monster at bay and her desire to take down the evils she had created. I really loved Kate.
Verity was not the only thing that was almost unrecognizable. August was not the same character that we met in This Savage Song. He’s lost himself, his more human side, after the things he’s had to do. I think the dynamic between Kate and August was my favorite part. They seem to bring out the best in one another. I really liked them together as a team.
Overall, I have nothing but good things to say about this book. I enjoyed every page. The writing was beautiful. The characters were developed and likable. The story was compelling and fast-paced. It’s a new favorite for sure.

Keep on reading lovelies, Amanda.

Blogtober Book Review: A Bite to Remember by Lynsay Sands

fullsizeoutput_20a2

GoodReads Summary:
Rule #1: Never get involved with someone who won’t be there for you when the sun comes up.
Once bitten, twice shy, and sexy PI Jackie Morrisey wasn’t going there again. Vincent Argeneau may be the hottest guy she’s ever met, living or dead, but she’s here to stop a killer from turning this vampire into dust, not to jump into bed with him.
Rule #2: Never kiss a vampire . . . it can be a pain in the neck.
Okay, so Vincent’s had four hundred years to perfect his kissing skills, and he does look rather tempting when he runs around the house shirtless. He’s also charming, protective . . . did we mention he can kiss? Jackie needs to be on her guard, or else she’ll have to come up with a new rule: If you’re going to fall in love with a vampire, make sure it’s a bite to remember.
A Bite to Remember (Argeneau #5)Review:
A Bite to Remember was fun because it was the first book in the Argeneau series where the love interest already knew that vampires existed and the history behind their creation. She was also a private detective so this was half romance and half mystery, which was really enjoyable.
Vincent is our Argeneau in this installment of the series. I really loved him. He’s funny and chipper and always trying to look on the bright side. Though he’s realizing that he may have been in danger of starting to fall into the depression that some vampires face where nothing is exciting anymore.
Enter Jackie, the private investigator Bastien has hired to help Vincent find out who is sabotaging his company. Jackie has some old prejudices against vampires because of a relationship she had with one when she was just starting to learn the ropes of her father’s business. Since then, she never lets herself trust or really get too close to any of their kind. I liked Jackie because she was willing to learn things about herself when her best friend points them out.
That brings up Tiny. I loved him. He was a no-bullshit guy and despite being large, he has many talents. I didn’t like how often his size was pointed out. I thought it was unnecessary. But I loved him. Even more after remembering who he ends up with.
I enjoyed the mystery we’re trying to unravel too. I thought I’d remembered who the villain was from reading this years ago, but I was wrong. I thought the big reveal and rescue was great.
Overall, another Argeneau novel that I really enjoyed. The writing was great. The characters were enjoyable and funny. The smut was also great. I just love this series.

Keep on reading lovelies, Amanda.

Blogtober Book Review: Tall, Dark & Hungry by Lynsay Sands

fullsizeoutput_20a2

GoodReads Summary:
It bites: New York hotels cost an arm and a leg, and Terri had flown from England to help plan her cousin’s wedding. The new in-laws offered lodging. But they were a weird bunch. There was the sometimes-chipper-sometimes-brooding Lucern, and the wacky stage-actor, Vincent. (She couldn’t imagine Broadway casting a hungrier singing-and-dancing Dracula.) And then there was Bastien. Just looking into his eyes, Terri had to admit she was falling for him – someone even taller, darker and hungrier than the other two. She was feeling a mite peckish herself. And if she stayed with him, those blood-sucking hotel owners wouldn’t get to her!
Tall, Dark & Hungry (Argeneau #4)Review:
Tall, Dark & Hungry was almost the best book I’ve read in this series so far. Except for the last fifty or so pages. I didn’t like one choice that the female main character made, even though I understood her reasoning.
Bastien is my favorite Argeneau. He’s the man you go to when you need something. I love him. He heads up Argeneau Enterprises and handles business. So, when his house slowly starts filling with people, he has to juggle quite a few different things, which was certainly entertaining. He’s agreed to host Terri, Kate’s cousin/best friend/maid of honor, while she’s in town for the wedding. But then Kate has to leave because of work, so he’s left to house and entertain her. Also, Kate’s fellow editor has been injured and needs a place to stay. Oh, and Bastien’s cousin Vincent is in town for a play he’s starring in. So, it’s basically a madhouse. But then it gets worse. Kate and Lucern’s wedding slowly falls apart, from the flowers to the caterer to the tissue paper flowers. Bastien and Terri manage to fix it all.
Terri was honestly a little whiney. She’s scared to put herself out there and admit that she likes Bastien because of her experiences with her husband dying years and years ago. And when she is under the false assumption that Bastien has a terminal illness, she runs. I didn’t like that part of the story. Though I did like getting to meet her loved ones in England. They gave her the shake she needed to pull her head out of her butt and get things together.
Overall, I enjoyed this one more than the first three even though I didn’t always like what the characters did. The story was fun and had me laughing so much (which is a problem because I’m reading these at night when I’m snuggling my little one to sleep). I keep finding myself surprised to find that Sands is a really talented writer (stupid stereotypes on romance!) She uses several of the writing techniques I’ve been learning about in my college writing classes. Also, the sex scenes are A+. I’ve pretty much read nothing but this series since picking up the first one. I think I’m addicted.

