Review: Beauty of the Beast by Rachel Demeter

 

Beauty of the Beast

by Rachel L. Demeter
Fairy Tale Retellings, #1
Publication Date: March 15, 2017
Genres: Historical Romance, Fairy Tale Retelling, Gothic Romance

 

A BEAST LIVING IN THE SHADOW OF HIS PAST

Reclusive and severely scarred Prince Adam Delacroix has remained hidden inside a secluded, decrepit castle ever since he witnessed his family’s brutal massacre. Cloaked in shadow, with only the lamentations of past ghosts for company, he has abandoned all hope, allowing the world to believe he died on that tragic eve twenty-five years ago.

A BEAUTY IN PURSUIT OF A BETTER FUTURE

Caught in a fierce snowstorm, beautiful and strong-willed Isabelle Rose seeks shelter at a castle—unaware that its beastly and disfigured master is much more than he appears to be. When he imprisons her gravely ill and blind father, she bravely offers herself in his place.

BEAUTY AND THE BEAST

Stripped of his emotional defenses, Adam’s humanity reawakens as he encounters a kindred soul in Isabelle. Together they will wade through darkness and discover beauty and passion in the most unlikely of places. But when a monster from Isabelle’s former life threatens their new love, Demrov’s forgotten prince must emerge from his shadows and face the world once more…

Isabelle Rose is a hardworking woman who looks after her blind father and endures her two selfish stepsisters. She has to dodge the advances of Vicomte Raphael Dumont even though they are already betrothed.  A trip to the Merchant’s Fair is exactly what Isabelle needs to get away from the vicomte’s clutches. But is she really willing to defy the snow storms with her ailing father?

Adam Delacroix has shut himself from the world when his parents were murdered and his younger sister died in fire. No one else knows he still exists, except for his faithful servant Sebastien. His world is in darkness, shrouded by the hood that keeps his monstrous face at bay. When he meets Isabelle in his threshold, his eyes alight with splendor and suddenly he comes alive. But death is imminent within his reach, and that death could very well be the reason Isabelle will never accept nor see him for the human he truly is. Not a monster, not a beast.

I love how this tale teaches us readers how to look beyond what’s in front of you. Like the fairytale, it teaches us to see what’s inside the heart. In this story, it also shows us the brutality of man that lives copiously in wealth doesn’t mean that he is rich in attitude. Because that man of wealth could very well be vicious, a savage, a monster… More monstrous than the Beast himself.

I am truly at a loss for words after reading this beautiful retelling of one of the greatest fairy tales of all time. Aside from Cinderella, Belle of Beauty and the Beast has always been a favorite character of mine. I’ve read a number of retellings of this story over the years but I could never grow tired of reading them.

What made this tale different and stand out is the lack of magic and enchantments and spells on the characters. I must warn you, this isn’t the typical fairytale that kids would prefer. This version is quite mature, more intense and definitely not for the little girls dreaming of rainbows and unicorns and Prince Charming. No, this one is bolder and more forward. And definitely more intimate. Just the way I like it.

This is my first book by Rachel Demeter and I am already a fan. I loved how she took so much care and attention to her stories, particularly this latest book, which came out just in time with the Disney movie. I loved how it’s different from the usual fairytale retelling. I loved how beautiful and beastly the characters turned out to be. I loved how I was mesmerized by it from beginning till the end.

 

 

Review: CONFESS by Colleen Hoover

Confess
by Colleen Hoover

At age twenty-one, Auburn Reed has already lost everything important to her. In her fight to rebuild her shattered life, she has her goals in sight and there is no room for mistakes. But when she walks into a Dallas art studio in search of a job, she doesn’t expect to find a deep attraction to the enigmatic artist who works there, Owen Gentry.

For once, Auburn takes a chance and puts her heart in control, only to discover that Owen is keeping a major secret from coming out. The magnitude of his past threatens to destroy everything important to Auburn, and the only way to get her life back on track is to cut Owen out of it.

To save their relationship, all Owen needs to do is confess. But in this case, the confession could be much more destructive than the actual sin.

