Rating: 3.5 STARS
Genre: Romantic Comedy/Contemporary Romance
Standalone/Series: Shacking Up Series (can be read as a standalone)
How I got this book: ARC from St Martin's Press
A new kind of love story about flipping houses, taking risks, and landing that special someone who’s move-in ready…
SHE’S GOT CURB APPEAL
Rian Sutter grew up with the finer things in life. Spending summers in The Hamptons was a normal occurrence for her until her parents lost everything years ago. Now Rian and her sister are getting their life, and finances, back on track through real estate. Not only do they buy and sell houses to the rich and famous, but they finally have the capital to flip their very own beachfront property. But when she inadvertently catches the attention of a sexy stranger who snaps up every house from under her, all bets are off…
HE’S A FIXER UPPER
Pierce Whitfield doesn’t normally demo kitchens, install dry wall, or tear apart a beautiful woman’s dreams. He’s just a down-on-his-luck lawyer who needed a break from the city and agreed to help his brother work on a few homes in the Hamptons. When he first meets Rian, the attraction is undeniable. But when they start competing for the same pieces of prime real estate, the early sparks turn into full-blown fireworks. Can these passionate rivals turn up the heat on their budding romance—without burning down the house?
I FLIPPING LOVE YOU, set in the Shacking Up world, follows two people, both working in real estate, who find themselves vying for the same properties in the Hamptons, leading to a sometimes-not-so-friendly competition.
I was kindly sent an ARC copy of this book from St. Martin's press. I read book 1 in this series 'Shacking Up' late last year and it was lots of fun. However, I was a little concerned that I'd be missing something in this book because I haven't read book 2.
Luckily, this book can be read as a standalone and at no point did I feel as though I'd 'missed-out' on anything by not reading the previous book.
This author has a really snappy, fun writing style. The pace is great and at no point did I feel bored or want to stop reading.
I was a little concerned when I first started reading as I had a little trouble connecting with Rian (read Ryan), I found her somewhat prejudiced, and childish, particularly in the first chapter. I also struggled to understand her 'hardship' and why her past (which is a central theme in the book) is such a harrowing secret. I get what happened to her was complete crap, I just don't understand why it was such a huge deal.
I was also more than a little amused that Rian and her sister Marley seem to keep referring to themselves as having a very low-income and scrimping when at one point they contemplate a $5 million house purchase (insert sceptical eyes here).
Anyway, moving on...
Once I got past the first chapter, things definitely took a turn for the better. The introduction of Marley really made things much better for me, she's funny, witty and feisty and so is Rian as the book moves on, particularly during her interactions with Pierce who really brings out the best in her.
Pierce is crazy hot, and there's plenty of chemistry between him and Rian. What I really enjoyed about this book was that some of the 'dirtier' scenes were heavily laden with comedy.
Pierce is my favourite character. He's determined, driven, funny, serious, playful, swoon-worthy, and isn't afraid to go after what he wants.
There's a scene featuring Pierce in a very suspect 'outfit' that works brilliantly thanks to a firecracker of an elderly woman and her perfectly dirty humour.
The romance in this novel is not slow-burn, it's hot and heavy and moves really quickly but the pace works really well and I read the novel super quick; in just two short sittings.
It was definitely a fun and sexy book that fans of the series will devour. So, if you like your romance heavy, your guys hot, your heroines smart-mouthed and hard-working, and a heavy dose of comedy mixed into the pot, you'll love I Flipping Love You.
3.5 fun loving stars from me!
Rating: 4.5 STARS
Standalone/Series: Guide Series
How I got this book: Bought
Henry “Monty” Montague was born and bred to be a gentleman, but he was never one to be tamed. The finest boarding schools in England and the constant disapproval of his father haven’t been able to curb any of his roguish passions—not for gambling halls, late nights spent with a bottle of spirits, or waking up in the arms of women or men.
But as Monty embarks on his Grand Tour of Europe, his quest for a life filled with pleasure and vice is in danger of coming to an end. Not only does his father expect him to take over the family’s estate upon his return, but Monty is also nursing an impossible crush on his best friend and traveling companion, Percy.
