Rating: 4 Stars!
How I got this book: Gift
Yadriel has summoned a ghost, and now he can't get rid of him.
When his traditional Latinx family has problems accepting his true gender, Yadriel becomes determined to prove himself a real brujo. With the help of his cousin and best friend Maritza, he performs the ritual himself, and then sets out to find the ghost of his murdered cousin and set it free.
However, the ghost he summons is actually Julian Diaz, the school's resident bad boy, and Julian is not about to go quietly into death. He's determined to find out what happened and tie off some loose ends before he leaves. Left with no choice, Yadriel agrees to help Julian, so that they can both get what they want. But the longer Yadriel spends with Julian, the less he wants to let him leave.
Ah, this book hit me right in the feels!
"You don't need anyone's permission to be you, Yads”
Cemetery Boys is the story of Yadriel, a young trans man who, after losing his mother, and his number one supporter, is fighting for recognition as a brujo in his very traditional community. With the help of his best-friend Maritza, he performs a ritual that sets a chain of events in motion that he never saw coming, accidentally summoning the wrong spirit and entwining their fate.
I loved the beginning of this book. Aiden paints a beautiful picture filled with Latinx culture. The imagery is beautiful and the interweaving of Spanish with English made this book a truly cultural experience and reignited my desire to learn Spanish.
The tension at the beginning of the book is perfect and builds into something palpable and almost dangerous as the book progresses and new dangers and obstacles arise.
“You know who you are, I know who you are, and our Lady does, too." She said with fierce conviction. "So screw the rest of them!" Maritza grinned at him. "Remember why we're doing this.”
I immediately loved the obvious love and friendship between Maritza and Yadriel as she helps him perform the ritual that will grant him the powers of the brujo, without getting caught. Maritza is supportive in all the right ways, without ever trying to force Yadriel into doing things he doesn't want to. She's a great person to have in your corner.
Yadriel is such a fantastic character to root for, made even more powerful because this book is own voices. His moving and emotional struggle to prove himself and then to accept who he is, despite what others think, is poignant and makes for an eye-opening read with a perfect fantasy twist.
"Queen folks are like wolves," Julian told him. "We travel in packs."
Then, we meet Julian, a riot of a character who has a tough, no-nonsense exterior at first, but proves himself to be a complete puppy with boundless energy, enthusiasm and acceptance for all. Julian is my favourite character in this book. He's perfect for Yadriel, complimenting Yadriel's reserve with plenty of daring and excitement. He's loving and delivers some of the deepest insight in this book, both for Yadriel and for the reader; while delivering what I felt was one of most powerful scenes in the entire book; full of raw, unguarded emotion.
Watching Yadriel and Julian grow closer and push each-other was the genuine delight of this book, and so enjoyable. Until finally we got an ending that fit the book perfectly.
“You ready?" Julian asked, a curious look on his devastatingly handsome face.
"No," Yadriel confessed, his voice tight.
Julian grinned. "Do it anyways.”
My only very slight issue was that the plot and the 'big twist' were really predictable BUT because the tension and the build-up between Yadriel and Julian built so beautifully, and the ever-looming deadline to their journey was constantly at the forefront of the story, it more than made up for it.
Overall, I loved the setting, the scenery, the culture, the language and the relationships, even the ones that weren't so great as they provided a brilliant contrast for the strong, healthy relationships. I also loved the magic and how it completely entwined with the everyday.
I'd highly recommend Cemetery Boys by Aiden Thomas to anyone looking for a truly diverse and powerful paranormal YA.
“Julian's chuckle was wet. "Valió ... la pena."
Rating: 4 STARS
Genre: Historical Romance
Series/Standalone: The Penwich School for Virtuous Girls #1
How I got this book: Bought
She works to live...
