Monday, 1 September 2014

ARC Review ~ Her Perfect Game (Hot & Nerdy #2) by Shannyn Schroeder

Her Perfect Game (Hot & Nerdy, #2)eARC received via NetGalley in exchange for an honest review

Release Date: October 27th 2014

Publisher: eKensington

Spring break is supposed to be a week of fun in the sun for three childhood friends about to graduate from college. But one of them is ready to get her game on somewhere else…
Charlie Castle is an expert archer and a fierce warrior—in her favorite video game, anyway. But college life was a program she couldn't quite master. To land a cybertech job without a degree, she's entering a "hackfest" over spring break—where she also hopes to meet the sweet gamer who's been flirting with her online. Instead, she runs into the hot guy who walked away years ago, and can't fight the desire that comes rushing back. 

Jonah Best has never gotten over Charlie, whose kisses were always as deliciously creative as her coding. But now that they're face to face again, he doesn't know how to admit that her online admirer is really him—or how to convince her that he's offering her a job for her incredible skills, not her sex appeal. Can Jonah cut through their communication glitches and persuade Charlie that the next level up for them should be forever?

My Opinion

After enjoying the first instalment in this series, I was eager to read about another character from the author's cast. Her Best Shot was a quick, easy, and fun read so I was hoping Her Perfect Game would follow suit. And in essence it did.

Overall, the plot was fun, fast-paced, and interesting. I liked that Charlie wasn't the typical girl you get in romance novels. She was geeky and had an attitude. The hacker element to the book was different and it was a nice change of setting with the role-playing online.

Similarly, I liked the romance as a whole. The general theme behind it was good; it kept me interested as the two of them reconnected and then had to face certain secrets coming out. Because of the short length, I did feel it was all a bit to quick and that Charlie bent to Jonah's will too easily. I would have liked a bit more build up before she jumped into bed with him. As well as that the ending irritated me. It just stopped when I was expecting more. It all felt very rushed and abrupt, leaving me with a few questions an little satisfaction. I wanted more of a natural resolve and proper forgiveness--it all felt too easy.

Saying that though, this was an enjoyable, easy read. It was quick and engaging, I just wanted a little more.


Sunday, 31 August 2014

ARC Review ~ To Catch a Star by Romy Sommer

To Catch a StareARC received via NetGalley in exchange for an honest review

Release Date: September 25th 2014

Publisher: Haper Impulse

Teresa Adler is the ultimate Ice Princess, with a heart as frozen as the winter landscape of her beloved home, Westerwald. All her life, she’s belonged to the ‘inner circle’ of wealth, privilege and position.

Christian Taylor: Heartthrob. Movie Star. Bad boy. The mischievous actor sets temperatures soaring in the picturesque baroque principality – and with a wicked glint in his eye and a chip on his shoulder he sets his sights on the one thing he’s told he can’t have. Teresa.

While Tessa holds the ultimate clue to the secret of Christian’s parentage, it is the heat of his touch that will make this Ice Princess feel more alive than she ever has before…

Another magical, gorgeously romantic modern fairy tale from Romy Sommer!

My Opinion

I think this was my favourite from the whole series. When I downloaded it from NetGalley I didn't realise it was the third book until I saw the mention of rings. It was the "ice queen" personality that caught my attention and I couldn't wait to start it.

I loved the start and it set everything up nicely. It was engaging and made me laugh quicker than I expected. It also set the scene for Christian's lifestyle incredibly well and I thought the chaotic and busy nature of his work was continued and carried out well throughout the entire book. Similarly I thought the development in the book was well paced and believable. I loved Christian as he was a mixture of strong, leading male but was battling inner conflicts about his past and beliefs. I'm glad he decided to fight for what he wanted and he got what he deserved.

I'm not sure I can say the same for Teresa. She's one of those characters who's split my opinion. I liked her for most of the book, and thought how she became less of an ice princess was believable and developed well. However I just didn't agree with some of her decision and at times thought she was being stupid. I'm glad it all works out but I'm not sure I like how it got to that point due to personal preferences on subject matter.

Saying that though, in general everything progressed well and was believable. I liked the movie backdrop and that the author made it more realistic than the Hollywood glamour you sometimes see. There were also moments that made me laugh--the balcony scene being the first that comes to mind. It balanced the heartache and troubles well making this an enjoyable read. I would definitely recommend this book.

Click below to buy.

Saturday, 30 August 2014

ARC Review ~ The Year I Met You by Cecelia Ahern

The Year I Met YouPaperback recieved via Love Reading in exchange for an honest review

Release Date: October 9th 2014

Publisher: Harper Collins

A thoughtful, captivating and ultimately uplifting novel from this uniquely talented author

Jasmine know two things: one, she loves her vulnerable sister unconditionally, and will fight to the death to protect her from anyone who upsets her. Two, she's only ever been good at one thing – her job helping business start-ups.

So when she’s sacked and put on gardening leave, Jasmine realises that she has nothing else to fill her life. Insomnia keeps her staring out of her bedroom window, and she finds herself watching the antics of her neighbour, shock jock Matt, with more than a casual eye. Matt is also taking a forced leave of absence from work, after one of his controversial chat shows went too far…

Jasmine has every reason to dislike Matt, and the feeling appears to be mutual. But not everything is as it seems, and soon Jasmine and Matt are forced to think again…

My Opinion

I know I will probably be in the minority here, but I just couldn't bring myself to like this book. Having read a few other novels by this author, I thought I'd give her one more chance to sway my opinion on her work. Although I haven't disliked the other books I've read, they have never been something that have excited me. 

