Monday, July 27, 2015

Erin: Gathering Darkness (Falling Kingdoms #3) by Morgan Rhodes

Hi, Everyone!!

Here's a review of Gathering Darkness, the third book in the awesome Falling Kingdoms Series!!!

From Goodreads:

In Gathering Darkness, book three of the New York Times bestselling Falling Kingdoms series, the stakes have never been higher as three teams push forward on a race to find the Kindred, the four elemental crystals possessing ancient all-powerful magic, first:

Prince Magnus has just witnessed torture, death, and miracles during the bloody confrontation that decimated the rebel forces.  Now he must choose between family and justice as his father, the cruel King Gaius, sets out to conquer all of Mytica.  All Gaius needs now are the Kindred - the four elemental crystals that give godlike powers to their owner.  But the King of Blood is not the only one hunting for this ancient, stories magic...

-The KRAESHIANS join the hunt.  Asher and Amara, the royal siblings from the wealthy kingdom across the Silver Sea, charm and manipulate their way to the Kindred, proving to be more ruthless than perhaps even the King of Blood himself.

-The REBELS forge ahead.  Princess Cleo and vengeful Jonas lead them, slaying with sweetness, skill, and a secret that can control Lucia's overpowering magic - all so they can use the Kindred to win back their fallen kingdoms.

-The WATCHERS follow Melenia out of the Sanctuary.  They ally in the flesh with King Gaius, who vows to use Lucia's power to unveil the Kindred.

- The Only certainty in the dark time is that whoever finds the magic first will control the fate of Mytica...but fate can be fickle when magic is involved.

Erin's Thoughts:

While I wouldn't say that Falling Kingdoms is one of my favorite series (although it's very close), I really do love them.  They are very enjoyable to read and I get sucked into the book each and every time (I read Gathering Darkness in just a day!!).  The Falling Kingdom series is an epic high fantasy tale and as you well know by now, I love high fantasy!!

Gathering Darkness continues where Rebel Spring left off. It follows the same format as the previous two books - the story switches amongst the four different point-of-views: Cleo, Magnus, Jonas, and Lucia.  There are a few other small characters that get their chapters, but these are the main storylines.  In my opinion, I was most intrigued by Cleo and Magnus and I tended to enjoy their sections their most, though not to say that the other point-of-views weren't interesting.

I'm not going to say too much because honestly, there's not much I can say without totally giving the story away, but if you enjoyed the first two books, I'm sure you'll love Gathering Darkness! I feel like these books flow so smoothly that they could probably be combined into one giant monster book and it would read really well.


The only thing that bothered me just a little bit was that the romance between Cleo and Jonas that was present during Rebel Spring kind of died out.  At the end of Rebel Spring, I was super conflicted because there was definitely a romance between Cleo and Jonas, but there was also a hint of a romance with Cleo and Magnus -- and since I really loved them both, I was struggling to choose who to root for! Luckily, this sorted itself out during Gathering Darkness.  Magnus and Cleo's relationship really developed, which I absolutely loved!! Hate-to-love tropes are my favorite!! And Jonas and Lysandra's relationship took another step forward.  While I do love the Magnus and Cleo are getting the feels for each other, I didn't like Jonas and Lysandra that much.  They're okay, but nothing special, in my opinion.  But apart from that, I felt like Cleo and Jonas kind of fizzled out -- sort of like it went from a ten to a zero, if we were to rate it on a scale.  Rebel Springs totally had Cleo and Jonas falling for each other, so it bugged me a little that suddenly Cleo and Jonas each had other love interests pop up (I love Magnus, but Lysandra seemed kind of random).  Anyways, I feel like it should have been more gradual.  Or more like there should have been a bit more resolution with Jonas and Cleo -- maybe each of them realizing their relationship would never work and they break apart -- something like that.  Of course, there are still three more books to look forward to and a lot can change, so we'll just have wait and see! :)

But despite my complaining, this wasn't a huge deal for me -- just one of the things that I noticed when I was reading :D  I still loved the book!


Overall Rating:

This series is awesome and I would recommend it to anyone who enjoys reading epic fantasy!! And also, Falling Kingdoms is going to be six books long, so there is a lot to look forward to as well!!! :D

Erin @The Romance Bookie :)

Tuesday, July 21, 2015

Jesse's Girl (Hundred Oaks #6) by Miranda Kenneally

Hey Everyone!!

I'm back for another review!!!

I'm so excited to share this one with you, because it is of a book that I received only last Friday and devoured over this past weekend!

Miranda Kenneally's Jesse's Girl!

From Goodreads:

Everyone at Hundred Oaks High knows that career mentoring day is a joke.  So when Maya Henry said she wanted to be a rock star, she never imagined she's get to shadow *the* Jesse Scott, Nashville's teen idol..