One would think the last place a beauty like Fallon O'Rourke could keep her virtue was in the Mayfair mansion of London's most licentious duke, the notorious Dominic Hale. Yet Fallon—who's endured nothing but lecherous advances since her father's tragic death—is perfectly safe there...disguised as a footman! Beneath the notice of the dark-haired devil with his smoldering blue eyes and sinful smile, Fallon never imagines her secret will be discovered. But how long can her deception last when she begins to wish she is one of the many women traipsing in and out of the sinful rogue's bedchamber?
He lives to sin...
Most men envy the duke, never suspecting his pleasure-loving ways are a desperate attempt to escape, however briefly, the pain of a past that's left him with a heart of stone. Only one woman can break down his defenses. Only one woman can win his love...if she reveals her secret and succumbs to the sins of the wicked duke.
TW: Child-abuse (beating).
My first book of the year was very much a comfort read.
After binge-watching Bridgerton over the holidays, I desperately wanted to read something set in the same period and with the same level of upstairs/downstairs gossip and drama.
So, not having Julia Quinn's, The Duke and I, in my collection, I turned to an old favourite!
“I wish for adventure. I wish to matter. I wish for a home.”
Sins of a Wicked Duke is one of my favourite romance novels. Sophie Jordan does a brilliant job of creating Fallon, a strong heroine who, as a reader, I completely empathise with as she struggles to deal with life as a woman in the service of men.
Since leaving the orphanage where she was raised and abused by the headmaster, she goes into work without a reference befitting her education and can only find work as a maid. But life as a woman in service is hard; with the unwanted attention from the men who employ her driving her out of every steady position.
Faced with no choice, and with the help of her two best friends, Fallon decides that the only way for her to get the money she needs to escape this life is to pretend to be a man and take the job of footman at the house of the most notorious Duke in the ton.
I absolutely love Fallon. She's fierce, tough, and compassionate. Damien is, at first, the polar opposite. He's a complete rake with no manners and no respect for women. Until his layers are revealed, and we see his true nature, hidden beneath the trauma of his childhood, not so dissimilar to Fallon's in the abuse he received as a child.
With a guaranteed HEA and a Mulan-style gender-swapping twist, Sins of a Wicked Duke is the perfect read for lovers of Bridgerton and Downton Abbey who're looking for a little heat!
Rating: 4 Stars
Genre: MM Romance/Christmas/Fantasy/Comedy
Series/Standalone: A Snow Globe Christmas #1 (Can be read as a standalone)
How I got this book: Bought on Audible
Despite growing up in a family of villains, I’d rather curl up and read than commit crimes. When I get coerced by my brother into helping him rob a bank, I run into August, my childhood crush—also known as Chrono, the city’s greatest superhero. He’s sexy, sweet, and suddenly he’s asking me to Thanksgiving with his parents. It’s probably because he doesn’t realize that I’m Leviathan, a villain with the power of telekinesis. And I can’t tell him because he’d never forgive me and would stop doing things like cooking for me—wait, maybe that would be a good thing, since he’s a terrible cook. It doesn’t help that my parents think they’re the ultimate villains and won’t stop getting in my way, although they can’t even steal toilet paper without getting caught.
But when real supervillains (not the wannabe kind that I grew up with) start targeting August, I might be forced to show everyone who I truly am: a slightly warped and snarky man who’d really rather read a book than save anything… besides August. I’ll tear this world apart just to get another glimpse of him in those glasses and spandex suit. I’ll do whatever it takes to keep him safe, even though it means exposing my true identity. Luckily, August still cares about me, proving that even a villain and a hero can fall in love. Hopefully, we’ll be able to save the world in time for Christmas.
Fans of TJ Klune will devour A Villain for Christmas.
I started this book on a whim because of an Audible recommendation.
It's narrated by Michael Lesley, one of my favourite narrators; he's a sassy and comedic genius who effortlessly brings characters to life.
About a minute in, I had to go back and check that the author wasn’t actually TJ Klune because, honestly; it sounds like him to the point where I wondered if it was intentional, especially when the protagonist begs the villain to stop monologuing (which is a recurring joke in Klune’s Tales from Verania series).
