My Very Own Book Mayhem

Hello web. I'm a bookworm who really enjoys writing book reviews. I'm from Portugal and I read almost every genre. As of now, I'll be posting my reviews here and on my Goodreads page and I'd love for you to give me your opinion on them or on the actual book: expectations (if you haven't read it yet) and opinions (if you have read it). Mariana (:

Magic Strikes by Ilona Andrews

Magic Strikes - Ilona Andrews

5 stars

 

 

I would go out into the street right now and scream at the top of my lungs that this book is awesome. I would. But writing it calmly on GR has much more chances of causing some kind of positive effect. Besides, I might have already done it on NYE. My memory fails me.

 

If I decided to organise the Kate Daniels books I've read so far (only three), based on their level of perfection, this book would probably be number one. Granted, I barely remember "Magic Bites" except for the cannibalism and Curran breaking a chair or whatever over the torture of his current mate. "Magic Burns" was awesomesauce. The action and mythology blew my mind. Tornado-style. But "Magic Strikes"! "Magic Strikes", people! It destroyed my panties AND my brain. It wrecked my poor feels. It was utterly devastating (in the best way possible).

 

Do you want a plot description?! I don't think so. Read da blurb! Right now I'm gonna rant.

 

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The Midnight Games gave me the best fight scenes ever. I haven't been this involved in an action scene in God knows how long.

 

I was introduced to incredibly creative characters of unimaginable beauty, while others where hideously repulsive. Ilona Andrews couples her imagination with an extensive mythological research, and manages to keep introducing us to brand new creatures, weapons and fighting techniques. I am overwhelmed with fascination every single time.

 

Kate and Curran made tremendous progress! He is so goddamn delicious. Every description of him makes my mouth water. Andrews can make Curran eating a hamburger like a pig seem like a sexy thing. But oh... the hot tub scene!

 

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Undoubtedly the funniest, sexiest and most gripping installment so far!

 

Whatever problems you may have with urban fantasy, Ilona Andrews' writing is fresh, compelling, amusing (I laughed like a maniac) and emotionally charged. Trust me, you'll want to meet this woman who doesn't hesitate in sacrificing herself to protect those she loves, who hides her emotional self behind her badassery, who arrives home every day battered and bruised, but having saved multiple lives. Kate Daniels is my favourite heroine. And I don't believe she can be beat.

Little Red Riding Crop by Tiffany Reisz

Little Red Riding Crop -  Tiffany Reisz

3,5 stars

 

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I have never read BDSM before. No dark erotica. Only fluffy, HEA stuff. This is an attempt to evade my comfort zone and read the reportedly amazing series that is "The Original Sinners".

 

Since I didn't want to get in over my head, I decided to read one of Tiffany Reisz's short stories to see if I would be able to handle "The Siren".

 

I have to say, I was expecting worse. There were no pears of anguish or anything resembling medieval torture devices. It was surprisingly normal. A little whipping and restraining. Nothing too shocking. This was my idea of light-BDSM, but somehow I thought this would be more hardcore. In the actual books there will be those kinds of situations, I suppose.

 

So far, I am liking Nora very much. We get the notion that her Dominatrix lifestyle isn't about personal satisfaction, but in giving it to others in exchange for heavy sums of money. Nora is exhausted. And Kingsley will give her her vacation, if she ventures into their rival BDSM club and manages to gather intel about the Dame. However, to get to this elusive woman no one has ever seen or talked to, Nora, armed with her red riding crop, must face the Big Brad Wolfe...

 

It's decided, I'm giving "The Siren" a go. I'm intrigued.

One Tiny Lie by K.A. Tucker

One Tiny Lie  - K.A. Tucker

4 stars

 

Meet Antoine.

 

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Yes, you are looking at my very first Kindle. Sexy, isn't he?

 

Anyway, this was the first full-length book ever read on Antoine. I don't know what he thought about the experience. I liked it. Thank you, Gods of technology (and my family) for this gift.

 

"One Tiny Lie" induced lots of eye-rolling in the beginning. Livie is sexually repressed alright. First kiss at eighteen? I was starting to think this would be an awful journey of self-discovery between good-girl and bad-boy.

