Book Review: The Rebels of Gold by Elise Kova

perf5.500x8.500.inddThe Rebels of Gold by Elise Kova

Published by Keymaster Press on December 5, 2017

Genres: Adult, Fiction, Fantasy, Steampunk

Pages: 500 Format: Hardcover Source: Purchased

4/5 Stars

Image and Description Credit: Goodreads

A new rebellion rises from the still smoldering remnants of the five guilds of Loom to stand against Dragon tyranny. Meanwhile, on Nova, those same Dragons fight amongst themselves as age-old power struggles shift the political landscape in fateful and unexpected ways. Unlikely leaders vie for the opportunity to shape a new world order from the perfect clockwork designs of one temperamental engineer.

This final installment of USA Today bestselling author Elise Kova’s Loom Saga, The Rebels of Gold will reveal the fate of Loom’s brilliantly contrasting world and its beloved inhabitants.

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Mini Romance Reviews: Illegal Contact & Wrong to Need You

November is apparently the time of year I really dive into romance reads so I’ve got a couple mini reviews for you today!

IllegalContactIllegal Contact by Santino Hassell

Published by InterMix on August 15, 2017

Genres: Adult, Fiction, Romance, Contemporary

Pages: 251 Format: eBook Source: Library

4.5/5 Stars

Image and Description Credit: Goodreads

New York Barons tight end Gavin Brawley is suspended from the team and on house arrest after a video of him brawling goes viral. Gavin already has a reputation as a jerk with a temper on and off the field—which doesn’t help him once he finds himself on the wrong side of the law. And while he’s been successful professionally, he’s never been lucky when it comes to love.

Noah Monroe is a recent college grad looking for a job—any job—to pay off his mounting student debt. Working as Gavin’s personal assistant/babysitter seems like easy money. But Noah isn’t prepared for the electrifying tension between him and the football player. He’s not sure if he’d rather argue with Gavin or tackle him to the floor. But both men know the score, and neither is sure what will happen once Gavin’s timeout is over…

Santino Hassell’s work kept popping up on my Twitter feed so I thought I’d take the plunge. Turns out the hype is real folks! Illegal Contact was an absolute delight to read even if The Barons series is centered around football. It’s got hate to love, fiery characters, and a healthy dose of serious issues which pretty much pushes all my favorite buttons.

Gavin is a hardcore athlete forced off the field by a legal incident. He’s moody, angry, and altogether a tough nut to crack. Noah though could pass as an innocent boy next door if it wasn’t for his snarky mouth. Their association together starts out pretty rough, but after a slow build the two of them develop a deep bond. And yeah the sex scenes were incredibly hot.

The writing was amazing, delivering incredible dialogue that was honest and at times gritty. There was plenty of emotion woven throughout and I found myself both laughing and crying as I turned the pages. Hassell even manages to take on homophobia in the NFL as well as the realities of poverty. Overall I highly recommend Illegal Contact and cannot wait for the series to continue!

WrongtoNeedYouWrong to Need You by Alisha Rai

Published by Avon on November 28, 2017

Genres: Adult, Fiction, Romance, Contemporary

Pages: 368 Format: Paperback Source: Purchased

4.5/5 Stars

Image and Description Credit: Goodreads

He wasn’t supposed to fall in love with his brother’s widow…

Accused of a crime he didn’t commit, Jackson Kane fled his home, his name, and his family. Ten years later, he’s come back to town: older, wiser, richer, tougher—and still helpless to turn away the one woman he could never stop loving, even after she married his brother.

Sadia Ahmed can’t deal with the feelings her mysterious former brother-in-law stirs, but she also can’t turn down his offer of help with the cafe she’s inherited. While he heats up her kitchen, she slowly discovers that the boy she adored has grown into a man she’s simply unable to resist.

An affair is unthinkable, but their desire is undeniable. As secrets and lies are stripped away, Sadia and Jackson must decide if they’re strong enough to face the past…and step into a future together.

As I’m in love with Alisha Rai’s Forbidden Hearts series, my need for this second book was heady, so much so that I ran to the bookstore on release day to read it immediately. Having already been introduced to Jackson and Sadia, I knew this book would be a winner. He is a soft-spoken dream come true with his kitchen skills and activism. She’s a bisexual supermom working two jobs and occasionally putting her needs first.

The complex family dynamics truly continue to set this series apart. This time around Jackson is dealing with betrayal and loss, returning to his hometown as an outcast while Sadia struggles to feel like a success in a family of overachievers. Of course there’s the overarching Kane/Chandler drama that plays with my heartstrings but the angst isn’t over the top.