The absurd characters and Lesley’s exaggerated narration drew me into the story immediately. He's a perfect Landon, with his fun, sassy wit. It’s the perfect combination of hilarious and completely heartfelt, and his delivery had me in stitches from the beginning.
Landon is a super-villain with a secret - he hates being bad! He's also crazy powerful and has a huge crush on the city's biggest superhero.
Landon is an absolute sweetheart. He's hilariously funny and sarcastic, but he wears his heart on his sleeve and delivers some truly emotional and heartbreaking scenes in the book.
August is loads of fun. He's also extremely sweet, and so adorable when Landon brings out his 'bad' side. Together, they're hilarious and once you add in the random, diverse cast of superheroes, villains, and the hairless cat, A Villain for Christmas will have you laughing out loud from start to finish.
I admit I didn't expect a lot from the plot, but it's actually really enjoyable. There are a couple of great twists and surprises that really drove the plot forward and kept me listening.
However, I’m not really sure that you would call this a Christmas story, other than it taking place in December and featuring a small Thanksgiving and Christmas scene, it's very much a funny superhero story, but it works.
Anyone who loves outrageous, OTT characters that make you laugh out loud will love A Villain for Christmas.
In particular, if you've read TJ Klune's The Extraordinaries and would love a more 'adult' superhero/super-villain rom-com, this checks all the boxes.
Rating: 4 Stars!
Genre: LGBT Contemporary Romance
How I got this book: Bought
It may be cold outside, but inside, the temperature is rising.
When grad student Kevin Taggert goes home with his best friend for Thanksgiving, the last thing he expects is to drool over the guy’s dad.
Forty-eight-year-old Drew Freeman would love a relationship, but he never expected to find it with his son’s best friend.
When a last-minute change of plans leaves Drew and Kevin alone in a cabin the week before Christmas, the heat between them is too much to deny.
Although they promise it’ll only last the week, every day that passes brings them closer together. When Christmas Day arrives—along with Drew’s son—can they salvage the relationship and the holiday?
Looking for a super-sweet m/m Christmas romance? Cabin Fever is a best-friend's dad, age-gap, forced proximity, slow burn, perfect for fans of Anyta Sunday.
I will not drool over my best friend's dad...
Packed full of wintery feels, this book is a is a sure-fire way to get you into the Christmas spirit. The wintery cabin, the long walks and early morning runs in the snow, the winter hot tub scene; it was all brilliant and really set the mood for the entire book.
The book centres around Kevin, who's facing a Thanksgiving spent alone as his family is too far away. He's feeling sad and like his family are cutting him out of their lives, when his best friend Jason invites him to spend Thanksgiving with him and his dad.
Kevin jumps at the chance for a family holiday but regrets his decision when he comes face to face with Drew, Jason's dad, who might just be the most handsome, kindest man Kevin has ever met.
"Help yourself to anything in this house," Drew said with a smile.
Including you? he wondered.
Watching Kevin and Jason grow from perfect strangers to good friends and then fighting to keep their relationship in the friend-zone, for Jason's sake, was really sweet. This book is most definitely not insta-love, it's a long slow burn that will keep you turning pages, eager for more.
I liked Kevin and Drew, who are a pretty perfect match, except for the odd moment where Kevin acts a bit childish. But together, they bring out the best in each other.
Jason is my least favourite character as, for most of the book, he's a self-centred, petulant child, only seeming to mature at the very end of the book. He was necessary to the plot, but I grew to really hate him as a character.
Kevin groaned. "You're going to make me work for it aren't you?"
Something in Drew's eyes flared hot. "I might."
The tension and chemistry in this book are fantastic, the constant will they/won't they back and forth built really well and kept me hooked through every single page.
