Welcome to my stop on the Match Me If You Can Blog Tour!
It's my first blog tour of the year and I'm so excited to be back since I haven't done one of these since Halloween.
As always, a huge thanks to Xpresso Book Tours for allowing me to take part!
Now, on to the book at hand...
Rating: 3 STARS
How I got this book: ARC from Xpresso Book Tours
Mia’s best friend Robyn is known for her matchmaking skills, which is perfect, because homecoming is just around the corner. But Robyn refuses to set Mia up with the guy of her dreams, which forces Mia to take matters into her own hands. She uses Robyn’s matchmaking service to make sure popular Vince Demetrius falls for her.
Vince asks her out, but Mia doesn’t count on Logan, the persistent school newspaper photographer who seems to like her out of the blue. Now she has to choose between Vince – the guy she knows is right for her – and Logan, who insists that she give him a chance. And she needs to make sure Robyn doesn’t find out that Mia’s been matchmaking behind her back.
Mia has two weeks before homecoming. Can she fix the mess she made or will she have to kiss her perfect match goodbye forever?
Romance and YA are two of my favourite things and I was really excited to start reading Match Me If You Can.
First impressions of Mia made me think of a younger Bridget Jones. Mia is a bit clumsy and fumbling, so it made her a more real and relatable character, to begin with.
I noticed on Goodreads that the book is a re-telling of A Midsummer Night's Dream which becomes more apparent towards the middle of the book when certain relationships begin to entwine and clash.
Whilst the plot is super predictable and full of rom-com style clichés, the writing did keep me engaged throughout the story.
My favourite thing about this whole book is Logan, who I love. He's sweet, supportive, funny, flirty and heartfelt, and I can't get enough of his scenes.
I did have a few problems with Mia's character. To me, she seemed quite shallow and a little vapid, she's constantly ignoring the very obvious truth, as well as her own feelings, and I felt as though I was several steps ahead of her throughout the entire book.
The drama also irked me a little as it just seemed a tad over the top and unnecessary but it did fuel the plot and kept the pace moving quickly.
The romance was very sweet but I don't want to go into too much detail and ruin the particulars for you, so all I'll say is that this book is a very light, fun and fluffy read, perfect for fans of quick-paced teen rom-coms.
Click the cover photo above to add the book to your Goodreads TBR and enter below for your chance to win a print copy of Match Me If You Can. The giveaway is open to US/CAN only and is hosted by Xpresso Book Tours.
Don't forget to click the banner at the top to follow the rest of the tour and feel free to leave your comments below :)
Welcome to my stop on the Hush blog tour!!
As always, big thanks to Xpresso Book Tours for allowing me to join in with the tour, I love doing review tours as it's a great way to discover new books and authors! This week's book is Hush by A.M. Salinger, which is book 8 of the authors' Nights series, although it can be read as a standalone.
Rating: 3 STARS
Genre: Contemporary Romance
Standalone/Series: Nights Series #8 - (Can be read as a standalone)
How I got this book: ARC from Xpresso Book Tours
Tom Sutherland is an arrogant prick. There, I said it. Okay, so he’s also my assistant and I couldn’t survive without him, but that doesn’t make him less of an irritating bastard — Lana
Lana Keele is a witch. A beautiful, frustrating witch placed on this earth to torment me. Yeah, she’s my boss, but she’s still the most maddening creature I’ve ever had the misfortune to cross paths with — Tom
When Lana Keele, president of Keele Industries and only surviving heir to business tycoon Oliver Keele, wakes up in her devil-of-an-assistant’s bed after a drunken night out, she fears the worst. That is, until prissy Mr. Perfect Tom Sutherland declares that she’s the last woman he’d ever want to sleep with.
After surviving four years in the company of the infuriating woman he’d lusted after since his teens, Tom has had just about enough of the unholy siren that is Lana, especially when she turns up inebriated on his doorstep one night and demands sex. Convinced that Lana will never return his affections, Tom decides that it’s high time to get over his unrequited love.
