Regretting You by Colleen Hoover – Book Review

Title: Regretting You
Author: Colleen Hoover
Genre: Romance
Publication Date: 10 Dec 2019

FOREWARNING. I LOVED THIS BOOK, SO NATURALLY THIS IS GOING TO BE AN INCOHERENT RAMBLE.

This was my first book by Colleen Hoover and won’t be my last (maybe? possibly?). Hoover’s writing has been praised by ‘all to Kingdom come’ for its originality and emotional impact in the YA/adult romance genres. I have to admit, the hype made me VERY skeptical but after reading Regretting You I have to admit there’s some merit there.

Regretting You kept me interested throughout as a host of family secrets unraveled to reveal life-altering betrayals. The story initially follows Morgan as a young seventeen year-old girl in the summer after she graduates high school. Her long-term boyfriend, Chris, was present throughout the summer alongside the remainder of their best friends quartet: Jonah (Chris’ BFF since childhood) and Morgan’s younger sister Jenny. When Morgan finds out she’s pregnant with Chris’ child, their world changes to an unrecognisable extent.

What truly captured my attention near the beginning of the book, and held it right through to the end, was CoHo’s choice to alternate POV from Morgan and her daughter Clara. Essentially, this was a book that explored love between a mother and daughter as well as their romantic relationships with others. While some of the actions of both characters had me INCREDIBLY FRUSTRATED this choice for alternating POV worked seamlessly.

Themes of grief, love, betrayal and second chances were intertwined to create a story that cuts to the heart of the matter and doesn’t fall prey to placating the reader with happiness through to the end. Instead, in the middle of the book I was SO ANGRY, FRUSTRATED and SAD. These emotions stemmed from my dislike of BOTH the characters due to their actions toward one another. Morgan and Clara COULD NOT GET ALONG and yet… this is reality isn’t it? Things are hard. Words are said that cut deep. White lies are told in the futile hope of protecting others.

It would have been easy to give this book 2 stars. It made me SO MAD and FRUSTRATED and yet… I couldn’t do that to CoHo. It was REAL and sometimes real is annoying and ugly and heart breaking. Sometimes teenagers are ASSHOLES and their characters should reflect that too. It was a love-hate (OMG this is GOOD) relationship between me and this book.

It was real. It was oftentimes ANNOYING. But it was real. For that alone I’ll give this book 4 stars. When you add in the characters of Jonah and Miller (the romantic SOs) this story gets bumped up to a 4.5 stars. I’ve refrained from the golden 5 Star rating as there were a few (admittedly small) issues the book should have dealt with better. I’m not going to say what they were (spoilers etc) but it was toward the end and some events/revelations felt like they were glanced over.

BUT… (there’s always a but)

I don’t know if I want to read any more books by this author. It was an emotional rollercoaster that was tiring to read (in terms of the emotional impact it had on me). If anything this is an outstanding compliment to CoHo’s writing ability.

Also… what if the other books are the same. I loved this one and if it turns out the other books are cookie cutter versions of this (as some authors inherently do this) I’d be so disappointed and this book would lose all of it’s shine.

Have you read any other CoHo books? Are they all the same as this one?

Top Ten Tuesday – Reasons Why I Love Middle Grade Books

It’s TOP TEN TUESDAY TIME. As ever, I’m so thankful to Jana over at That Artsy Reader Girl for this delightful meme and topic this week.

Middle grade has been my go-to reading over the past month (with a dash of romantic fiction added in there). In a time when anxiety is high (mine is from currently moving house which is a CHORE) middle grade books allow me the perfect, calming escape (REASON #1).

REASON #2

The lack of romance. Yes, I know. I actually said (or is it technically typed?) that. I’ll be the first to admit I’m a die hard rom-com fan but occasionally it’s nice to have a genre that isn’t focused on squeezing in romantic plots in the background (or as the WHOLE plot, as is the case in romance). That’s not to say there aren’t MG books with romance but it’s less common I find.

REASON #3

The friendships! It’s so sweet to read about a band of misfit BFFs taking on the Wicked Witch of the West [or insert alternative villain here]. The wholesome innocence of it is beautiful, especially in contrast to my current living situation which means FRIENDS ARE SO FAR AWAY. It makes me melancholy and eager to see them again!