The only thing I didn't like about this book is how every character is introduced using their full name. It's a pet peeve of mine, but honestly, just beginning the book with, 'Kevin looked up from his phone...' is much better, in my opinion than, 'Kevin Taggert looked up from his phone', and then a couple of lines later, 'Jason Freeman plopped onto the couch next to him...' Unless there are several characters with the same first name, including surnames sometimes feels a bit informal and throws off the tone of the book.
That being said, it didn't stop me from quickly shipping these characters and rooting for them every step of the way. So, if you're looking for a super sweet, sizzling slow burn this Christmas, I'd highly recommend Cabin Fever.
Book Review: How to Steal a Heart in 500 Kisses & How to Evict a Hot Jock in Three Weeks by Anyta Sunday
Overall, I definitely like the first book in the series more than the second, and I would have preferred fewer sex scenes in both books because I just felt that they took something away from the sweeter nature of these stories.
In the second book, I think it would have been nicer to see more of the character's interaction and the 'slow-burn' I've come to expect from Anyta Sunday. But, saying that, I think the character pairing was interesting, as were the unusual circumstances in each book that drove the characters together and I'm looking forward to reading more in this series.
Both books are available from today, just click the images above to visit Goodreads and follow the links to your favourite bookseller!
Rating: 4 Stars
How I got this book: Bought
Everyone knows about the dare: Each week, Bryson Keller must date someone new--the first person to ask him out on Monday morning. Few think Bryson can do it. He may be the king of Fairvale Academy, but he's never really dated before.
Until a boy asks him out, and everything changes.
Kai Sheridan didn't expect Bryson to say yes. So when Bryson agrees to secretly go out with him, Kai is thrown for a loop. But as the days go by, he discovers there's more to Bryson beneath the surface, and dating him begins to feel less like an act and more like the real thing. Kai knows how the story of a gay boy liking someone straight ends. With his heart on the line, he's awkwardly trying to navigate senior year at school, at home, and in the closet, all while grappling with the fact that this "relationship" will last only five days. After all, Bryson Keller is popular, good-looking, and straight . . . right?
TW: Racism, homophobia (violence & religion)
This book grabbed me from page one.
I absolutely loved the "fake boyfriend" trope in a YA format, and I think the author did a fantastic job of making it both believable and realistic.
I adore the main characters in this book.
At first, Kai is a complete wallflower. He's shy and reserved as he struggles to keep his secret from the world, but all that changes when he angrily (you'll find out why) asks Bryson Keller, the most popular boy in school, out on a date.
It's so much fun to see Kai come out of his shell as he starts to feel comfortable with who he is.
“I’m not joking,” I say. “Date me, Bryson Keller!”
Bryson is just as sweet as Kai and takes Kai's request in his stride. After all, he can't lose his dare, even if he doesn't believe in relationships.
Together, Kai and Bryson are adorable. They form a strong friendship, and support and care for each other through the hardships they each face.
"He breaks then. Whoever says that boys don’t cry—or shouldn’t cry—needs to walk off a very short pier into a shark-infested ocean."
The first half of this book is great. Kai's friends and family seem brilliant and supportive, and there's the strong feeling that all will work out in the end.
This book is definitely one for fans of Becky Abertalli's, Simon vs The Homo Sapien's Agenda, but one thing I adored about this book that I hated about Love Simon, are the best friends! They're so damn supportive and just brilliant, something that was truly lacking in Simon vs.
Sadly, the book takes a darker turn during the second half, and there's a lot of pain for both Kai and Bryson to deal with. I almost hate the author's choice to include this drama as it feels like too much on too many fronts, and the story would have been so damn sweet and beautiful without it.
I get that it's a coming-out story, and coming out is tough. Hell, I'm almost 30, and I'm still only open with a few select people in my life. But, for once, I'd love a sweet LGBT YA without all the pain and drama from a-holes who should never be forgiven for the crap they pull.
"Gay means happy, too, you know."
But saying all that, going through what they do does make the relationship stronger and drives the reader's compassion and need for everything to work out in the end.
Overall, I really enjoyed this book, my first by this author, and I'm really looking forward to reading what they do next.
