Tuesday, April 28, 2015

Captive Prince Volume #1 by C.S. Pacat

Captive Prince: Volume One (Captive Prince, #1)Captive Prince: Volume One by C.S. Pacat
My rating: 3 of 5 stars

It ends spectacularly despite that slow, slow start. I'd never have picked this to read had it not been for Wendy F's response to VOLUME TWO.

The strength in this is how its every aspect is steeped in intrigue- from how Damen has come to be where he is to why it is they chose so and so as partners.

Intrigue aside, Pacat does not shy away from the graphic; it shocks as intended but the work up to whatever is laid bare had me hoping things wouldn't be going where I thought/expected/feared they were. Things did go there. Repeatedly. Consequently, I found Captive Prince relentless in pulling me in like it or not and different.

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Monday, April 27, 2015

Attraction and Heat (Elements of Chemistry#1&2) by Penny Reid

Attraction (Elements of Chemistry, #1)Attraction by Penny Reid
My rating: 3 of 5 stars

Bunsen Burner Bingo! Thank Mike, the second book comes out this month's end.

Heat (Elements of Chemistry, #2)Heat by Penny Reid
My rating: 3 of 5 stars

"I am glad that you think all of those things, and I believe you. But I am not going to magically think that I am beautiful or perfect or talented just because you do. I have to get there myself. I have to believe those things for myself-- not because I have a boyfriend... If I base my self-worth on someone's opinion or view of me  then I will also base my lack of self-worth on that person's opinion as well. And that has the potential of tearing me to pieces."

This is NA right? Because there were surprising moments of eloquence here that are chock full of WIN/fist-sky feels (see above.) Yet it is the very same profound statements that had me stepping back and reassessing what it was that I enjoyed out of this.

In her Knitting series, Penny Reid's socially inept but otherwise brilliant protagonists won me over. Simply, Reid writes awkward well; she also writes sexy well... balancing the two here this time around is where things get iffy. I much more believed the interplay between her brilliant but flawed leads in the Neanderthal books though than  I did in this one, for neither Parker nor Sandeke sounded their age. Certainly, much explanation is given as to why that is the case but... I still couldn't wrap my head around them as individuals and more so them as a couple. The words coming out of their mouths should have rang right but felt more like teacheable/ing moments that eventually felt contrived.

A sense not aided by his or her references to doing the right thing or the strong thing or even choosing so and so over what-not. Basically, the funny yet profound that I enjoyed in her previous books, while still present here, were not as evident.

There's a hell whole lot of sexy and then a load of wise... but the two aspects didn't always end up going in sync. Was it that they're both a little bit too young to be so profound/ jaded/wise/ extreme? That would be stupidly simplistic  of me to say. But,  OK, let me be simplistic for now because just didn't buy it (completely.)

Or  perhaps it is that the two here are both extremes of some sort...Him, a billionaire in the making, scheming, arrogant, etcetera.  Her,  likewise brilliant and beautiful YET unaware of those same things? Him, so very, very bad. Her, so very, very good?

Despite my reassessing and nitpicking, I still liked this... mostly, because they are awkward, because they are brilliant, because things got sexy. Basically, all my complaints I had just previously ran through are the very things that have me wanting to go over this.

For an NA, (and a novella-length NA part of a serial at) this sure has me conflicted!

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Sunday, April 26, 2015

When It Rains (When It Rains #1) by Lisa DeJong

When It Rains (Rains, #1)When It Rains by Lisa De Jong
My rating: 2 of 5 stars

Just tapping on that 2 star feels wrong, considering the subjectS this book tackles. (Yes, plural.) I began this thinking it would be a different kind of NA in the same vein as Sea of Tranquility or Storyteller. And while this touches on similar topics, I didn't buy the emotion behind it. Simply because I'd read some others that have handled the same with a bit more depth. So, no it wasn't even the triangle this time around that I had issue with (that aspect was actually the least objectionable bit,) rather it's everything else... The loss of self, worth, and direction... all happen, but all are a little too easily addressed well, not easily, but quickly?) As in, these things happened, so this is me. 'Twas a bit simplistic at times is all.

