Review: Drunk Dial by Penelope Ward

Drunk Dial
by Penelope Ward

It seemed like a good idea at the time. Look up Landon Roderick, that boy from childhood whom I’d never been able to forget—even though he so easily forgot about me—and call him.

Then again, anything sounds like a good idea when you’ve had a little too much wine before bed, right? It was supposed to be just a quick, meaningless, prank call. Instead, I went off on him—unloading thirteen years of pent-up emotions.

I didn’t think he’d call me back.

I certainly could never have anticipated the weeks of sexually tense phone conversations that followed as I got to know the man he’d become.

Turned out, Landon had never really forgotten me, either. That special connection we had was still there. I opened up to him, but there were also things about me he didn’t know. And he had his own secrets.

Over the countless hours we talked on the phone, I wondered what would happen if we actually saw each other. One night, I did something impulsive again. Only this time, I went to the airport and booked a ticket to California. We were about to find out if one phone call could bring two lost souls together or if my drunk dial really was all just a big mistake.

 

I’m ugly crying right now while writing this review.  Yes, I do sound crazy because of that, but hear me out.  I can’t simply stop the tears from falling after reading and learning everything about Landon and Rana Banana’s pretty darn exotic and magnificent love story.
 

From drunk dialing to spewing a long time childhood secret; from belly dancing to food truck serving; from nightly phone calls to love notes, to interstate gift exchanges;  from Michigan to California, from the food truck to the hometown garage, from the ocean music box to the wine stopper, from spy cameras to Rubik’s cube, from Shyla to Beverly,  from Beth to Lilith, from Lana to God,  everything everything everything was perfectly magnificent!
 

Honestly, I didn’t think I’d ever meet a man like Landon,  he’s just too good to be true!  Lucky Ranoona Banana Saloomi, she’s got him on her palm and never letting go. I think I need to learn belly dancing from her from now on!

Have I already mentioned that their erotic scenes were hot, sexy, smoldering and provocative and titillating that could put Anastasia Steele to shame? You better believe it!
 

This story is beautiful,  from the moment Rana drunk dialed her crush,  to reading his love notes,  I was sold.  Everything that followed after that made me smile,  laugh, gag,  roll my eyes, bite my lips,  hold my breath and cry a thousand rivers. I didn’t realize Penelope Ward will have that effect on me. Great job,  Sassypants!

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Review: The Air He Breathes by Brittainy Cherry

The Air He Breathes (Elements #1)
by Brittainy C. Cherry

I was warned about Tristan Cole. “Stay away from him,” people said. “He’s cruel.” “He’s cold.” “He’s damaged.”

It’s easy to judge a man because of his past. To look at Tristan and see a monster. But I couldn’t do that. I had to accept the wreckage that lived inside of him, because it also lived inside of me.

We were both empty. We were both looking for something else. Something more. We both wanted to put together the shattered pieces of our yesterdays. Then perhaps we could finally remember how to breathe.

Tristan Cole lost everything in a blink of an eye. And he wasn’t even there when it happened. After saying goodbye, he struggled to live, but he never did survive the memories and pain that plagued his heart. Death stole his loved ones. Death stole his life. Death stole his breath.

“the dark days only stayed dark until the sun came up.” 

Elizabeth Bailey and her daughter were barely breathing. A year after her husband died, Elizabeth went back to Meadow’s Creek to start over, but she didn’t really want to move on. Everywhere she looked, she wished Steven was there, to hold her hand, to sleep beside her, to take her into his arms again.

“Her soul was scarred, and mine was burned.” 

An angry Tristan met the lonely Elizabeth in the most awkward moments. A trip to the vet, a lawnmower screaming like banshee, grass clippings, magical library, lumberjack beard and feathers – it was all too much to these two scarred souls. He was the town asshole and she was the topic of gossipers all over the town. People talk behind their backs, but they didn’t have a single clue about the miseries they’d been going through.

He was thunder, I was lightning, and we were seconds away from creating the perfect storm. 