REASON #4

The fantasy kicks ass. Not quite literally (although I’m sure there’s at least one example of this somewhere…) but in the sense that there ARE NO RULES. Their creativity and imagination is sometimes far more vivid than YA or adult fantasy: genres that tend to lean toward ‘the realm of possibility’ with their fantastical ideas. Whereas some MG fantasy books just GO BANANAS in terms of realism and flying pigs go by in the next chapter. Who doesn’t want a healthy does of whimsy like this in their life?

REASON #5

They’re shorter. There are times when I want to sit down to a beastly tomb and spend 15 hours of my life compelled by the pages (Kingdom of Ash)… and then there are times when I want to sit on the couch, be lazy, pick up a book and finish it before I feel the urge to get back up again. MG novels tend to be at least 100 pages shorter than your average adult novel and this can come in handy when you’re in the mood for a quick escape.

REASON #6

PICTURES. Okay, so MG books don’t actually have pictures in them but the COVERS are SO CUTE majority of the time. If you don’t believe me check out these MG books below. Who could resist picking these up off the shelf???!! Yes, they’re all mermaid related. Because mermaids are cool like that.

REASON #7

ARCs. My luck with MG ARCs is generally far better than with YA or adult novels. Maybe it’s just me? I could be overly critical of YA and adult books and lenient on MG? Regardless of the reason, my track record with higher star ratings and enjoyment is definitely higher in MG than in any other genre. They’re just so FEEL GOOD. I can’t help but be happy and give a happiness-induced high rating!

REASON #8

The series DON’T LET YOU DOWN. At least in Rick Riordan’s case. And isn’t he kinda the King of Greek myth fantasy for MG? I feel like he is (in my completely biased opinion due to a love of Percy J). I’ve had some bad luck lately with bad sequels and endings to series (looking at you Neal Shusterman…) and having a genre where the sequel is generally as good as the first is a win-win in my book!

REASON #9

They cover some deep topics. With a host of books in MG being dedicated to the fantastic there isn’t often a highlight on the OTHER books for this age group. One of my favourite topics, quite often covered, is that of immigrating as a child and adjusting to a new culture. This is something I experienced as a child and being able to relate to characters going through the same thing gets me all teared up! It’s such a hard thing to handle when you’re young (especially if you’re the kid with the weird accent) and these books tackle the subject so well. I wish I’d had them as a child so that I could have read and related to this back then. It would have certainly helped with the discomfort of being ‘The New Girl’ in a very strange new school.

REASON #10

THEY’RE ADDICTIVELY FUN AND FUNNY. I’ll admit that I can be quite the staid reader. You’d probably think I looked dead bored if you chanced a peek at me reading (when in reality I’m so engrossed that my awareness of the surroundings just disappears). Like resting b*tch face, my resting reading face leaves a lot to be desired. That’s why MG is so fun to read. I genuinely find myself laughing out loud and talking to my invisible neighbour (I’m calling him George for the time being) about how amazing/brilliant/funny/ [insert adjective here] the characters are.

The Witches of Willow Cove by Josh Roberts – MG ARC Book Review

Title: The Witches of Willow Cove
Author: Josh Roberts
Genre: Fantasy / Middle Grade
Publication Date: 26 May 2020

Six teenage witches. One mysterious stranger. A secret that could destroy them all.

It’s not easy being a teenage witch. Seventh grader Abby Shepherd is just getting the hang of it when weird stuff starts happening all around her hometown of Willow Cove. Green slime bubbling to life in science class. Giant snakes slithering around the middle school gym. Her best friend suddenly keeping secrets and telling lies.

Things only begin to make sense when a stranger named Miss Winters reveals that Abby isn’t the only young witch in town–and that Willow Cove is home to a secret past that connects them all. Miss Winters, herself a witch, even offers to teach Abby and the others everything she knows about witchcraft.

But as Abby learns more about Miss Winters’ past, she begins to suspect her new mentor is keeping secrets of her own. Can Abby trust her, or does Miss Winters have something wicked planned for the young witches of Willow Cove?