Just be prepared, if you cry easily, as I do, you'll definitely want to have some tissues to hand towards the end of the book.
"As my world burns down around me. This, right here, is enough."
Rating: 4 Stars
Genre: Graphic Novel
How I got this book: NetGalley ARC
Ever felt anxious or alone? Like you don't belong anywhere? Like you're almost... invisible? Find your kindred spirits at The Sad Ghost Club.
This is the story of one of those days - a day so bad you can barely get out of bed, when it's a struggle to leave the house, and when you do, you wish you hadn't. But even the worst of days can surprise you. When one sad ghost, lost and alone at a crowded party, spies another sad ghost across the room, they decide to leave together. What happens next changes everything. Because that night they start the The Sad Ghost Club - a secret society for the anxious and alone, a club for people who think they don't belong.
For fans of Heartstopper and Jennifer Niven, and for anyone who's ever felt invisible. You are not alone. Shhh. Pass it on.
I've been trying to read more graphic novels lately, especially as my 6yo has become low-key obsessed with them. So, when I saw the adorable-looking, The Sad Ghost Club, I had to request it.
This is such a relatable book. I don't know of a single person in my life who doesn't suffer from some type of anxiety, myself included, and this book really resonated with me; even down to blaming my cats for their bad advice!
The illustrations in this book are really cute and very reminiscent of Heartstopper by Alice Oseman, the story starts off quite dark as you see the extent of the main characters loneliness and fear of not being accepted.
But the message of the book is really kind and sweet and made me feel so much better about my own insecurities. I'd highly recommend this book to everyone; kids, teens and adults alike.
It's like a little warm hug letting you know you're not alone.
Rating: 4 Stars
Genre: MM/Contemporary Romance
Series/Standalone: Finding Home #1
How I got this book: Bought
What happens when temporary becomes forever?
Oz Gallagher does not do relationships well. Bored and jobless after another disastrous hook up, he decides to leave London for a temporary job in the wilds of Cornwall. Surely managing a stately home on a country estate will be easier than navigating the detritus of his relationships at home. Six months there will alleviate a bit of his wanderlust and then he can come back to London as footloose and fancy free as the day he left it.
However, when he gets there he finds a house in danger of crumbling to the ground and a man who is completely unlike anyone he’s ever met. An earl belonging to a family whose roots go back hundreds of years, Silas is the living embodiment of duty and sacrifice. Two things that Oz has never wanted. He's also warm and funny and he draws Oz to him like a magnet.
Oz banks on the fact that they're from two very different worlds to stop himself falling for Silas. But what will he do when he realises that these differences are actually part of the pull to one another? Will falling in love be enough to make him stop moving at last and realise that he's finally home?
TW: Homophobia, cheating
I've been working a lot lately and found myself in a bit of a book slump, just lacking the desire to read anything, but I had a few Audible credits and decided to pick something almost at random, which is how I settled on Oz by Lily Morton.
After the first couple of chapters, I was a little put off by the narration, not the Irish accent of Oz, but the posh-British accent of Silas which I felt was a bit too exaggerated, and after listening for a while, I decided to switch to the eBook.
Well, the joke was on me! I tried to read a chapter of the eBook but could not get (the narrator) Joel Leslie's voice out of my head and ended up switching back to the audio, which grew on me really quickly.
I absolutely love Oz's voice. He's a fantastic character and the narration brought him completely to life...I can still hear his voice now.
"I tap the magazine. 'The only job advert in there for me would one asking for someone who is PhD level stupid enough to move in with their boss.' I laugh. 'No references given."
Oz is a really great character to read, he's rough around the edges and people judge him based on his appearance and his background, yet he's so down-to-earth, flirtatious and plain hysterical.
The opening scene really sets the tone for Oz and the rest of the book, as the story begins with Oz walking in on his lover/boss having an affair with his new assistant (Oz's current job!) and we're instantly hit with Oz's snark, his capacity for revenge, his eviscerating tongue and also, his heart and vulnerabilities.