 

But K.A. Tucker surprised me. As Livie (or Irish) would say, she is a virgin whore. During her first college party, she gets beyond drunk, gets a tattoo, spends the entire time munching on the hottest guy in Princeton's handsome face and feasting on his sculpted, tattooed body... And wakes up in only her panties, while the Jell-O thief sleeps naked a few feet away.

 

Perfect Livie has lots of trouble coping with her newly-found savageness and the life-plan she's never before questioned. Ashton isn't much help, what with the flashes she keeps getting of their partially-forgotten partying streak. Also, he seems to be an assumed man-whore, whose girlfriend lives miles away, unsuspecting of his behaviour.

 

Of course, there are plenty more layers to Ashton that what people know of him. And Livie is the one unraveling them, piece by piece. Or chunk by chunk. Honestly, this book felt too short. Everything was rushed. Ashton and Livie could've had a little more time to develop their relationship properly.

 

That said, I have to mention my favourite character in this series: Dr. Stayner! He's still hanging around the Cleary family, shocking everyone and helping them deal with their issues, cost-free. He's amazing, really.

 

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Overall, this was a good follow-up to "Ten Tiny Breaths". I've been snooping around and the next book's Cain's. That should be good.

Until Fountain Bridge by Samantha Young

Until Fountain Bridge - Samantha Young

4 stars

 

If you've read "On Dublin Street", then you are/were probably just as curious as I was about Ellie and Adam. The first installment of this series kept Ellie and Adam's relationship on the background, and I couldn't help thinking about what might be happening exactly between the two of them. I wanted details! Lots of details.

 

I'm not sure I got all of the details I needed. I wondered how Samantha Young was going to put all of those years of attraction and forbidden love in just one hundred pages. I wanted a full book, dammit! I wanted to know what Adam was thinking during those last months.

 

What I received was a trip down memory lane. Together and happy, their issues solved, Ellie and Adam are casually sorting through her diaries and reliving all of their past dramas and mistakes. It was slightly frustrating, to see how they'd acted throughout the years, all because Adam was afraid of losing Braden's confidence. God knows how I adore a her-big-brother's-my-bestfriend complex, but still.

 

I still think a full-length novel would have been a better choice, considering the importance of Adam and Ellie's relationship. They're the protagonists' best friends. I really wanted to be inside Adam's mind. Damn. I struggled with that too during "On Dublin Street". The lack of a male POV seems to be a designated rule. Let's see if it sticks for the next books as well.

On Dublin Street by Samantha Young

On Dublin Street - Samantha Young

4 stars

 

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What an amazing break from all of the angsty reads. Not that this book was all pink and fluffy. It wasn't. But there were no nonsense fights and fabricated drama. The issues the main couple faced actually felt real and believable! Lots of points for that.

 

Jocelyn Butler is fucked up. Her best friend of four years knows nothing about her. She represses memories of her painful past all the time. She's reluctant to open her heart to people.

 

But when she moves to Dublin Street with Ellie Carmichael and meets her brother, Braden, Joss finds herself facing a whirlwind of emotions. She becomes emotionally attached to Ellie and Braden, to their family, begins to reveal a little bit more of herself gradually. Braden, who started out as a persistent suitor whom she had an unbelievably huge attraction to, ended up being her friend with benefits and then her boyfriend.

 

Joss and Braden make an amazing couple. Almost angst-free. Braden's got that extremely hot caveman thing going on and Joss challenges him. They keep each other grounded.

 

However, when an unexpected situation hits them both, Joss will finally realise her involvement in the Carmichaels' lives. The question is, will she be able to cope? Can she find the strength to fight her inner demons and give herself completely to Braden? Answers can be found in book. Ha.

Ugly Love by Colleen Hoover

Ugly Love - Colleen Hoover

4 stars

 

Quick summary: Destructive.

 

You know what Miles and Tate's relationship is? A fucking train wreck. They crash and burn so many times, and somehow pick themselves up and crash yet again. Yep. Lots of angst. Hyper depressing stories. Sexy times. Multiple heartbreaks (there are a few pieces I haven't yet recovered).

 

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I'm starting to see the CoHo pattern here. I think she wants us (me) to suffer. Well, I suffered! A lot. Are you happy now, Oh Queen of the Angst? Creator of Tears? Destroyer of Hearts? I haven't quite decided what title fits her best.