The romance itself is quite precious. Once childhood friends, Jackson and Sadia know each other pretty darn well. It was so easy for them to fall back on that trust. Plus the tension between them was off the charts, making the end game all the better. Overall Wrong to Need You was a wonderful sequel that had a fulfilling story and brilliant characters. I’ll be here impatiently waiting for the next one now.

Have you read either Illegal Contact or Wrong to Need You? A fan of romances?

Let me know in the comments below!

Book Review: Little Fires Everywhere by Celeste Ng

LittleFiresEverywhereLittle Fires Everywhere by Celeste Ng

Published by Penguin Press on September 12, 2017

Genres: Adult, Fiction, Contemporary, Literary

Pages: 338 Format: Hardcover Source: Library

5/5 Stars

Image and Description Credit: Goodreads

In Shaker Heights, a placid, progressive suburb of Cleveland, everything is planned — from the layout of the winding roads, to the colors of the houses, to the successful lives its residents will go on to lead. And no one embodies this spirit more than Elena Richardson, whose guiding principle is playing by the rules. 

Enter Mia Warren — an enigmatic artist and single mother — who arrives in this idyllic bubble with her teenaged daughter Pearl, and rents a house from the Richardsons. Soon Mia and Pearl become more than tenants: all four Richardson children are drawn to the mother-daughter pair. But Mia carries with her a mysterious past and a disregard for the status quo that threatens to upend this carefully ordered community. 

When old family friends of the Richardsons attempt to adopt a Chinese-American baby, a custody battle erupts that dramatically divides the town–and puts Mia and Elena on opposing sides. Suspicious of Mia and her motives, Elena is determined to uncover the secrets in Mia’s past. But her obsession will come at unexpected and devastating costs.

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Book Review: From a Certain Point of View (Star Wars)

FromACertainPointOfViewFrom a Certain Point of View: A Star Wars Anthology

Published by Del Rey on October 3, 2017

Genres: Adult, Fiction, Science Fiction, Short Stories

Pages: 477 Format: Hardcover Source: Library

4/5 Stars

Image and Description Credit: Goodreads

Experience Star Wars: A New Hope from a whole new point of view.

On May 25, 1977, the world was introduced to Han Solo, Luke Skywalker, Princess Leia, C-3PO, R2-D2, Chewbacca, Obi-Wan Kenobi, Darth Vader, and a galaxy full of possibilities. In honor of the 40th anniversary, more than 40 contributors lend their vision to this retelling of Star Wars. Each of the 40 short stories reimagines a moment from the original film, but through the eyes of a supporting character. From a Certain Point of View features contributions by best-selling authors, trendsetting artists, and treasured voices from the literary history of Star Wars.

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Book Review: Career of Evil by Robert Galbraith

careerofevilCareer of Evil by Robert Galbraith

Published by Mulholland Books on October 20, 2015

Genres: Adult, Fiction, Mystery, Crime, Thriller

Pages: 492 Format: Hardcover Source: Purchased

3.5/5 Stars

Image and Description Credit: Goodreads

Cormoran Strike is back, with his assistant Robin Ellacott, in a mystery based around soldiers returning from war.

When a mysterious package is delivered to Robin Ellacott, she is horrified to discover that it contains a woman’s severed leg.

Her boss, private detective Cormoran Strike, is less surprised but no less alarmed. There are four people from his past who he thinks could be responsible – and Strike knows that any one of them is capable of sustained and unspeakable brutality.

With the police focusing on the one suspect Strike is increasingly sure is not the perpetrator, he and Robin take matters into their own hands, and delve into the dark and twisted worlds of the other three men. But as more horrendous acts occur, time is running out for the two of them…

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Book Review: Mechanique: A Tale of the Circus Tresaulti by Genevieve Valentine

MechaniqueMechanique: A Tale of the Circus Tresaulti by Genevieve Valentine

Published by Prime Books on May 10, 2011

Genres: Adult, Fiction, Fantasy, Steampunk

Pages: 284 Format: Paperback Source: Gift

4.5/5 Stars

Image and Description Credit: Goodreads

Come inside and take a seat; the show is about to begin… 

Outside any city still standing, the Mechanical Circus Tresaulti sets up its tents. Crowds pack the benches to gawk at the brass-and-copper troupe and their impossible feats: Ayar the Strong Man, the acrobatic Grimaldi Brothers, fearless Elena and her aerialists who perform on living trapezes. War is everywhere, but while the Circus is performing, the world is magic.

That magic is no accident: Boss builds her circus from the bones out, molding a mechanical company that will survive the unforgiving landscape.

But even a careful ringmaster can make mistakes.

Two of Tresaulti’s performers are entangled in a secret standoff that threatens to tear the circus apart just as the war lands on their doorstep. Now the Circus must fight a war on two fronts: one from the outside, and a more dangerous one from within.