Keep on reading lovelies, Amanda.

Blogtober Book Review: Single White Vampire by Lynsay Sands

fullsizeoutput_20a2

GoodReads Summary:
SWM – “Lucern.” Successful biographer of family, books recently categorized as “paranormal romance.” Something of a recluse. Hates crowds, aggressive women. Doesn’t like sunbathing, garlicky dinners or religious symbols. Likes old-fashioned values; spicy Mexican dishes; warm, nice-smelling neck; and plump red lips. Stronger than ten men and can vanish in the blink of an eye. Currently unaware he’s seeking a woman to share eternity.
SWF – “Kate C. Leever.” Newest editor of Romance at Roundhouse Publishing. Perky, fun. Has recently discovered a legacy author just dying to be broken out. In fact, her career could take off from it. (The tall, dark, handsome writer just needs to be taken to several romance conventions and introduced to his fans…and stopped from acting so strange in public.) Dislikes “difficult, rude, obnoxious, pig-headed writers.” Currently unaware she’s met the man of her wildest dreams.
OH, DEAR.
Single White Vampire (Argeneau #3)Review:
Single White Vampire had the potential to be a favorite. But sadly, it wasn’t. It was actually my least liked book of the series so far. I blame that entirely on Lucern.
Lucern is basically an old grumpy man stuck in his ways. He ‘doesn’t like outgoing women’ and his mind is stuck in the 1800s. He’s constantly talking about how ‘women shouldn’t act this or that way’ which I really didn’t like. He is not as bad in the latter half of the book. But I just didn’t like his old-fashioned thinking. Though I could respect him keeping his word to go to the conference even though he’d sort of been lied to about what he was agreeing to do.
Kate, however, was the best. I adored her. She’s an editor at a publishing house and she makes sure to get what she wants. She’ll do anything for her authors and I loved her passion for her job. I loved this aspect of the story, as well as the romance conference. This was when Lucern and Kate’s relationship started. I really enjoyed the things he got her to do.
Overall, not my favorite Argeneau book, but I liked Kate enough to bump up my overall enjoyment.

Keep on reading lovelies, Amanda.

Blogtober Book Review: The Wicked King by Holly Black

fullsizeoutput_20a2

Summary:
Jude has bound to the Wicked King, Cardan, to her, and made herself the power behind the throne. Navigating the constantly shifting political alliances of Faerie would be difficult enough if Cardan were biddable. But he does everything in his power to humiliate and undermine her, even as his fascination with her remains undiminished.
When it becomes all too clear that someone close to Jude means to betray her, threatening her life and the lives of everyone she loves, Jude must uncover the traitor and fight her own complicated feelings for Cardan to maintain control as a mortal in a faerie world.
The Wicked King (The Folk of the Air, #2)Review:
One half of me is upset I waited so long to read this series and the other half of me is upset that I didn’t wait until all three books were release. The thought of having to wait until November to see how the lives of these characters will play out is its own special kind of torture.
I loved The Wicked King. Holly Black writes a fascinating and completely compelling story. This book was so fast paced that I just couldn’t manage to put it down until the very last page. The writing sucked me in and spit me out an angry mess when it was over. I’m so mad at Holly Black for the way that she ended The Wicked King, but I’m also in complete and total awe of her talent.
Jude is such an interesting main character. Everything she does is for her family, and a little bit for herself too. She’s fiery and passionate. She doesn’t let anyone stand in the way of what she wants. She will go after her goals with a bloody vengeance. I loved how fierce she was. She’s ruthless, intelligent, and clever—a dangerous combination.
Then there’s Cardan. I love everything but the tail. And of course, the things he did in the final pages. But I’m hopeful that he did what he did for good reason and not to be an asshole. I adored all of the scenes he was in with Jude and I’m really hopeful to see where things end up with them. I also really enjoyed seeing him fill the role of King. It was really interesting to see him take so well to a position he never wanted.
Overall, I loved this book. I loved the characters. I loved the pace of the story. There was nothing but action and excitement and scheming and I loved every single page. I will very anxiously be awaiting the final book in the trilogy. If you haven’t read this series yet, what are you waiting for?

Keep on reading lovelies, Amanda.

