Desert Skies, Rebel Souls

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Title Desert Skies, Rebel Souls

Author M.P Tonnesen

Rating ★★★★☆

Synopsis 

“A journey into the unknown. A rebellion against family, culture and society. A love against all odds.

From Scandinavia to the Middle East, a young woman travels to discover herself and finds a world of passion and history, war and peace. A whirlwind romance takes a dramatic turn, leaving

Olivia caught between countries, belonging nowhere, and with the love of her life in danger far away.

From the award-winning author of The Cosmopolitan Islander comes an uplifting tale of adventure, conflict and reconciliation that never shies away from brutal reality, yet sparkles with the sheer love of life.

Desert Skies, Rebel Souls is a bittersweet coming-of-age story set under the desert sky against the backdrop of music and key events of the nineties – to be enjoyed by adventurous globetrotters and readers longing to escape.”

 

Review

3.5★ rounded up to 4 ★

Just like M.P Tonnesen’s previous book The Cosmopolitan Islander, her newest book, Desert Skies, Rebel Souls,  is packed with beautiful prose wrapped in a wonderful setting to accompany a lovestory.

Olivia is 18 and comes from a very priviliged family. She’s decided to become a volunteer in a kibbutz in Israel, and leaves behind her familiy and highschool boyfriend.

In Israel she meets a bunch of other young volunteers, among these, two fellow Danish girls named Hannah and Lola. She also meets Chaim, an older, gorgeous Israeli man, who sweeps her off of her feet.

As stated in the beginning, the language is just beautiful, thoughts, feelings, emotions are tangled into a beautiful web, that is so descriptive. At times, you felt as if you were present at bazaar in Israel, or wandering the streets of Tel-Aviv.

Due to this, I felt that book read a bit more as a travel, than “just” a coming-of-age story. I also found myself having a bit of trouble connecting to Oliva, and kind of like Chloe, in M.P Tonnesen’s first book, all the boys are infatuated with her, and she is a bit of a slut shamer, which is really unfortunate. Every once in a while, Olivia will make some comments about the other girls that just read wrong, and even though the book is set in the late 1990’s, and Olivia is only 18, I still feel compelled to comment on it. She refers to them as lazy cows, and makes some oppositions between herself and them.

I really wish that Oliva had defended Lola when Chaim implied that people were calling her a slut. Instead it’s only when Oliva herself is confronted with some stereotypical prejudice that she becomes angry about it.

At times it felt as if there were some, I won’t say plot holes, but passages where I would liked to know more about the situation, instead it would be presented as a flashback, and I would sit back and think to myself, ok … what exactly went down?

The book as said, reads a bit like a travel book, with an accompaigning lovestory. The travel bits are super interesting, and the commentary about Israel, Palestine and the Middle East in general, is interesting, but I want more of the love story!

It’s a whirlwind love story that just moves way too quickly, I like a build up, I like the getting to know you phase, and I missed that a bit in this story. While the scenes with Chaim and Oliva were great, it all went very fast, I’m not going to spoil the ending, but WOW.

Throughout the story it becomes apparant that Olivia has some issues with her mother, and those issues become more clear as she returns to Denmark.

This is a coming-of-age story, reminding me a bit of some of the classic novels I read as a teen by Danish authors, such as Kirsten and Hanne-Vibeke Holst. A lot of times they were character based just like this novel, and focused on one girl as their main character.

The pacing of the novel was great, and it flowed along nicely. It also didn’t feel as heavily packed with information and descriptions as the previous book, and that I really liked.

If you enjoy beautiful writing, a strong female character (with flaws), filled with gorgeous, descriptive sceneries and a coming-of-age story with a diverse love interst, this book is just for you!

I look forward to seeing more from M.P Tonnesen.

Thanks to the author for generously providing me an ARC to review.

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The Fortunate Ones


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Title: The Fortunate Ones

Author: R.S. Grey

Rating

Release Date November 1st 2017

Goodreads

Synopsis

At Twin Oaks Country Club, there are the fortunate ones, and then there are the rest of us: the waiters, the caddies, the valets, and in my case, the cabana girls. Most days, I’m poolside in a pleated skirt, dishing out margaritas to tycoons and titans. It’s not exactly my dream job, but it does come with one perk…

James Ashwood.

He’s my silver lining in a custom black suit.

Besides being a legacy member at the club, he’s a tech mogul and Austin’s most eligible bachelor. Oh, and those dimples? Yeah, they make my stomach dip too.