But spending the day with Jesse is far from a dream come true.  He's as gorgeous as his music, but seeing all that he's accomplished is just a reminder of everything Maya's lost: her trust, her boyfriend, their band, and any chance to play the music she craves.  Not to mention that Jesse's pushy and opinionated.  He made it on his own, and he thinks Maya's playing back up to other people's dreams.  Does she have what it takes to follow her heart --- and go solo?

My Thoughts:

I absolutely loved it!  I just have to say that straight off the bat.  I haven't been much of a reader the last few months, this summer has kept me a bit busier than normal summers, I've just moved, and I've working extra shifts.  But when I picked up this one, as soon as I received the box in the mail last Friday, I started it right away and devoured it immediately.  I've been reading non-stop, because I just could not put it down!

Miranda Kenneally has once again created a great southern story with teen romance.  Featuring some great past characters (hint hint: look at Maya's last name) ;).

Maya had a great unique personality I really enjoyed reading.  Jesse had this semi-dark past, that was interesting to learn more about.  And then the music world...loved that!!

In the description above, it says that Jesse was pushy and opinionated...while some might find those characteristics possibly annoying, I really liked them.  I'm a fairly opinionated person myself, because I believe in speaking my mind.

Overall Rating:

If you're a fan of Miranda Kenneally's books, like I am, you're sure to love this one!  I would say it's Catching Jordan and then Jesse's Girl, when it comes to my first and second choice of favorites from the Hundred Oaks Series.

I definitely recommend it, and it's available now!  Amazon has the paperback currently for only $5.49!!!!  That's cheaper than most EBOOKS!!!

So you really have no excuse but to read it, right??!! ;)

Anyway, enjoy the rest of your week, Everyone!

The Romance Bookie :)

Thursday, July 9, 2015

Erin: Mortal Heart (His Fair Assassin #3) by Robin LaFevers

Hey Everyone! I've got a review of Mortal Heart by Robin LaFevers, the third book in the His Fair Assassin Series!

From Goodreads:

Annith has watched her gifted sisters at the convent come and go, carrying out their dark dealings in the name of St. Mortain, patiently awaiting her own turn to serve Death.  But her worst fears are realized when she discovers she is being groomed by the abbess as a Seecress, to be forever sequestered in the rock and stone womb of the convent.  Feeling sorely betrayed, Annith decides to strike out on her own.

She has spent her whole life training to be an assassin.  Just because the convent has changed its mind doesn't mean she has...

Erin's Thoughts:

I'll be honest, when I first read Grave Mercy and heard "assassin nuns", I was like, What? The idea didn't really appeal to me and it actually sounded pretty funny to me.  Even as I read it, I didn't like it that much.  The writing and everything was good, but it didn't really resonate with me.  But, for some weird reason, I kept reading! And surprisingly, I liked the second one (His Dark Triumph) and then, this time, when I read Mortal Heart, I was surprised again by how much I liked the book! So I don't know if my taste in books has changed or maybe it's because I've gotten older or maybe it's just the book itself, but I thought Mortal Heart was great.  In fact, I think this one might by my favorite of all three!

Mortal Heart had SUCH a great twist! I did not see it coming at all! It took me completely by surprise and once I found out -- it was so obvious that I couldn't believe that I hadn't figured it out! But I love that feeling when you're completely blown away by the twist and this was a book that totally did that to me! I mean, I've read some books with great twists that I didn't see coming, but I just don't get that same feeling of "WOW!" as I did with Mortal Heart.  I'm so obsessed with it! It was just such a great twist! I won't say anything more since I don't want to give it away, but I really do think it was a fantastic one that was woven in so well!

Also, I loved Annith as a character.  She's extremely vulnerable even though she has these awesome fighting skills.  She has a lot of doubts and fears that I think a lot of people will be able to relate to, such as the feeling of not being good enough.

Another thing that I can't help but admire is the attention to history Robin LaFevers puts into her books.  I mean, I'm no history expert, but you can totally see how much research she has put into her books and how much time she has spent looking into things and making sure to get everything as historically accurate as possible.  Of course, it's still a historical fiction novel, so it's not completely true to history, but overall it's got great research and authenticity to it!


Robin LaFevers is a great writer and now that the His Fair Assassin Trilogy is over, I'm really excited to see what she's working on next!  In the meantime, I think I'll be rereading Grave Mercy sometime in the future --  I definitely want to see how I like it this time around!! All right, thanks for reading, guys!

Erin @The Romance Bookie :)

Tuesday, July 7, 2015

Guest Review from Desirae: The Notorious Pagan Jones (Pagan Jones #1) by Nina Berry

The Notorious Pagan Jones by Nina Berry was a really good read.  As soon as I heard it was coming out I knew it was going to be amazing and I had to read it, because frankly, Nina Berry is a talented author.  I will read anything Nina Berry writes.