Right from the start, I told myself to expect the unexpected when it comes to Colleen Hoover. I’ve read most of her books, I always get surprised with the twists, and I always end up loving them. So I knew first hand that Confess was gonna be different, unique and brilliant.

But my heart wasn’t prepared to break, my mind wasn’t ready for the clusterfuck of emotions and my eyes refused to release the tears threatening to open the floodgates. Damn that prologue, it really had me worried. Auburn’s pleas and heartfelt farewell with  Adam deeply penetrated my heart. I thought I would never be  able to finish the story, because damn, first chapter in and I was already wailing.

“I’m selfish. And if one night with you is all I can get, then I’ll take it.”

But I refused to give up. I, for  one, do  not  have  the  habit  of  DNFing  a  book. So I devoured each and every page of Confess, I dissected Owen’s obsession with confessions, I recoiled from Auburn’s cries for her child, and I tortured myself to tears, until the last page. Good thing I wasn’t wearing makeup nor mascara that day, or else, I’d look like Alice Cooper with all the tears that I’ve shed.

I’ll take whatever you’re willing to give me. Because I know that if you walk out that door, then ten years from now . . . twenty years from now . . . we’ll wish we had listened to our hearts when we think back on tonight.”

Confess is really a surprisingly unique story. The idea of writing confessions and having them illustrated in an artwork was a totally amazing, intriguing and engaging idea. I don’t know how CoHo get her book ideas, it’s like every book she writes is like Pandora’s box, opening new and different surprises that tempts the readers to crave for more.
Owen Mason Gentry had a great impact on me. OMG, I want some lovin’ like Owen. This book totally blew me away.  I regret not reading it immediately after I got it a year ago. What was I thinking,  right?  I’m so grateful to my reading buddy,  Jel who inspired me to read this masterpiece.  I couldn’t ask for any other book to read with a dear friend.

Confess is definitely a must read,  highly recommended and totally worth every tear. I think I can safely say that Confess is now my most favorite CoHo book.

Review: Loving Mr. Daniels by Brittainy Cherry

LovingDaniels

Loving Mr. Daniels
by Brittainy C. Cherry

coffeesynopsisdTo Whom it May Concern,

It was easy to call us forbidden and harder to call us soulmates. Yet I believed we were both. Forbidden soulmates.

When I arrived to Edgewood, Wisconsin I didn’t plan to find him. I didn’t plan to stumble into Joe’s bar and have Daniel’s music stir up my emotions. I had no clue that his voice would make my hurts forget their own sorrow. I had no idea that my happiness would remember its own bliss.

When I started senior year at my new school, I wasn’t prepared to call him Mr. Daniels, but sometimes life happens at the wrong time for all the right reasons.

Our love story wasn’t only about the physical connection.

It was about family. It was about loss. It was about being alive. It was silly. It was painful. It was mourning. It was laughter.

It was ours.

And for those reasons alone, I would never apologize for loving Mr. Daniels.

-Ashlyn Jennings

thoughts-divider

LovingDanielsMeet Ashlyn Jennings.
Her mother didn’t love her. Her father left her when she was a child. Her sister was the only one got. But then she died when cancer took over. She’s got no one else now.

Meet Daniel Daniels.
His brother was involved with gangs and drugs. His mother died in the arms of those thugs. His father succumbed to death next. Then his girlfriend died after a car accident. He’s got no one else now.

Then she saw him. Standing from a distance. Inside a train. He had the most beautiful blue eyes she had ever seen. And in those deep blue eyes, she drowned with his voice, his music, his passion, his life.

His eyes were so blue and filled with interest. For a second, I thought they were a passageway to a different world.
Beautiful.
Breathtaking.
Brilliant.
Blue eyes.
I sighed. Maybe there were a passageway to a better world.

He couldn’t forget her. He found her reading a Shakespeare book inside a train. Her gorgeous green eyes captivated him. And in those soulful green eyes, he fell into the deep abyss of her life, her books, her intelligence, her life.

“I was lost, but so were they.
There were no maps to be found.
At least I wasn’t walking alone.”

Little did they knew that they were bound to see each other again. In school. He was the teacher. She was the student. They both had miserable lives. They both lost the ones they love. They were both hurting and trying to move on. When they met, their worlds collide. The world couldn’t have been more unfair. The world couldn’t have come at a swell time.

