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 (:

Until You by Penelope Douglas

Until You (Fall Away, #1.5) - Penelope Douglas

4 stars





Definitely better than "Bully".


These are extremely high four stars, just so you know. More like 4,25 stars.


Being inside Jared's mind, learning more about his past, his relationship with his family, and how he and Tate left things, was amazing.



I especially adored reading about Tate and Jared's childhood and how their friendship developed into something more.


Besides, I got some more Madoc! He's hilarious. I absolutely cannot wait to learn some more about him.


About K.C.: I haven't made up my mind about her yet. But I'm leaning towards the negative feelings.


"Until You" instilled in me an urge to read the entire series. And I will.

Bully by Penelope Douglas

Bully - Penelope Douglas

3,5 stars


So you fell in love with your former best friend, turned major bully, who ruined a whole year of your life?



So you went to France for a year? Ah, the mystical land. You bought things in France. You went on a few dates in France. Sounds like a fascinating place. Except it isn't a place, it is a goddamn country! And a big one at that. Come on, author, couldn't you name a single French city? Paris, Marseille... No?


This book got me all like:



Some things simply didn't make sense.


Jared's explanation for bullying Tate wasn't convincing enough.


The near dismissal of the entire year Tate spent studying in France was a downer.


However, this book had some good things too, otherwise I wouldn't have given it this rating.


I liked the fact that Tate wasn't a prim and proper, totally and completely innocent girl, even though she was a virgin. That's new in the NA genre.


Also, Jared was mostly amazeballs. Hyper intense.


My problem wasn't with their characters individually, but it related to the way they resolved things between them.


Still, this was a generally enjoyable read.

Come Alive by Karina Halle

Come Alive - Karina Halle

4 stars


I have to say, I wasn't expecting to be bored in the slightest while reading a EIT book. Ever.


However, I had a bit of a rough start with "Come Alive". It was nothing but sex and Dex being freakishly sentimental for about 25% of the story.


Until New Orleans.


In the other books, I longed for more romance. I craved it over the central mystery.


But in "Come Alive", I wanted nothing more than to be swept away by the horror.


And once it got really interesting, I was glued to the screen. I literally couldn't move. I read non-stop. Those last 30% put a spell on me and wouldn't let go. I only tore my eyes away for brief instants as I glanced around the room, looking for the looming, cold presence I thought I sensed behind my back.



Dex and Perry are (finally) together. And in full-on honeymoon phase. Which got annoying after a while, especially since Dex was acting like a horny bastard and Perry was just too damn insecure and shy.



I needed a distraction. They needed a distraction. And fast.


And that's when Maximus came into the picture. He made for a few good laughs as the inevitable pissing contest took place between him and Dex. But he also came accompanied by an ultimatum: either Dex and Perry accept him as his manager and newest member of the team, or Jimmy will cancel their show.


So, the fantastic threesome heads on to the voodoo city, hoping to film a haunted house damaged by Katrina and leave with some decent footage to present to their boss. The thing is, the city has been under attack from creatures similar to zombies, seemingly created and controlled by evil voodoo priestesses. And, obviously, they can't stay away.


I'll give you a fair warning: if you think that Perry and Dex are completely in sync already and that the angst is gone, you'll be surprised. And I mean mind-blown. As I was. Damn, the feels.



And Maximus. I totally saw that one coming, ginger balls.



I think I have forgiven him at last. He actually turned out to be a decent person during this installment. I wasn't expecting it, but I warmed up to him.


So, if you're ready for the inevitable heebie jeebies and emotion-overload that come with EIT, then by all means, read it!

And With Madness Comes the Light by Karina Halle

And With Madness Comes the Light - Karina Halle

4 stars


Dex's mind wide open once more?



Knee-buckling feels? Check.


Self-pity and suffering? Check.


Undying love? Check.


Supernaturally good jokes? Check.



I would've given it a higher rating, hadn't it been for the repetition of scenes I had already read in "On Demon Wings" and "The Dex-Files". If I had tackled "And With Madness Comes the Light" later on, I probably wouldn't mind, but as of now it felt a little redundant.