Together they screamed and conquered their demons. Together they worked to live and relive their dead ones’ memories. Together they strive to move on but couldn’t move forward. Together they fell in love, but divided they fell out.

Brittainy Cherry made me cry again. I’ve read some of her previous books and I can’t count the number of times I sobbed and wailed like a child. Now, I cried an ocean for Tristan and Elizabeth and I cried another ocean for darling little Emma. My heart is full of emotions and I don’t know how to sort them out.

You know the feeling when you can’t let go of a book because it captivated you right from the start. The kind of book you can’t seem to put down because you’re afraid to let go of the characters and the emotions running through your heart. The kind of book that makes you forget about your household chores because you can’t pass up the opportunity to smile and wallow with the characters and anticipate what happens next. The kind of book that makes your heart beat faster, eyes sting and water, chest constrict with anguish, despair and hope.

The hardest part about losing someone you love is the fact that you also lose yourself.

This is that kind of book. The Air He Breathes is absolutely beautiful. It has everything I want, all the good, the bad and the ugly. I could spend the next two hours crying all over again but I won’t regret it. Because this was simply, absolutely beautiful. Crazy, heartwarmingly beautiful, scars and all.

“As long as air moves in and out of my lungs … as long as I breathe, I will fight for you. I will fight for us.” 

“You’re beautiful. You’re a beautiful, broken kind of monster.” 

Review: Twisted Palace by Erin Watt

Twisted Palace
(The Royals #3)
by Erin Watt

From mortal enemies to unexpected allies, two teenagers try to protect everything that matters most.

Ella Harper has met every challenge that life has thrown her way. She’s tough, resilient, and willing to do whatever it takes to defend the people she loves, but the challenge of a long-lost father and a boyfriend whose life is on the line might be too much for even Ella to overcome.

Reed Royal has a quick temper and even faster fists. But his tendency to meet every obstacle with violence has finally caught up with him. If he wants to save himself and the girl he loves, he’ll need to rise above his tortured past and tarnished reputation.

No one believes Ella can survive the Royals. Everyone is sure Reed will destroy them all.
They may be right.

With everything and everyone conspiring to keep them apart, Ella and Reed must find a way to beat the law, save their families, and unravel all the secrets in their Twisted Palace.

Okay, I have to admit, I’ve been really forgetful lately, lots of things have come up and stuffs. Tonight as I was checking my reviews and TBRs, I just noticed that I haven’t written a proper review for this book. I am so freaking ruined by the Royals, that’s true. I blame Easton for making me forget about this. Ugh.

So anyway, as I’ve promised almost a year ago, here’s now my more comprehensive review for Twisted Palace.

Steve O’Halloran, Ella’s dead father happened to be alive and well after almost a year of disappearance. And Callum’s estranged fiance Brooke Davidson may have been killed, but her ghost never left the Royals, especially now that his son Reed had been accused of murdering her. Surprise surprise! Just when you thought you had them all figured out, the explosive truth about their families just got even more shocking and scandalously disturbing.

Yes, Twisted Palace had been totally mind-blowing! In a true Erin Watt’s tradition, the readers always get the surprise of their lives whenever the Royals are concerned. I was absolutely shocked by the turn of events, the betrayal, deceit, all the lies and treachery were overwhelming and heart breaking.

Ella and Reed had been to the moon and back, through heaven and hell since they’d been together. I commend Ella for being the one who changed the Royal family, especially turning Reed from obnoxious to subdued and in control. Yes, she’d been the much-needed anchor in their misery-drowned life, the rainbow that appeared after a raging storm. Reed, on the other hand, had somehow shown the kind of love that had been missing in her life. For all its worth, she’d proven multiple times that she could handle herself. Reed had not only been instrumental in ruining her but also in making her whole again.

The Royals had indeed ruined me, bit I loved all of them just the same.

