“Perhaps it wasn’t that he dreamt me. Perhaps I was the one who dreamt him.”
A sweet story with art, music, and a swoon-worthy hero.
❄︎ the story ❄︎
Jade is responsible for supporting her fractured family and so she works in a concert hall and on the streets (standing still). Never did she think she'd catch the eye of the stunning and talented Shane Arthur. And although she would love nothing more than to explore something with him, she tries to distance herself from him in order to stay strong and sober. He wants me to teach him how to live. I’m not sure how much a twenty-six year old recovering alcoholic who works in a bar and moonlights as a living statue can teach a world class concert violinist, but I’m sure going to try. This was a great in-between book for me. Sweet and sexy without too much drama. My biggest complaint is the writing; in some places it didn't flow as much as I would have liked.
❄︎ the characters ❄︎
∙ Jade Lennon ∙
The woman from his painting was a living, breathing thing... and she was so completely still.
Jade was a likable heroine but I couldn't really connect with her. I did think her job as a statue was really interesting, though. At first I really couldn't understand how the author wrote how beautiful and inspiring she was as a statue (I had never seen a 'living statue' before) but, coincidentally, I took a trip to Germany while reading this story and street performers like Jade were very popular. They're really amazing to look at, especially when they start moving to change positions... it was almost unreal. But I digress... sometimes I grew annoyed with Jade and wanted to scream "Just give him a chance!". I understood why she was being cautious but still... I didn't have to like it.
∙ Shane Arthur ∙
“We all have to believe in something to keep going, Bluebird.”
I love you, Shane! He stole my heart in Still Life with Strings. He had this sweet, shy demeanor but throw him in the bedroom aaaannnddd... *waggles brows* I wish I could have him all to myself... forget Jade and come to mama!
❄︎ the romance ❄︎
“… they always fail to mention how those butterflies have wings made of steel, cutting through your insides so that all you can feel is burning.”
Because the romance was a slow burn, Still Life with Strings was filled with lots sexual tension. Both Jade and Shane had been burned in the past and carried a lot of baggage but, little by little, they were able to heal each other.
❄︎ overall ❄︎
A light, angst-free story with a great characters and some seriously sexy scenes! I definitely recommend giving this book a go.
“Standing at the very edge of the stage as the piece comes to its dramatic finish, Shane is watching me still. I hope he never stops.”
**A copy of Still Life with Strings was generously provided by Romance Beckons via NetGalley**
“Friends see most of each other’s flaws. Spouses see every awful last bit.”
I don't know how many times I've tried to craft a coherent review. I blame it on this book, because after 3 days my brain is still in the blender.
❄︎ the story ❄︎
When Amy Dunne disappears from her home on her fifth wedding anniversary, Nick Dunne becomes the number one suspect. Under mounting pressure from the police and the media--as well as Amy's fiercely doting parents--the town golden boy parades an endless series of lies, deceits, and inappropriate behavior. Nick is oddly evasive, and he's definitely bitter--but is he really a killer?
The first half of the story was meh, but once you hit 52% (Part Two), the action really kicks in. And by action I mean mind-fuckery. Of epic proportions.
One thing I can say is that Gone Girl will leave you on the edge of your seat. You think you know what's going on but in reality, you've barely even scratched the surface. The layers of effed up-ness is never ending.
❄︎ the characters ❄︎
∙ Nick Dunne ∙
“Love makes you want to be a better man. But maybe love, real love, also gives you permission to just be the man you are.”
Well, I sincerely hope not. Because you, Nick, are an asshole.
Where to even begin with this train wreck of a man? I would have arrested him with 20 minutes of meeting him. That's how suspicious he was always acting. I understand the he and his wife weren't going to win any awards for Best Marriage but his behavior couldn't have been any more damning/idiotic. “Like a child, I picture opening her skull, unspooling her brain and sifting through it.” *facepalm* this is now how you convince me of your innocent, Nick! There were so many lies and omissions, you'd think as the reader you'd be able to discern between what was true and what wasn't since you're privy to his thoughts but no, he has the nasty habit of being able to lie in his thoughts too. Most of the time, I didn't know what was real and what was fake. ∙ Amy Dunne ∙
“It was silly but incredibly sweet, these people spending so much energy trying to figure me out.”