Except Lana doesn’t quite seem to agree with this plan. Not after she sees him with another woman. Not after she confronts him about it. And most definitely not after he succumbs to temptation and kisses her.
As they finally ignite the fire that has burned so long between them, Tom cannot help but be certain that for Lana, this is just about sex. Will he be satisfied with only having the body of the woman he loves and not possess her heart? Or will Lana convince Tom that she truly means to give him her everything?
Hush is the first book that I've read by this author and since I'm always looking to discover new romance authors I jumped at the chance to review it. The synopsis struck me as an enemies to lovers style trope (which I love) and I read the book in just a couple of hours.
It's also the first novella I've read in quite a while and I found myself flying through it.
As it's a novella, the story kicks off straight away with Lana waking up in her assistant's bed with a blazing hangover and no idea what happened the night before.
Tom and Lana's relationship quickly heats up, with the tension between them building rapidly. The chemistry between the two characters sizzles off the page and the love scenes are SUPER descriptive, if a little cringe-worthy at times, but that's just my opinion.
Some of the characters in this book are clearly from the other books in the series but I never really felt as though there was something I'd missed because the author gives a quick overview to introduce each character.
Although this book is categorised as a contemporary romance on Goodreads, I'd personally class it as erotic romance as it seems that the sex is at the forefront of the novella with the plot taking a bit of a backseat.
I did like that the secondary characters in the book were diverse in terms of their sexuality but I was massively confused by the fact that this book is supposed to be set in Shanghai but I think every single character is white. It would have been nice to have some cultural representation going on here, otherwise why choose Shanghai as a setting at all? Unless I'm missing something here....
The writing style was fun and fast-paced and after looking at the synopsis and reviews of some of the other books in this series, I'm definitely interested in finding out what more A.M. Salinger has to offer.
Overall, this was a fast paced, hot read with a simple, fairly drama-free plot and a guaranteed HEA.
Click the cover photo above to add the book to your Goodreads TBR and enter below for your chance to win a $10 Amazon Gift Card + 2 signed paperback copies of Hush (Open Internationally - giveaway hosted by Xpresso Book Tours).
Finally, you can click the banner at the top to follow the rest of the tour and feel free to leave your comments below :)
Rating: 3 STARS
Genre: YA Fantasy
Standalone/Series: Summoner #1
How I got this book: Bought from Audible
When blacksmith apprentice Fletcher discovers that he has the ability to summon demons from another world, he travels to Adept Military Academy. There the gifted are trained in the art of summoning. Fletcher is put through grueling training as a battlemage to fight in the Hominum Empire’s war against orcs. He must tread carefully while training alongside children of powerful nobles. The power hungry, those seeking alliances, and the fear of betrayal surround him. Fletcher finds himself caught in the middle of powerful forces, with only his demon Ignatius for help.
As the pieces on the board maneuver for supremacy, Fletcher must decide where his loyalties lie. The fate of an empire is in his hands. The Novice is the first in a trilogy about Fletcher, his demon Ignatius, and the war against the Orcs.
I decided to read this book after seeing Taran Matharu at the NYALitFest. It had been on my radar for a while and I decided, after listening to the sample, to give the audiobook a try.
This was a buddy read and it took us a month to listen to this one.
The first thing I noticed about The Novice were the clear comparisons to Lord of the Rings, Harry Potter and Pokemon - an interesting combination.
I found the story intriguing, if following a fairly typical, boy stumbles across powers/magic and starts training at magic school, befriends a boy and a girl and has to defeat the evil, snobbish, wealthy child(ren).
However, I had a huge problem with the narrator. It got to the point where the narrator was massively distracting me with the way he pronounced a lot of the words. It was just driving me crazy, and making me laugh when the story just didn't call for humour.