Review: Marry Me at Willoughby Close by Kate Hewitt

Marry Me at Willoughby Close
Willoughby Close series # 5
by Kate Hewitt

Welcome to Willoughby Close… a charming cluster of cozy cottages, each with a story to tell and a happy ending to deliver…

Alice James has been a drifter her whole life, working her way through several foster homes before ending up in Wychwood-on-Lea, feeling anchorless and invisible. When a chance encounter leads to Alice accepting a position as a caretaker and companion to Lady Stokeley, she starts to feel as if she might finally be able to put down some roots and live the way other people do.

Then, Lady Stokeley’s nephew, city banker Henry Trent, storms into Willoughby Manor, seeming to find fault with everything, including Alice. As the next in line to the manor and title, he threatens to upturn everything she’s started to build. But Henry is hiding his own secret fears and weaknesses, ones he’s desperate for no one to discover. A surprising and inconvenient attraction that simmers between them leaves Alice feeling more confused than ever, and Henry torn between duty and desire, fear and love.

When circumstances become even more difficult, both Alice and Henry must decide who they really are, and what they are willing to fight for. Could Alice possibly the next Lady of Willoughby Manor?

 

It took me a while to finally accept Lady Stokeley’s fate and Henry Trent’s turn over a new leaf, but nothing prepared me with the tears that run down my eyes after reading this book. Yes, I think this is the final book in the Willoughby Close series. And it was really good.

I met Alice on the Ava’s story in Kiss Me at Willoughby Close and had grown to like her and her simplicity. I was quite angered at Henry Trent though for coming off annoying and brusque and obnoxious. But in this last book, I finally understood his aloofness, his stiff personality and his awkwardness with other people. My heart was also heavy because of the cancer that was eating up Lady Stokeleys. Brings me back to my memories of my father who also suffered cancer and I enveloped in sadness and pain when he died.

Among the five books in this series, I think I loved this last story best. Alice was such an affectionate and warm-hearted individual who was also forgiving even after everything that she’d been through. Fostered from one family to another during her childhood, Alice grew up without a real family to hold on to, except for a grandmother who died in her care. She’s been devoted, caring and tough even at the most trying times. Henry was her exact opposite. He couldn’t show his affections, he tend to overanalyze things and talk in complicated tones, making look boring, conventional and snobbish person. Born in wealth but lacked in familial comfort, he became rigid, angsty, always in control. Then he could also be so strong yet so fragile.

Their story was quite slow and a tad stagnant because these two opposing characters couldn’t get along just fine. But along the way, the other characters like Lady Stokeley and Ava and the other residents of Willoughby Close also made everything transition smoothly. The book was everything I hoped for and provided so much more. It has been quite an emotional and heartwarming read. I fell in love with this series and wish I could read more of Kate Hewitt’s writing. Definitely a must read!

Review: Bucket List to Love by CP Santi

Bucket List To Love
by C.P. Santi

Aya Contreras is thrilled to be studying in the land of sakura and sushi. Tokyo is a fascinating city to live in—vending machines, cosplayers, karaoke boxes, and bright, colorful conbinis on every corner. And the architectural design program she’s in is everything she dreamed it to be.
The only problem? Her tutor doesn’t seem to like her.
Well, she doesn’t like him very much either. Sure, Ryohei Mori is talented, and there’s no denying he’s hot. But he’s also a surly, bossy know-it-all who eats too many cookies.
Another annoying thing about him is he’s nosy. And when he stumbles upon the crazy bucket list Aya’s sisters forced on her, he teases her mercilessly about it.
But when their professor pairs them up for a design competition, things get . . . interesting. Fueled by beer and a whole lot of cookies, can Aya and Ryo cross out some items on her bucket list without killing each other? Or will they realize there’s much more to each other than they’d originally thought?

Aya had just broken up with her boyfriend of six years when she discovered something about him. A study grant to Japan was just the thing she needed to forget about her broken heart. Afraid to fall in love again, Aya tried hard to steer clear of temptations, but her hot and gorgeous tutor made it impossible to do so. Add the bucket list that her meddling but sweet sisters insisted for her to do, it was only a matter of time before Aya found herself falling in love under the Meiji Shrine.