Oh, Amy. So much to say and yet, I'd spoil everything.
Everyone else ∙ I can't say there was a single character that I actually liked, but they were all well developed and contributed to the story perfectly.
❄︎ overall ❄︎
Very interesting and fast-paced once you hit the 50% mark. This is a good, suspenseful mystery that'll have you thinking and reeling until the very last page. Literally.
Final rating: 3.5 stars
Karina Halle has a knack for knowing how to creep me the hell out when reading one of her books. The foreshadowing had me on edge, the romance squealing and it made for a unputdownable read!
“Sometimes the truth is more gruesome than fiction.”
♦︎ The Story ♦︎
Donners of the Dead is set in 1851 and Eve, an 18 year-old half native girl known for her tracking skills, is asked to join a search party lead by Jake McGraw. They're to journey into the Sierra Nevada mountains where the Donner party once traveled years before, never to be seen again. Ignoring all the troubling signs, they forge ahead and come face to face with the frightening results of cannibalism. While the search party is slowly picked off, one by one, Eve must learn to trust Jake, who harbors more than a few secrets of his own, in order to survive and prevent the monstrosities from reaching civilization.
It's amazing how quickly you're pulled into to story. There was no slow decent into the story, you're thrown right into the action. The foreboding and tension that surrounds this story is gripping and all you can think about is how the story is going to unfold.
♦︎ Characters ♦︎
“I’m not a savage.” He smiled handsomely and with a shake of his head said, “No, you aren't. And you’re not a lady either. I recon you just might be perfect.”
Eve was an innocent but strong heroine, especially for her time. I loved how sassy and brave she was. I know I definitely wouldn't have survived everything she went through... or even gone through with most of it. At the first sign of trouble I would've said hasta la vista, chicos, I'm out of here.
“Call it a hunch, but I’m starting to think you might even like me.”
Jake can come off as a little curt in the beginning but compared to the other guys, Jake was the least of Eve's problems. However, underneath that tough exterior he was kind and, dare I say... playful. He also had his head on straight. And trust me, that's noteworthy. You don't see a lot of those in this book.
We have an... interesting selection of side characters, to say the least. There are a few who are clearly crazy and some who know who to hide it better. They all had me on my toes and kept me guessing.
♦︎ Overall ♦︎
“Love is a wolf,” he said, the fire dancing in his eyes. “Perhaps that's why they howl in the dark of the night. Love drives them mad like it does to everyone. Fast or slow, whatever way it hits you, love will drive you mad.”
There was enough romance to keep any addict like me satisfied but not so much that it smothers the story. It was a nice side to the book and lightened the mood of the story, so you don't feel like you're constantly bombarded with all this creepy stuff. Donners of the Dead was a quick, thrilling read with awesome characters, a steamy romance and a creepy storyline!
“Men are the real monsters here. They often are.”
**ARC generously provided by Rock Star PR in exchange for an honest review**
Brilliant. This book... I'm still not sure what it's done to me. I was mesmerized by Unravel. I was consumed by the need to know what was going on and it was unputdownable!
“Most people believe the truth is a delicate little bird. They think it's harmless. But I know something they don't.”
“God offers to every mind its choice between truth and repose. Take which you please– you can never have both.”
♦︎ The Story ♦︎
Six months ago, I was happy. I was simply Naomi Carradine. One month ago, I was admitted into a psych ward. Yesterday, Lachlan visited me. Kissed me. And told me that I’m starting to lose my mind. Hours later, Max haunted my thoughts, reminding me I’m not crazy and that he needs my help. A few minutes ago, I drifted further from reality, trying to unravel the past. And now...everyone thinks I’m insane. But, I know he's real, and I know he needs me. Do you believe me?
