Review: The Boy Friend by Mika Jolie

The Boy Friend by Mika Jolie

According to the law of attraction, women and men can’t be friends.

Contrary to this myth, my friendship with Coriander Phillips does not rest on unrequited love or un-actualized lust. We’ve been inseparable since the day I pulled one of her pigtails and she punched me in the gut.

She’s hilarious, fun to hang out with. Together, we’re like peanut butter and jelly, spaghetti and meatballs, wings and beer. A match made in heaven.

She’s the bomb.

Did I mention she’s smokin’ hot? I’ve checked her out…maybe once or twice. Hey, I’m a guy.

Seriously, no awkwardness, no secret yearning for our relationship to escalate beyond the purely platonic. I’m the boy friend—the loyal shoulder she cries on, the dispenser of coffee, sympathy, hugs, advice, and affection with no expectations.

Until the invisible line between friends and lovers became blurry.

Now I want more. I want her.

All I have to do is convince her we can be more than friends.

Right?

If only it were that easy.

Cori tells Dean that she wants a baby. With the man that she loves. And build a family later on.

But to set things straight, let me tell you. Dean Conrad Morello isn’t Coriander Philips’ boyfriend. Nor lover. They were just friends. Best friends since seven years old. Best friends forever.

How can Cori have a baby in the future? Simple – create an online dating profile and go on dates with the eligible bachelors in town. Who knows, maybe she’ll fine the one?

Dean doesn’t approve though. No matter how many times he tells himself and his friends and sister that Cori is just his friend, everyone disagrees. Protective, jealous and egoistic Dean Morello isn’t Cori’s boyfriend. He’s totally on the friendzone and that’s the limit, no one gets past that boundaries.

Until that one delicious mind blowing kiss.

Wow! I simply couldn’t put the book down once I got it on my hands. From the moment I read Explicitly Yours, Dean Conrad Morello’s narrative, I was sold. The succeeding pages that followed, I was in heaven, grinning and plotting and eyes misting until the end.

This is Mika Jolie’s latest book and the best one I’ve read so far and I loved it. She’s taken the Friends-T0-Lovers trope to a whole new realistic level, the kind that makes the reader involved and had no chance but to agree to everything Dean Morello had to say. Well, for his part anyway. I loved how I finally read a whole book on a male’s point of view, learned how deeply his feelings had evolved and slowly burned for the one he could never have. Yes, most of the time, it’s the ladies’ thoughts that I read, but now, it’s this gorgeous man I got to infiltrate. I didn’t mind not knowing Cori’s state of mind, I’m a girl, I think I know how she felt in the whole debacle about friends and lovers.

Being inside Dean’s mind was both exciting and scary, if you know what I mean. He said things about men that most guys wouldn’t ever admit to doing. He got my heart when he acknowledged that most men are pigs, egocentric, thought about sex all the time. Amidst all this, I can’t help but admire his tenacity and acceptance of his flaws and humongous ego. I thought Dean was actually adorable and the perfect man to subdue Cori.

I love all the characters with all my heart. (Well, except for that Mark Donner client who was thinking with his pants and now with his mind, but he’s a minority, so let’s just leave him at that). I also loved the quick pace of the story, there wasn’t any boring scene nor dull moment with all of them, even little Emma captured my heart. There were also those pieces of advice that Dean throws every now and then, plus recipe list which can come in handy sometime, and the playlist, superb music choice! And oh, my favorite part was that one night when Dean had to stand in as a model for Cori’s wine and paint class. Yeah, I’d love to be in that art class, that’s for sure.

How can I forget about the love scenes? Ahh, Cori and Dean plus bed/wall – definitely enough to make your Kindle melt. Their chemistry? Off the charts!

Mika Jolie did great in this book. I’ve been a fan since I’ve read one of the books in the bestselling Martha’s Way series, and the stand-alone, Somewhere to Begin. It’s no wonder that I love all her books, she’s one talented author who gives me goosebumps and hiccups at the same time. She doesn’t sugarcoat with her words, either. I like that in a book, what you see is what you get. ‘Tis a highly recommended book to all romance junkies who want to have a great time. Worthy of my two thumbs up!

Review: Last Stand (Black Mage 4) by Rachel E. Carter

Last Stand (The Black Mage #4)
by Rachel E. Carter

He’s the Black Mage and she’s the traitor to the Crown.