I don’t know why, but everytime I read a book that involves musicians and family drama, I am easily reminded of Colleen Hoover’s Maybe Someday. And when I encounter a book fulfilling bucket lists, A Walk to Remember immediately comes to my mind. These books happened to be my Top 2 Favorite Books of all time. But now, after Loving Mr. Daniels, I think I can safely declare that this is going to be the best book I’ve read in 2015 and one that I would never forget in a long time. Maybe this would be my Top 3!

“You know what I like about you so far?”
“What’s that?”
“Everything.”

Yes, absolutely everything. I loved everything in this book. From the characters, to the tragedies, to the bucket list, to the Shakespearean quotes, to the music and lyrics, to the gut-wrenching emotions, to the forbidden love affair, to the oh-so-sweet moments to the break-ups, to the real-life family drama.

“I don’t want to be your friend. I want to be yours, I want you to be mine, and I hate that we can’t be us. Because I think we were meant to be us.”

I think Brittainy Cherry is meant to write this book. I applaud her for effortlessly making me cry. I love a good book that always make me cry. As in a really ugly cry. The kind of cry that would need a lot of hankies or rolls of tissues. The kind of cry that will leave you sobbing, breathless, sniffing and crying all over again. I immediately got lost in Ms. Cherry’s world, and I had a hard time finding the way out. Loving Mr. Daniels is totally worth pouring one’s heart out.

Now, I’m going to read Art & Soul, Ms. Cherry’s other blockbuster novel, in the next few days. I can’t wait!

coffeeratingdivider

5cups

Review: PUNK 57 by Penelope Douglas

punk57

Punk 57
by Penelope Douglas

“We were perfect together. Until we met.”

coffeesynopsisd

Misha

I can’t help but smile at the words in her letter. She misses me.

In fifth grade, my teacher set us up with pen pals from a different school. Thinking I was a girl, with a name like Misha, the other teacher paired me up with her student, Ryen. My teacher, believing Ryen was a boy like me, agreed.

It didn’t take long for us to figure out the mistake. And in no time at all, we were arguing about everything. The best take-out pizza. Android vs. iPhone. Whether or not Eminem is the greatest rapper ever…

And that was the start. For the next seven years, it was us.

Her letters are always on black paper with silver writing. Sometimes there’s one a week or three in a day, but I need them. She’s the only one who keeps me on track, talks me down, and accepts everything I am.

We only had three rules. No social media, no phone numbers, no pictures. We had a good thing going. Why ruin it?

Until I run across a photo of a girl online. Name’s Ryen, loves Gallo’s pizza, and worships her iPhone. What are the chances?

F*ck it. I need to meet her.

I just don’t expect to hate what I find.

Ryen

He hasn’t written in three months. Something’s wrong. Did he die? Get arrested? Knowing Misha, neither would be a stretch.

Without him around, I’m going crazy. I need to know someone is listening. It’s my own fault. I should’ve gotten his number or picture or something.

He could be gone forever.

Or right under my nose, and I wouldn’t even know it.

thoughts-divider

Two pen pals who vowed to never contact each other except through snail mails. Two lost souls who wandered through a dreary obstacle course. Two broken sea shells who weathered the harsh waves of the ocean. Two wordmasters who shot through my heart and made my heart bleed like ink on a quill.

That is Punk 57, ladies and gentlemen. Oh god, how did I turn into this staggering mess of a poet?

Penelope Douglas, you are to be blamed. This may just be the best book I’ve read this year. Seriously.

I thought I’ve read everything I needed to know when it came to New Adult books. I thought I would no longer be surprised by the so-called “shocking twists” and hot steamy scenes, given the massive number of NA’s I’ve read this quarter alone. I thought I have mastered the art of guessing “whodunnits” on mysteries and suspense.

Penelope Douglas proved me wrong.

Because every chapter I read, every page I devoured, every scene I perused, every single damn thing surprised me and bewildered me to the core.

Misha Lare was such an antihero. Earlier in the book, I fell for his words, his lyrics, his letters, his passion, his loyalty to Ryen. When that fateful night happened, he changed. And my feelings for him changed as well.