I persevered because I was enjoying the story, the magic was interesting, and I loved the Pokemon similarities, especially finding out that the humans are the pokeballs which was a funny twist!
I also loved the characters, especially the daemons who have their own personalities.
Where the story ended was a little frustrating (probably because I'm not a huge cliffhanger fan) but it does leave the story open for book 2 and I am interested to see where this goes.
However, I think I'll definitely be going with the paper book/eBook next time, instead of the audiobook.
Rating: 3 STARS
Genre: YA Fantasy
Standalone/Series: The Numair Chronicles #1
How I got this book: ARC from NetGalley
Arram Draper is a boy on the path to becoming one of the realm’s most powerful mages. The youngest student in his class at the Imperial University of Carthak, he has a Gift with unlimited potential for greatness–and for attracting danger. At his side are his two best friends: Varice, a clever girl with an often-overlooked talent, and Ozorne, the “leftover prince” with secret ambitions. Together, these three friends forge a bond that will one day shape kingdoms. And as Ozorne gets closer to the throne and Varice gets closer to Arram’s heart, Arram begins to realize that one day soon he will have to decide where his loyalties truly lie.
In the Numair Chronicles, readers will be rewarded with the never-before-told story of how Numair Salmalín came to Tortall. Newcomers will discover an unforgettable fantasy adventure where a kingdom’s future rests on the shoulders of a talented young man with a knack for making vicious enemies.
If you've been following me on Twitter or Goodreads, you'll know that I've really struggled with this book.
This is my first book by Tamora Pierce and I was really intrigued by the synopsis and liked the start of the book, but it quickly felt dull and boring. I had a lot of trouble connecting with the characters and the plot for the first 45% of the book and I almost stopped reading.
I just felt as though nothing was really happening and I struggled to see an overall plot. I persevered because I hate giving up on books and there were some parts of it that I did like, such as the magic itself, and some of the other characters such as the masters, the gladiators and the gods provided the most amusement.
I did feel as though the book picked up around 55-60%, things seemed to get more interesting and I felt more of a connection with Arram as he faced certain challenges.
Mostly, I was somewhat disappointed with the ending. I know that this is the first book in a series but honestly, it took me such a long time to read with very little taking place and then ended in such an odd, non-conclusive place that I feel really confused.
I think the story and the characters have more to offer and I'm really hoping that book 2 has better pacing as I'd like to find out what happens next, but only if it doesn't drag on for quite so long.
Have you read this one? What do you think?
RATING: 2.5/3 STARS
Genre: Contemporary Romance
How I got this book: Bought
He was that boy in the playground.
The one that pulled your pigtails.
The one that lifted your dress in front of the entire school.
Now he's that guy in the office.
The one that steals your lunch from the fridge.
The one that gets away with everything.
I'm sure you know him. Everyone knows that guy.
He's a #JERK.
Presley Malone knew her relationship with her fiancé, Jason, had run its course.
The second that ring came off her finger, she didn't expect to be the pawn in an immature game played by the office jerk.
His name is Haden Cooper, and he is six years younger than her. Immature and irresponsible, getting drunk and stoned every weekend like he never left college. He rode a motorcycle, carrying a different girl each week. He was everything a jerk should be—insensitive, unreliable, and most importantly, a heartbreaker.
Haden enjoyed playing games, and when it came to Presley Malone, it was all too easy. Miss Know-it-all with her over-the-top OCD was soon going to get a taste of what it was like to live on the edge.
But what starts off as an innocent prank soon becomes an unhealthy obsession.
He is wrong for her and she is wrong for him. It's a battle of the sexes ready to go to war. But in this battle there are no winners, and it takes only one fateful night and six tequilas for their lives to take an unexpected turn that changes them both forever.
Rating: 3 STARS
Genre: Paranormal, Romance/Suspense
Standalone/Series: Beautiful Monsters #1
How I got this book: Bought
Matthew Callahan has spent seven years struggling against the insatiable hunger for blood consuming him. Unable to stop the vampire inside from preying on humans, he keeps himself confined to a lonely existence.