 

I liked this book much more than "Maybe Someday". Those 4 stars should probably be 4,25, but I don't usually divide my ratings so much, so 4 stars it is.

 

Miles' POV is mostly about his past, and the event that broke him and shaped him into the man Tate meets. I liked it in a way, because it made his character much more enigmatic. The entire time, you have to see him through Tate's eyes, struggle to decipher his actions along with her, without really knowing how he feels. On the other hand, it was a bit annoying to have so many pages dedicated to those past events. Even though I see how fundamental they are to understand how his personality evolved, they gave a much more depressing tone to the book, shadowing his present progress in opening himself up to others. I believe I would've liked to read a bit more about his present POV.

 

About Tate, I'd say she was a bit too eager to submit to Miles's wishes and didn't really stand up for herself. I understand how Miles turns her into liquid, as she describes it, but it would've been nice to have seen her adopt a more independent attitude.

 

Fabulastic (not) sentence I just invented to summarize the book:

 

The metamorphosis of ugly love into true love through the thawing of the heart.

 

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*infinite sigh*

Ten Tiny Breaths by K.A. Tucker

Ten Tiny Breaths - K.A. Tucker

4,5 stars

 

I'm losing my shit. Another soul-crushing book? Why do I hate myself?

 

 

I think I might have gone through one of the largest twists of my life. I was utterly shocked. I even had to pause my reading for a couple of minutes. You know, just to take it all in.

 

This is a heartbreaking tale of a girl fixed on her hate... Kacey hates the perpetrators of the drunk-driving accident that killed her parents, boyfriend and best friend. Every day, she faces the nightmares, the panic attacks, the inability to touch other people's hands, to engage in any kind of intimacy. Yet she manages to fight against the tide threatening to drown her completely, all for her younger sister, Livie.

 

And the handsome, mysterious neighbour she falls in love with. Trent barges into her life, awakening a need and a sweetness that she thought was long buried. Old Kacey is beginning to surface once more, and it is a beautiful journey to witness.

 

That would be a fitting adjective for this book. Beautiful.

 

Pain and misery. Love and longing. They are strung together to form a realistic picture of our everyday struggles, of the dire consequences of PTSD and how sometimes people can hide all of their hurt beneath an apparently impenetrable shell. Until the right person shows up and the fissures begin to appear. 

 

For Kacey, Trent was that person. He brought her back to life, after four years of numbness. Beautiful.

Playing for Keeps by R. L. Mathewson

Playing for Keeps - R.L. Mathewson

4 stars

 

I have to say this: Jason is the most hilarious character ever. I like that he isn't obscenely perfect, that he is insanely obsessed with food and not quite alright in the head.

 

Haley surprised me. Not in a good way. Well, it isn't her fault, obviously, it's the author's, but still. How is it possible to have a 29 year old woman who seems to draw the attention of every single man around her still waiting for the man she'll marry one day?!

 

 

Honestly, my favourite part of the book was the development of Jason and Haley's friendship. They had the most amazing dynamics! From the moment they kissed for the first time on, it went a little downhill, to that valley of endless drama we readers of romance are a little bit too familiar with. Needless to say, they climbed back up, and it was a journey of pure epicness! The handcuff scene was just too damn amazing.

 

We need more couples like these in romance. The genre is lacking vividness, truth, mindless fun, instead of sexually-overcharged stare-downs and a never-ending succession of sex scenes. This is what I call an inventive romance. Well, except for the virgin part. That was just plain annoying.

Maybe Someday by Colleen Hoover

Maybe Someday - Colleen Hoover

3,5 stars

 

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It is official: I am no longer a CoHo virgin. Am I happier for it?

 

I have mixed feelings.

 

On the one hand, I have to admit this was a rather original addition to the realm of New Adult literature. The male interest was... unconventional. I won't spoil it for you, since I really enjoyed being surprised by that little revelation. 

 

The angst was crushing. The scenes were overflowing with drama and romance and repressed feelings and sacrifice. I actually cared.