We're then introduced to his best friend who leads Oz to a job interview for a position managing the restoration of a high-end, dilapidated house, something that Oz doesn't believe he's at all qualified for and results in the most hilarious interview.
“He’s lovely,” I say, putting my hand out to the dog. “What’s his name?”
I blink. “Pardon?”
He smiles. “Because he’s blond and stupid and makes very questionable decisions.”
The man in charge of hiring him, however, doesn't agree, which leads Oz on a journey from London to the Cornish countryside and into the path of Lord Ashworth a.k.a Silas who's fresh out of his own bad relationship with the previous house manager and carrying several burdens on his shoulders.
Silas is a much more reserved character, and once I got used to the narration of his voice, I was charmed by his character. He's strong, reserved, humble and just the sweetest.
Oz and Silas's chemistry is off the charts and for some of the sex scenes, I would definitely recommend installing air conditioning or setting your room fan to the highest setting...
Not only has Lily Morton done a fantastic job of creating realistic, distinct, likeable characters, she's also made truly detestable 'villains', and a well-paced plot that's both incredibly funny and extremely heartfelt.
There was one scene in particular that almost reduced me to tears, especially when combined with the impassioned narration.
“Ask me,” I say quietly. I smile tenderly. “I guarantee I’m going to say yes.”
So, how can I summarise this book?
It's a little bit like Pride and Prejudice but everyone is gay, there's also lots of cursing, and characters in the Austen era would never be permitted to spend so much time naked, especially outdoors!
It was a fun, heartfelt read and I'll definitely be reading (and listening to) more of the books in this series!
Rating: 4 Stars
Genre: Contemporary YA
How I got this book: NetGalley ARC
'It's not my body that's holding me back. I think it's more of a problem that people tell me my body should hold me back.'
Meet Emily Daly, a stylish, cute, intelligent and hilarious seventeen-year-old about to start her last year at school. Emily is also fat. She likes herself and her body. When she meets Joe at a house party, he instantly becomes The Crush of Her Life. Everything changes. At first he seems perfect. But as they spend more time together, doubts start to creep in.
With her mum trying new fad diets every week, and increasing pressure to change, Emily faces a constant battle to stay strong, be her true self and not change for anyone.
A warm, funny inspiring debut YA novel from Bethany Rutter: influencer, editor and a fierce UK voice in the debate around body positivity.
I have severely mixed feelings about this book.
Have you ever read a book that made you feel as though you were looking directly back at your own life?
That pretty much sums up how I felt reading No Big Deal.
The other fat girl in our group wasn't called Camilla, and my first real crush wasn't Joe. Everything else though, pretty much an exact match, and seeing it there on the page, reading Emily's story brought back so many old anxieties and so much pain that I thought or maybe hoped, I'd left behind.
"Eat too many of those and you'll always be Fatty Smith, never Patti Smith."
It got to the point where reading this book infuriated me as I drew parallels within my own life and my own insecurities.
But at the same time, I couldn't stop reading. The main character was relatable (or she would have been to teen me when I, for a brief period, cared that I was the only one without a boyfriend/girlfriend), almost too much so which is what made this such an uncomfortable read for me.
"Do not allow into your world someone who thinks you're second best, who thinks your body is a temporary "problem" that you're going to solve, who puts you down in any way."
The writing was easy to digest and the pace fast. I read the book in two short sittings but at the end felt a little unresolved.
Emily is funny, witty and down to earth but I did have a few problems, especially that she became too quickly obsessed with a boy she'd only just met and it takes her a while, too long in fact, to realise that all isn't as it should be. But, saying that, she is a teen and I can't deny that I had a LOT of obsessive moments when I was younger, and let's face it, I'm very obsessive over my books!
"Oh no. Too far, Emily. You can't just ask people why they like dickheads."
I do think the author does a good job of being open about teen sex, and it's refreshing to have sex just be a part of a YA without it being something taboo.