When I learned about this latest story by CP Santi, I knew I had to read it. The book gave me all the feels! I felt like I was watching a J-Drama with MatsuJun as the male lead and the characters came alive with the wonderful storyline, friendly banters, beautiful sceneries and that exciting bucket list.

I enjoyed the way Ryo and Aya’s relationship developed. Not forced, not dictated. I couldn’t help but smile and grin at them, I actually looked like a fool while reading A Bucket List to Love. Ryo Mori was such a darling.

What I really loved most was how Japan was beautifully depicted and narrated by the author. So amazing! I know a thing or two about Japanese culture but I’ve never been to the Land of the Rising Sun. I’ve always been fascinated with anything related to Japan. JPop, JDrama, you name it, I can handle it. (A big fan of Arashi here!). And the author made me want to go there soon. In my opinion, Japan is one of the best countries to visit or live in the world.

Overall, I thought this was a well written book with reasonably well pacing that reminded what it was like when I was in college. CP Santi has always bedazzled me with her tales and feel-good love stories. I am so stinking in love with her. Plus, I got to read and finish her book during her birthday, which made this story really special.

I don’t know about you, but this book just moved right to my top ten all-time favorite books list. I can’t recommend it enough. This is a book I’m definitely going to re-read someday.

 

Review: Royally Screwed by Emma Chase

Royally Screwed (Royally #1)
by Emma Chase

Nicholas Arthur Frederick Edward Pembrook, Crowned Prince of Wessco, aka His Royal Hotness, is wickedly charming, devastatingly handsome, and unabashedly arrogant; hard not to be when people are constantly bowing down to you.

Then, one snowy night in Manhattan, the prince meets a dark haired beauty who doesn’t bow down. Instead, she throws a pie in his face.

Nicholas wants to find out if she tastes as good as her pie, and this heir apparent is used to getting what he wants.

Dating a prince isn’t what waitress Olivia Hammond ever imagined it would be.

There’s a disapproving queen, a wildly inappropriate spare heir, relentless paparazzi, and brutal public scrutiny. While they’ve traded in horse drawn carriages for Rolls Royces, and haven’t chopped anyone’s head off lately, the royals are far from accepting of this commoner.

But to Olivia, Nicholas is worth it.

Nicholas grew up with the whole world watching, and now Marriage Watch is in full force. In the end, Nicholas has to decide who he is and, more importantly, who he wants to be: a King… or the man who gets to love Olivia forever.

 

I am not quite myself today. Early on, I was getting displeased at a certain prince, wondered if I would be able to tolerate him. And then in the end, I found myself sobbing like a kitten who lost her mitten and then I began to cry.. (wait, that sounds like a nursery rhyme!)

Oh well, please, allow me some moments to indulge in His Royal Hotness, as I still have a royal hangover from Emma Chase’s enigmatic prince. And do forgive me for acting like a fool in this review, as I believe this one deserve to be tackled at length.

At first glance, at first meet, at first impression, Prince Nicholas Pembrook came off as an annoying, obnoxious, irritating prince with unsavory character. I thought he was going to be that typical bad boy royal who thought so highly of himself, but halfway through the book, my thoughts about him turned upside down. A royal with a heart, a prince with sense of humor, a brother torn between duties and family and love.

Olivia Hammond had it hard and difficult. Her life seemed to be at shambles ever since her mother died and her father broke down from heartache. Her little firecracker of a sister Ellie was the one thing that got her up and running in their quiant coffeeshop, Amelia’s, even when it was on the verge of foreclosure. (I thoroughly love Ellie, by the way!)

And then she met this prince who thought so highly of himself, offered her a thousand euros for a kiss. If you were in Olivia’s shoes, would you decline the offer, or go kiss and tell?

I can’t believe this is just the first time I read a book by Emma Chase. Why, why, why? What have I been reading my entire life?