Blogtober Book Review: Stepsister by Jennifer Donnelly

fullsizeoutput_20a2

Summary:
Isabelle should be blissfully happy – she’s about to win the handsome prince. Except Isabelle isn’t the beautiful girl who lost the glass slipper and captured the prince’s heart. She’s the ugly stepsister who’s cut off her toes to fit into Cinderella’s shoe … which is now filling with blood.
When the prince discovers Isabelle’s deception, she is turned away in shame. It’s no more than she deserves: she is a plain girl in a world that values beauty; a feisty girl in a world that wants her to be pliant.
Isabelle has tried to fit in. To live up to her mother’s expectations. To be like her stepsister. To be sweet. To be pretty. One by one, she has cut away pieces of herself in order to survive a world that doesn’t appreciate a girl like her. And that has made her mean, jealous, and hollow.
Until she gets a chance to alter her destiny and prove what ugly stepsisters have always known: it takes more than heartache to break a girl.
StepsisterReview:
I had the pleasure of meeting Jennifer Donnelly while she was doing the book tour for Stepsister. She was honestly so inspiring. I’ve been so excited to read Stepsister since that event. I finally managed to listen to the audiobook for the NEWTs.
Stepsister is the story of Cinderella’s sisters and what happens to them after Ella marries the prince and becomes Queen. I am in awe of Donnelly with the complexities of this story. Isabelle is being guided by two characters, Fate and Chance. It took me way too long to realize the significance of Chance other than it just being his name. Chance steals Isabelle’s life map from the Fate’s, and does everything in his power to change her path.
Isabelle was a really unlikable character. Which I’m pretty sure was the intention. This wasn’t a happy story. It was a story about growth. How to find the pieces of your heart and escape the title of ‘ugly step-sister.’
I am really not sure how to explain this story. But it was one of loss and regret and learning to love yourself. The things that Isabelle and her family endure could break anyone. But she doesn’t let it. She tries and tries, again and again, to do the right things, to be a better person. But she learns that it’s not that easy. Isabelle’s path is not an easy one, but despite the forces trying to hinder her, she finds her way.
Overall, this was a fascinating story. It was filled with unlikeable characters that learned how to be better, how to change their ways before it was too late, and how to love themselves even though they may not be traditionally pretty. Fate and Chance pulled the path in countless directions, keeping things interesting. If you’re a lover of fairytales, this is the story for you.

Keep on reading lovelies, Amanda.

Blogtober Book Review: The Last of August by Brittany Cavallaro

fullsizeoutput_20a2

GoodReads Summary:
Watson and Holmes: A match made in disaster.
Jamie Watson and Charlotte Holmes are looking for a winter-break reprieve after a fall semester that almost got them killed. But Charlotte isn’t the only Holmes with secrets, and the mood at her family’s Sussex estate is palpably tense. On top of everything else, Holmes and Watson could be becoming more than friends—but still, the darkness in Charlotte’s past is a wall between them.
A distraction arises soon enough because Charlotte’s beloved uncle Leander goes missing from the estate—after being oddly private about his latest assignment in a German art forgery ring. The game is afoot once again, and Charlotte is single-minded in her pursuit.
Their first stop? Berlin. Their first contact? August Moriarty (formerly Charlotte’s obsession, currently believed by most to be dead), whose powerful family has been ripping off famous paintings for the last hundred years. But as they follow the gritty underground scene in Berlin to glittering art houses in Prague, Holmes and Watson begin to realize that this is a much more complicated case than a disappearance. Much more dangerous, too.
What they learn might change everything they know about their families, themselves, and each other.
The Last of August (Charlotte Holmes, #2)Review:
I am officially obsessed with this series. I don’t know why I waited so long to pick it up. I think part of me was worried it wasn’t going to live up to the hype, but it absolutely does. The Last August was just as good as the first book in the series.
I love Charlotte Holmes. She’s flawed and so utterly human. But she’s also highly trained and is always thinking about a hundred steps ahead. I love the way her mind works and I wish we got more chapters from her point of view. She is really just a fascinating character.
Then there’s Jamie, sweet, dear Jamie. I just adore him. He’s always got something to prove. That he doesn’t need Charlotte’s training or affection. That he’s better than August. I enjoyed seeing his relationship with his dad get better over the course of the book. He finds himself in need of advice regarding the quirks of the Holmes family member, which I thought was an interesting way for them to bond.
The mystery in this book. Phew, it was a doozy. The ending was confusing and I’m honestly still not totally sure what happened. Every time I thought one thing was going on, Charlotte proved me wrong, over and over.
Overall, this was a fast-paced thrill ride with characters who have depth and real problems. I love this series and I cannot wait to continue on to the third book. If you haven’t picked up this series, what are you waiting for?

Keep on reading lovelies, Amanda.