Top 5 Sat: Second Chance Reads

Hey all!

I hope you’re all enjoying the start of your weekend. The topic for this week’s Top 5 Sat meme, created by the lovely Mandy over at Devouring Books, is: Book’s I’d Give a Second Chance.

There have been quite a few books that I’ve put down or DNFd this year and I think some of those probably deserve a second chance. Here are the top five I’ve got my eye on trying again:

Carry On by Rainbow Rowell – I’ve tried twice to read this story, so perhaps this would be more fitting for a third-time’s-the-charm list, but somehow I still haven’t gotten in to this story. There’s just something about Simon’s narration that bugs me. As well as the fact that the story starts off as if it were in the middle of the book… I just tend to lose interest.

All the Bad Apples by Moira Fowley-Doyle – I picked up this book a LONG while ago, maybe a year or so, when it was recently released and relatively hyped. I read SO MANY good reviews about it and was excited to try it myself… until I got bored. My patience these days for pushing through awkward starts to books has become very short, sadly. It’s a bad habit I’ve picked up!

Say You Still Love Me by K.A. Tucker – I ADORE Tucker’s writing usually, especially A Simple Wild, but unfortunately this book just didn’t work for me the first time around. I DNFd at around 30% after the second-chance romance trope got a bit too angsty for me. I was expecting more, too much??, perhaps and this one just didn’t capture my interest for long enough. I don’t think I gave it a proper try though.

Queen of Air and Darkness by Cassandra Clare – has made this list because I initially started reading this book soon after its release – I had been highly anticipating it – however I soon realised I had forgotten important details of the story and would need to reread the first two books again…. and that’s when I gave up. Those books were long but so, so good. It’s worth the reread to finish off the trilogy. Now I just need to find the right motivation!

Bitterblue by Kristin Cashore – If you’ve been reading my blog posts over the past year you’ll know I ADORED Graceling. To the extent that it’s in my all-time faves list. But… I couldn’t seem to finish off the final book in the high fantasy series. Perhaps I’ve changed over time? Or maybe Bitterblue just wasn’t for me? Either way I hadn’t been expecting to DNF this book less than half way through. My eternal love for Graceling demands I give this one a second try though!

Top 5 Sat: One Word Titles

It’s Sat again and that means we get to do one of our all-time fav memes: Top 5 Saturday created by the lovely Mandy over at Devouring Books. The topic for this week is: One Word Titles.

Last weekend I spent a LONG time trying to write a post for the previous topic in this meme, books by the sea, and couldn’t seem to find any books on my TBR. Nevertheless this week it seems like the complete opposite has occurred. I had TOO MANY one word books to choose from. Oh well, you can’t win it all, ha.

Motion by Penny Reid – I adore Penny Reid’s writing and really enjoyed the first series in the Hypothesis Trilogies. She always seems to manage creating the perfect balance of witty characters and endless drama (that somehow doesn’t get annoying?). She’s a genius, in my completely biased opinion. If you’re a science geek you’ll love her books too. They’re accurate! It’s like finding a gem in the rough.

Spellhacker by M.K England – This one made it on to my list as it sounds awesome and is surprisingly one word (??). I love books with heist themes and a merry group of law-breaking friends. What more could you want?

Havenfall by Sara Holland – I’m just going to be honest, this one is on my TBR because the cover is so pretty. Yes, I’m shallow like that. In my defence, I’ve also happened to read positive reviews for it. Well, mostly positive.

Faker by Sarah Smith – Oh, the sweet joy that is an enemies-to-lovers. Seriously I don’t think I’ll ever tire of this trope! Emmie and Tate sound so impossibly different. I’m expecting fireworks, drama and built-up sexual tension. I’ve read some mixed reviews for this one but for now I’m remaining hopelessly optimistic!

Caraval by Stephanie Garber – I’ve literally seen this book everywhere for years and haven’t really read any negative reviews for it. The premise sounds adventurous and full of magic. It’s been a while since I’ve read a fantasy immersed in magic.

