#BookReview Alejandro’s Sexy Secret by Amy Ruttan

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Alejandro’s Sexy Secret is the perfect dose of romance and medical drama.

I’ve been craving a sweet romance with a happy ending in a long while, and this book fit the bill. It’s not depressing – it’s upbeat, lighthearted and sugary sweet!! It was just what I needed with all the depressing news that has been going on in the world recently.

Amy Ruttan’s novel is a Harlequin romance, but that shouldn’t scare you off. While quite of few of the Harlequin novels have bored me to tears, this medical romance was fast paced and full of ooey, gooey excellence!! The romance doesn’t start off at the beginning and seem unrealistic, which was a nice change in my Harlequin reads. I liked that it took about half the book for the love interests to finally start their relationship – it seemed more realistic in a romance book setting.

Our lead characters are also unique and diverse. They are doctor with different backgrounds and provide a nice splash of diversity into the usual all white character cast list that seems to pop up in some of these books. I am SOOOO SOOO SOOOO happy to see diversity in this book!!! So happy!

This is such a beautiful story! There’s grief, hope, loss, love and so many themes and plot driven dramas within it that I couldn’t put this book down. This book deserves so much more circulation! I hope Amy writes more and more of these books get read!! What a great novel!!! I literally read it in one sitting, that’s how attached I was to these characters.

I 100% want to read every other book in this series and by Amy Ruttan. I’ll have to try to get my hands on these books because this book had me hooked and addicted to Amy! This is one worthy Harlequin Medical Romance read!!!

Side note: I LOVE that this book is signed by Amy!! That made my day! Along with the cute doctor bookmark as well!!

Five out of five stars.

I received this book for free through Goodreads First Reads.

 

Find Amy Ruttan on Goodreads!! Amy Ruttan on Goodreads

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#BookReview Jessica Rules the Dark Side by Beth Fantaskey

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#ThrowbackThursday time! I read this books years ago, when it came out  and now it’s time to pick it up off my shelf and dust it off for a new review!!

 

 

Jessica Rules the Dark Side by Beth Fantaskey is one of my favourite books in a series that ended FAR TOO SOON!!

When I initially picked up this series I became furious – there was only two books in the series and then POOF it was gone, just like that! I was addicted, I needed more and Beth hadn’t provided the literature to fill that need. With a book and sweet and cute as this one, it was highly upsetting.

The Romanian vampire universe that Beth built within these two books was thrilling. We follow Jessica and her vampire husband (who has been accused of murder, by the way) in a magical adventure. There’s romance, drama, danger, thrills and everything you want in a YA, vampire novel.

This book does let you down though – it’s the final in a two book series that could have been so much more. It could have been the next Vampire Academy, in my eyes. Why go so far and waste the effort to create such a beautiful universe to end it after two? Our characters still had room to grow, since their character development was quite small, and there were so many loose ends that weren’t tied up in the end. When there’s so many mysteries entwined in this series, it was incredibly frustrating to know the books just stopped here.

Jessica is related to the audience – she doesn’t fit in, she’s strong willed and headstrong and is willing to save her friends. She’s not overly dramatic in my eyes, especially in a YA adult novel, but she’s still an excellent lead. Mixed in with a fast paced story, and an excellent story line makes for a truly great recommended read from me!

Five out of five stars.

 

Check out Beth’s website: Beth Fantaskey

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#BookReview On The Edge of Scandal by Tamsen Parker

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Surprise, surprise – I am reading another Tamsen Parker book. What can I say? I’m addicted, and Tamsen fills the prescription.

Oh man, oh man. Tamsen loves her taboos, and she doesn’t let us down with a Mentor-Mentee relationship (well, coach and team member if you want to get really picky). Throw in a splash of angst with all the ooey gooey romance, and you’ve got yourself a home run (wrong sport, but you get the point).

This Snow and Ice Games book is all about HOCKEY. As a Canadian, I approve! Finally a book that I will understand all the sports terms and be able to identify if Tamsen knows her stuff or is just really good at making up sports terms! Woo hoo!