I had to use the Goodreads blurb. If I made my own recap I probably would have said too much.
This was one hell of a ride. From start to finish, I couldn't tear my eyes away. I had to suffer the whole day feeling like sh*t warmed over because I used the 'just one more chapter' line. One chapter was most definitely not enough. I was constantly thinking up new theories, trying to get a grasp of what was going on... the unpredictability of Unravel kept me on my toes. I wish I could say that I savored every page, every word and took my absolute time reading but I just couldn't. I'm nosy curious by nature so being emerged in this wtf story... there was no way I could survive long without knowing everything.
“I’ve decided that love is a sickness. But not a first.”
♦︎ Characters ♦︎
“I think we’re all trying to be a winner in a losing game.”
I'll have to be really vague about the characters, as to not give anything away... Each character was shrouded in mystery. Especially Naomi. I had so many thoughts running through my head– could I trust her and/or anything she's telling me, is what she's saying even true, is she crazy, or the even bigger question, is she sane...? ____________________________________________
♦︎ Overall ♦︎
What really solidified the five stars for me was that, while Unravel dealt with some weighty subjects, it didn't suffocate me. I didn't feel like I was drowning in everything. I never felt like it was too much. And despite all the uncertainty and pain, this was also a story about love and healing. If you're looking for a atypical story with mystery and a good dose of some steamy scenes then look no further!
“Tell me what you’re fighting and I’ll fight with you,” he whispers into my hair.
In the Stillness was intense, emotional, and breathtakingly honest. This is a story that touches your heart & mind and left me speechless in the end.
“They took his soul over there, fuckers, and left me with the breathing carcass.”
♦︎ The Story ♦︎
“But, the thing about guilt is, no one can take away for you; you have to unpack it yourself.”
Wow, wow, wow, wow, WOW. This is a story someone can easily love. This wasn't even on my to-read list, but I though eh, what the hell and decided to go for it. Best. Decision. Ever. It's completely realistic... her hopes, struggles, voice, everything. To me, it's what made this a five-star read.
Natalie once had her life in order. She was going to get her degree in anthropology and travel the world.
But things changed when she unexpectedly becomes a mother and wife. In order to stay strong for her family, she patches a bandaid on a festering wound that, over the years, becomes too much to ignore. In order to escape, she seeks an old friend, her blade. And for her to get better, she's going to have to face her past and learn to let go.
In the Stillness does deal with the issue of self-multilation, but it's so much more than that.
♦︎ Characters ♦︎
I exist. Right?
Natalie is one of my favorite heroines ever. You can't help but share in her pain, betrayal and loneliness. There were so many things weighing Natalie down and holding her back, that cutting was her only way of escaping, of staying sane. She had dreams and aspirations, just like any of us, and although she loves her children, she can't help but yearn for the life she could have had.
I have mixed feelings about Eric... and they lean towards the negative. He's a perfect example of sometimes, love just isn't enough. Do I understand why he did the things he did? Eh… yesish. Does it justify it? Absolutely not. To put it in simpler terms, all he cared about was himself and his image.
“His body came home, but his soul had been devoured in the firefight of a godless desert.”
Oh, how my heart went out to him! His character was fictional but his stubble wasn't.
Ryker was swoon-worthy and so playful and sweet... ♥ it was difficult to read of how much they struggled to piece each other together and find their way... whether it was together or alone. I was so proud to see how much he grew as a person. ____________________________________________
♦︎ Overall ♦︎
“How’d you get through it? The uncertainty, I mean.” “Because I was never uncertain about our hearts.”
This book is a must-read, for sure. From beginning to end your experiencing and feeling everything that goes on. I can't stress enough how realistic this book was, even the ending was fulfilling without being overdone.
Burning Burning Burning Burning
... I knew for certain that wherever I went, the flames would follow.
That was a little bit creepy, a whole lot disturbing and just so... mind blowing, it was a race to turn the pages faster. Cody Miller has hit the jackpot in life. He's on his way to getting an MBA, a job most would have to work years for and the girl everyone wants. Cody has it all until one accident takes everything away from him. When he emerges from his coma, Cody struggles to get back on track and he knows that it all won't be the same, he will never be the same. And as he trudges on, he discovers there's more going on than he first thought.