Still it isn’t in Monty’s nature to give up. Even with his younger sister, Felicity, in tow, he vows to make this yearlong escapade one last hedonistic hurrah and flirt with Percy from Paris to Rome. But when one of Monty’s reckless decisions turns their trip abroad into a harrowing manhunt that spans across Europe, it calls into question everything he knows, including his relationship with the boy he adores.
By Jove, this book was good!
I had no idea what to expect from The Gentleman's Guide to Vice and Virtue except that I'd seen so many people raving about how great it was.
This book quite literally has everything in it I could ask for: grand adventure, love, friendship, sibling rivalries, sass, wit, mystery, deception, intrigue, slow burn romance, beautiful British humour, character development, a treasure hunt, pirates, gay and bi characters, diverse characters, and a strong-willed hellcat of a woman.
The entire novel is a coquettish rogue that seduces you from the moment you begin reading.
I adore the history in this book that sets the scene without being at all stilted or boring. I love particularly that we get to see what is probably an extremely realistic account of hormonal, ass-drunk teens during the period and all the amazingly fun and misadventures that follow.
The characters are wonderful. Monty is an arrogant, privileged rogue, but it's all part of his lovable charm. He has trials and torments that he needs to face, he misses the signs that are right in front of him, and in his own innocent ignorance, his mouth gets him into all sorts of trouble. But, it's Monty's witty, rambling, very heartfelt and at times naive narrative that really won me over.
"Lucky for me as well, or else we might never have met, and then what would have been the point of my life?"
I love that Monty isn't ashamed of who he is, or who he fancies, but that it's others who have the problem. He isn't actually afraid to express himself and I love that about him.
"I’ve always been of the mind that subtlety is a waste of time. Fortune favors the flirtatious. And by now, if Percy doesn’t know how I feel, it’s his own damn fault for being thick."
In case you hadn't guessed by now, this is a story with many themes. It's a love story, a coming of age story, a story of friendship, of loyalty, of overcoming fears and oppression.
"Rather, it is simply the tale of how two people can be important to each other their whole lives, and then, one morning, quite without meaning to, one of them wakes to find that importance has been magnified into a sudden and intense desire to put his tongue in the other’s mouth."
(I can't stop quoting this book!!)
Percy is Monty's best friend and he's the epitome of sweetness. He's loyal, steadfast and I want him to be my best friend!
"Percy had avenged me when no one else would look me in the eyes."
Then there's Felicity. My badass heroine who I was so excited to find out has a book of her very own coming out later this year!! YAY!! Felicity is sassy, intelligent, sharp and unafraid to be herself. She also incidentally delivers one of my favourite lines in this entire book!
“Ladies haven’t the luxury of being squeamish about blood,” she replies, and Percy and I go fantastically red in unison."
(No, they do not!)
The adventure that these three unlikely heroes undertake is packed full of hilarious moments (like this) -
"Which is how I come to be running through the gardens of the Palace of Versailles, dressed only as Nature intended."
(I really need help! I told you I couldn't stop quoting this book!)
Alongside, fight scenes, lots of 'almosts', lingering touches, longing glances, near misses (and near kisses) and through it all, Monty's beautiful, touching narrative that takes this story to new heights and depths.
"We are not broken things, neither of us. We are cracked pottery mended with lacquer and flakes of gold, whole as we are, complete unto each other. Complete and worthy and so very loved."
If you haven't read this book yet, do it.
In the meanwhile, I'll still be over here quoting every single line and counting down the days until The Ladies Guide to Petticoats and Piracy is Released!
A resounding 4.5 stars from me!!
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Rating: 4.5 STARS
How I got this book: ARC from Bonnier Zaffre via NetGalley
Princess Lira is siren royalty and the most lethal of them all. With the hearts of seventeen princes in her collection, she is revered across the sea. Until a twist of fate forces her to kill one of her own. To punish her daughter, the Sea Queen transforms Lira into the one thing they loathe most—a human. Robbed of her song, Lira has until the winter solstice to deliver Prince Elian’s heart to the Sea Queen or remain a human forever.