The Toll by Neal Shusterman – Book Review

Title: The Toll (Arc of a Scythe #3)
Author: Neal Shusterman
Genre: YA Fantasy
Publication Date: 2nd May 2019

The Toll, the final part in the Arc of a Scythe trilogy, is currently running as my ‘Most Disappointing Read of the Year’ purely because I was SO EXCITED for it and SO LET DOWN by the direction it took. The thing is though, it’s brilliant. It’s very well written, refuses to conform to the ‘Chosen One’ trope, expertly creates a dystopian atmosphere and weaves in a strong stance on modern-American politics.

That said, it just wasn’t for me. But please, for the sake of me avoiding feeling like The Grinch who stole Christmas, take note of my opinions and critiques. I’m not saying this was a terrible book. I’m saying it wasn’t what I wanted for the end of this series. There will quite likely be A LOT of readers who adore this book.

The Toll began where Thunderhead left off – with a rise in support for Scythe Goddard’s followers and cracks in the foundation of the respected, ethically-bound Scythedom that had reigned for so long. In its stead rose the new wave of Sycthes – blood-hungry, arrogant and bejewelled in respect to their ostentatious nature. The rise of the ‘modern scythes’ seemed apt to me with the glimpses of human fallibility that had been slowly portrayed to us throughout the previous book, Thunderhead. Scythe had painted the picture of a perfectly organised and constructed world that was immune to the failures of its past – such as unemployment, debt and death. The gradual progression toward a failed society, despite the extreme advancements in modern medicine, seemed like a fitting arc for the end of this trilogy. Unfortunately, that’s pretty much all I enjoyed from this book.

My original enjoyment in this series came from the expert creation of the Scythe dystopian world but also the two main characters: Citra and Rowan. I adored them. They were real, they had flaws. While I connected to Rowan easily throughout this book Citra, or rather Anastasia to be more specific, was very hard to connect to. It felt as if her initial naivete had not only disappeared but she had also become cold and hard. Yes, she was essentially a killer and that would have an effect on anybody’s personality but she felt too emotionally removed as a character to be able to connect with as a reader.

Additionally, the lack of interaction between most of the characters in this book really got me down. I understand, and usually quite enjoy, the concept of splitting characters up in anticipation of their reunion, however it felt like almost the entire book had passed before we saw any interaction. The only exception to this was the interaction between Jerico (my new fav) and Anastasia but her attitude stole some of the lustre from this.

The prominence of The Toll in the story’s arc also let me down. Yes, I know it’s the title of the book and I should have been expecting it. However, I don’t think that should have been at the expense of reading about the other characters. The original cast of characters felt very neglected in this and as they had been there from the start it seemed an odd choice to me. I eventually grew fond of The Toll however not enough to make up for the lost story-time with the other characters I had come to expect.

In concern to the structure of the book, the disconnect between all of the characters bled in to my reading experience and made the middle portion of the book feel very long winded and at times unnecessary. The political themes, that I generally enjoy in books, now became cumbersome to the story. It felt like a ramble and quite honestly it took a lot of motivation to finish this book. If the first two books hadn’t been so enjoyable for me I’m sure I’d have DNFd this one. The ending was a nice surprise but did not make up for the marathon that was the middle.

A sad 2.5 stars from me.

A Good Girl’s Guide to Murder by Holly Jackson – Book Review

Title: A Good Girl’s Guide to Murder
Author: Holly Jackson
Genre: YA Mystery
Publication Date: 2nd May 2019

A Good Girl’s Guide to Murder is one of a trend of young-adult mystery books making waves in the genre recently. Well, within the last year or two. From my reading perspective it seemed Karen McManus’ ‘One of Us is Lying’ paved the way to create an interest for readers unaccustomed to hyped mystery-themed novels in the young-adult genre.

With this in mind, Holly Jackson’s A Good Girl’s Guide to Murder was expected to be ‘just another YA mystery’. The cute cover, the hype and positive reviews had me swayed to add this to my TBR however. I read this in Buddy Read form with Willow from Willow Writes and Reads.