The Witches of Willow Cove was a journey of magic, friendship and mysterious disappearances. Roberts’ writing was reminiscent of J.K Rowlings in Harry Potter (BIG statement… but let me explain) in regards to building young adult characters that had a bravery, curiosity and maturity that defied their years (but was also believable).

While the cover and synopsis of this story seemed to hint at a darker theme, the sudden disappearance of characters throughout the book made me uncomfortable. It seemed as if integral members of the community had suddenly gone missing… and no one noticed. Usually the disappearance of a character in a small town is easily noticed and is followed up with a sense of panic. The lack of this had me uneasy as a reader. Roberts created a foreboding atmosphere without having to resort to dramatic means.

The main characters in this story, Abby and Robby (yes, the synopsis only states Abby as the MC but it felt like they were equally as important) had a youthful friendship that brought back a feeling of sentiment for me. Their ‘BFF’ label was an innocent sort that hadn’t been tested with conflict. This book’s exploration of their friendship amidst a sea of secrets and lies was fascinating to read. I enjoyed following their friendship as it cracked under pressure and then slowly built again to become something able to stand the test of time. Roberts expertly dealt with youth-like emotions in a way that was relatable for an adult reader. Oftentimes the emotional arc of an MG story can feel a bit angsty or become frustrating to follow but that wasn’t the case with The Witches of Willow Cove.

The only downside to this story was its predictability. There were aspects of the plot I predicted from a mile away and yet there remained a few events toward the end that had me smiling in surprise. As this is pitched for a younger audience it’s to be expected that some predictability is present.

I look forward to reading more from this author in the future.

4.5 Stars

*ARC kindly provided by Owl Hollow Press via NetGalley in exchange for an honest review*

Something is Killing the Children by James Tynion IV – GN eARC Book Review

Title: Something is Killing the Children Vol. 1
Author: James Tynion IV
Genre: Graphic Novel / Horror
Publication Date: 26 May 2020

When children begin to go missing in the town of Archer’s Peak, all hope seems lost until a mysterious woman arrives to reveal that terrifying creatures are behind the chaos – and that she alone will destroy them, no matter the cost.

IT’S THE MONSTERS WHO SHOULD BE AFRAID.

When the children of Archer’s Peak—a sleepy town in the heart of America—begin to go missing, everything seems hopeless. Most children never return, but the ones that do have terrible stories—impossible details of terrifying creatures that live in the shadows. Their only hope of finding and eliminating the threat is the arrival of a mysterious stranger, one who believes the children and claims to be the only one who sees what they can see. 

Her name is Erica Slaughter. She kills monsters. That is all she does, and she bears the cost because it must be done.

Something is Killing the Children, with its gruesome title and captivating cover, has all of the initial hallmarks of a gripping graphic novel read. From the cover’s depiction of monster-infested woods, unexplained events and a woman ready to fight back I was expecting this story to keep me on the edge of my seat and awake at night.

Unfortunately, that’s not what happened.

Instead, Something is Killing the Children moved at a slumber-inducing pace that seemed to detract from the story’s attempt to build an intense atmosphere. The images were sufficiently gruesome (in a light horror kind of way) and the gore was present early on in the story. As you’d expect from a GN of this genre. The images’ dark tones and vivid splash of red were eye-catching however they failed to truly gain my attention. Once I’d read a section of the story I wasn’t inclined to go back to stare at any particular spread (as I’d usually do, if in awe of the artwork).

While the story attempted to weave multiple facets of the mystery surrounding the monsters’ appearance in the town – the lost children, James’ near miss while his friends were murdered, the police investigation – this wasn’t very effective in keeping my interest. The characters were hard to connect to and with the exception of Erica Slaughter I wasn’t overly invested in their story.

The mystery around Erica and her appearance in the town was the most interesting part of the story and kept me reading until the end. That said, I wouldn’t say I’m interested enough to read Vol. 2. It was a decent horror read but not one I’d read again therefore I’m rating it 2.5 stars.