Everything changes the night he is lured into a trap and taken prisoner by High Lord General Tarrick—a seductive incubus who feeds off sexual energy. Forced into the middle of a war between vampires and incubi, Matthew is used as a weapon against his own kind. Although he's desperate for freedom, he is unable to deny the burning desire drawing him to the incubus general he now calls Master.
I have sooo many mixed feelings about this book.
First of all, I had no idea how to categorise this book. It's definitely paranormal, full of suspense and yeah, there's a lot of sex, both M/M and F/M, but I don't feel like 'romance' is the right category for this book, even if Goodreads disagrees, which is the only reason I've included it above lol.
Let me start by getting the bad stuff out of the way first, because there's a serious amount of traumatic sh** in this book including mental, physical and emotional abuse, and slavery - none of which are things I enjoy reading about.
However, moving past that, there was a lot about this book that I did like. The world-building was fantastic, especially the description, history and development of the four different species featured in this book; look out for vampires, incubi, gargoyles and more.
I really like the main character Mathew, he's very likeable, and I just wanted to save him through every single moment of this book, especially at the end where I honestly felt like bursting into tears.
I also liked how the author changed my opinion of different characters, those I started off liking/hating sometimes switched, and then again switched back. It was different, and I ended the book still completely unsure who's 'good' (although that's an extremely loose term) and who isn't.
The absolute best thing about this book was the action. The fight scenes were the kind that have you on the edge of your seat, heart pounding, hoping that everything will work out in the end.
I think ultimately, this book features far too much sex, which detracts a lot from the plot. Honestly, if you cut the majority of the sex scenes from this book between various characters, the pace would flow so much quicker.
There are four books in this series, and I'm just not sure yet if I want to continue with this series. I'd hope for more action, less sex, and in truth, the synopsis of book two sounds really promising.
What do you think? Have you read this book? Should I keep reading?
Rating: 3 STARS
Genre: Women's Fiction/Spy/Crime
How I got this book: ARC from Bonnier Zaffre via NetGalley
Please note: This review does feature more quotes than usual but I've done my best to still keep it spoiler free!
Every working mum has had to face it.
The guilt-fuelled, anxiety-filled first day back in the office after maternity leave.
But this working mum is one of a kind.
Meet Alexis Tyler.
An elite covert agent within Her Majesty's Secret Service.
Her first project back is a high-stakes hit of global significance and the old boys network of government espionage is far from ready for the return of an operational mother. But woe betide anyone who ever tells Alexis Tyler 'you can't'.
She will have it all. Or she'll die trying . . .
And yes, she damn well will be home for bath time.
Okay, so I don't typically read this genre, and that's probably reflected in my review. However, I'm always open to trying new things and when I spotted this title on NetGalley I loved the sound of it.
I have a three-year-old little menace and whilst I'm sadly not a spy, the synopsis made me laugh and was still relatable.
I love Lex, she's feisty, strong-willed and determined to prove herself in a very masculine world. I love her humour but I do feel that the comedy is specifically aimed at mums and so might not be relatable to a broader readership.
"My enemies have got it wrong if they think that becoming a mother has made me weaker. I stare down at her as she holds my little finger. There is nothing I wouldn't do for her. Climb mountains. Fight tigers. Track down and kill every single fucker trying to tear us apart. I will show them all."
I liked the initial plot idea but did find myself struggling with the pace a little and I was pushing myself to keep reading after 50%.
It was the underlying story of motherhood and Lex's character that kept me going through some of the 'slower' plot moments, and is truly my favourite aspect of the book.
The book is a very strong advocate for feminism as the author honestly portrays sexism in the workplace. It was eerie how familiar some of the lines from the male characters in the book felt from personal experience.
"'Good. I just had to check. As you know. Hormones.' He twirled a finger round next to his head."