Bronwyn and Ash are another great duo. I have never been so happy in my life to see a couple break up in a piece of literature – because Brody drove me insane. Coming from a formal athlete, I HATED IT when male athletes put down us female athletes. Brody drove me up the wall and made me hate him, which might be one of the cons of this book? I wish I had reasons to like Brody, but I really didn’t. I understood where he was coming from, but he just fell flat. Maybe one day Tamsen will give him a chance for redemption in another novel?

I loved Bronwyn – she is a strong woman who isn’t afraid to give a piece of her mind. I was so happy and proud of a certain moment in this novel, because honestly I was rooting for team Bronwyn the whole time.

There were some points in this novel where I was a little…uneasy. Not with the content, but imagining it actually happening. Lying down and sleeping with your coach? It was consensual, but it seemed kinda…weird? I can see it happening, but at the same time it just seemed odd to me. Does this actually happen? I’m from a small town, so things like this rarely happen (the coaches are normally double the age of any of the participants) around my area. Maybe it’s just my past experience clouding my vision.

I will say – this book is hot. It’s steamy. It’s sensual. It’s racy. It’s everything you want in an erotic romance and more. Okay, maybe it’s not EVERYTHING (this isn’t Tamsen’s BDSM series, it’s pretty calm), but it’s still a quality romance novel (with some R rated scenes). I even felt my heart jump a few times thinking about how sweet these two are (and how they finally get together).

I like this series a lot more than a lot of the romances I used to read. The Snow and Ice Games just kinda click. They are sweet, short and sexy. Tamsen doesn’t put in useless information, she doesn’t lead you astray and she doesn’t make you think to hard (Side note: don’t you hate those romance books that throw in some “Inception” like plot but don’t follow through with them?). Tamsen is the queen of easy, sexy reads! And probably the most important: her books aren’t the same thing over and over.

I respect Tamsen so much (and I’ve said this in other reviews) on how she grows as an author. Some romance authors stick to the same story line over and over and over and over… It gets excessive. Tamsen might use the same premise (romance story, erotic, a little taboo) but she changes up the characters (M/M, F/F, M/F, etc), the plot lines (dramatic storytelling vs just a romance) and how steamy these books go, and so on. These books are all different and have their own identity, which is SO NICE TO SEE. I’m tired of reading the same book by the same author over and over again!

Overall, it’s another hit for me. I’m having a hard time trying to figure out which book is my fave for far. I’ll have to wait until I read all five to actually put them in an order of how much I enjoyed them, because the first three are all fighting for top spot and rotate depending on my mood (or the day).

Five out of five stars.

I received an electronic copy through Tamsen Parker and Netgalley in exchange for an honest review.

 

What other sports book have you enjoyed? Leave a comment below!

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Or give her a shout out on twitter! @TamsenParker

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Did you enjoy this book? Why not check out another you might enjoy? #BookReview Seduction on the Slopes (SIG #2) by Tamsen Parker

#BookReview Harry Potter and the Half-Blood Prince by JK Rowling

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Harry Potter and the Half Blood Prince was another smash hit by JK Rowling.

This sixth book in the series, and sixth year at Hogwarts for our terrific trio, expands on the already expansive universe. Voldemort is out and about, and is becoming bigger than ever. Loyalty is tested, and no one is safe.

This had been the only book in the series I hadn’t read – years ago, for whatever reason, I could not find this book at any library or bookstore around. So, I skipped it. Looking back, I really shouldn’t have because this book gives a lot of back story into Lord Voldemort and his antics. It explains quite a bit more than the movie did and helps tie some loose ends before the final book.

In short, this book is full of tragedy. There is lots of pain and loss in this book, and it really helps grow these characters. That being said, you won’t realize this fact until you read the last book (which I already have). I definitely want to re-read the final book in this series since I have not read it since the day after it was published!

Do I recommend this series? Absolutely! Each book grows just like the characters do! It starts off on the children’s reads side and inches towards the YA side with each book. There’s lots of themes, such as friendship, loyalty, love and betrayal, and it’s just overall enjoyable. JK Rowling made a truly incredible series.

Are there problems with this story? Absolutely. Some chapters probably didn’t need to be included, some scenes seemed downright silly, but it still made for a good book.

Five out of five stars.