We're all pieces on this board, but I seem to be the only one who notices that we're going in circles, that the world is not the logical place we think it is.
Dream of the Serpent is one of the most horrifyingly descriptive stories I've ever had the pleasure of reading. Part of me wanted to turn away but my eyes wouldn't cooperate. They weren't going to look anywhere but at the book. Very detailed descriptions usually tend to bore me but I was riveted. There was not a single word that I missed. It's terrifying but spellbinding at the same time.
There was an all out war being fought inside my body, except that the enemy was my body.
I would never ever want to trade places with Cody. The way his accident was described left me traumatized. I can't say that I liked Cody but I certainly didn't hate him. It was difficult to see how drastically he changed. How one mistake remolded him. It's scary to think how far people will go to find the truth.
I would have liked the beginning to be a tad bit shorter. I wasn't bored but I knew that there was some action waiting in the wings and I wanted it to start! However, once you hit around the 40% mark it was all out fuckery. I didn't even want to blink just in case I would miss something.
All in all, this was an awesome read that I definitely recommend reading. Especially those who love horror & fantasy.
*A copy of this book was generously provided in exchange for an honest review*
“You are a soulless man, Jagger.” “No, I’m a breaker of souls, someone you should run from.”
If I could describe My Master's Nightmare I'd say it was like a Sempre (J. M. Darhower), Captive in the Dark (C. J. Roberts) & The Siren (Tiffany Reisz) threesome.
Those men needed to be punished. And I would do it. No matter the cost. Or how much I lost.
... have been mind-fucked.
I don't think I've ever been so lost when reading a book. My mind was scrambled. By the end of the story, I couldn't tell which way was up and which way was triangle.
But I'm a sucker for these stories and I can't say I didn't enjoy the hell out of this one.
You think you have things figured out? Thing again. And then when you think this time I know what's going to happen... through that out the window too. I was kept on my toes throughout the whole book, which was one of the most enjoyable things about it.
Second to that was Jagger & Frano. All I have to say is to them is:
I can't say all the characters were enjoyable, and I want to give Alberto, Matteo and The Priest a big fat
but they were believable. All their mistakes, deceit, betrayal... you just couldn't help but be pulled into it. The plot was so thick you could cut through it.
My Master's Nightmare is not for the faint of heart. I was repulsed by some of the scenes.
But if you can take it then I'd say READ IT!
*A copy of this book was generously provided in exchange for an honest review*
Giveaway!! Signed copy of Sex Love repeat my Alessandra Torre here!!
Save yourself...Save me.
No one told me back then that princes were death traps.
Quinn Montgomery had an ordinary life. A good education, parents that loved her and a sister Quinn looked up to. Until she didn't.
She's sworn that she'll never follow in Zoe's footsteps– killing herself over a boy. Now a college freshman, Quinn's life slowly begins to unravel and she's forced into nude modeling to help support herself and her family. She's hell-bent on keeping everyone at arms length but Torrin, the university's varsity oarsman, is determined to get passed her cold demeanor. But letting someone in comes at a steep cost and, it turns out, Torrin is connected to Quinn’s family in more ways than she could ever imagine. Quinn
"You'll thank me one day for saving you."
"I've already been saved."
Quinn was an... interesting character. I definitely sympathized with her; fate had most definitely screwed her over, as well as other's decisions. I understood why she was so cold and so rough with others. She had a lot to carry on her shoulders, more than most have to carry at her age. However, I wasn't able to connect with her as much as I would have wanted to. There were times when I was cheering her on and others where all I could think was,
I wanted the best for her but she was getting in her own way.
"I like you." "Don't... waste those words on me." He touches my cheek. "You just need someone to show you."