On good days, I catch his sleek Porsche winding down the tree-lined drive. On better days, I steal a glimpse of his handsome profile as we pass in the hall. And on the absolute best day, I find him alone at the bar, looking for company.

“Come have a seat.”

Those four little words set me down a path I never could have imagined. Private planes, penthouse suites, and temptations around every corner make it impossible to keep my distance. His world feels decadent and wild—but overindulgence comes with a cost. Every kiss comes with strings. Every erotic encounter is a promise I’m not ready to keep.

When I pump the brakes, he hits the gas. James doesn’t want to go slow—he wants a commitment. 

And the thing about the fortunate ones?

They’re used to getting what they want.

Review

I’ve said it before, and I’ll say it again, R.S. Grey writes such incredible, heartwarming stories, and she’s become one my absolute favorite rom-com writers.

Her latest book “The Fortunate Ones” is another hit for me, and I have to be perfectly honest, I didn’t even read the blurb for “The Fortunate Ones”, I just signed up to receive the ARC straight away, because I have complete and total faith in R.S. Grey and her abilities to swoon my cynical heart.

The Fortunate Ones did not disappoint at all. It was a great read with the warmth, the steamy scenes, but most importantly the love and the wit, I’ve become accustomed to from R.S. Grey’s books.

Brooke, according to herself, is a country club cabana girl, and she’s not a fan of the fortunate ones at the country club. I love that despite the fact that she’s not a big fan of her job, she is extremely focused and gives a 100 percent.  Once again I found myself really identifying with the main character, R.S. Grey knows how to write about millennial women that’s for sure!

The language is great and fits the story so well, it describes the various settings perfectly, without being too dense or heavy with information.

And can I just say how I love the way Brooke responds to other women, she might not always like some of the women that she meets, but it never becomes ugly, and she is respectful at all times, I really liked that.

Brooke can, at times, be so set in her own opinions, and too independent, and just a tad bit stubborn (see what I mean about relatable characters?) for her own good, but her upbringing has shaped her, and she refuses to put aside her own hopes and aspirations for anyone. While I at times just wanted to grab her at the shoulders sometimes and scream:  WAKE UP AND REALIZE WHAT’S RIGHT IN FRONT OF YOU, it pleased me to no end that she did not turn into the usual cliché of a girl who gives up everything for a man (I’m looking at you Joey Potter, throwing away the chance to study in Paris, because of Dawson of all people). 

Enter James Ashwood, a stunning entrepreneur, a technical guru, adorned by his peers and frequently seen with stunning women flocking around him.

Brooke, however, has heard some things about him, for instance that he is: “A royal asshole, a major dick, big tipper, loves luxury and beautiful women”, and unlike the rest of the staff at Twin Oaks Country Club, Brooke is not head over heels for James. Well, that’s not true, she just doesn’t want to admit it to her sister Ellie, and her friend Marissa. Instead she goes out of her way to avoid him.

Avoiding him doesn’t work.

Neither Brooke nor James can hide their attraction towards each other, and when they finally give into this attraction, WOAH. These two are so compatible and trust me, you’ll be clutching your iPad/kindle to your chest, trying to contain your emotions, when they fight and then make up, their chemistry is off the charts.

Unfortunately it’s not enough to just have great chemistry, their everyday lives turn out to be a lot less compatible. You see, there’s a bit of age gap between them. Brooke is 25, James is 36, and their five-year plans do not at all circle around the same values and goals etc., which means that they butt heads a lot.

This story might seem like your typical rich business man falls for completely normal woman, boom love. It’s not, instead it’s such a refreshing take on this story, and it doesn’t rely on clichés to tell a story.

The characters will frustrate you, they will annoy you, you’ll want to throw your book somewhere in frustration, because goodness me. James can be a major dick, and Brooke, a stubborn ass, and you just sit back and wish for them to actually say what they mean.

But that’s what makes it so good, the fighting, the frustrations, the angst, the longing, the attraction and everything in between, and it IS SO GOOD.

If you enjoy romance, witty writing and wonderful characters, make sure to pick up this book. I can’t wait to see what’s next from R.S. Grey

Thanks to the author for generously providing me an ARC to review.

Book Review: This is Beautiful

 

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Title: Checkmate: This is Beautiful
Series: Checkmate Duet Series (Logan & Kayla, #2)
Author: Kennedy Fox

Rating ★★★★☆
Release Date: September 19, 2017
Goodreads: http://bit.ly/2pbTtV1

Synopsis 

The anticipated conclusion of the Logan & Kayla saga in the Checkmate Duet Series from a secret duo under the USA Today bestselling author pseudonym, Kennedy Fox!