 

Check me out on Goodreads where I post up to date reviews as soon as they happen! Be the first in the know!! Briar’s Reviews on Goodreads

Enjoy this review? Check out another one you might enjoy! Book Review: The Kiss of Deception by Mary E. Pearson

#BookReview Bittersweet Symphony by Rebecca McNutt

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This book was written in Nova Scotia, and as a Canadian I AM SO HAPPY I AM READING A CANADIAN BOOK. That cannot be understated – I love helping other Canadian authors out. It’s so near and dear to my heart.

Rebecca McNutt’s novel Bittersweet Symphony was an addicting read for me. Her descriptions and tone in her writing was something that just clicked with me. Her tone was somewhat professional, yet it worked so well within this novel. It almost sounded like the perfection my English teachers in high school wanted us to achieve, but never could. The level of how descriptive her writing is made me feel like I was there with the characters. I could see this being “too much” for some readers, but I love description when it’s paired with a good story (and it’s not just one hundred pages describing how the characters look).

I like how the story is essentially an allusion for real events, and the little splash of ghosts thrown in as well. It makes it real yet not real, believable yet not believable all wrapped up into one. This book is in it’s own little corner, AND I LOVE IT.

I would say this book has some “mature” themes, revolving around language and some things that are referenced (without spoiling). Although, that doesn’t mean you have to be 18+ to read it. The book isn’t to graphic, so I think teenagers could easily read this book and relate to it.

Pros:
1. Unique story telling – Rebecca doesn’t follow your stereotypical, simple writing style. It’s hard to explain, but it’s different. I like the term “gothic” for it, but that’s not 100% on point with how she writes. Essentially, I love an author that writes in their own style and doesn’t follow a norm so I REALLY liked this book.

2. Short and Sweet – This book isn’t 1000 pages long. This book reminded me of the original Star Wars trilogy: the information that needed to be there, was there. There was no fluff, it got to the point and made an effective story.

3. “Black as the ace of spades” – The language is BEAUTIFUL in this book. I’m obsessed with it. Can Rebecca McNutt write my life story while she’s at it?

4. Interconnecting Stories – I’m obsessed with Cloud Atlas (one of my all time faves of interconnecting stories) so it seems fitting that I’d enjoy another book that interconnects everything. Bravo!!

5. Relatable – This book was relatable on so many levels. Just reading how the lawyer says that they are snakes until someone needs their help, and then suddenly they are their best friend – yeah, that one hit me where it hurts. It’s so honest, and so true.

6. Shocking Twists and Turns – Some of this book you don’t see coming, and I can respect an author that can actually make that work in a novel.

Cons:
1. Dialogue – The dialogue can appear “rigid” or “stiff” to some readers. For me, it worked within the story and how Rebecca was telling her story, but that might turn off other readers.

2. Personal con: Madson. I keep wanting to call it “Madison” or anything but Madson. It was driving me insane as I was reading it because my brain didn’t want to comprehend the name. Major personal con here (and an amusing con at that).

I’m amazed that people are saying Rebecca McNutt was 19 when she wrote this. That’s a lot of talent for that age, so I can only imagine Rebecca getting better the more she writes and the more time she has to practice. This book doesn’t seem like it’s written by a 19 year old – it’s incredibly mature.

Overall, this unique book had me hooked and addicted from it’s first page. I’m so glad I read it, because I haven’t read a book so unique and actually good for a very long time!

Five out of five stars.

I received a copy of this book from the author Rebecca McNutt in exchange for an honest review. Everything here is my own, honest opinion.

Side notes: If you want to read this book, the author posted her own “review” offering copies out. It’s a great opportunity to read and review an awesome book. Not many authors offer opportunities like this, so hop on it if it’s still available!!!

 

Will you be reading this book? Or do you have a book recommendation? Comment below!

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If you enjoyed this review, why not check out another you might enjoy? #BookReview Manchester Vice by Jack Strange

#BookReview The Winter Family by Clifford Jackman

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The Winter Family by Clifford Jackman

This book reminds me of Games of Thrones if it was set in a western setting. There’s lots of death, and lots of interesting drama to keep you interested.

I’m not crazy into westerns, but I love reading in different genres so I don’t get bored reading the same old, same old. So this read was refreshing, even if I’m not the typical “target audience”.

The book’s setting is around civil war time, which is not a setting I see often of (at least in the books I typically read). For me, this setting worked well within the story. I enjoyed reading all of the descriptions of the locations and people of the time and Clifford Jackman did well within this setting.