Now here's a guy that can steal your heart. I was grinning like an idiot whenever Torrin would show up. He was so sweet and truly cared for Quinn. What guy can take being crapped on over and over and still come back? Only one that really cares. Where my connection as a reader was lacking with Quinn, Torrin was able to make up for it. There were moments when I just wanted to pluck him out of the book and give him a much needed hug.
Quinn and Torrin's relationship was a slow burn. Nothing was rushed but at the same time, it didn't have me itching to skip some pages and get to the good stuff. With they way Quinn was faring, it would have felt fake if they were rushed into a relationship. Once they were together, though, I could't deny how perfectly they fit. Their support, their love, healed each other.
Stripped/Without you was exceptionally well-written. It flowed easily and Quinn's voice felt real and believable. In Without You, I thought Brooklyn Skye portrayed Torrin's point of view flawlessly. It wasn't overly macho but not too sappy either.
Stripped and it's accompanying novella Without You is perfect for those who are fans of college romances!
Review posted at: Uniquely Portable Magic
Once I finished this book, I was left a little speechless because I was not expecting to like it as much as I did. Now let's not get crazy here and start *gasp* ripping out pages from the book, but I honestly never wanted this story to end.
“So just to be clear,” I said. My voice shook a little too much for my liking. “I killed myself. I’m in some kind of Purgatory. I am now part of a band of demon-fighting superheroes. We go around saving other people from offing themselves in the real world by protecting their statues in this one. All while trying to earn a second chance at life. Or a chance to end it once and for all.” “That about sums it up.”
Jayden was an interesting character. She was self-centered, ignorant, and sometimes a bit childish. But there was something I liked about her. Despite everything her intentions were good... but as they say,
"The road to hell is paved with good intentions."
As the story progressed, you slowly see a shift in Jayden. I liked that the author was subtle and didn't immediately try to redeem Jayden. It took quite a few wakeup calls before she was able to see how her actions were affecting everybody around her. Marsh, Prince, Neala and all the other characters I had the pleasure of reading about also contributed to the story. I was just as interested in their stories as I was in Jayden's. The writing was easy and flowed nicely. Dark Night of the Soul deals with serious subjects like suicide and self-worth, however, E.M. Havens was able to keep the story light, entertaining and managed not to leave me in a depressed heap on the floor. She got her point across without bludgeoning me with life lessons and held my attention throughout the whole story. This was a YA, clean romance but that's what made it all the more special. Every glance, hand hold and chocolate kiss had my heart racing. The story wasn't centered around the romance, though, and I was just as easily captivated my the story and concept.
*This book was generously provided in exchange for an honest review*
"You want to know how to make God laugh? Tell him your plans."
Where to even begin? I feel like I have so much to say but can't get it out in a coherent sentence. When I read a book (and decide to review it) I usually have a process I go through. As I go through the story, I have a sort of... outline in my head of what I want to say. So my reviews are usually a reflection of what I thought and felt throughout the whole entire book, while I was 'in the moment.' With God-Shaped Hole, I finished it without having any clue of what the hell I was going to talk about. All I did while reading this book was feel. This is a story that makes you think about everything and nothing at the same time.
It was a story about people with dreams. Dreams that never come true.
Anyone that knows me and has seen my shelf knows what type of books I read. I'm not too picky but I usually go for a story with some angst and a HEA... and by HEA I mean they get married, have kids, live in a place where there is world peace and die of old age together holding hands. Sounds corny and predictable but I go to my books to escape. Not to see more of the problems I have can find the real world. However, there comes a day when I decide: You know what, Destini? You haven't suffered in a while. And that's where God-Shaped Hole comes into play. I'm just going to let everyone know right now, it's depressing. I mean, you really have to be in the right frame of mind to start this one. Don't let that discourage you, though! It's a beautiful story.
“It seemed cruelly unfair to me, even then, how fast your life can change before you have an opportunity to rethink your choices. We should get second chances on the big stuff. We should come equipped with erasers attached to the tops of our heads. Like pencils. We should be able to flip over and scribble away mistakes, at least once or twice during the duration of our existence, especially in matters of life and death.”