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Mini Reviews: Forbidden Hearts & NOLA Nights

Recently I’ve been consuming a bunch more romance than I typically pick up and these two new to me authors are definitely mini review worthy. Check out my thoughts on these steamy reads below!

HatetoWantYouHate to Want You by Alisha Rai

Published by Avon on July 25, 2017

Genres: Adult, Fiction, Romance, Contemporary

Pages: 384 Format: Paperback Source: Purchased

4.5/5 Stars

Image and Description Credits: Goodreads

One night. No one will know.

That was the deal. Every year, Livvy Kane and Nicholas Chandler would share one perfect night of illicit pleasure. The forbidden hours let them forget the tragedy that haunted their pasts-and the last names that made them enemies.

Until the night she didn’t show up.

Now Nicholas has an empire to run. He doesn’t have time for distractions and Livvy’s sudden reappearance in town is a major distraction. She’s the one woman he shouldn’t want…so why can’t he forget how right she feels in his bed?

Livvy didn’t come home for Nicholas, but fate seems determined to remind her of his presence–and their past. Although the passion between them might have once run hot and deep, not even love can overcome the scandal that divided their families.

Being together might be against all the rules…but being apart is impossible.

Hate to Want You by Alisha Rai is the first book in the Forbidden Hearts series. A story of rival families and star crossed lovers, this one packs an unending emotional punch. Livvy and Nicholas are childhood sweethearts torn apart by terrible circumstances. The only problem is that they could never give each other up. Honestly how could this not be a hit.

Livvy is an amazing tattoo artist just returning home to rebuild familial bonds. Nicholas on the other hand hasn’t left, and is running the family business. Holy wow though! The tension in this one is just off the charts! It’s ridiculously clear from the start that these two still have deep feelings for the other but the obstacles in the way make it all the more steamy.

There’s a lot of underlying story in this one and I loved how the layers were peeled back at every turn of the page. It’s definitely not a sunshine and daisies book, but that makes it all the more impactful. Dealing with depression, loss, and grief are all just the tip of the heavy iceberg, and Rai handles it all with excellent writing and careful plotting.

Thank you book world for hyping Hate to Want You! It totally deserves all of it!

LadyofRoyaleStreetThe Lady of Royale Street by Thea De Salle

Published by Pocket Star on August 21, 2017

Genres: Adult, Fiction, Romance, Contemporary, Erotica

Pages: 252 Format: eBook Source: Purchased

4.5/5 Stars

Image and Description Credit: Goodreads

Alex DuMont is everything his brother Sol isn’t: regimented, serious, and devout. Between twelve-hour workdays, service to the church, punishing daily workouts, and bi-weekly therapy sessions, Alex is, as Sol once put it, “a kettle perpetually whistling as it boils itself to death.” So when Sol announces his marriage to Arianna Barrington, heiress and society sweetheart, Alex is the absolute worst choice to be his best man. Sol asks anyway and Alex reluctantly agrees. It’s only a week, after all, and Alex should be able to stop himself from throttling his big brother for a meager seven days. Probably. Maybe.

Theresa Ivarson is Arianna’s best friend and the maid of honor. A decorated photojournalist who interrupts her globetrotting to stand beside her friend, Theresa is beautiful, witty, and unafraid to speak her mind. So when she is faced with working with the best man from Hell, a Viking who doesn’t know how to smile, is bossy, and about as pleasant as a cactus, the sparks are bound to fly—and not in the good way. To make matters worse, Sol and Rain’s wedding planner was hit by a bus the week before their special day, and Alex and Theresa find themselves at the center of a list-ditch effort to pull the wedding together. But when you can’t decide if you want to kiss or kill someone, something’s bound to break.

I honestly didn’t think I could love The Lady of Royale Street as much as I did the two previous NOLA Nights books, but Thea De Salle proved me extremely wrong. With wedding preparations at The Seaside in full swing, there was bound to be hijinks galore and chemistry at every turn. Honestly I just love these characters and getting to know more about each one of them has been great (Nash needs his own book ASAP!)

In this one, the reader is treated to a delightful romp between the best man and maid of honor after a wedding planner meets her maker. Alex is ridiculously uptight, devout, and completely awkward around others while Theresa is constantly moving, snarky, and always speaks her mind. The two of them together make for an interesting pairing especially as they keep butting heads.

I thought De Salle did a wonderful job weaving faith/Catholicism into an extremely sexy book. There’s a lot of internal conflict, questioning desire when there’s such a strong attraction. It’s typically a plot point that gets swept aside and I’m glad to see it brought to the fore front. Plus all the religion still doesn’t take away from ridiculous hot scenes between Alex and Theresa.

NOLA Nights is must read romance!

 Are you interested in either of these series? Want to be swept up in sexy times?

Let me know in the comments below!