Now gimme more Dex!


Into the Hollow by Karina Halle

Into the Hollow - Karina Halle

4,5 stars



I surrender. I give up.


I tried so hard to slow down, to savor this series book by book. But I am so going to devour it.


Two months ago, I read five Experiment in Terror books and three novellas in about a week. Then I stopped. My rebound was a bit hard to go through, but I eventually recovered and the urge to read the entire series in one sitting vanished. Or so I thought.


Returning to EIT felt like a dream come true. Perry, Dex and Ada welcomed me with open arms. Perry shared her inner thoughts with me, Dex revealed a whole lot more than usual, and Ada said her goodbyes for the time being.


The premise sounded just amazing. Perry moves in with Dex? They venture into the confines of British Columbia together to find the legendary Sasquatch? I could smell the tension from miles (pages) away. I couldn't wait to witness their reconnection, the apologies they would share, the heartbreaking moments they would star in.


I braced myself for the angst. But I wasn't prepared for what "Into the Hollow" threw at me. Not by a long-shot. I didn't expect to feel the tears prickling my skin as I read, to hear my uninhibited laughter filling the room, to hurt as much as Perry and Dex did.


By now, I am aware that Karina Halle will keep awakening these feelings in me through her soulful writing, will continue to enthrall me with every word, will make me shut the world out as I drink in her words like water.



I strongly recommend this brand of water. However, keep in mind that it won't quench your thirst, but turn you into a helpless, thirsty addict.


I honestly don't know what I'll do when I finish EIT. Maybe I'll find a new brand of water to distract me from the one I lost. Maybe.

Stepbrother Dearest by Penelope Ward

Stepbrother Dearest - Penelope Ward

4,5 stars


This was no masterpiece with an outstanding prose. However, as Goodreads keeps reminding me, the rating system it utilises is based on whether you enjoy a book or not.

And I immensely enjoyed "Stepbrother Dearest". I borderline loved it.


It made me feel things. Lots of them.



At first, I wasn't sure about reading this book, since I have been trying to avoid any kind of angst. I've been in a mushy, smexy fase lately. I am so glad I abandoned it, though.





This book is anything but light. Most of the time you'll be in an internal turmoil of sadness and happiness. Because amidst the gigantic struggles you experience first-hand, lies a heart-breaking, epic tale of two people who fell in love so deeply that distance and time could do nothing to undo it.


Elec and Greta are stepbrother and stepsister, yet they don't meet until senior year of high school. They come across as polar opposites: the rude, hurt(ful) boy who wants nothing more than to leave the father who hates him behind for good, and the sweet, kind-hearted girl who keeps trying to get through to him, even though he keeps insulting her and isolating himself.


In time, things begin to change. Elec slowly begins to open the blinded doors to his mind and heart and allowing Greta to reach layers who had remained untouched. The attraction they share is evident and one night, after Elec announces he is leaving sooner than expected, everything changes between them.


They never see each other again until seven years later. Elec is in his first serious relationship since leaving Greta.


When they reunite, it's as if no time has passed and they're eighteen all over again. Their feelings and attraction for one another haven't waned in the slightest. Unlike the circumstances of their lives.


"The "one that got away" was supposed to stay away, not come back and leave you all over again."


One word to describe this book: ROLLERCOASTER.


Possibly dangerous speed. Watch your heart and lacrimal glands.


More Than Words by Lilly Avalon

More Than Words - Lilly Avalon

1,5 stars


I have endured fifty pages of facepalms and eye-rolls.



This novella was like a mine field. A mine field of stinky cheese. Cheese that can and most certainly will explode as soon as you step on it.


"Yeah... that was my first... orgasm."


Do I even need to comment?


"Tell my best friend about how I've inadvertently fallen for a guy who only wanted me for one night?" I turn to her, my eyes filling with tears.
"Oh sweetie." She wraps her arms around me as I quietly cry on her shoulder and tell her everything that happened.