This second-chance romance will have you gasping and cheering this two on from the first to the last page! Are you ready to play the final game?

***

Kayla Sinclair is a saint and real life Angel.
She wears her heart on her sleeve and inspires me to be a better person.
Rescuing dogs, feeding the homeless, volunteering at the local food pantry are just a few of the ways she gives back to others, although no one has ever been there for her.
Falling for her was inevitable, losing her will destroy me.

Letting someone in didn’t come easy, but she made me want to try for the first time in years.
Her bubbling personality and kind spirit make it impossible to forget a girl like her.
But when tragedy strikes and she loses all memory that our relationship ever existed, my worst nightmare comes to life.

I’ll do anything to remind her of the love we shared. I know it’ll be an uphill battle, but I won’t walk away without a fight. Whoever said all is fair in love and war never played by my rules.

Checkmate, Angel.

Review 

Argh I’m so excited to finally have the conclusion to this series, I can’t believe the cliffhanger the previous book with on, good lord that was cruel 😀

I think this might be my fave out of the Checkmate books, it felt honest, and it felt real in a way that was very relatable.

The characters were great, I loved the development that Kayla went through after her accident, and it was refreshing and so great to see her put herself first, something that more women, in my opinion, ought to do. She stood up for herself as well, and spoke her mind, moreover she took the plunge and went for her dream, a very admirable thing to do.

Also, can I get a doggy dealer like Kayla in my life?

It was interesting to see how she wanted to pursue a friendship with Logan after it was revealed to her that they’d been a couple before her accident.

Speaking of Logan … oh my word. YES, where can I find me one of those please and thank you?

I can’t even imagine what it must be like to see your loved one, and then realizing that she doesn’t recognize you, let alone remember everything you had together.

Logan has the patience of a saint, he stays close becomes her friend, and lets Kayla set the pace.

It was great that the focus, for the most part, was on their mutal relationship and how they were trying to come to terms with their new reality. I will say though that some of the drama seemed a bit dragged out, and a bit repetitive, with some sudden and rather unexpected guilt from both parties as well.

That being said, this was a perfect way to end the Checkmate series, Logan and Kayla have become my absolute favorite of the three couples, and I’ll never look at a sprinkled donut the same way again 😉

Thanks to the author for generously providing me an ARC to review.

 

Book review: A Court of Mist and Fury & A Court of Wings and Roses

FullSizeRender-1.jpgTitle(s) A Court of Mist and Fury & A Court of Wings and Ruins

Author Sarah J. Maas

Rating ★★★★☆

★★★☆☆

 

Synopsis 

A Court of Mist and Fury

Feyre survived Amarantha’s clutches to return to the Spring Court—but at a steep cost. Though she now has the powers of the High Fae, her heart remains human, and it can’t forget the terrible deeds she performed to save Tamlin’s people.

Nor has Feyre forgotten her bargain with Rhysand, High Lord of the feared Night Court. As Feyre navigates its dark web of politics, passion, and dazzling power, a greater evil looms—and she might be key to stopping it. But only if she can harness her harrowing gifts, heal her fractured soul, and decide how she wishes to shape her future—and the future of a world cleaved in two.

A Court of Wings and Ruin

Looming war threatens all Feyre holds dear in the third volume of the #1 New York Times bestselling A Court of Thorns and Roses series.

Feyre has returned to the Spring Court, determined to gather information on Tamlin’s manoeuvrings and the invading king threatening to bring Prythian to its knees. But to do so she must play a deadly game of deceit – and one slip may spell doom not only for Feyre, but for her world as well.

As war bears down upon them all, Feyre must decide who to trust amongst the dazzling and lethal High Lords – and hunt for allies in unexpected places.

Review

 

Back in June, I read A Court of Thorns and Roses and enjoyed it tremendously, however I did find it a bit drawn out at times.

Last month I finally finished reading ACOWAR and ACOMAF, and thankfully, I got loads more action.

In ACOWAR (which I think is the absolute best of the 3 books) Feyre goes through some serious growth and development, which was something to behold. After the events in ACOTAR, how could anyone really imagine her to be the same? I certainly couldn’t, and I’m so happy that she changed, and found the will to nurse her new strengths and become accustomed to them, however it also became annoying that everything just worked out for her: “oh a problem occurs, wait Feyre discovers a new power to overcome that problem.” It was too convenient and didn’t make a whole lot of sense.