2.5 Stars

*Arc kindly provided to me by BOOM! Studios via Netgalley*

A Duke Will Never Do by Darcy Burke – eARC Book Review

Title: A Duke Will Never Do (The Spitfire Society #3)
Author: Darcy Burke
Genre: Historical Romance
Publication Date: May 19 2020

After failing on the Marriage Mart, Jane Pemberton has two choices: submit to her parents’ edict to marry their boring neighbour or become a self-declared spinster and take up residence in the official headquarters of the Spitfire Society. It’s really no choice at all, and Jane is eager to embrace her newfound independence.

She soon finds an unconscious viscount on her doorstep and nurses him back to health. When he offers to compensate her, she requests payment in the form of private instruction of a scandalous and intimate kind.

Having spiraled into a self-destructive abyss following the murder of his parents, Anthony, Viscount Colton, physically recovers under the care of an alluring spitfire. 

I’ve been in a romance mood lately and when I saw this on Netgalley my first response was to request it and read the synopsis later (I know… why do I do these things to myself???). I hadn’t realised (obviously) that this was the THIRD book in the Spitfire Society series. That said, it turned out to be easy to read as a ‘stand-alone’ and was such a cute read! Sometimes spontaneity pays off.

A Duke Will Never Do follows Jane Pemberton, self-proclaimed spinster as she embarks on a future WITHOUT yearning in hope for a husband. Instead, she plans to take on humanitarian issues through the Spitfire Society in the effort to claim independence and happiness in a society that doesn’t prioritise these traits in women. When Antony Colton turns up unconscious on her doorstep however, things take a surprisingly adventurous turn.

Jane’s character was easily likeable and not angsty or frustrating to read AT ALL. This is practically unheard of in this genre. There was still tension in this story however, it was in reverse. Antony Viscount Colton was the kind, sensitive and vulnerable of the pair and in need of support from Jane. I liked this book’s different take on the usual roles male and female characters play in a historical romance.

The pace was jaunty in this regency-set romance and made for a fast read. If you’re after something with a few remarkable side characters (whom I’m assuming are from books 1 and 2) as well as a good dose of intimate moments between the MCs then this is the book for you!

I’ve rated this one 4 Stars as I happily read it all in one sitting. I lowered this rating as this story could have benefitted from some additional tension to really allow readers to connect with the characters. Particularly in regards to Antony’s personal addictions as a coping mechanism for his traumatic past. The issue of his addiction was skimmed over with the implication that purely being in Jane’s presence was enough to quash the cravings. This read as quite unrealistic to me and I would have liked this explored more.

4 Stars.

*Arc provided by Darcy Burke Publishing via Netgalley*

Books As First Dates Tag

We were tagged in this fun and romantic bookish tag by Alice over at Love For Words. Alice created this tag herself and we ADORE it. What’s better than a ‘first date’ with a good book? Especially if the book turn in to a series. It’s a one way street to a long-term reading commitment!

If you haven’t checked out Alice’s blog yet please do! One of our favourite posts of hers is a review on The Lunar Chronicles. It’s insightful, detailed and a fun read. Check it out!

The Rules

↠ Link back to the original tag.
↠ Thank and link back to the person who tagged you.
↠ Tag 5+ bloggers.
↠ Have fun!

FIRST AND LAST

A book/series you’ve read and enjoyed, but can’t bring yourself to read again

After falling in love with Urban YA Fantasy from reading City of Bones, the Vampire Academy series was the next up on my list of obsessions. Seriously, I remember flying through these books and eagerly awaiting the release of the final instalment in the series. That said, I tried to re-read these books last year and NOPE. I got one chapter in and promptly gave up! I think my reading tastes may have changed somewhat…

WITH A FRIEND OF MY FRIEND

A book/series someone recommended to you that turned out to be different from what you had expected

I first read this after Nen recommended it and I was pleasantly surprised by how much I connected with the characters and enjoyed this story. I wasn’t expecting that as this was initially a book I had actively avoided. I tend to avoid Tolkien stories due to their complexity and frankly all of the hype surrounding them (I lived in NZ and there ALWAYS seemed to be a fan nearby extolling its virtues).

DOUBLE DATE

A book whose sequel you immediately had to read

If you’ve had the pleasure of reading a novel by Sarina Bowen you’ll understand why I NEEDED the sequel to Bittersweet IMMEDIATELY after having finished reading it. Griff and Audrey’s romance was oh, so sweet and I couldn’t wait to read more romances set in an apple orchard.

