The Jewel (Jewel Series #1) by Amy Ewing

I never quite understood those girls, the ones who bought into all the caretakers’ lines about how important we are, how we are fulfilling a long and noble tradition. I once asked Patience why we couldn’t come home after we’ve given birth, and she said, “You are too precious to the royalty. They wish to take care of you for the rest of your life. Isn’t that wonderful? They have such generous hearts.” I said I’d rather have my family than the royalty’s generosity. Patience didn’t like that very much.

Violet isn’t swayed by the promises of prestige that come with being bought at auction and birthing royal babies. All she can see is the last nail in the coffin that contains her freedom.

Once to see it as it is. Twice to see it in your mind. Thrice to bend it to your will. I picture what I want in my mind—a heat builds in the center of my palm at the same time the ache begins at the base of my skull. I can feel the life of the tree, a moving, shimmering thing, and I pull at it, tugging on it like strings on a marionette, drawing it out. A tiny lump forms under my palm, a green leaf peeking out between my fingers. The tree resists a little and I gasp as fire rips down my spine, and it feels like needles are being shoved into my brain—my back arches and my head spins, but I’ve experienced worse pain in my four years at Southgate, and I’m determined to succeed in this. I force myself to focus, biting my lip hard to keep from crying out, coaxing the threads of life one by one, like strands of gossamer, pulling them out, shaping them, and the lump grows bigger, until it fits comfortably inside my hand. A lemon.

I give this book a 3.7 out of 5 stars. I really liked the way that the author described the world in which they lived, as well as the different people’s role within said world. My favorite character was Violet, I like that she wasn’t fooled by the things they taught in the ‘school’ where she was pretty much raised. She took care of her friends and people in general, but she also stood up for herself and even pushed the boundaries of her captivity. I also really appreciate the Duchess as a villain. I really like that she isn’t one dimensional, while what she does has something in it for her she also thinks that by doing what she is doing it will ultimately help others as well. I’m actually looking forward to what she does and what happens to her in the future. This book is the first of a series, luckily it’s looking like it’s just going to be a trilogy (ending in sight!) and the second book The White Rose is already out!


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The Guilded Chain (Surrender #3) by Lauren Smith


You are cordially invited to the engagement party of Hayden Thorne and Fenn Lockwood—” With a pained gasp, Callie Taylor ripped the expensive cream card and blinked hard against the thick tears that started to drip down her cheeks. Fenn, the man she’d loved her entire life, was getting married to her friend Hayden. It was too much to process over the sudden and shattering pain inside her chest.

After her crush of multiple years suddenly finds the woman of his dreams, Callie is left with her heart in pieces.

There was a wildness to her anguish that was breathtakingly gorgeous and something in him had rumbled, like a deep quake beneath the earth. Her pain had unsettled him, and few things ever unsettled him. So he’d decided to stay a few days to make sure she was going to be all right. Of course, if anyone asked, he was only staying to check on the cabins. That was his story and he was sticking to it.

But when Wes Thorne sets his sights on poor, innocent, heart-broken Callie; things start to change quickly… for both of them.

I give this book a 2.7 out of 5 stars. I have to say that after reading the last two books in this series I was a bit disappointed with this addition. I didn’t feel as connected to these characters and I felt that they lacked the depth of their predecessors. Another thing that I was saddened by was the fact that the story for Wes and Callie didn’t run as smoothly and was a bit predictable. On the other hand Smith still has a way of describing things with just enough detail that you can have a clear picture of scenes and events in your head with out overwhelming you with extra tidbit (which is a big plus!). My favorite character in this book would probably be Wes, because he knows what he wants and he’s not afraid to fight for it. While I did like Callie, I felt that she was a bit too cliche. She was super innocent (and naive) and she never really stood her ground when she and Wes had differing opinions. While I did have some trouble with this book particularly some events that happened in the end (can’t tell you because… spoilers) overall I was able to finish the book and was even surprised at one point. This is the third book in a series but it can be read as a standalone (though there are references to the other books).

Check out my reviews on the first two books in the series!

The Gilded Cuff

The Gilded Cage

Against the Wall by Jill Sorenson

AVAILABLE 2/2/2016!!!

I told April not to make a big deal out of my homecoming, but I can see the decorations as soon as Jenny opens the door. Pink fucking balloons, like my prison release is a baby shower. I gave birth to a violent criminal record. Congrats!

Eric just got paroled and is trying to stay on the straight and narrow.

“You should apply to an art school,” I say. “Get financial aid.” “Felons can’t get financial aid.” “Oh.” “I’d have to save up my money.” “Are you going to?” “I’m thinking about it.” He seems sincere, and I’m struck by a strange feeling. It goes deeper than sexual chemistry and wiggles underneath my resentment toward him. I admire the way he’s overcome so many obstacles. He had a tough childhood, joined a gang and went to prison, but he was never a bad person. He deserves a fresh start. He’s ten times the man Chip is, with a fraction of the opportunities.