I also really enjoyed some of the spy/mum crossover moments such as a scene featuring Lex talking about the strain having a baby can put on the parents' relationship.
"Once a full bottle of expressed milk slipped out of my hand. Upon seeing it pour all over the place I'd collapsed to the floor sobbing. Will's jovial, 'There's no use crying over spilt milk,' had me mentally loading an automatic machine gun and spraying him with bullets."
"I may have every now and then thought about killing the father of my child but I never actually did it. Which had to count for something."
Overall, I really enjoyed the twist on the traditional male-led spy novel and found the humour realistic and relatable. Recommended for lovers of crime fiction and any mum who needs a little reminder that she's amazing!
"...a woman could do anything she put her mind to. And that a mother should never be written off. But put on a fucking pedestal."
Rating: 3 STARS
How I got this book: ARC from HarperCollins UK, Children's via NetGalley
Everyone knows what happens in the end.
A mermaid, a prince, a true love’s kiss.
But before that young siren’s tale, there were three friends.
One feared, one royal, and one already dead.
Ever since her best friend, Anna, drowned, Evie has been an outcast in her small fishing town. A freak. A curse. A witch.
A girl with an uncanny resemblance to Anna appears offshore and, though the girl denies it, Evie is convinced that her best friend actually survived. That her own magic wasn’t so powerless after all. And, as the two girls catch the eyes—and hearts—of two charming princes, Evie believes that she might finally have a chance at her own happily ever after.
But her new friend has secrets of her own. She can’t stay in Havnestad, or on two legs, unless Evie finds a way to help her. Now Evie will do anything to save her friend’s humanity, along with her prince’s heart—harnessing the power of her magic, her ocean, and her love until she discovers, too late, the truth of her bargain.
The rise of Hans Christian Andersen’s iconic villainess is a heart-wrenching story of friendship, betrayal, and a girl pushed beyond her limits—to become a monster.
I spotted this book on NetGalley and was drawn to it for two reasons:
1.) The cover is gorgeous! It's a little superficial to judge a book by its cover, I know (yet we all do it!), but it really drew me in. I loved the creepy, mysterious vibe to it and had high hopes for a dark story.
2.) From the synopsis, it's obvious that this story is connected to The Little Mermaid and I've really enjoyed a lot of the fairytale retellings that have been released year!
On that note, as you can probably gather from the cover and the synopsis, this story isn't so much a retelling as an Ursula origin story, which I was more than on-board with! I love a good villain story!
My thoughts on this book are a little mixed, so please bear with me as I'm still processing!
The opening chapter was interesting but a little confusing and I wasn't entirely sure I'd be able to get into this book. However, I soon found myself flying through chapters, the pace really picked up and I became heavily invested and intrigued to find out what would happen next.
It was definitely an interesting start to the story. I was invested in the characters, most particularly Evie, her story of hardship and life as an outcast made her character much stronger.
I also really liked Tante Hansa and Annemette; the latter really comes into her own as we near the end of the book and Tante Hansa's no-nonsense approach to life made me an instant fan of hers, especially with this particular quote,
"Don't grant all the prince's requests, darling girl. Men are always asking for more than they should."
Sadly, I wasn't too keen on the other characters. Iker was predictable from the start and Evie's obsession with him never made sense to me.
Nik is a marginally better character but the 'romance' aspect of this book really threw me off. It felt a bit messy and wishy-washy in places, leading up to a 'surprise' reveal at the end that was quite strange and didn't really make sense to me.
Sadly, just over halfway through the book, whilst I didn't at all lose interest or get bored, I did become more and more frustrated with Evie. She's so naive and at times almost oblivious to what's immediately in front of her and I just found some of the storyline a bit repetitive as she goes back and forth over how she's treated by everyone, her attraction to Iker, and her guilt.
I did push past this and kept reading, which I'm really glad I did because things got decidedly better when a certain 'truth' is finally revealed, which does take the story to a much darker place, and I did enjoy this a lot more.