LET’S GO TO THE MOVIES

A book/series that should be adapted to the screen

Who wouldn’t want to watch this??!!??!!??

DREAMY STARGAZING

A book that made you go ahhhh and ohhhh.

Wait For It is my favourite Zapata novel (which is saying A LOT as she’s my fav romance author). There’s just something about the slow, realistic and intense relationship that builds up between Diana and Dallas. Seriously, I can’t even count how many times I’ve reread this story!

FUN AT THE FAIR

A book full of colors

I’m assuming this prompt means colours on the cover? I couldn’t think of a more colourful cover than this!

AMUSEMENT PARK ADVENTURE

A book that was a rollercoaster

Did anyone else read the Uglies series when they were younger? This was a first for me in regards to reading dystopian and I was hooked! Not only did this deliver in action and pace (reminiscent of a rollercoaster), Uglies also made me think A LOT about society’s pressure of being aesthetically beautiful. It was an intense read as a teen!

PICNIC WITH CHERRIES

A book whose food descriptions made you feel all *heart eyes*

Acevedo’s writing (and recipes) in this book were a foodie delight! While I preferred The Poet X over this story (and CANNOT WAIT for Clap When You Land), Emoni’s recipes certainly made this book mouthwateringly fun to read!

TRIP TO THE MUSEUM

A book that taught you valuable stuff

The Secret Life of Bees was a novel I had to read for English class when I was in high school and it had a profound impact on my reading choices and understanding of the world. This was the first book I had read that truly made me think. Not just about the racial and prejudicial issues explored in the book but also about the small choices we make everyday and their effect on others. Be it positive or negative. This is a book I think everyone should read at least once.

I TAG:

The Bromance Book Club by Lyssa Kay Adams – 5 Star Book Review

Title: The Bromance Book Club (Bromance Book Club #1)
Author: Lyssa Kay Adams
Genre: Contemporary Romance
Publication Date: March 2020

The first rule of book club: You don’t talk about book club.

Nashville Legends second baseman Gavin Scott’s marriage is in major league trouble. He’s recently discovered a humiliating secret: his wife Thea has always faked the Big O. When he loses his cool at the revelation, it’s the final straw on their already strained relationship. Thea asks for a divorce, and Gavin realizes he’s let his pride and fear get the better of him.

Welcome to the Bromance Book Club.

Distraught and desperate, Gavin finds help from an unlikely source: a secret romance book club made up of Nashville’s top alpha men. With the help of their current read, a steamy Regency titled Courting the Countess, the guys coach Gavin on saving his marriage. But it’ll take a lot more than flowery words and grand gestures for this hapless Romeo to find his inner hero and win back the trust of his wife.

The hype for this book was HIGH last year. As with all hyped books, I tend to have a healthy dose of skepticism surrounding their supposed ‘amazingness’. Is that a word? You know what I mean! Where this book is concerned though, the hype was valid.

In my current rom-com mood The Bromance Book Club had (almost) everything I was after. Cute storyline (honestly, an all-male romance book club is progressive and so fun to read about), admirable male MC (Gavin was all I could have really asked for) and strong side characters (seriously, my squeals of joy in hearing Mack would be the male MC in the sequel…) and a strong female MC with Thea.

To be honest, the only issue I had with this book was that it felt too short. Maybe that’s because I wanted MORE. Oh, and Thea’s sister Liv. She annoyed the pants off me. Luckily she disappeared (mostly) by half way through (YAY!). Unluckily, she’s the female MC in the sequel… which made me INCREDIBLY FRUSTRATED. More on that in the sequel’s review though…

It wasn’t even the unique all-male romance book club that won me over in this read (although that was SO FUN to read about). It was a whole host of things. Gavin’s improvement in communication skills (from reading regency romance) and his heart-warming pursuit of Thea. Their adorable twin girls! Barney the Goldie. But ultimately, this book won me over with a turn-about near the end.