So, I went into reading The Year I Met You really hoping I liked it, especially when I saw the beautiful cover. Sadly though, it didn't engage or connect with me. My biggest problem was that I find this author to be very text-heavy and not use speech as often. Personally, this makes it very hard for me to connect with characters and stay interested as I feel they don't really have a voice. I never felt connected to Matt or Jasmine in the way I like when reading.

I had the same problem in with Ahern's other books. Things do get better towards the end, but it's always too late in the story for me. I find myself asking why it couldn't have started earlier with this author and it does becomes frustrating.

Moreover, I read to escape the troubles of real life, and even though there are some novels by this author I've liked, most don't do much for me as they are too close to normal lives. I like more drama in books and to read about exciting things. I just feel the whole of this book was too calm and normal. I don't want to say boring, but it really was a slow read for me.

I hate to say that about books and I really did want to like it but I just couldn't bring myself to care about the characters. Unfortunately, I don't think I'll be reading more by this author as I don't think her work is right for me. I have no doubt other people will probably enjoy this read if you like this author and kind of book, it's just not my kind of read.


Friday, 29 August 2014

ARC Review ~ Black Ice by Becca Fitzpatrick

Black IceeARC received via NetGalley in exchange for an honest review

Release Date: October 7th 2014

Publisher: Simon & Schuster

Sometimes danger is hard to see... until it’s too late. 

Britt Pfeiffer has trained to backpack the Teton Range, but she isn't prepared when her ex-boyfriend, who still haunts her every thought, wants to join her. Before Britt can explore her feelings for Calvin, an unexpected blizzard forces her to seek shelter in a remote cabin, accepting the hospitality of its two very handsome occupants—but these men are fugitives, and they take her hostage. 

In exchange for her life, Britt agrees to guide the men off the mountain. As they set off, Britt knows she must stay alive long enough for Calvin to find her. The task is made even more complicated when Britt finds chilling evidence of a series of murders that have taken place there... and in uncovering this, she may become the killer’s next target. 

But nothing is as it seems in the mountains, and everyone is keeping secrets, including Mason, one of her kidnappers. His kindness is confusing Britt. Is he an enemy? Or an ally?

My Opinion

I wasn't sure what I was going to get with with book as it sounded so different from the other books I've read by this author. I enjoyed the Hush Hush saga though so I was excited to see how the author handled the genre change and what her writing was like when not using paranormal beings. I really did squeal when this came up on NetGalley as 'UK requests preferred' as it almost never happens with popular books/authors like this--or at least I don't see them. Anyway, despite a few issues that I'll get to in a minute, I thoroughly enjoyed Black Ice and Becca's writing.

When reading Black Ice, there was no point at which I thought it was dragging. The plot kept me engaged the whole way through and kept me turning pages quickly. I will admit that I had to stop reading once it got dark, as although it isn't scary, my mind likes to play tricks on me and kidnapping isn't the safest subject to go to sleep on. I thought that the characters were great and I liked how they were all individually strong, yet had their flaws. The guys definitely had a clear sense of their own personality and motives for doing what they did and this came across well. I also liked how Britt reacted when things got bad. At the start I thought she would fall apart like most of her family would have expected, but she really came into her own and you can't help but admire her for her strength. As well as this, I liked that Becca didn't make her continually strong; she did break down and nearly give up and this felt realistic, making her human.

Similarly, I liked the whole backdrop. Usually when I read books set in snowy scenes, they are winter romances so it was a nice change to read a darker, thriller. It added another level of danger as not only were the girls at risk from other characters, but the weather could easily kill them too. The survival skills felt believable and I'm glad it wasn't over done.

There were only two issues I really had with Black Ice. The first was the small romance that develops. I didn't get it. I know he wasn't the bad guy really, but if someone kidnapped me, dragged me through a snow-covered forest, aided in killing someone etc. then I don't think the first thought on my mind would be kissing him. Normally I'm all for romance, but here I think it detracted from the overall effect of the book and wasn't needed. It made the ending a bit cheesy for me. 

The second thing was that I did find it a bit predictable. It was kind of obvious who the killer was and although I enjoyed watching everything play out, I would have liked for it to be concealed a little better so I didn't connect the dots so early.

However, overall I enjoyed Black Ice more than I thought I would. It was a nice change from the usual books I've read and it's definitely different from Hush Hush in more ways than one. If you like thrillers, darker books, or fast-paced reads you may want to check this book out.


Thursday, 28 August 2014

Review ~ Just to Be With You - The Instructor by J.A. Cooper

Just to Be With You - The Instructorebook downloaded for free from Amazon

Leigh Baker’s finally gotten rid of her mooching, long-term boyfriend. But one is turning out to be a lonely number. 

A new hobby, her good friends, a sexy man…that's what Leigh needs. When Leigh meets Carter Malone, the attraction’s immediate. But as quickly as the romance heats up, it cools off. The thing is, Leigh can't figure out why. 

When Carter pops back into Leigh's life, it turns out he's the new English professor. According to Carter, getting involved with her would bring risks he doesn't need. But something keeps drawing them together. 

And when love comes knocking twice, sometimes all you can do is open the door.

My Opinion

DNF at 27% - I thought I'd give this a chance seeing as it was free on Amazon, and I'm looking for novellas due to time constraints at the moment. However, this didn't hook me. There were too many short, simple sentences that 'told' rather than 'showed' what was going on, and I ended up skimming. Too many sentences started with "I" and it just became repetitive. I can't comment on the story as I didn't get far enough to find out what happens but the writing wasn't engaging enough for me to push through to the end.


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