 

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On the other hand, there were things that bugged me to no end. Like the fact that the girl cried all the fucking time. She bursts into tears twice a day, I kid you not. It's annoying. There are limits, even when you're living a miserable life like her (don't even ask, just read and marvel in the drama). She even cried after sex. Come on!

 

 

Overall, it was a slightly above average read. I'll definitely be revisiting Ms. CoHo later on.

Ordered!

Magic Strikes - Ilona Andrews Written in Red - Anne Bishop

I can't wait to have these two beauties in my loving hands in time for Christmas!

Roomies by Lindy Zart

Roomies - Lindy Zart

2,5 stars

 

Well, what a disappointment.

 

Around 90% I realised that no devirginizing would take place.

 

I actually read two hundred and thirty pages of pajama descriptions, downright stupid misunderstandings and a so-not-believable dilemma.

 

 

Come on, you call this a love triangle? This is child's play. One guy is her long-standing love and best-friend, and the other is his asshat brother, whom she just met! Kennedy tries to appear divided, but honestly, physical attraction doesn't mean she would just ditch the man she has loved for more than a year.

 

Why drag this on? Why make an entire book about an occasionally funny internal dialogue? There is no romantic interaction whatsoever. That would probably have slightly redeemed the book from its general boredom. But no. Nada.

 

 

Conclusion: I have wasted my time.

Twice Bitten by Chloe Neill

Twice Bitten - Chloe Neill

4,5 stars

 

 

I like this series. A lot. "Twice Bitten" is proof number three of how much I enjoy it.

 

This is a unique kind of urban fantasy. It is unlike "Kate Daniels"'s intricate and action-packed plots and reduced amount of romantic interactions. "Chicagoland Vampires" isn't about having a complex plot of deceit, but about the social interactions. Chloe Neill turns the most uneventful parts of vampire lives into something fascinating. I actually wanted to know which bar Merit went to and which outfit she was going to wear, to hear the gossip her friends spilled, to be made aware of both the human and inhuman aspects of her life.

 

The romance in this series is also written in an unconventional manner. Neill doesn't burden you with three chapters' worth of sex scenes. Instead, she provides the reader with a breathtaking build-up, an assortment of actions you normally have no reaction to. But when it comes to Ethan and Merit, even the smallest gesture carries an enormous amount of significance. And when their time finally came, the aura of magic that was described felt palpable, real. Ethan and Merit do not shag. They make love. Which is anything but a cheesy description. In this case, the expression is completely called for.

 

The world-building is yet another otherworldly feature of this series. The amount of surprising paranormal traditions in these books that I had never encountered in my experience in the genre never ceases to amaze me. I particularly loved, in "Twice Bitten", to come in contact with the shifter community and learn all about their hierarchy and rituals.

 

I haven't yet decided whether I'll proceed to the fourth book right away. I'll need some emotional stamina to face what's coming, so I must gather up my strengths before immersing myself in Sentinel-Master interactions.

Friday Night Bites by Chloe Neill

Friday Night Bites - Chloe Neill

4 stars

 

I read this book like a maniac. I neglected my studies (oops), held my breath, and just read. But I can't really pinpoint any particularly amazing moments, besides the ending. Holy moly, those last 10% were explosive!

 

 

As far as relationships are concerned, Merit's got a lot on her plate.

 

She's got a horny, magic-ridden best friend occupying her flat with her beau. None other than Catcher Bell, Merit's ruthless physical coach. Can you see how that particular intersection could be troublesome?

 

Besides, her gloriously attractive boss is progressively toning down on the frost. Translation: they're getting more handsy and trusting of one another. Which is good.

 

However, Ethan basically ordered Merit, as his loyal subject, to engage in a relationship with Navarre's new Master, Morgan, who happens to have the hots for her. Not only that, he's actually nice to her. Not like her very annoying Liege. Their relationship has potential. And I don't mean the make-Ethan-jealous kind of potential, I'm saying they would be good for each other. The banter comes easily, and so does the chemistry.

 

Humans crave what they can't have. Apparently, vampires subscribe to this too. Because Merit wants Ethan. Badly. Even though he systematically resorts to a distant treatment towards her, that he doesn't hesitate to show her he doesn't trust her fully, Merit is drawn in. Every inch of himself that he reveals enthralls her, makes her expect more, prevents her from giving up on the possibility of a "we". And I can see he wants to let her in as well. Sullivan: Please do.