The story, set in a small town, follows the character Pippa as she explores the murder and mystery behind the death of Andie Bell by her assumed murderer, Sal Singh. Pippa’s curiosity, skepticism and tenacity (sometimes to a dangerous level) gave this story the spark it needed. What could have been an unadventurous tour through this small town’s history was instead written with a light amount of suspense and a deep thread of intrigue.

Pippa’s character development, seen through a loss of naïveté, explored the concept of ‘how well do you know the people closest to you?’. It was chilling to read at times – purely because it seemed steeped in reality. How much do we know about those we love?

Pippa befriending the younger brother of Andie’s supposed killer, Ravi Singh, was an unconventional twist that I hadn’t expected in this story. This happened early on, so it isn’t really a spoiler, but the change it made to the pace and nature of Pippa’s investigation was remarkable. Instead of merely investigating the circumstances behind Andie Bell’s death, Pippa decided to try and prove Sal’s innocence. A tall order in a town convinced he’s the murderer.

Jackson took something so simple – an easily explained tragic murder from the past – and heated it up to the point where I couldn’t put this book down. As we followed Pippa’s investigation, with inclusion of interviews and commentary, I found myself completely stumped as to predicting the ending of this book. With multiple red herrings and an abundance of suspects, Jackson managed to leave me in suspense until the very end. And even then – once I thought I had it figured out – double whammy. She surprised again.

Jackson’s exploration of small-town racism and the fatal impact that can have on others’ lives – such as Sal Singh’s suicide – was a prominent theme throughout. I’m glad this topic was covered as it highlighted the negative impact actions like these can have on others through no fault of their own, such as the scathing treatment toward the Singh’s after Sal’s death.

If you’re after a book that has all of the mystery of an adult novel, without some of the danger, then you’re in the right place. I read this in paperback format but think an audiobook version would be fantastic with all of the interviews involved. I’ll be continuing with the series in Good Girl, Bad Blood soon!

5 Stars

The Coffee Book Tag

Hey all!

How is it another month gone already? Seriously, this year is going too fast for me to keep up. COFFEE was my first thought this morning followed quickly by… it’s going to be a two cup morning after testing the freezing outdoor temps. As an Aussie gal winter mornings are just about the coldest it gets.

I was tagged (an embarrassingly long time ago) in this tag by KitKat from KB Book Reviews – AKA one of the sweetest bloggers out there – and knew it was the perfect theme for my morning. I’m not entirely sure who created this tag, so if you know please leave a comment below so that I can acknowledge them!

Side note: If you haven’t checked out KB’s blog before GO THERE NOW. It’s brilliant!

LONG BLACK

Name a series that’s tough to get into, but has hardcore fans.

I’d have to go with LOTR. Its fans are present far and wide and seem endlessly loyal to the series. Unfortunately, this is just one series I struggled to get in to. I enjoyed the Hobbit but not the trilogy.

PEPPERMINT MOCHA

Name a book that gets more popular during the winter or festive time of the year.

It would have to be P&P. It seems that I’m not the only one to reread this during the holiday season! I’d also like to add in here: P&P retellings. Pride, Prejudice and Other Flavours by Sonali Dev is one retelling I have my eye on. Have you read any noteworthy P&P retellings?

HOT CHOCOLATE

Name your favourite children’s book.

The Magic Faraway Tree series by Enid Blyton was my all-time fav read as a child. I remember my mother reading the adventures to me and eventually learning to read it myself. I still go back and read it from time-to-time.

DOUBLE SHOT ESPRESSO

Name a book that kept you on the edge of your seat from start to finish.

This prompt was probably looking for a more heart-pounding, terror-inducing book but since I’m the wimpiest of wimps I avoid anything ‘too scary’ (AKA most thrillers and horrors). This is as about as scary as it gets for me. I couldn’t put this one down though!

STARBUCKS

Name a book you see everywhere.