While this book is fictional, a lot of the scenarios that happen in the book (brutal, almost R rated scenarios I might add) were situations that happened to people. It was incredible to read, but it rips your heart out knowing some of this did happen to people back in this time. The history was on point despite being fiction. It’s not totally Wild West fiction if my review makes you believe that, but it’s a “western” style near the Civil War (not men on horses shooting everyone like those old movies).

I definitely want to see Clifford Jackman write more – I thought this book did well within it’s genre and was a good read. He was skilled at writing blood and war without a hero or antihero. It was just a novel following someone’s life in a dark western-esque era. It didn’t knock my socks off and turn me to the western genre, but it was worthy read I’d recommend or suggest my local library pick up for other readers.

On point Clifford! Keep up the good work! I can’t wait to see you grow as an author!

Three out of five stars.

I received this book for free through Goodreads First Reads.

 

Check out Clifford Jackman on Goodreads – Clifford Jackman on Goodreads

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#BookReview Clockwork Princess by Cassandra Clare

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Here’s another #ThrowbackThursday – a novel I read years ago, but reread and created a review for!! This is one of my favourites – Clockwork Princess by Cassandra Clare.

 

 

Clockwork Princess is a beautiful finish to one of YA’s best series in recent years.

For years I waited anxiously for a book like Clockwork Princess – a story that ends beautifully, perfectly and without total heart break. With characters as strong as Jem, Will and Tessa, we needed a solid ending that would make all fans happy but also tie up the story just perfectly, and Cassandra Clare delivered.

This book will pull at your heartstrings and destroy you. It’s such a beautiful ending it’s hard to believe it’s all over with. The ups and downs of this series is ended just perfectly that there are no loose ends and no destroyed fans (at least, from what I’ve seen). I dare say that this book is the best book Cassandra Clare has ever written – it rivals the base Mortal Instrument series, and has one step up. This book was even better than City of Heavenly Angels, in my opinion. With such a satisfying conclusion, I have to say it deserves more than five stars. Not many books can be finished so perfectly.

Would I recommend this series? Absolutely. While it’s a YA, it definitely doesn’t feel like your typical YA story. Adults can enjoy this – there isn’t as much ooey, gooey silly teenage angst that is in most YA books. It’s a grown up YA with the odd silly scene. So it’s safe to say it’s a good read. This series can also be used as a standalone – you don’t need to read all the other series (Mortal Instruments, Dark Artifices) to understand this book at all. It is the prequel series to The Mortal Instruments, if you’re interested in reading further (they can be read out of order via the series though. TMI came out first, then this series and now The Dark Artifices). I would suggest reading the three books of this series in order though – it’s worthy.

It also has one of the most beautiful covers. I love the original cover – I saw a new one at my local book store recently and it wasn’t as beautiful, but in terms of cover art – judging the book by it’s cover it allowed for this book. With such a great cover comes such a great story.

Problems with this book/series:
Yes, there’s a love triangle. Can they be annoying? Yes. Does it work in this book? Yeah, it’s YA so it’s kind of an expected plot twist these days.
Weak characters – yeah, there are some. But personally, I find having all characters be strong can make for a boring book.
Repeat characters – Cassandra Clare uses the same characters/developments with different names and faces. It’s annoying, but as long as you aren’t just reading her books and expand your library, you don’t notice to much.
Rule Breakers – some of the “cannot be broken rules” are broken in this book. It’s kind of annoying in my eyes, but what can you do? It created the happy ending most fans wanted, so I guess we can over look that…
Tessa – FINALLY we learn what Tessa is. I’m a little disappointed it took so long because it would have been cooler to flesh out all about her throughout the series, but whatever, it works, I guess.

So, overall, this book is really on the fence for most readers – people either love it passionately to no end (ugly cry, putting the book on a pedestal and praying to it sort of deal) or hated it (rip the pages out, burn the book, demand a refund, etc). I’m on the end that enjoyed it and I definitely kept the book (Look at that cover, how can you not love the book for the cover alone?).

So, I will give it five out of five stars. It had it’s faults for sure, but it was a great read that kept me interested, was fast paced, and had an ending that I found to be good.

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