Relationships take two people to break (unless there’s cheating, which wasn’t the case here) and I liked that this book explored Thea’s short-comings in the relationship toward the end of the book. While I adored Gavin’s concerted effort to win Thea back, I could understand the reasons and HURT behind his initial (admittedly childish) behaviour. Thea had some communication battles to face as well and I’m glad that this was addressed.

I loved the fast-paced nature of this book and honestly would LOVE to see a screen adaptation of this. Can you even imagine it??

5 STARS

Only Mostly Devastated by Sophie Gonzales – Book Review

Title: Only Mostly Devastated
Author: Sophie Gonzales
Genre: Retelling/ LGBT Romance
Publication Date: March 2020

Summer love…gone so fast.

Will Tavares is the dream summer fling―he’s fun, affectionate, kind―but just when Ollie thinks he’s found his Happily Ever After, summer vacation ends and Will stops texting Ollie back. Now Ollie is one prince short of his fairy tale ending, and to complicate the fairy tale further, a family emergency sees Ollie uprooted and enrolled at a new school across the country. Which he minds a little less when he realizes it’s the same school Will goes to…except Ollie finds that the sweet, comfortably queer guy he knew from summer isn’t the same one attending Collinswood High. This Will is a class clown, closeted―and, to be honest, a bit of a jerk.

This was such a cute read! I started this book before bed and lost most of my night’s sleep eagerly reading it all in one sitting. It’s been a while since a book has stolen my complete attention (and sleep) like this!

I initially added this book to my TBR as it was said to have been a retelling of the movie Grease which is one of my ALL-TIME comfort-watch faves. What more could you ask for than summer romance followed by an enemies-to-lovers?

Ollie was such a genuine and open character in this story. I truly felt for him and this put me at odds with the obvious HEA that was to come. Will just wasn’t a great character at the start of this book (as expected, I suppose?) however, I dislike him more than I had expected to. His rudeness and ignorance of Ollie’s feelings was pretty harsh. I kept hoping that Ollie would give up on him. There were parts of the book where I wanted to shout at Ollie “YOU’RE PERFECT AS YOU ARE. YOU DON’T NEED A MAN TO COMPLETE YOU.”

At which point Ollie stole my heart (even more, if that’s possible?) by declaring the same thing to Will. There was a lot of (silent) cheering on my end at this. It was 2am, of course.

Despite my dislike of Will, he slowly won me over with his thoughtful actions (near the end of the book). It did seem to take him longer than necessary to get to this point though and if I’m being honest, I think Ollie still deserved better.

The side characters, Ollie’s friend group, were a take on The Pink Ladies and made up for any of my anger toward Will. They were real, angsty teens with relatable struggles concerning their futures, sexualities and self-esteem. I adored them!

Overall, I really enjoyed this book and am rating it 4 stars. Despite disliking Will throughout (almost) the entire book, I adored Ollie and The Pink Ladies. This story dealt with some deeper themes that are relatable for anyone experiencing/reminiscing their teen years.

4 STARS

First Comes Scandal by Julia Quinn – Book Review

Title: First Comes Scandal (Rokesbys #4)
Author: Julia Quinn
Genre: Historical Romance
Publication Date: April 2020

She was given two choices….

Georgiana Bridgerton isn’t against the idea of marriage. She’d just thought she’d have some say in the matter. But with her reputation hanging by a thread after she’s abducted for her dowry, Georgie is given two options: live out her life as a spinster or marry the rogue who has ruined her life.

Enter option number three…

As the fourth son of an earl, Nicholas Rokesby is prepared to chart his own course. He has a life in Edinburgh, where he’s close to completing his medical studies, and he has no time – or interest – to find a wife. But when he discovers that Georgie Bridgerton – his literal girl next door – is facing ruin, he knows what he must do.

A marriage of convenience… (Goodreads).

Oh boy, this was a disappointing read.

Well, I should probably wait before writing this review as I’ve literally just finished reading the book but I have some pent up emotions that I need to get off my chest. The first being, where was the rest of the book???!!!! At a mere 288 pages this book was 100 pages shy of every other story in the series. Quite frankly (as this was not labelled a novella) it needed those extra pages.