I’ve been seeing Schwab’s books EVERYWHERE lately. She’s an author I have on my TBR but I haven’t tried any of her books/series yet. I’m particularly keen on trying A Darker Shade of Magic as the premise of parallel Londons sounds interesting.

THE HIPSTER COFFEE SHOP

Give a book by an indie author a shout-out.

I’m not content to just give one indie author a shout-out when I’ve recently ADORED these two books by indie-authors. Madeline Ash’s self-published series, Cowboy Princes, is a quirky and oh-so-sweet romance that I cannot recommend enough. Beneath Cruel Fathoms by Anela Deen also makes this list because it’s a brilliant fantasy filled with merfolk, intrigue and adventure. If you’re unsure JUST READ THEM. I promise they’re worth the try.

OOPS! ACCIDENTALLY GOT DECAF

Name a book you were expecting more from.

Oh man, these were such disappointments for me. My excitement during the WAIT for the release of these books was very quickly turned around once I started reading them. Undercover Bromance had many of the same elements I loved from the first book in the series but unfortunately an annoying female MC and dragged out investigative side plot let this one down.

The Arc of a Scythe trilogy started out as one of my all-time faves. I still think back fondly on the time I first read Scythe. It completely captured my interest. The Toll however, has been an incredibly hard book to finish. I’m still trying to read it after two months of chipping away at it. I’m now trying to make the hard decision of either continuing to push through or DNFing this.

THE PERFECT BLEND

Name a book or series that’s bitter sweet yet satisfying.

This ending was more bitter than sweet for me. By that I mean: I was utterly destroyed and ugly-cry sobbed. It completely broke my heart and yet… there was some happiness in there too. Everybody deserves the right to their own choices and final decisions. It took me a long while after reading the book to come to terms with that. I finally realised you don’t often have to agree with others’ choices, or even fully understand them, to be supportive of their wishes.

I TAG

As always, if you choose to participate in this I’d love to see your responses so please link back in to one of my posts.

Her Cowboy Prince by Madeline Ash – ARC Book Review

Title: Her Cowboy Prince (Cowboy Princes #2)
Author: Madeline Ash
Genre: Royalty Romance
Publication Date: 3rd June 2020

BUY IT ON AMAZON NOW

Meet the cowboy royal who will never be tamed—and the best friend sworn to protect him.

Kris Jaroka didn’t sign up for this. He and his triplet brothers were uprooted from their ranch to inherit the throne of Kiraly. His duties keep escalating, and no amount of shirking his guards can stop the gut-ache of leaving his best friend, Frankie, behind.

But his biggest challenge lies ahead.

For years, Frankie Cowan has secretly monitored the safety of Kris and his brothers. When Kris’s recklessness forces her to reveal herself as the head of palace security, her duty to protect him and his refusal to be tamed meet head on.

Bound together, their lies and hurt soon surrender to their chemistry, and Kris burns to offer her his future. But Frankie’s past isn’t fit for a cowboy, let alone a prince—proving that the person she most needs to protect him from is herself.

Oh man, this is one of the books I was highly anticipating this year and it was SO WORTH THE WAIT. Get prepared for a nonsensical review because I utterly adored this one!

From the first book in this series, Her Cowboy King, we met the characters Kris (one of three heart- breakingly handsome and quirky cowboys) and his best friend Frankie (a kick-ass female with a strong independent streak). Their romantic tension, while still being in the friend-zone, had me highly anticipating this book. I love a good friends-to-lovers romance and Madeline Ash certainly has a fab way of writing it!

While there was some investigative suspense in this story, about the ‘accident’ that resulted in the previous monarch’s death, it read as mainly a character-driven story. Told in alternative third person POV chapters, I was easily pulled in and immersed in the sexual tension that surrounds Kris and Frankie. These two were practically burning up and NOTHING HAD HAPPENED YET. It was a slow-burn wait until the end. Which for me is the best kind.