 

 

Plot-wise, this second installment wasn't very strong. In fact, the first book wasn't very elaborate in that aspect either, but it made up for it through the world-building. Maybe the lack of a more complex mystery relates to the fact that this is merely the beginning of the series. I hope it does.

 

I have high hopes for this third book, what with the alluring cliffhanger-ish ending and promise of further Ethan-Merit developments. We'll see.

Some Girls Bite by Chloe Neill

Some Girls Bite - Chloe Neill

4,5 stars

 

Did I love this book?

 

 

Well, damn.

 

Merit blew my fucking world out of its hinges.

 

Having been robbed of her humanity after a vicious vampire attack, Merit, grad student and daughter of a mediatic figure in the Chicago scene, is rescued by Ethan Sullivan, who makes her a vampire. And so she is suddenly required to join the ranks of House Cadogan, one of the North American vampire affiliations, and obey a quite rigid feudal-like system.

 

Needless to say, in a matter of three days, Merit finds herself immersed in a reality she doesn't understand. Apparently, when she pledges her allegiance to Cadogan, she'll be committing herself to an eternity of faithful obedience towards her Master, which does not bode well with her stubborn nature. That is most likely why she ends up challenging the Liege mere days into her immortal life.

 

This Liege. Ethan. Sullivan. Hot, blonde, green-eyed vamp. Extremely irritating and domineering.

 

 

He's got the hots for Merit. She's got the hots for him. Problem is, they also hate each other. Yes, you heard me. Love-hate relationship! When these two finally give in, prepare for total combustion.

 

I won't spoil you with any more details. The charm of this book is in being able to follow Merit's steps as she makes her incursion into the vampire world. To be as ignorant as she is, as surprised as she is, to see everything through her refreshing, cynical perspective.

 

I found myself a new kickass heroine with supernatural skills. I couldn't be any happier!

 

Where I Belong by J. Daniels

Where I Belong - J.  Daniels

3 stars

 

Oh dear. Where should I start?

 

So many loose ends.

 

 

We have a female main character of twenty-three, whom we know nothing about. Okay, she looked after her mother. What else? Did she have a job? Did she go to college? Why is she suddenly so eager to surrender her v-card to an absolute stranger after holding on to it for so long?

 

After 223 pages, I still have no idea.

 

Furthermore, I found the story quite dull after reaching the point where Ben and Mia turned into a couple. The other book I was reading at the time won the competition for most thrilling hobby, so this one ended up on hold for a while.

 

Now onto the good stuff.

 

Nolan is just the cutest child ever. Points for creating him are in order.

 

And Ben. The daddy. He is most definitely mouth-watering.

 

 

I'd have some of that for breakfast, lunch, dinner and (hourly) snacks.

 

I was expecting better from the author of "Sweet Addiction". That book rocked my world big time.

Rival by Penelope Douglas

Rival  - Penelope Douglas

4,5 stars

 

 

And I am sold! Fall Away has officially joined the ranks of my top series.

 

This book was amazing. From the beginning to the very end.

 

"Bully" had lots of angst. But Jared and Tate's story lacked true maturity. Madoc and Fallon's journey is completely different. It is completely devastating.

 

 

From estranged stepsiblings to part-time lovers, and back to the former, Madoc and Fallon have survived years of heartbreak and longing.

 

They were each other's first everything. At sixteen, they spent the day ignoring and hating each other, and the nights holed up inside her bedroom.

 

Then, completely out of the blue, Fallon left the house and went to boarding school. Madoc had her one day, and he had lost her the next.

 

Two years later, Fallon returns, determined to put her carefully-plotted revenge plan against her mother, stepfather and stepbrother in motion.

 

But there are two sides to every story. Each one of them manipulated into believing the other had abandoned them after all they had shared together, Madoc and Fallon are reluctant to open up their hearts.

 

The all-consuming spark between them remains, and it is raging into an enormous fire, hell-bent on keeping them together this time.

 

A steamy, emotional and soulful ride through the minds of two fascinating, complex characters.

 

And Jax! Oh dear, I need his book. Like, yesterday.