The Rokesbys series (one that I truly adore from Quinn) has been a splendid mix of daring drama and adventure thus far, the likes of which you rarely see in historical romance. The previous book in the series, The Other Miss Bridgerton, is one of my all-time favourite historical reads. It involves pirates, an adventurous woman, a nomadic and witty man and a fast-paced plot of kidnapping followed by heroism.

When I compare that to this book… it’s like I’m reading an entirely different series and I didn’t get anything of what I had been after. I was expecting a reluctant marriage of convenience, built up tension, some medical emergencies (considering the ‘hero’ was a training physician) and a sweet HEA. What we got instead was a fast-tracked story with little to any conflict. It was purely boy meets girl, (almost) insta-love, then HEA.

This was such a shame as the story had so much potential. I really enjoyed reading the multiple POVs of Georgiana (a strong woman with an innate sense of curiosity and a wicked intelligence) and Nicholas (a man who values women’s intelligence and allowed Georgiana an almost unlimited amount of freedom). They were interesting separately and worked well together.

What I did not enjoy was the complete lack of a middle to the story. The beginning was so fun to read! I was hooked very quickly with Nicholas’ displeasure at having to marry for convenience (because he wanted to marry for love) and Georgiana’s great sense of humour in their interactions. After this, things very quickly progressed with zero conflict (between them or with others). Caught unawares I soon found myself at the ‘epilogue’. I mean… can you call it an epilogue if the story was severely lacking substance?

In this epilogue (without wanting to share too many spoilers) it became apparent that Georgiana’s fight for a woman’s right to an advanced education was never granted. That was it. WHY hadn’t Quinn explored this fight, Nicholas’ support of Georgiana’s plight and the resulting heart-break in the middle of the book? I’d have been happy with insta-love and outside conflict in the form of a fight for education. Instead we got none of this.

I’m sorry, this is turning in to a ramble. My disappointment is high and I just can’t stop. I’ve rated this two stars because there was some genuinely great potential here and Quinn’s characters were likeable (if not fully developed throughout the story).

A sad 2 Stars from me.

Sins of the Father by Mary E. Twomey – eARC Book Review

Title: Sins of the Father
Author: Mary E. Twomey
Genre: Paranormal
Publication Date: May 2020

SYNOPSIS

When parents can send their children to jail to serve time in their place, corruption gets a free pass.

Arlanna’s life quickly turns upside-down when her father, the feared and revered mafia boss, finally gets caught in one of his many schemes and elects to send her to prison in his stead.

The broken system was never more than a frustration for her, but now that her freedom has been stolen away, Arlanna makes it her life’s mission to force the parents of the world to see the error of their ways. (Goodreads).

MY REVIEW

Twomey’s books are some of the most under-appreciated for their genre, in my opinion. Paranormal romance can often be judged harshly when compared to its ‘cousin’ fantasy, as the development of romantic storylines usually occur at the expense of world-building. While I’m content with this, Twomey stands as evidence that not all paranormal romances forsake world building. This book is a prime example.

The Sins of the Father bill allows parents to send their children to prison for their crimes. Arlanna, the fae daughter of a ‘mob boss’ father is sent to prison and soon meets her ‘merry’ band of rebellious friends. The side characters in this book brought this world to life. Each character had faced their own trials (legal and psychological) in regards to surviving the dystopian-like world of dwindling magic and increased corruption.

While prison stories aren’t my usual jam, Twomey weaved a captivating and unique plot. The struggles children faced to grant their parents freedom was brutal and Twomey did not hold back on darker themes in this book. As a fair warning triggers included physical abuse, flashback kidnapping, violence and self-harm.

That said, there were a lot of lighter moments to balance everything out. Arlanna, Cass, Charlotte and Gray had forged a friendship that withstood the uglier events of prison life. Cass and Charlotte’s relationship was so wholesome and sweet, especially considering Cass’ snarky personality. Gray and Arlanna’s budding romantic relationship also provided a light distraction from the darker tones in this book.

I rated this 4 out of 5 stars in light of the fact that some of the events were predictable (but still enjoyable) and some of the conflicts were resolved too quickly. I would have liked more development on them, considering their importance.

4 Stars.

*ARC provided by author in exchange for an honest review*