The setting was beautiful and all I wanted was to move to Kiraly so that I could proudly wear flannel and a cowboy hat in support of these brothers. Their triplet connection was one of the best parts of this story and came across as strong as it did in the first book. What made it special though was the willingness of the author to give each of these characters realistically flawed personalities. They were charming but not always sickly-sweet charming. Which is the downfall of some other romances I’ve read lately.

I’ve given this story 4.5 stars due to the fact that: a) I could not put it down and lost most of my night’s sleep reading this baby, b) the slow-burn build-up between Kris and Frankie is one of the best I’ve read yet and lastly c) who can resist falling in love with a cowboy prince??

This story is unique and I’m glad the author wasn’t shy to go against the grain and write a story with COWBOY PRINCES that felt REAL and POSSIBLE. The only thing I would have wanted to be different was the suspense aspect of this story. It was a bit predictable and I wished that there had been more exploration of the ‘bad guy’s’ reasoning for his actions. It was subtly hinted at but not fully explored, although this could just be to lead up to a full exploration of it in book 3.

4.5 Stars.

Undercover Bromance by Lyssa Kay Adams: A disappointing book to review

Title: Undercover Bromance (Bromance Book Club #2)
Author: Lyssa Kay Adams
Genre: Romance
Publication Date: March 2020

Liv Papandreas has a dream job as a sous chef at Nashville’s hottest restaurant. Too bad the celebrity chef owner is less than charming behind kitchen doors. After she catches him harassing a young hostess, she confronts him and gets fired. Liv vows revenge, but she’ll need assistance to take on the powerful chef.

Unfortunately, that means turning to Braden Mack. When Liv’s blackballed from the restaurant scene, the charismatic nightclub entrepreneur offers to help expose her ex-boss, but she is suspicious of his motives. He’ll need to call in reinforcements: the Bromance Book Club.

Oh, this was a disappointing read. For a romance novel it wasn’t what I’d classify as ‘awful’ but it definitely did not meet the expectations I’d set after reading the first book in this series – The Bromance Book Club. My excitement after hearing that Mack (sweet and delightfully arrogant Mack) was going to be the lead in Undercover Bromance was high. It’s such a shame this book was ultimately a let down for me.

FIRST OFF: The things I actually liked…

Adams’ writing was full of entertainingly witty banter, especially between the book club members, and was relatively easy to read. The story flowed with a decent pace and the side characters, as well as glimpses of the first book’s characters Gavin and Thea, kept me engaged in the story.

Mack was such a sweetheart in this. Yes, he was a bit arrogant and clueless when it came to giving women what they really wanted – opening up and being vulnerable – but he more than made up for this in other areas. His open-mindedness, constant consideration of others and general charming manner had me sighing with joy.

SECONDLY: The things I didn’t like…

LIV. Plain and simple she was just a very abrasive and rude character. She had suffered in the past from issues with men after having a poor father figure BUT in my opinion this did not grant her the right to be a total di** to Mack at almost every point in the book. He honestly deserved so much better, especially as most of the time her anger was directed at his attempts to help (*eye roll*), and if it wasn’t for Liv’s personality this would have been a highly enjoyable read.

The inclusion of an undercover op in this story was meant to add to the suspense aspect of the book club’s current book selection however, the inclusion of this arc in the story was not seamless. It read as cumbersome and the investigation did not seem to flow naturally with the romantic plot line. Instead, the investigation felt included ad-hoc where needed to force the two main characters together. Otherwise, it was overdone and not a feature of the book I overly enjoyed.

Lastly, Adams’ pace and fab characters (with the exception of Liv) were great! I like that this book could potentially have been read as a stand-alone and for those not keen on Liv in book one I’d recommend skipping this and jumping straight in to Gavin’s (he’s Mack’s tech-genius friend) story in book 3. We don’t learn much about Gavin in book 2 so there’s no real loss there.

2.5 Stars.

Top 5 Sat: Male POV Romances (*sigh*)

Oh boy, oh boy! My excitement for the spin I’m taking on this week’s topic is in proportion to how much I love the suit featured above. In other words: A LOT.

