The Winner’s Crime (Winner’s Trilogy #2) by Marie Rutkoski

 

The Herrani believed that a god ruled not just one thing, but a whole domain of associated ideas, actions, objects. The god of stars was the god of stars, yes, but also of accidents, beauty, and disasters. The god of souls … Kestrel’s throat closed as she remembered Arin invoking that god, who ruled love. My soul is yours, he had said. You know that it is. His expression had been so open, so true. Frightened, even, of what he was saying. And she had been frightened, too, by how he had spoken what she felt. It frightened her still. The coin. Kestrel forced her attention again to the coin.

Kestrel is forced to keep her love a secret in order to protect the one she loves… but the more she lies to keep him safe, the closer she is to losing him

Kestrel didn’t miss his message. She wasn’t blind to the way he had indicated that their conversation could be overheard, nor was she deaf to his coded invitation that they could speak more freely in his guest suite. But she struggled against the pain in her throat, and said only, “Your ride here was hard?” “Yes.” “And the snow. It’s falling already?” “Yes, my lady.” “The mountain pass will close.” “Yes,” Tensen said gently, and he saw too much. Kestrel could tell that he heard that horrible note in her voice, and that he recognized it as the sound of someone fighting tears. “As expected,” he added. But she hadn’t expected this: this stupid hope, this punishing one, for who would long to see someone who was already lost? What good would it have done? None. Apparently Arin knew this, too. He knew it better than she, or his hope would have been equal to hers, and would have driven him here. Kestrel drew herself up straight. “You can find your rooms by yourself, Minister Tensen. I have more important matters to attend to.” She strode from the hall. The veined marble floor was icy beneath her feet: a frozen lake with fractures she did not care to see. She walked, she did not care. She did not.

The chances she takes to insure Arin’s safety are becoming more and more dangerous.

The chances he takes to understand Kestrel’s choices are pushing them farther and farther apart.

Chances are taken, lives are lost, and choices are made… and they don’t always turn out for the best.

I give this book 4 out of 5 stars. I really love the way the author is able to draw me into this series, she created this new world and I love that I’m able to picture it so clearly. I have to say that the first book in this series was great and this installation kept me guessing as to what would happen next. I was definitely in a lot of inner turmoil throughout this book as well. Basically Kestrel’s lies and Arin insecurities were KILLING me! I mean I understood where they were coming from but, because I knew everything that had happened I was tortured by their actions (because they didn’t know what I did). Don’t think you will get any closure at all by the end of this book, because if you read the first book you know that this author likes to end on a CLIFFHANGER and this book is no different.

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Loving Rowan (Friends #1) by Ariadne Wayne

FREE ON AMAZON KINDLE AT TIME OF POST (click picture)
The bus had no one else on it. This was such a quiet route I loved that I was by myself as I tucked myself down the back as usual. A bit of music would help keep my mind off everything. Then, he was there, standing at the front of the bus and fumbling in his pocket for change, mumbling about not having enough. The bus driver told him to hurry up, and the guy looked around helplessly. For just a moment, our eyes locked, and I felt nothing but sympathy for him. If I’d been in that situation, I would have been mortified. “Hey, you don’t have fifty cents, do you?” he called out. He grinned, as if he didn’t have a care in the world, even though the driver was about to kick him back out into the pouring rain. “Uh, sure.” I dug in to my pocket, finding the right coin, and made my way to him. “You’re a lifesaver,” he said, taking it from me and winking. I went back to my seat only to find that he’d followed, sitting in the seat in front of me. “I really appreciate your help.” Holy shit. He wants to have a conversation.

On what seems like the worst day of her life all Rowan wants is some quiet in which to feel sorry for herself. Sadly, fate seems to have other plans when a hot guy gets on her bus and starts to talk to her.

Nothing had changed that much, until we got to the small office at the end of the building. Crouched behind the desk, plugging something in to the computer was the most beautiful shaped rear end I’d ever seen, squeezed into a pair of jeans. Perfection in denim. “Rowan?” Dad said. Shit. It was a guy? She stood up, turning towards me, and I caught my breath at what I saw. I never forgot a face: it was the girl from the bus.

I give this book 3.3 out of 5 stars. I have to say this book was a bit predictable to me. I really liked a lot of the ideas and themes that were there but they didn’t always work in the story. Then the ending was kinda crazy, it was something I saw coming but I felt that the author rushed through it and so it didn’t connect like I felt it had the potential to. Anyway, my favorite character was Kyle. I liked him because he understood Rowan and was willing to wait for her to come into herself and become more confident in herself. He also helped to build her up and even though he at times felt he was in the ‘friendzone’ he was confident enough in himself to think ‘she needs this right now, but it’s temporary’. He was really cool to me, he knew just to be a bit possessive as well so that others guys woudn’t take her from him and so that she would know that when she was ready he was waiting for her. Rowan on the other hand was a bit annoying in how clueless she was about her beauty. She was always putting herself down in her head and it got a bit tiring to read, especially since I liked her when she wasn’t stuck in her head.

This book can be read as a standalone!

The Decaying Empire (Vanishing Girl #2) by Laura Thalassa

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He stood to go, so I grabbed his hand and pressed a kiss to his knuckles. ‘I love you,’ I whispered against his callused skin. He glanced back down at his captive hand. Slowly his gaze rose, and the emotion that flickered at the back of his eyes made my breath catch. Someone less trained in reading people would say they saw lust. But I knew the emotion that shone back at me wasn’t that. It was fervor. Faith. Conviction on the deepest level. Salvation.

The worst has happened, Ember was spliced and in order to save her they cryogenically froze her… for 10 months. During this time Caden has been lead to believe that she is dead and he is coping as best he can (which isn’t all that well).

He was a sun god, the American dream, and he was staring at me like I was his whole world. Something this good was bound to end terribly. It was karma evening the score- you get a gorgeous man in return for your tragic life and early death. Not a happily ever after. That was for movies and romance novels.

When Ember is awoken and returns to Caden a changed woman, he vows to never lose her again. When he finds that the project isn’t what he thought they set plans in motion to escape… but things are never easy when the government is involved.

I gave this book a 4.5 out of 5 stars. It was a bit predictable at times but it was also really interesting and it could pull out a plot twist every once and a while. I don’t really feel that Ember has grown as a character too much she has definitely changed but she hasn’t really grown. Caden is slowly changing, he is pretty much forced to grow when he finds that some of the people he trusted most in the world betrayed him as well as the fact that Ember has changed and he has to keep her sane and in perspective at times. This is the second book in The Vanishing Girl series and it like its predecessor has a cliffhanger (it’s not a horrible cliffhanger, it leaves you curious but not deprived).

Check out my review for the first book in the series!

The Vanishing Girl