Megan sees in Eric what he can’t see himself and encourages him to reach his potential. But Eric’s past is determined to drag him back to a life of crime.

I give this book 2.8 out of 5 stars. I have to say that I really hope that this is a continuing series, because I was left wanting. While I did have some closure there are definitely some very important questions that need to be answered. My favorite character in this book would have to be Eric. I loved how he was always trying to be better and protect those he loved. I don’t always agree with the ways he chose to protect them though, especially when he hurt them in the process.  While I found Megan to be interesting I wasn’t in love with her. I felt that she didn’t do enough, she was always complaining in my opinion (I would have liked her more if she did more to fix her problems). On the other hand her best friend was really fun and kept me laughing, I really hope she gets her own book. Anyway I did like this book, but there are too many questions left for me to really call it a standalone. The relationship is given closure but some of the problems brought about are left without conclusion.

Confess by Colleen Hoover

“I’m sorry, Adam. I tried really hard not to cry.” His eyes grow soft with his response. “If you would have walked out of this room today without crying, it would have devastated me.” I stop fighting it with those words. I fist his shirt in my hands and begin to sob against his chest while he holds me. Through my tears, I try to listen to his heart, wanting to curse his whole body for being so unheroic. “I love you so much.” His voice is breathless and full of fear. “I’ll love you forever. Even when I can’t.” My tears fall harder at his words. “And I’ll love you forever. Even when I shouldn’t.”

Auburn has lost a great love in her life and isn’t sure how to move on

Owen has lost his family and the only member he has left, his father, isn’t all he seems

“Well, since neither of us feels like talking at all, do you at least dance?” He glances over my shoulder at the small, empty dance floor on the opposite side of the room. I immediately shake my head. “How did I know that would be your answer?” He stands up. “Come on.” I shake my head again and almost instantly, my mood changes. There’s no way I’m dancing with him, especially to whatever slow song just started playing. He grabs my hand and tries to pull me up, but I’m gripping my chair with my other hand, ready to fight him off if I have to.

Will these two be able to overcome their losses and face the challenges set ahead of them?

I give this book 4.5 out of 5 stars. I really like Colleen Hoover as an author, I love that she is able to literally suck you into her stories. You are practically the character (there were a couple times I almost broken my kindle, I had the urge to throw it across the room but restrained myself). I have to say that my favorite characters are the two men that Auburn loves throughout the story (no, it’s not a love triangle either). I can’t tell you too much because I don’t want to spoil but man, she had some good men! Auburn herself is a bit annoying to me, I feel like she as a character should have been a stronger person, but I wasn’t unsatisfied at the end of the book (she had significant growth). I have to say that she did have a lot of manipulators in her life so that may have affected her, but thank goodness she changed (if she didn’t I really would have thrown my kindle). This is a standalone so feel free to read it all in one sitting!

P.S. A cool thing that CoHo did for this book was that she found an artist to actually paint Owen’s artwork and included them in the book!



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.

The Truth About Him by M. O’Keefe

AVAILABLE 11/24/15!!!!!
Annie McKay came to slowly. Aware in pieces of her surroundings. The pebbled linoleum of the trailer floor dug into her cheek. Her ankle was twisted, wedged against something hard. The hot copper smell of blood made her stomach roll and she gagged. “Annie, I’m sorry.” That voice … oh God. It was Hoyt. Her husband. Standing over her.

Just when Annie thought she was safe to move on with her life… HE returns to smash it to pieces

If hope was hard for me, faith was impossible. Growing up Dylan Daniels among the thieves and killers and rabid animals disguised as humans that were my family, faith didn’t stand a chance. But goddammit—I was trying. I clutched hope and faith in my scarred hands. Hands far too used to shoving those things away.

Dylan must overcome his own demons in order to save Annie from hers…

I gave this book 4.4 stars out of 5. I have to say that I actually really liked Dylan and didn’t think that he was as bad as he swore he was. I think that he just didn’t see himself as worthy of Annie, which is funny because she didn’t think she was good enough for him either. I loved his struggle with what he thought was true and what she saw in him, and how at times he wanted so much to be the man she saw and held himself from it. I also liked how Annie continued to grow in this book. Plenty happened where she could have just folded into herself and there were times when she almost did. Luckily the people who are now in her life helped her through her crisis and showed her not only who she could be, but who she had already become. I really liked this series in that the characters were realistic  and they evolved as the story progressed. I was sad when the book ended, but I did get the closure that I needed (the end of the first book was a MAJOR cliffhanger and I almost died when I had to wait for the next one!)

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

Everything I Left Unsaid

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!