Thank you (from the bottom of my suit-loving heart) Mandy at Devouring Books. Not only is your meme one of my faves but you’ve seriously just MADE MY WEEK with this topic.

As I enjoy this narration style it’s safe to say I’ve pretty much read it all and am going to share with you: The Five Male POV Romances I Want to Re-Read.


Tangled – Drew is an arrogant asshole until he meets Katherine. She’s competitive and just the right amount of sarcastic to challenge Drew. As all of these stories go… they fall in love. What truly makes this book special to read though is the fact that it starts out with Drew having the ‘flu’ AKA = heartbreak. It’s a unique spin on how romances normally go down and this is a book I’ll just keep rereading.

Sustained – Pay attention, I’m about to share something dear to my heart: Jake Becker. He is hands-down in my top 5 male characters OF ALL TIME. Yes, you read that correctly. He’s just such an honest, hard-working and considerate guy (despite also being kinda a callous dick). When he steps up to help Chelsea McQuaid, aunt to six orphaned children, my heart starts to melt. Yes this is practically a trashy read. I don’t care though. I’d sell my soul for Jake Becker!

The Sea of Tranquility – This is one of the few angsty YA contemporary romances that I enjoyed enough to want to read again. I spent majority of this book trying to figure out the main characters. They’re clear as day and yet… the author hints and teases with deeper secrets and backstory that only get revealed toward the end. I didn’t predict any of it (though I can be quite naive so bear that in mind, I suppose)! It was a fun read and Josh was such a sweetheart.

Leaving Paradise – Elkeles is hands-down my go-to slow burn love story (well, after Mariana Zapata). We’ll consider them different though as Elkeles writes mainly YA. If you’re a fan of Zapata I implore you to give something by Elkeles a try. What I adored about Caleb was his ready acceptance of others, especially ‘the freak’ Maggie. It’s told with a realistic twist where characters have physical flaws and young adults are capable of an unlikely inner strength. This story touched my heart.

Rule – Synonymous with BAD BOY, Rule is that classic arrogant ass that just needs to unleash his vulnerable side *sigh* (are you sensing a trend here?). What I adored about this book, even more than the pairing between Rule and Shaw (who is an awesome, no-nonsense female lead), are the side characters. The other characters who make up the ‘Marked Men’ tattoo studio (which sounds sexist as some of them are women!) are truly great. It’s a great mix of family-by-blood and family-by-choice with just the right amount of drama and action to keep the series interesting. If you’re looking for a trashy, but oh-so-fun summer read then this is it!

Beneath Cruel Fathoms by Anela Deen – 5 STAR Book Review

Title: Beneath Cruel Fathoms (Bitter Sea Trilogy #1)
Author: Anela Deen
Genre: Fantasy / Myth
Publication Date: May 2019

After a violent storm destroys her ship, Isaura Johansdottir knows better than to hope she’ll be rescued from Eisland’s vast Failock Sea. Adrift and alone, her plans to start over lost, it’s a tragic conclusion after the disastrous end of her marriage—until she’s saved by Leonel, one of the merfolk, a creature long believed extinct. In repayment for her life, Leonel enlists her help to investigate the Failock’s mysterious and deadly plague of squalls.

As storms spread, Leonel and Isaura uncover secrets as forbidden as the bond that grows between them. Betrayal lurks in the restless sea, and when ancient powers lay siege to Eisland’s coast, the truth may be drowned along with everything else.

BREW SOME TEA… THIS IS A LONG REVIEW. <<<LIGHT SPOILERS AHEAD >>>

First off, how awesome is this cover?! The author of this book contacted me a while ago for a book review (read: almost a year… yes, my shame is real) and this has sat on my Kindle shelf for months. What’s worse than taking A YEAR to finally read this book? Only being aware NOW of its greatness. How can that be worse? Well, I could have read this book a year ago! I’d be well in to the remainder of the trilogy by now if I’d given it a try when I should have.

Okay, pitiful rant over.