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Saturday, April 25, 2015

All For You (Paris Hearts#1) by Laura Florand

All for You (Paris Hearts, #1)All for You by Laura Florand
My rating: 3 of 5 stars

All For You has everything that's sweet and nice with what's  a touch sad --- a combination that's become  quintessentially Florand to me. Well, all that plus chocolate. And France.

There's a complimentary nature to how they come together. It's not a completing as they're both introduced as the outcomes of their respective labor. But why that is is what touches on some of the sad-bitter but more on the real and later, triumphant. It's that last  that has the two coming together complete and aware of who they were before and are now, plus all that has (and hasn't) gone into the making of that second.

But it is that they remain (flawed) despite all that that leaves them both possible to me. That she is colorful and emotional and heart on sleeve or that he does all those things for her, because of her... without telling her!  Neither their flaws are not remedied by the other, but there's a work toward better for each other.

MOSTLY it's their strength I have come to recognize to be a hallmark of Florand's heroines; strength unrecognized but real all the same. In fact, the same can be said for their male counterparts... how good they all are but how blinded they are from that fact.

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Friday, April 24, 2015

A Court of Thorns and Roses (A Court of Thorns and Roses #1) by Sarah J. Maas

A Court of Thorns and Roses (A Court of Thorns and Roses, #1)A Court of Thorns and Roses by Sarah J. Maas
My rating: 5 of 5 stars

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~credits to fireofmyloins for images because seriously, that handle alone embodies a good deal of my response to this book.

(To reiterate: Aaaaggghhh. Wait, Aaaagh!)

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Thursday, April 23, 2015

Fall with Me (Wait For You#4) by J. Lynn

Fall with Me (Wait for You, #4)Fall with Me by J. Lynn
My rating: 2 of 5 stars

I had a fuzzy recollection of one of the characters in this having a kid early on. Then I thought was that a Webber book or one by Glines. Frankly, these are all starting blend together in my memory. not much stands out in this one... lots of things are glossed over and if like me you recall not much from previous installments, well... confusion shall welcome you as it did me. I want to say I wish I had re-read the earlier books in this series, except... really, why bother? Most of these have begun to feel like if you've read one, you've read them all.

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Wednesday, April 22, 2015

The Summer of Chasing Mermaids by Sarah Ockler

The Summer of Chasing MermaidsThe Summer of Chasing Mermaids by Sarah Ockler
My rating: 4 of 5 stars

The Summer of Chasing Mermaids has left me more than impressed. Ockler has written loss and the dealing with in a manner that's true. Elyse in the aftermath of everything having changed alongside are her moments with people, a family really, of her choosing.

In all these interactions is a sense of holding back, a feeling that all is not clear... to others, yes... but to Elyse as well. Some contrast is made between those relationships being built for us with each page versus her memories of what she'd known. Everything is different... but the question of 'why' is made less important in the face of her 'what now.'

And in that now is all emotion--- directed at whom and why, we slowly piece together but in the meantime, there are people and friends, none of them too perfect or imperfect. It's these secondary cast who add a little bit more (emotion and authenticity), with one's sweet yet true romance just beginning, and then with another's confident, loud, and knowing presence. The newness of these connections felt true. Especially, how not all encounters were happy ones; instead things ran the gamut of tentative, begrudged, frustrated, and even jealous. These three and their new friendship, or the making of one felt real. There too was the novelty of who Sebastian was, and how his choice spurred on her actions that allowed for even sweeter moments.

All that sweetness underscores that there's a lot of sad here for her and her personal changes; and the rest of them, and the changes they're faced (threatened?) with. Indeed that it isn't just about her that makes this book work. Christian and Noah and their fathers, Lemon and mentions of her roots, Vanessa and her confidence amd how that last mirrors memories of who Elyse was... all these threads woven together create a heart felt experience, for this was that --- and a quietly emotional one at that.

Thank you. BT!

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