Yes, of course he did. Poor you.



We were like two halves of a whole coming together and it made me feel complete.


I can't even.



I think I'm allergic to this book.

Wallbanger by Alice Clayton

Wallbanger - Alice Clayton

4,5 stars


You who are reading this review, know that your life will never be the same when/if you chose to read this book. You will never again be able to see O as a mere letter of the alphabet, or dismiss a wall as something ordinary. Nighties will forever be associated with something more than sleeping gear. Seemingly normal items will no longer be regarded as such.


All because of my new favourite couple: Simon/Wallbanger and Caroline/Pink Nightie Girl.



Let's begin, shall we?


Woman moves into new apartment. She is woken in the middle of the night, three nights in a row, by a loud banging on her bedroom wall, complete with strange noises coming from the flat next door. As it turns out, her neighbor is banging three very different, very peculiar women against her wall: Spanx (come on, this one's easy to guess), Purina (she fucking meows) and the Giggler (again, simple to figure out).


This particular woman has a problem in her hands: her O (a.k.a. orgasm) has been taking a very long vacation on a desert island and doesn't seem to want to return - not even for Clooney!


Woman goes on and bangs on her neighbours's door, clad only in a pink baby doll nightie, and voilá!



So, take a woman who is sleep-deprived from all the wallbanging and extremely loud climaxing, plus sexually frustrated, pair her up with a manwhoring, sexy as hell neighbour, and put them in a KitchenAid mixer, and you've got yourself a hilarious succession of banter and teasing (followed by the belated sexy-times).


And when I say hilarious, I mean it. I don't think I have ever laughed so hard while reading a book in my entire life. I practically had to slap myself in the face to refrain from having a fit while riding the subway (thank God for Kindle apps).


And have I mentioned Clive, the cat? He cracked me up the most. I absolutely adored his tiny POV at the end!



All in all, if you're looking for a romantic, funny and sexy story, this is the one for you! Ten pages in, you'll already be declaring your undying love for Simon and Caroline.

Dare to Resist by Laura Kaye

Dare to Resist - Laura Kaye

4 stars


Finally, a nicely written erotica novel!



There haven't been many of those in my life lately.


This is the story of how Kady Dresco and Colton Briggs who, after years of pent-up sexual tension, finally gave in to their desire.


Three years ago, Kady and Colton shared a scorching hot moment in the pool house after he returned from the military. Now, trapped in a raunchy motel for two days after a monsoon led to the canceling of their flights, they won't be able to resist their repressed needs for much longer.



I love, love, love a good best-mate's sister complex!



Yup, Kady is Colton's best friend's little sister. And there are lots of guilty feelings associated with that.


Everything felt believable and real, despite the short-length of the book (or novella, I don't know). That was amazingly refreshing. Because of that, and even though each installment is written by a different author, I'll continue on reading this series. Here's hoping they're as good as "Dare to Resist"!

Resist by Lilly Avalon

Resist - Lilly Avalon

3 stars


This is Mariana's reviews: western movie edition.


The Good:


Devlin is an attractive bastard, supposedly including a luscious ass in the package... Plus other attributes...



Also, he's not described as a womanizer. At last, a romance book in which the guy isn't an asshole who miraculously finds his redemption in an oh-so-different woman!



The Bad:


Everything happened too fast. Yes, I am aware that this is a novella, but still, a little more context and build-up wouldn't hurt. I mean, Allegra doesn't know a single thing about Devlin, except that he's her boss's nephew.


The Ugly:


Are you kidding me with that ending?



I get that this book is part of a series, but having the main couple go at it like rabbits for hours and then having Allegra dismiss it all like that is NOT acceptable.


So there you have it. Unexceptional, but enjoyable novella about a man and woman who surrendered to the throes of passion. (Did I just write that? Geez, what a cheesy line)


**ARC kindly provided through NetGalley in exchange for an honest review**

Just a Little Crush, Renita Pizzitola

Just a Little Crush - Renita Pizzitola

3,5 stars


I'll make this short and sweet. Like the book itself.