The ocean is the only place Prince Elian calls home, even though he is heir to the most powerful kingdom in the world. Hunting sirens is more than an unsavory hobby—it’s his calling. When he rescues a drowning woman in the ocean, she’s more than what she appears. She promises to help him find the key to destroying all of sirenkind for good—But can he trust her? And just how many deals will Elian have to barter to eliminate mankind’s greatest enemy?
Before reading this book, I didn't realise it was a re-telling and it was only when I started to read it that I realised it was based on The Little Mermaid.
I'm really glad I found out this way because The Little Mermaid is one of my least favourite fairy tales. (DON'T HATE ME!)
Thankfully, the author of this book is completely awesome and has taken everything I hated about the Disney version and made it completely badass! No longer is Ariel a spoilt, vapid princess willing to give up her voice and her life for a man she just met!! No longer is Eric just a pretty boy with a lot of money. They both have pasts, they both have passion and fire, they both have strength and courage. It's no longer a story of insta-love based on appearance alone. This story has depth and I can't get enough!
The characters in this book are complex, they have back-stories and they develop over the course of the book, taking you along on this fantastical journey of mythology, magic, friendship, hatred and love.
Without giving too much away, I absolutely love the spin on the villain(s) of this story.
I love the sarcastic, snarky, spunky and diverse characters found throughout. I love the plotting and world building.
To sum up this book for me, it's like The Little Mermaid meets Six of Crows and Pirates of the Carribean! It's definitely one of the better re-tellings I've had the pleasure of reading and I'd highly recommend it!
4.5 fin-tastic stars!
Rating: 4 STARS
Standalone/Series: The Illuminae Files #1
How I got this book: Bought
This morning, Kady thought breaking up with Ezra was the hardest thing she’d have to do. This afternoon, her planet was invaded.
The year is 2575, and two rival megacorporations are at war over a planet that’s little more than an ice-covered speck at the edge of the universe. Too bad nobody thought to warn the people living on it. With enemy fire raining down on them, Kady and Ezra—who are barely even talking to each other—are forced to fight their way onto an evacuating fleet, with an enemy warship in hot pursuit.
But their problems are just getting started. A deadly plague has broken out and is mutating, with terrifying results; the fleet's AI, which should be protecting them, may actually be their enemy; and nobody in charge will say what’s really going on. As Kady hacks into a tangled web of data to find the truth, it's clear only one person can help her bring it all to light: the ex-boyfriend she swore she'd never speak to again.
BRIEFING NOTE: Told through a fascinating dossier of hacked documents—including emails, schematics, military files, IMs, medical reports, interviews, and more--Illuminae is the first book in a heart-stopping, high-octane trilogy about lives interrupted, the price of truth, and the courage of everyday heroes.
I've been contemplating this book since I finished it last night, and I'm still processing so apologies if this review is somewhat haphazard.
I should probably start by saying that I've only ever read one other Sci-Fi book before, Amid Stars and Darkness, which I absolutely loved, but besides parts of it taking place in space, it was completely alien to this book. See what I did there?
My reactions to this book were a progressing variation of WTF, something like this: What? What the? What the hell? WTF? OMG WTF JUST HAPPENED? WTF AM I READING? WHY BOOK GODS WHY?
Illuminae threw me off from the first page due to its format, and the unusual way in which it's presented. As a side note, some parts were a tad unreadable on my Kindle due to the tiny font size but would probably have been much better in book form.
However, there were 4 parts of this book that I found brilliant: Kady, Ezra, Aidan and the person transcribing the video scenes.
The characters are lively, unique, funny, feisty and believable. I ached for them, almost cried for them and laughed at entirely inappropriate moments.
The story itself is phenomenal. I loved it. The storyline, the plot twists, the unexpected reveals - it was all fantastic, all of the elements in this book made it so good! Incidentally, at no point did this actually seem like a YA read, I was terrified and had trouble sleeping the entire time I was reading!! I am a huge scaredy cat!