From Goodreads:

Pagan Jones went from America's sweetheart to fallen angel in one fateful night in 1960: the night a car accident killed her whole family.  Pagan was behind the wheel and driving drunk.  Nine months later, she's stuck in the Lighthouse Reformatory for Wayward Girls and tortured by her guilt -- not to mention the sadistic Miss Edwards, who takes special delight in humiliating the once-great Pagan Jones.

But all of that is about to change.  Pagan's old agent shows up with a mysterious studio executive, Devin Black, and an offer.  Pagan will be released from juvenile detention if she accepts is a juicy in a comedy directed by award-winning director Bennie Wexler.  The shoot starts in West Berlin in just three days.  If Pagan's going to do it, she has to decide fast -- and she has to agree to court-appointed "guardian", the handsome yet infuriating Devin, who's too young, too smooth, too sophisticated to be some studio flack.

The offer's too good to be true, Berlin's in turmoil and Devin Black knows way too much about her -- there's definitely something fishy going on.  But if anyone can take on a divided city, a scheming guardian and the criticism of a world that once adored her, it's the notorious Pagan Jones.  What could go wrong? 

Desirae's Thoughts:

I read her Nina Berry's other books (the Otherkin series) and I loved those.  And now I love this book from her.  Reading The Notorious Pagan Jones was like watching a really good black and white movie, it was so entertaining and classical, you can just watch it over and over again, and it never gets old.

Reading this book was also like traveling back into the sixties, a very different time then now, where fashion was different and there were movie stars like Marilyn Monroe, Elizabeth Taylor, and Gene Kelly walking around making classics, that we still watch today.

Pagan Jones, the main character of this story, is also a movie star.  If she was not a fictional character, I believe she would have her name on the Walk of Fame right now.  She's kind, brave, and a realistic heroine.  I cared about her right away.

This book does not start off on a movie set (but there are some scenes that take place on set, which were really fun to read about), it begins with Pagan in juvie feeling guilty.

She's heartbroken because she blames herself for her father and sister's death.  They died when she was driving drunk with them one night in the car on her 16th birthday, and ever since then, the guilt of it all weighs down on her.

A lot of people have called her a troubled star, a drunk, but all she wants to do is just get better.  She feels remorse, she feels self-loathing, she has made mistakes, but she's still a character worth rooting for.  She's someone worthy of another chance.

And she gets to have one.

She is removed from solitary when Jerry, her former agent, and Devin Black, a movie executive, appears months later after the accident.  They give her a choice: stay in juvie, or go to West Berlin, Germany and star in a new movie that is sure to be a hit.

And this is where the story gets really suspenseful, which I love (because who doesn't love a great story full of mystery and suspense?) And who exactly is this Devon Black?  One thing I am certain about: he is one of my new favorite characters of all time.  He's not an actor like Pagan, but she knows there's a possibility he could be one by the way acts so good.  The way he talks, the way he looks at her, the way he knows so much about her, she knows he has a lot of secrets.  And she is determined to find them all out.

My favorite scenes in this story always revolved around them.  All their conversations were always fun to read.  And you can't not like them.  They are both very witty, independent, smart, and brave people.  They have a lot in common.  They have secrets and scars.

The mysterious atmosphere of this story was so compelling I couldn't put this book down.

As Pagan spends time in Germany filming the new movie while trying her best not to pick up another bottle, she also tries to find out more about her family's history.  Ever since she found mysterious letters in her father's office, she is determined to uncover old family secrets.

I believe at the end of the book, Pagan does become a stronger person, a wiser person.  Every single page, I turned, I just liked her more and more. Especially at the ending where she did something so kind and heroic, how can you not like her?  It was a heartfelt scene.  There was a certain goal she wanted to accomplish, and she did it.  She helped out one of her friends.  Thomas, who is another favorite character I really liked.  He's her co-star in the movie, they're working on together and I enjoyed every single scene he was in as well.

I don't want to spoil anything, but I loved the ending.  It was really nice how she puts others before herself and risked her own life to save the people she cares deeply about.  She made a difference and I really do believe she redeemed herself in the end.

Overall Rating:

I just loved everything about this book.  There was never a dull moment.  I can't think of anything bad to say about it.  It's such a well-thought-out story, very entertaining, and it's just brilliant!

I had to re-read this because it's so fun to read about Pagan.  She was so witty.  Smart. And most importantly, she has a good heart.  And you can tell the author put a lot of hard work and research into this story.

It was so nice and refreshing to read a book set in the sixties in Hollywood and Germany.  She described everything so vividly and accurately.

This book would make a fantastic movie.  It just keeps you on the edge of your seat the entire time and leaves you wanting more.  To be frank, I tried to read it slowly, but I couldn't.  It was very fast paced.  Thank you Nina Berry for writing this incredible story.  I can not wait to read the sequel to this (which place in Buenos Aires, Argentina.)

If you enjoy mysteries, action, romance, and a story that takes you to another country, then you will love this book!
Desirae @The Romance Bookie :)