I hated some of the supporting characters in this book, but only because of how they made Emily feel, and the author did a great job of showing how, very often, it's the people closest to you who can fuel your anxieties.
"What's the goal in saying stuff like this to your child? It feels like she just sees an opportunity to make a mean comment and takes it."
I think Emily is a great body positive character, I just would have loved a different ending that wasn't so 'boy-focused'.
Rating: 4 Stars
Series/Standalone: Seekers #1
How I got this book: ARC from the author
If the murderer you’re tracking is a vampire, then you want a vampire detective. Just maybe not this one.
It’s not that Jack Valentine is bad at her job. The youngest member of Oxford’s Seekers has an impressive track record, but she also has an impressive grudge against the local baron, Killian Drake.
When a human turns up dead on May Morning, she’s determined to pin the murder on Drake. The problem is that none of the evidence points to him. Instead, it leads Jack into a web of conspiracy involving the most powerful people in the country, people to whom Jack has no access. But she knows someone who does.
To get to the truth, Jack will have to partner up with her worst enemy. As long as she can keep her cool, Drake will point her to the ringleaders, she’ll find the murderer and no one else will have to die.
Body bags on standby.
TW: Abuse, rape, violence.
This is the first book that I've read by Josie Jaffrey, but when I saw the book advertised on Twitter as 'Vampires, murder mystery and a bi love triangle', I instantly wanted to read it.
As a side note, I'm loving that we're getting more bi-rep in Fantasy!
So, to begin with, I felt that the pace was a little slow, and it took me a while to get into what was happening. However, I think that may have been down to my reading preferences, more than the writing itself, as I rarely lean towards mystery/crime.
But, saying that, I quickly realised how great of a character Jack Valentine really is. I love how the author has created a hero who is not the typical gorgeous, glamorous, put-together person but is flawed and relatable.
Jack is a bit of a mess, she's always running late, almost always hungover, usually wearing the same unwashed clothes and she really couldn't give a shit what anyone thinks.
I love her. She's fiery, sarcastic, and she carries the story well.
"Come to think of it, being Silver is kind of like being bisexual. I came out to them when I was sixteen and they never believed that was real, either."
The pacing also picked up, for me, pretty quickly and I flew through the book.
I'm not going to lie, I think the pace really picked up and my interest piqued when we first meet Killian Drake who is just....*swoon*.
"Go on, Valentine." He pulls me in close with one hand and strokes my cheek with the other. "Pretend that you want me."
Killian is fun to read, he's dark and brooding but cocky and entertaining, and at times sweet and uncertain. Next to Jack, Killian is my favourite character, and I actually didn't feel that he was utilised enough in this book, I just wanted more.
Which brings me to my first actual issue with this book, the love triangle. I'm not an enormous fan of love triangles anyway, but I enjoyed how this triangle did a wonderful job of illustrating Jack's sexuality.
"And just because I'm bi...I mean, that's not how it works. I don't need one of each, you know? It's not like I'm missing out. That's not the way I am."
However, while I felt that Tabitha was a potentially interesting character, one that could build well overtime, I didn't sense any actual chemistry between her and Jack. There were no sparks, no sizzle, nothing. It felt like a dead relationship to me, and not one that could contribute to a believable love triangle.
So, for me, that element just didn't work, so it'll be interesting to see what happens in the next book and whether that dynamic improves/changes any.
In terms of the plot, I really enjoyed the mystery element, the setting and the variety of characters, and I spent a lot of time trying to work out who the 'killer' was, and I have to say that I didn't guess, it was a complete twist that I hadn't at all expected.
"We're not generally in the business of guarding the humans from themselves. We only exist to guard them from others like us.
I also felt the author handled a lot of darker themes (see TW above) woven into the story well, making the case not as straight-forward as I'd expected.
Overall, I think this was an interesting start to a new series, and I'm really looking forward to more of Drake's charm and Jack's wit in the next instalment.
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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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