I didn't choose this book to escape into. I chose it because I felt I could gain some perspective on a few things. And I did. This story... it's not like others. You're reading about this couple's life, which should sound extremely boring, but it wasn't. Everything was so genuine and I was immediately pulled in. I was there. In the book, experiencing everything. I cried when they did, suffered when they suffered, laughed when they laughed, loved them as they loved each other... I felt it all. Trixie and Jacob... I don't think I could have describe a more imperfectly perfect couple. They truly were siamese soul lovers. Trixie makes the list for my top heroines but Jacob... he was the one that really stole my heart. He was such a kind, gentle soul but so full of life. I can't put it in better words than this:
[his eyes] ... they were older, wearier than his age let on. But I sensed in them a splash of irony, too; a proud acceptance of the fact that life can be a bitch sometimes, that some people feel things too deeply.
He was who he was and I loved him for it. Jacob was far from perfect and made some bad decisions but ultimately, he was good at heart.
"You try and act so tough, you think you're so damn hopeless and godless and faithless, but you don't fool me. People without hope aren't tormented by the world they way you are. People without hope don't give a shit. But I see it in you, in the way you look at things, even in the way you look at me sometimes, like I'm the coolest fucking guy in the universe, and I know it's in there. Reverence. Belief. Something. You have a lot more faith than you own up to."
This story deals with religion and faith but it doesn't make up the book. If anything, I would describe it more as discovering the meaning in life. The meaning for everything. The reason for anything being the way it is, why we are the way we are... and why some things happen to us. Even though this is a tough read, it wasn't all depressing. Trixie and Jacob had a dry humor that had me wiping tears away. And when it's all over and you look back, it's sad, nobody can deny that, but there are also good memories. Happy things that you remember. That leave you smiling.
"I know it's late but," he paused, "would it be all right if I came over?"
"Jacob," I said, "how long have you been waiting to ask me that?"
"Who knows?" he said, more to himself than to me.
"Maybe all my life."
I would definitely recommend reading this book. It's a story that'll stay with you forever, that will still have you feeling years later. I've said everything in the best way I can but honestly, this is a book that needs to be experienced. My song for God-Shaped Hole: Hallelujah
"What is infinite? The universe and the greed of men."
I always underestimate how wonderful a YA book can be and a fantasy YA novel, if done right, has the chance to be spectacular.
"The world is changing, Alina."
What a surprise this book was! I had been in this horrid book funk where nothing was holding my attention and Shadow and Bone quickly snapped me out of it.
This book quickly had me engrossed in its pages. The writing, the characters, and the concept had me clinging to its pages for more.
... she turned to me, and I took a startled step back, because I saw it, as clearly as if I had been standing at its edge: the abyss. Ceaseless, black, and yawning, the unending emptiness of a life lived too long.
I loved how unique the characters were. They were never perfect, always made questionable decisions and really had me thinking about who I could trust. There were times where I would even think is Alina trustworthy? This book makes it so easy to get caught up in the paranoia, deceit, and the power.
One character who really stood out to me, and I'm sure to most as well, was the Darkling.
This was his soul made flesh, the truth of him laid bare in the blazing sun, shorn of mystery and shadow.
He was an enigma, someone I was constantly trying to figure out. There was always a part of me that wanted to trust him, have Alina trust him, but when you look back, you notice that he knows everything about you... and you know absolutely nothing about him. Not even his real name.
And that HUGE twist that comes out of freaking Narnia and hits you in face... I was totally unprepared for that. But no matter what happened in the story, I was always entertained and it was unputdownable.
"The problem with wanting," he whispered, his mouth trailing along my jaw until it hovered over my lips, "is that it makes us weak."
My song for Shadow and Bone: My Body Is A Cage
"Straight, huh? You know, funny thing is, often the straightest of trees have crooked roots."
For all who haven’t picked this up yet…
Holy shit-on-a-stick. That. Was. Amazing. This was my first time reading a m/m romance and I can tell you it won’t be my last.
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