While I adore mermaid characters in MG books, the same can’t often be said for my feelings on their inclusion in the adult/YA fantasy age groups. They usually all follow the same plot line and then things get BORING. That was not the case with this book. Well, there was some predictability and following of the general trend: character finds out mermaids are real + falls for a mermaid + some light myth involved + some light action + HEA (with some challenges to overcome still ) = THE END.

In the case of Beneath Cruel Fathoms all of these features were there BUT (and it’s a significant but) the story wasn’t really about all of that fantasy jazz. I mean sure, it was interesting and I enjoyed how the author incorporated mythology in to this story in a manner that made it feel relatable but the true selling point of this were the characters. If you’re a fantasy-nut though this book will give you everything you’d normally enjoy and then just a little bit more of the good stuff. Because it’s awesome like that.

Leonel and Isaura were the two MCs of this book, told in alternating POV, and they BLEW ME AWAY. Here were two emotionally scarred individuals STILL capable of being courteous to one another and considerate. Don’t even get me started on the trope: [insert character name] is an asshole because they [insert traumatic past] and all of their actions should forever be forgivable in a selfless display of courtesy by [insert victim] that is never returned nor appreciated by said asshole.

Isaura did not hold her past against those who threatened her comfortability but rather appealed to her healer nature: she sought to give them the calm she could not find for herself. It was inspiring to read about and came across as so damn genuine, mature and authentic. She was not without flaws however, these defined her. She did not apologise for them and was unapologetically real. Isaura struggled with her infertility and crumbled marriage. Deen did not sugar coat this and you could tell the emotions involved in building Isaura’s character were authentic, as explained by Deen in her acknowledgements. Deen’s own struggle with infertility gave Isaura’s emotions a depth that was heart-wrenching.

Leonel however, was my favourite character. Deen managed to create a character that had suffered emotional abuse, abandonment and ridicule his entire life for being different but was still capable of being genuinely caring toward others. As the last of the merfolk, a species looked down upon for their association with humans, Leonel’s childhood and adolescence had been rife with bullying and loneliness. Accustomed to the loneliness Leonel strived to protect the Fathoms (ocean) as a Guardian in a manner that was never offered to him. He was capable of emotional growth that was awe-inspiring.

Just like that, she defeated the gods. Not with indifference and irreverence, but with resolve founded on compassion. Why had he ever believed strength came from a hardened heart? Determination and emotion were bound to each other. Victory could never be reached by the hand that knew nothing of grace.

Leonel and Isaura’s character development during their budding relationship was engaging and so sweet to read BUT GET THIS: I would have been happy even if they didn’t stay together. Their individual growth and support of one another was simply beautiful and I would have been so, so emotionally satisfied if Anela did the bittersweet ending thing. Don’t worry though, there’s a HEA in this that was perfectly steeped in reality as opposed to overdone mush.

I won’t swear we’ll never argue. I will not say you’ll only know happiness each day. Life is too full and too wide for such claims. But I will swear to always stand by you. I will swear my heart is yours.

*Cue sobbing moment*

You just need to read this book. Okay? Okay.

Obviously = 5 STARS.

End of May Update and Recent Book Haul

Hey all,

WHAT A MONTH. May has flown by and unfortunately I’ve been pretty absent for the past week or so. I’m so sorry if I haven’t replied to comments or been blog hopping. I’ve missed reading posts and seeing what you’ve all been up to.

Moving house this past week has been AN EXPERIENCE. As book bloggers I’m sure you know the daunting task of packing up ALL of your books. It’s took me DAYS and I hadn’t realised how many duplicates I owned until I was forced to pack them all!

Besides for this, I was able to free up some time today to head down to our local Salvos (Salvation Army) store to go book hunting. In Aussie (I’m not sure about other countries??) it’s one of the best places to find bargain-priced books.

Here’s my recent haul and new additions to my TBR:

Have you read any of these? What were your thoughts on them??

Lastly, we hit 400 followers this past week SO THANK YOU SO MUCH for following and supporting us!

As we’re behind on what you’ve been reading we’d love to catch up and read some of your posts. Please link some of them below. We’d love to check them out!