Ryen Trevarrow intrigued me a lot with her attitude. She was a faker, in my opinion. I didn’t like her at first too. But when I got to know the things she’d been through, the hardships, the ridicule, the torment – argh, my heart ached for her.

And that infamous plot twist? I did not see that coming. Ever! That twist is deus ex machina at its finest.

After reading Punk 57, I don’t know if I could pick another NA book just yet. Punk 57 is basically a tough act to follow. I don’t have any idea yet if there would be another book that could match this perfection. I know I’m still a newbie when it comes to Pen Douglas’ books, but let me tell you, this author had just upped her status in my Top 5 Authors. (I’m sorry Colleen Hoover, I think you need to take the back seat on this one).

 

NOTE: I have buddy-read this masterpiece with dear Jel of JLS Bookish Detour.

 

coffeeratingdivider

5cups

Review: Mr. President by Katy Evans

mrpres

Mr. President (White House #1)
by Katy Evans

coffeesynopsisdHe’s won the hearts of millions. But is he willing to lose his?

I met the president’s son when we were both young. Matthew Hamilton was handsome, polished, and intelligent. I’d never met a guy like him.

He promised me that he’d never run for president. I promised that if he did, I’d be by his side.

Three terms later, an invitation to join Matthew Hamilton’s campaign is the most exhilarating opportunity I’ve ever experienced. I’m determined to make a difference; he is determined to win.

Focused on his goal, Matt is steadfast, ruthless, and disarming. All eyes are on him and his popularity is surging. But soon, the next possible president of the United States is possessing me in more ways than one—and despite the risks, I’m helpless to resist.

We’re stealing touches, stealing moments, and stealing away at night. But our chemical connection is quickly becoming dangerously combustive, putting not only my heart, but Matt’s chance at the presidency on the line.

Winning will take everything. Walking away will be the hardest thing of all.

thoughts-dividerPeople often say, the winner takes it all. In Matthew Hamilton’s case, that’s bull. For how can he have everything, when winning would mean he’ll lose the one that matters the most?

Charlotte Wells grew up as the daughter of a senator while her friend, Matthew Hamilton was the son of the President of the United States. Little Charlie developed a crush on cutie Matt and declared her support for him if ever he ran for presidency in the future.

Time flew so fast, eleven years later, they met again and as luck would have it, Matt was gearing up to be the next leader of the most powerful country in the world. And Charlie was hell-bent on helping him succeed and win in the political arena. But what about the matters of the heart?

The slow burn romance, those deep penetrating stares, those stolen glares, the undeniably explosive chemistry. You can see how much they strained themselves, but neither can’t deny their attraction. And I can’t deny the fact that I’ve fallen head over heels in love with Matt. He’s so wickedly delish! Oh gosh, he got me. He’s got me really good.

gotme

I love that there’s a great story build-up, especially since this book came out just in time with the US Presidential elections. But the candidates were nowhere near Hamilton and I preferred it like that. I loved that the characters were equally flawed and real and can we just stop and appreciate Katy Evan’s writing because it was breath-taking! Yes, I savored every page of this book and was able to finish this book within 24 hours,  and I knew I discovered a winner.

This is my first Katy Evans book and will definitely NOT be the last!

 

P.S.

I buddy-read this awesome story with Jel of Jl’s Bookish Detour.

coffeeratingdivider

4cups

Review: Keepers by Meg Collett

keepers

Keepers (Canaan Island, 2)
by Meg Collett

coffeesynopsisdStevie Reynolds was a buzz-worthy reality star before moving to Canaan Island to escape Los Angeles and her fame-hungry parents. But not all her demons, like her penchant for wine and bad decisions, are escapable.

Completely broke and fresh out of rehab after her DUI, Stevie gets an offer from her hotshot LA ex to star in his home renovation show with Canaan’s favorite son, Cade Cooper. Stevie returns to the reality business for Cade, who’s relying on the show to help pay for his mother’s cancer treatments.