One moment I was okay, the next minute I was tearing up inside. I don’t know how to handle these princes of Wessco. At first I thought I’d see Nicholas and Henry as the laidback versions of Prince William and Prince Harry of Wales. Mostly of their family tragedy and military involvement and party-party inclinations. But the moment Nicholas brought Olivia to Wessco and introduced her to the palace, I stopped comparing the royals and saw Nick at a whole new light. He’s amazing. He’s fantastic. He’s everything I’ve ever dreamed of. And he’s everything I’d never get. (Lucky bloke!)

And Prince Henry… my goodness! I was so wrong about him at the beginning. I thought he was immature and insensitive. But when he poured out his heart, I cried along with him. I can’t wait to read what happens to him after Nicholas dropped the bomb at his feet. O.M.G.

And Olivia, you feisty American gal, how could you be so much lucky. I’d love to trade places with you one day, have a taste of living in the palace and being with His Royal Hotness himself 24/7. How would you like that?

Emma Chase, I am so sorry I haven’t read your past books. I am so sorry I had put off reading Royally Screwed two months ago when I got it on my Kindle. I am so sorry for the stars in my eyes whenever I see Nicholas on that book cover. I am so sorry for acting like a silly little girl right now. I bet Queen Lenora won’t approve of my behavior. But I am not sorry for falling in love with your story and for falling hard for Nicholas. And I am sure, I won’t be sorry meeting Prince Henry real soon.

Thank you Emma for this has been a royal rollercoaster ride and I love riding every minute of it.

Now, please let me find Nicholas’ Calvin Kleins before I go to sleep… uhm wait… he doesn’t wear CKs OMG!!! *hides face*

ARC Review: Paper Tigers by Meg Collett

Paper Tigers
(Fear University #4)
by Meg Collett

Fear University has created a new monster …

The infamous fear switch research started with me, Patient Zero. But I am a failure. My mind adapted and now I move through the shadows like the creatures I was created to hunt. I spent my entire life in a cage with scalpels in my brain, but I am finally free—thanks to the Commander.

I am Zero, and I will make the bad men at Fear University pay.

I, Ollie Volkova, have returned to Fear University to rebuild and restore the school to its former standard of protecting the world against monsters, both human and aswang. But something new is killing Original families all over Kodiak Island and nearly assassinated the president of my university. The hunters call it a ghost, but I know she’s something more. Something worse than monsters and men. Something like me.

Fear University is my home, and I will kill to protect it.

PAPER TIGERS IS OUT NOW! GET YOUR COPY ON AMAZON!

If you’ve been following my reviews about the Fear University series, I’ve declared all my love and admiration to this woman who had encapsulated Filipino folklore in her novels, Meg Collett. And the mere mention of aswang in the story easily gives me the creeps. The crazy kind of creeps that makes me shiver in fear and anticipate in excitement. I haven’t met any other author who had written a story about aswangs, manananggal, kapre in an intricately detailed and extensive manner, much scarier and more nerve-racking than the one featured in Grimm TV series. I kid you not.

Now on to the fourth installment in the series. Paper Tigers.

The aswangs are back, and so are the aswang hunters and the halflings. Ollie had convinced Dean to let the halflings enter Fear University, against his bitter judgment, completely certain that aswangs are monsters, not half-good, not half-monstrous.

And then there’s Zero. She had wormed her way in the university, and Dean almost cost his life, but still lived, gripping in fear. Zero had found him, and he was sure he’d soon die in her hands. In her daughter’s hands. But she didn’t anticipate The Fearless One and the One Who Don’t Feel Pain. And for that, Zero is back to being zero.

The fight scenes, the aswangs, the shadows, the fear switch, the antidote, the lovestruck pairs, the traitors, the war, the confused daughter, the Queen!

I am fumbling here, I know; I wish I could narrate the entire book and tell you how awesome Paper Tigers is. But I must stop before I blurt out the whole story. You need to read this for yourself. You need to meet the woman behind this amazing series.

OMG, this has been a crazy ride and I can’t stop myself from screaming. Meg Collett is a genius and I want the whole world to know that. For me, she could be the next Sarah J. Maas. Paper Tigers is a must read. ’nuff said.