The epilogue was probably my favourite chapter, although I ultimately felt sad that what I'd hoped at the beginning would be an empowering female novel, ended on a bit of a sour note for me.
Overall, whilst I did enjoy the premise of the story and the backstory it provided, I just felt that the main character lacked a little punch.
Recommended for fans of To Kill A Kingdom, The Language of Thorns and fairytale retellings in general.
Rating: 3 STARS
How I got this book: April 'Book Box Club' Subscription
Ten days after Jaya Mackenzie’s mum dies, angels start falling from the sky. Smashing down to earth at extraordinary speeds, wings bent, faces contorted, not a single one has survived.
Hysteria mounting with every Being that drops, Jaya’s father uproots the family to Edinburgh intent on catching one alive. But Jaya can’t stand this obsession and, struggling to make sense of her mother’s sudden death and her own role on that fateful day, she’s determined to stay out of it.
When her best friend disappears and her father’s mania spirals, things hit rock bottom and it’s at that moment something extraordinary happens: An angel lands right at Jaya’s feet, and it’s alive. Finally she is forced to acknowledge just how significant these celestial beings are.
Set against the backdrop of the frenzied Edinburgh festival, OUT OF THE BLUE tackles questions of grief and guilt and fear over who we really are. But it’s also about love and acceptance and finding your place in this world as angels drop out of another.
There were one or two things in this book that didn't sit well with me, so I'm going to talk about the things that I did like first.
This book was a 'surprise' book as it was part of the April 'Fallen Angels' book box subscription from Book Box Club. You can check out my unboxing to find out what angel related goodies were inside this months' box.
I was really intrigued by this fantasy-esque story that takes place in Edinburgh. I liked the setting, I think the backdrop of the Fringe festival was really well explored and works well alongside the fantasy elements of this story, and I enjoyed the Scottish narrative.
This book is very diverse, and I love that it was both culturally and sexually inclusive. It features a lesbian character, a bi character (yay!), characters of colour, and disability.
I think the author does an excellent job of tackling quite a lot of difficult subjects in such a short novel (279 pages) including; loss, grief, abuse, disability, mental illness, and faith, and yet it still remains a very teenage YA novel full of teenage antics, plenty of junk food, new friendships, and self-discovery.
Jaya is a great protagonist. She's strong-willed, gay and not ashamed to be who she is. She's struggling to come to terms with her mother's death and blames herself. At the same time, she's juggling with a father who's channelled his grief into an obsession, almost leaving his children to care for themselves, a younger sister she can't face after the loss of their mother and the mysterious disappearance of her secretive ex-girlfriend. All the while, mysterious 'Beings' that look like angels are falling from the sky.
Jaya's character comes on in leaps and bounds during this book as she deals with difficult situations and her own grief and pain exceptionally well. I truly wanted her to find peace.
The friends she makes along the way are colourful, complex and beautiful, making the underlying story really beautiful.
I really enjoyed the description of the 'Beings' - they were beautiful to imagine.
The main issue that I had with this book was the ending. It felt rushed and in a way, incomplete. I just don't feel as though this was properly resolved. In my opinion, a lot of things were also left unexplained and, to me at least, it seemed to take away from the book by leaving so many unanswered questions that it almost felt like the book just ended accidentally with a missing chapter/epilogue which would have been helpful. The last line is the most confusing.
There was so much crammed into this story that I felt a little more resolution at the end would have been nice to avoid the unsatisfied feeling I had when I put this book down.
There were a couple of other things I struggled with but I don't want to give anything away as I'd still recommend this book to fellow lovers of YA/Fantasy looking for more LGBT representation.
But, that's just my opinion. Read the book and let me know what you think!
Tunnocks teacake anyone?
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Book addict, film mad, music lover, business owner, aspiring writer and mum (not necessarily in that order), living in the UK.
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