Stevie refuses to break Cade’s sensitive heart, but she can’t keep herself from falling for his kind smile and easy laugh. When the producers push her to risk her shaky sobriety and Cade’s credibility for the sake of ratings, Stevie is ready to quit—until her ex threatens to reveal an intimate secret from her past.

If her secret is leaked, Stevie will lose everything she loves on Canaan Island, including Cade.

thoughts-dividerOnce again, Meg Collett blew me away! I’ve read the first book, Fakers, a few months back and I liked it, I liked Kyra Averdeen and I LOVED Hale Cooper. I thought they were already up there on my Top 10 favorite book couples.

But Stevie Reynolds and Cade Cooper have nicked their spots. I thought Kyra’s life was already disastrous, but Stevie’s was way way more messed up. Nevertheless, it was her fighting spirit, firmer resolve and maturity that made me liked her even more than Kyra. My stuttering, passionate and gentle Cade… Well, his older brother Hale was definitely a hottie and a big man to boost, but I also fell for the younger one who was quite the opposite. Cade was like the kind of man that you would proudly present to your parents (and Hale would be the one the moms would want for themselves, LOL).

Storywise, I thought Stevie’s story is darker and nastier, IMO. But she’s a fighter, something that dainty and bubbly Kyra really wasn’t. Her breakdown, her drunken fit, her rehab stint – these only made her stronger and admirable. I dunno why but I really liked her. Stevie’s parents, on the other hand, as well as her ex-lover were the kind of people you wouldn’t want to know nor get acquainted with, even if they were famous reality stars. Nah, the world is a better place without them.

For me, this book reflects the reality of life, of the choices we have to weigh in, of the pains we have to endure, of the fears we have to conquer, and the decisions that we have to make in the end. Stevie’s struggles may have been messy, but it was the kind of mess that everyone of us we face everyday, whether we like it or not. There were a lot of haunting images and moments in this book that poked my heart. Moments that both terrify and mesmerize me. Truly, this has been a well written story which touches on many subjects, like family, reality, friendship and love. Meg Collett’s writing is like a drug, I couldn’t stop taking all her words in until I’m way up there high and crying.

This has been a heart-lurching and heavy read, but I loved it from beginning to end.

coffeeratingdivider

5cups

Review: The Selection by Kiera Cass

selection

The Selection (The Selection #1)
by Kiera Cass

coffeesynopsisd

For thirty-five girls, the Selection is the chance of a lifetime. The opportunity to escape the life laid out for them since birth. To be swept up in a world of glittering gowns and priceless jewels. To live in a palace and compete for the heart of gorgeous Prince Maxon.

But for America Singer, being Selected is a nightmare. It means turning her back on her secret love with Aspen, who is a caste below her. Leaving her home to enter a fierce competition for a crown she doesn’t want. Living in a palace that is constantly threatened by violent rebel attacks.

Then America meets Prince Maxon. Gradually, she starts to question all the plans she’s made for herself—and realizes that the life she’s always dreamed of may not compare to a future she never imagined.

coffeethoughts

 

35 girls vying for the Princess title, only one is going to be chosen in the end.

This Cinderella meets The Bachelor in a Hunger Games type of story is just captivating!

And I LOVE IT.

I don’t know about you, but for once, this love triangle between Prince Maxon, America and Aspen got me giddy with delight and pleasure. I may be the last person who recently got hooked with this series and I’ve been blaming myself for not reading this book ASAP. Maxon is really swoon-worthy, I understand why most girls crave for his attention. America Singer represents the independent woman who had the qualities fit for a queen, even though she wasn’t aware of it. Aspen, oh Aspen, I feel for you, but I don’t know how to defend you. Ah, such tormented love affair.

I love everything in this book, the girls (the good, the mean girls and the flirty ones), the maids-in-waiting, the guards, the dresses, the rendezvous, the tugging of ears and so much more.. I love Kiera Cass, too! She’s gotta be my fairy godmother because she makes me feel good with her story and brings magic to my life. Yay!

Now I can’t wait to read The Elite, which surprisingly is next (as in # 1) on my TBR (I am telling you, last week, that book is number 8 on my list! LOL). I’m sorry R.L Stine, I don’t want to get Goosebumps yet this Halloween!)

coffeeratingdivider

4cups