Virginal eighteen-year old girl - Brinley.



Hot man-whore about to change his ways - Ryder.



High-school sweethearts kind of sex.



A couple of misunderstandings who are OBVIOUSLY resolved and lead to happily ever afters.



It really isn't a bad book. It's just that it's textbook NA, and I'm a little sick of reading the same formula over and over again. Why does the girl have to be a virgin? Why can't she be a little more promiscuous? Why can't she match the guy, experience-wise? What's with the insta-love/insta-lust? That was the "meh" factor of the story.


So what evens the scale? Definitely Fallon, Brinley's slutty and hilarious roommate. And Ryder. You can't possibly direct any hate whatsoever to such a swoony, panty-dropping guy. Hate's definitely not the right emotion. If you know what I mean...



Overall, "Just a Little Crush" was a nice read, nothing out of the ordinary. It's great to pass the time, but I probably won't remember reading it a year from now.


**ARC kindly provided by Random House Publishing via NetGalley in exchange for an honest review**

Gone Girl by Gillian Flynn

Gone Girl - Gillian Flynn

4 stars


This was a great book!



The first half was slow. It was a gradual unraveling of marital secrets, of a carefree past, followed by a lasting period of fighting and general apathy between the main couple. This story is told both from Amy's point of view (through her diary), and Nick's.



Amy Elliott Dunne has suddenly gone missing without a trace on her fifth wedding anniversary, leaving behind clear signs of a struggle. Her husband, Lance Nicholas Dunne, is under the spotlight from the very beginning, his inability to deal with strong emotions being a permanently weakening factor in his image.



Followed everywhere by false friends who won't hesitate to turn on him should the public opinion condemn him completely, and the starving media, Nick struggles to prove his innocence. to the police. Harassed and guilt-ridden, yet claiming to be innocent, Nick is entrapped by a constant surge of new evidence implicating him in Amy's murder. Evidence consisting of credit cards he never utilized, objects he didn't buy, which are however full of his prints on them. But with no body, Nick can't be declared guilty without further proof.



This leads us to part two of this masterful plot. I am sure you believe you know your way around twists. I did too. But I never saw this one coming. It came in like a wrecking ball, to quote inspiring young lady Miley Cyrus (not).



After reading a whole 50% of this novel, I believed I knew the entirety of the facts. Boy, was I wrong. Your huge wall of previously acquired certainties will come crashing down on you. Hard. Your character loyalties will most likely change.


This last part was, for me, what made this book memorable. I admire Gillian Flynn for tricking me into believing every single fact she threw at me (through her characters' point of view). I'd like to think I'll never make that same mistake ever again, yet I probably will. I am gullible when it comes to books. I guess I just don't have my lie-detector on if I'm reading fiction. (What would be the point?) I like being played by authors. It just makes me like them more!


I have absolutely no regrets about reading this. The second half certainly made up for the slightly more boring first part.


Now onto the film! Dazzle me, David Fincher!


Tangled by Emma Chase

Tangled - Emma Chase

4 stars


I'm so surprised by the outcome of this. I truly believed I was going to give this book a higher rating when I started reading it.


Don't get me wrong, I really enjoyed this book. I went crazy with the underlining. I laughed non-stop.



The witty banter was there. The sex was scorching hot. The atmosphere was sizzling with unspoken intent. Drew is panty-melting material.



But somehow the book felt incomplete to me. Like there should have been more build-up, I don't know. About two months are completely crossed off and barely mentioned. And then you have about one third of the book dedicated to one single weekend.


Also, the final part pissed me off a bit. Drew's method to win back Kate was slightly cheesy. It was a bit out-of-character for him, yet it made for a few good laughs. Kate's stubbornness got on my nerves too.



It felt like he loved her far more than she loved him.


You may have noticed that I am talking as if I know the male protagonist better than the female lead. That is because, for the first time in my life, the narrator was a guy I actually identified with.


I think Drew as a narrator is the best part of "Tangled". He is over-the-top hilarious, giving beyond amazing examples about everything and providing scandalous insight into the minds of men. Yes, they're very perverted.