Literally, the only reason that I'm not giving this book 5 stars is that I'm just not sure it's entirely my thing. I completely appreciate the storytelling, the characters and the unique way it was delivered but I'm not entirely sure that this type of sci-fi is for me...saying that, I'm still a really curious to find out what happens next, so who knows...
Maybe Illuminae is my gateway drug to becoming a massive sci-fi fan...we shall see!
As an aside, I'm now even more inclined though to read Nevernight because this type of dark humour and insane plot twists in a fantasy novel...bring it on!
Rating: 4.5 STARS & 5 STARS!
Standalone/Series: Six of Crows Duology
How I got this book: Bought
So, I finally got my head out of the sand and picked up these two books. Holy crap! Why did it take me so long to read these?!?
I'm reviewing both books together because:
1 - I literally read them back to back with barely time to breathe between them.
2 - These two books belong together.
So, let's start with Six of Crows!
I finished this book a lot quicker than I expected to when I started. It's the first book I've read with quite so many POV's (there's 8 in total I think, although 2 are fleeting) and so at first, I found myself longing for more time to get to know each character.
However, I think this flitting POV gives the book a fantastic pace, I was half-way through and wondering how I'd got there so quickly and after a short while, I'd really started to bond with the characters.
I love them all, some more than others 💓INEJ💓JESPER💓!!
I also love the pairings, the ships in this book are some of my favourite - EVER!!
"I have beguiled you with my Grisha wiles!" 😂❤️"
The characters are fantastic:
Kaz, Inej, Jesper, Wylan, Nina and Mathias. They each have fantastic personalities, wit, drive, passion and fears they need to overcome and work through.
“They're all survivors. They adapt.”
The world building here is amazing. The character building is even better.
Six of Crows has intrigue, mystery, danger, friendship, misdirection and a whole hell of a lot of badass!
This really was like a much better, more fantastical and cooler teen version of Ocean's 11 crossed with the Breakfast Club - some of the plot twists were great and I loved the character development and backstory behind each character.
I'm slightly annoyed that EVERYTHING I've read lately ends on a cliffhanger...I need the next book, like yesterday!
So, I immediately picked up Crooked Kingdom after finishing Six of Crows because my love for this gang was burning and I needed more.
This book has destroyed me. The ending was so damn bittersweet it hurts.
Six of Crows was amazing, but Crooked Kingdom was everything, and in my opinion it made the first book so much better.
I love these characters. I love their skills, talents, flaws, secrets and most of all their fiercely beating hearts.
I have favourites (Inej and Jesper) but it's a close call as each character is fantastic in their own way. The world building continues to be brilliant and the way the author (and Kaz) keep you guessing until the very last minute is sheer perfection.
There were some truly joyous moments in this book that built from the last and were all the better for the buildup. I love that you literally never know what to expect from the plot and the characters (particularly Kaz who is a phenomenal character).
The ending literally made me cry with both sadness and joy, and whilst I won't spoil it for anyone, just make sure you have tissues close by, and plenty of waffles!
The book ended in a place that made me think there should surely be more. A few things were left in a place that I'm just not happy to leave but then maybe that was the intention as I can now stress dream over what happens next!!!
If you haven't read Six of Crows and Crooked Kingdom yet, just do it, you won't be disappointed.
Leigh Bardugo is incredible and I NEED more! I guess it's only a matter of time now before I pick up the Shadow and Bone trilogy!
"No mourners, no funerals."
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About Kayleigh (She/Her)
Book addict, film mad, music lover, business owner, writer and mum (not necessarily in that order), living in the UK.
About Sophie (She/Her)
Sophie loves books (obviously). She has a passion for photography and spotting wildlife, and is interested in anything made with passion and creativity.
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5 Stars - AMAZING!!
4.5 Stars - Almost perfect!
4 Stars - I really loved it
3.5 Stars - I liked it alot
3 Stars - I liked it
(I don't typically review books that I rate below 3 stars)
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