Ahh the love aspect of the stories – I get why people ship Feysand, I GET IT! My god what a controlling bastard Tamlin turned out to be, I won’t spoil, but Cauldron have mercy on my, he turned out to be a dick.

Rhysand on the other hand, sigh. Can I get my very own? The front he puts up for others, being a bad boy and more evil than good, turns out to be just that, a front. In reality he is selfless and thoughtful, and he’s looking for a partner in life, someone who is equal to him.

These books are long, like long-long, and lots of it could be left out, it seemed a bit too rushed and just in need a good editor.

There were a lot of things that I liked about this series, but there were also a lot of flaws, the whole class systemm with high feaes and lesser faires seemed odd and irrelevant, and don’t get me started on the ending of ACOMAF, my god! I’m not going to spoil, but good lord!

Everything was just too perfectly wrapped up, I might continue with the spin-offs.

Have you read these books?

 

Book review: The Hating Game

 

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Title The Hating Game

Author Sally Thorne

Rating ★★★★★

Synopsis 

Nemesi

s (n.)
1) An opponent or rival whom a person cannot best or overcome;
2) A person’s undoing;
3) Joshua Templeman.

Lucy Hutton and Joshua Templeman hate each other. Not dislike. Not begrudgingly tolerate. Hate. And they have no problem displaying their feelings through a series of ritualistic passive aggressive maneuvers as they sit across from each other, executive assistants to co-CEOs of a publishing company. Lucy can’t understand Joshua’s joyless, uptight, meticulous approach to his job. Joshua is clearly baffled by Lucy’s overly bright clothes, quirkiness, and Pollyanna attitude.

Now up for the same promotion, their battle of wills has come to a head and Lucy refuses to back down when their latest game could cost her her dream job…But the tension between Lucy and Joshua has also reached its boiling point, and Lucy is discovering that maybe she doesn’t hate Joshua. And maybe, he doesn’t hate her either. Or maybe this is just another game.

Review

“It’s a corporate truth universally acknowledged that workers would rather eat rat skeletons than participate in group activities.” – The Hating Game

Argh this might be one of my favorite romantic comedies ever, I absolutely loved it.

The two main characters Lucy and Joshua are co-workers and mortal enemies. They are executive assistants to the owners of “Bexley & Gamin” publishing house, and the two of them have been enemies since the very start.

The story is told entirely from Lucy’s POV and she is a wonderful narrator. She is kind, funny, and a genuinely good person, who has taken a chance when she left the security of her hometown, and struggles with the what ifs. She was extremely relatable that way, and how she hides her loneliness by being a people pleaser, always wanting people ot like her. Lucy considers whether or not it would be a good idea to go home – go back the the known and familiar, if she ends up losing her job, but she persists (YASSS).

Josh on the other hand, came across as stoic, arrogant at at times a little cruel, but with a great sense of humor, and a love of colorful shirts. He comes across as an asshole most of the times, but as the story evolves, you get to peel away the layers of this man and both of the characters.

The two characters were just beautifully written, they had insecurities and flaws and they stood up to each other, they fought, they had passion, tenderness and just hilarious banter.

The banter between the two was amazing, and the games they play, oh boy. I laughed out loud several times, and I clutched the book tightly in my hands when the sexual tension was at all time high, pretty much screaming to myself KISS DAMMIT KISS!

I can’t believe this is a debut novel, but that being said, I am so excited to read more from Sally Thorne! I NEED MORE NOW.

You know those books that just make your heart sing and then you clutch it to your chest after finishing it, while you exhale a big sigh of giddy happiness? This was the book for me, I honestly wish I could read it all over again for the first time, but I’m a sucker for the enemies-to-lovers-trope 😍

So if you’re looking for a enemies to lovers story, with great characters and great writing, do yourself a favor and read this wonderful book ❤️

Book Review: Six of Crows and Crooked Kingdom

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Title(s) Six of Crows and Crooked Kingdom

Author Leigh Bardugo

Rating ★★★★☆

Synopsis 

Criminal prodigy Kaz Brekker has been offered wealth beyond his wildest dreams. But to clai
it, he’ll have to pull off a seemingly impossible heist:

Break into the notorious Ice Court
(a military stronghold that has never been breached)

Retrieve a hostage
(who could unleash magical havoc on the world)

Survive long enough to collect his reward
(and spend it)

Kaz needs a crew desperate enough to take on this suicide mission and dangerous enough to get the job done – and he knows exactly who: six of the deadliest outcasts the city has to offer. Together, they just might be unstoppable – if they don’t kill each other first.