He is the reason I couldn't stop underlining entire sentences as I was reading. Okay, Kate was funny too. And Mackenzie. And Dee-Dee. Mostly every character was amazing.


The problem was that little itch I felt, that little voice in my ear saying that it wasn't enough, that the story wrapped up too quickly. That voice told me this was a four-star book. And I agreed. So here we are.

No Weddings by Kat & Stone Bastion

No Weddings - Kat Bastion, Stone Bastion

2,5 stars



I won't sugarcoat it. This book was cheesy and full of contradictions.


Hell, when you have a female character who acts like she wants to jump the guy's bones all the time, but then cock-blocks him when it comes to it, the outcome can't possibly be good. Because she's oh-so-damaged. Yeah, all that scandalous flirting is definitely a symptom of heartbreak.



And Cade was so soppy all the time. Either mooning over Hannah or mentally screwing her. And putting up with her bullshit.



I forced myself to finish this. And I did. I made it through the crap thrown in my face. The permanent cold showers. The ONE kiss. The ABSENCE of sex. Which would have been fine, had the sexual tension been believably written.


Nothing happened in this book. The first half was decent. But when the second half revealed to be more of the same, the urge to DNF this book was huge. It was soooo boring.



But I survived to tell you my experience. And hopefully it will lead the stray souls who wish to buy this book back to the right path.


*ARC kindly provided by Netgalley in exchange for an honest review*

Sweet Addiction by J. Daniels

Sweet Addiction - Jessica  Daniels, J.  Daniels

4,5 stars



This is book is a sweet, five-tier cake of pure amazingness. With each bite, your addiction intensifies and more sooner than later you find yourself facing an almost gone cake. My relationship with this book was like that. I craved it like a junkie.


A baker (Dylan) falls into an accountant's lap at a wedding (literally), they have a scorching hot meeting in the men's bathroom and BOOM!, their relationship begins to build. It's total insta-lust, the believable kind. Seriously, who wouldn't want to hook up with Reese? I mean, he has got to be one of the sexiest book-boyfriends ever created.



Dylan and Reese f*ck a lot. Like A LOT. Like ten or more sex scenes in one book. They are perpetually horny.



But Dylan and Reese are more than f*ck-buddies, they share beautiful, swoonworthy moments, as well as the fanning yourself kind of moments. I absolutely loved them all.



Of course, I could never forget to mention Joey and Juls, Dylan's best friends and my biggest source of amusement! The three of them have an amazing dynamic that I really enjoyed witnessing.


This was probably the best freebie I have ever come across. I would pay for this. Seriously, what a great book. Witty, sexy and an overall good-time. Definitely a favorite!

The Prince Who Loved Me by Karen Hawkins

The Prince Who Loved Me - Karen Hawkins

4 stars


The formula for this book is similar to that of other regency romances out there. You mix a beautiful, innocent girl with a handsome, roguish man and you've got a recipe for an enjoyable read.



However, Karen Hawkins's book managed to insert a few significant differences in the generally-used model.


For starters, the main character, Bronwyn (love, love the names in this book), is what the aristocracy considers a spinster. At twenty-four, she remains unmarried and does not wish to change that fact. Bookish, bespectacled and without any regard whatsoever towards fashion, Brownyn is an unconventional woman for her time, to say the least.


Then there's Alexey, Prince of Oxenburg, a man with very unusual tastes when it comes to women, who is visiting Brownyn's town. Needless to say, he's a total hunk.



His gypsy heritage - through his mother and represented for the most part by Tata Natasha, his grandmother - is another intriguing fact about the storyline. Also, the author invented a whole new country (I googled it to be sure), adorning it with some very accurate insights into romani culture.


These unusual aspects of the story brought some originality in what is becoming a very tiresome genre, what with the enormous similarities between books. It is a comfort-zone genre, soothing once in a while, but exausting when in rapid sucession.


*ARC provided by Pocket Books through Netgalley in exchange for an honest review.*