Review 

I ended up buying this duology after seeing it all over Instagram, and it’s been on my shelf for quite some time. I finally decided to read them last week, and oh my goodness!

The story had me a bit confused at first, everything was very fast-paced and it felt a bit like you had to know something about the worlds made by Leigh Bardugo, which I didn’t.

That, as well as the fact that she introduced a lot of characters within the first few chapters had me feeling a bit confused and to be honest, lost.

However, you quickly catch on and wow, it just turns into a fast-paced adventure!

The books take place in what seems like an alternate Netherlands, and it’s an intriguing environment. There are street gangs, brothels, corruption and in the midst of all of this, you’ll find a diverse set of characters. The characters are flawed, they’re convicts, runaways, thieves, sexworkers, murderers, you name it and you’ll find one among this cast.

The characters really made this book for me, they were gritty, they were honest and they were flawed. Thanks to the alternate POVs you’ll get a beautiful insight to what’s going on with these characters.

There’s the leader of the gang – Kaz – Dirtyhands – a fearless anti-hero, who is a criminal genius with a secret past.

Kaz narrowed his eyes. “I’m not some character out of a children’s story who plays harmless pranks and steals from the rich to give to the poor.”

There’s the wonderful, absolute badass Inej, who has so much guilt about the choices she’s made to survive.

Nina – a fire-cracker with powers, Matthias the warrior and the relationship between these two is just UGH.

Wylan – just adorable, and has had to adapt and come to terms with lots of things in his young life, oh and he blushes all the time gaaah!

Jesper – the joker with the perfect aim, and a love of gambling.

I cannot gush enough about this cast, each of them have a backstory that will shock you and then draw you in. They’re multi-layered and the females in this story have a wonderful relationship. There’s no love-triangle, there’s no competition over who’s the prettiest, or who can get the man, they are equal and they help each other, instead of tearing each other down, and that was amazing to witness.

There’s also an element of romance in these books, but it’s never something that takes over. It’s natural, and it doesn’t disturb the rest of the story. There are stolen glances, sexual tension, lots of blushing, but it never overshadows the plot and that was great!

Crooked Kingdom dragged a bit on for me, there was a lot that could’ve been left out and that’s why I’ve given the books 4/5.

But honestly just read them, I’m sure you won’t be disappointed!

Book review: A Court of Thorns and Roses

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Title A Court Of Thorns and Roses

Author Sarah J. Maas

Rating ★★★☆☆

Synopsis Feyre’s survival rests upon her ability to hunt and kill – the forest where she lives is a cold, bleak place in the long winter months. So when she spots a deer in the forest being pursued by a wolf, she cannot resist fighting it for the flesh. But to do so, she must kill the predator and killing something so precious comes at a price …

Dragged to a magical kingdom for the murder of a faerie, Feyre discovers that her captor, his face obscured by a jewelled mask, is hiding far more than his piercing green eyes would suggest. Feyre’s presence at the court is closely guarded, and as she begins to learn why, her feelings for him turn from hostility to passion and the faerie lands become an even more dangerous place. Feyre must fight to break an ancient curse, or she will lose him forever.

Review

Ahhh this is the first kind of Beauty and the Beast retelling I’ve ever read, and I really enjoyed it.

And this book has pretty much everything you could ever wish for! There’s magic, betrayal, romance and danger, all ingredients that make up a delicious story.

The world in which this story takes place was original and greatly described, and I was sucked right into the univserse filled with faeries, humans and different courts.

Feyre, the human girl – whose perspective we hear the story from, takes care of her family by hunting. She lives with her father, and two sisters, in a small house barely scraping by.

Feyre kills a particular animal and it turns out to be a crime, and she is taken to the Spring Fae Court, where she is forced to live with Tamlin  – oh be still my heart and Lucien that cheeky bastard.

It takes a while for the three to warm up to each other, and sparks start to fly between Feyre and Tamlin. Their relationship gradually builds over the course of the story, and it is a glorious thing to behold. I like the fact that they take their time to come to terms with their feelings and it evolves in a very natural way.

The story dragged on a bit for me, it took a while before the something really happened, but my goodness when it finally did, holy Cauldron! But really, I wanted more action!

That being said, the writing was great, and every character and every scene were written with so many vivid details that you had no trouble imagining what it looked like.

I am so excited to continue this series, have you read it? What did you think?