Ryiah’s world was shattered the night she discovered King Blayne’s nefarious plans. Now, she has to betray the one she loves most in order to save the realm from war. Torn between love and duty, Ry finds herself on a perilous mission to help the rebels and convince the kingdom of Pythus not to honor its pact with the corrupt king of Jerar—all the while deceiving the most powerful mage in the realm, the very man sworn to protect the Crown and hunt the rebels at all costs: her husband.

She’s one step ahead, but sooner or later the curtain will fall.

Sooner or later, she’ll have to fight.

Once there was a girl traveling with her twin brother, on a journey that would ensure their fate as a mage and a healer.

Once there was a prince, a Non-Heir who was too happy to escape the clutches of his tyrant King and brother.

Once there was an Academy that trained young men and women to their utmost ability, to protect the kingdom of Jerar and be hailed warriors of the keep.

And once upon a time, this boy and girl met at the most awkward time, became foes and allies, became friends and enemies at the same time.

The girl clung to the boy so she could chase away her dark. He was light, and she was fading. She was drowning, and she just couldn’t stop.

And once upon a time, the mage and his wife dreamed of a happy married life, but the King and the Crowned Heir and the rebels never allowed their happy ever after to come about.

This is a story about love and loyalty, of brothers and sisters, of friends and enemies, of trust and betrayal, of magic and reality, of factions and alliances, of blood and power and death.

“I would have given you the world .” Darren’s back was still to me as he spoke. “And instead you took mine and destroyed it.”

“So tell me, love…” The mage king turned around and his garnet eyes flashed as he took me in. They were burning with hate. “Tell me, my wife,” he said, “why I shouldn’t destroy yours?”

This is by far the best fantasy series I have ever read and completed and loved. Rachel E. Carted rightfully deserved her new bestseller status as an author because she gave out so much love and passion and dedication to this book. There is that gravity to her writing that makes the reader stop and put their feet on the characters shoes and dive into a world of chaos, magic and romance. Over time, I’ve grown to love all the characters in the book, including the unexpectedly wise new-crowned queen. The perfect twist to a story full of surprises.

This is an absolutely marvelous book that everyone should read and this is my last stand.

Review: The Feeling of Forever by Jamie Howard

The Feeling of Forever (Love Unplugged)
by Jamie Howard

Juliet St. Clair has spent her life under Hollywood’s spotlight. While being America’s favorite girl next door has had its perks, having to testify against her stalker to put him behind bars certainly wasn’t one of them. But when she thinks about walking away from it all, she can’t help remembering the enormous pile of medical bills her family is drowning under. Bills that just keep on coming.

Felix Donovan had it all–stunning good looks, gorgeous women, and a spot as the drummer to a band that’s sitting pretty at the top of the charts. Until one life-altering decision left him paralyzed from the waist down. He doesn’t know whether to laugh or cry when he wins this year’s Sexiest Man award, but the one thing he immediately does is send out a Non-disclosure agreement. Hiding his condition from the public is hard as hell, but he’s not ready to face the world while he’s still struggling to accept his new reality.

Except this year’s Sexiest Woman–Juliet St. Clair–never looks at him with pity, only desire. But falling for Juliet means a permanent spot in the tabloids, a decision Felix isn’t sure he’s ready to make. And when Juliet’s stalker re-emerges from her past, Felix’s secret isn’t the only thing at stake, it could cost Juliet her life.

Hot guy in hot wheels with a pair of hot drumsticks embroiled in a hot romance. That’s Felix Donovan for you. Once he was a playboy and had no qualms whatsoever about love and women. But an accident had paralyzed him from waist down and soon he wasn’t so sure of himself. Until he met one of the hottest and sexiest woman in Hollywood. Julie St. Claire. He never expected her to love him in return, but Cupid has other tricks in mind, and shot St.Clair with his arrow and life has been a bed of roses ever since.

Until that ex-con stalker was set on the loose. Now Julie received letters and gifts that any other woman would love to receive, except these were laced with threats and malice.

I loved this book from start to finish. I love a character that knows how to see the wrongs of his ways and strives to change for the better. I love the character that doesn’t look at the physical disability of a person, but also accept his flaws and shortcomings. I love a character that is selfless and benevolent towards the ones she truly love, and that’s her family.

And I love a story filled with loving supporting characters and a plot laced with twists and turns, albeit a little predictable. Yes, this Feeling of Forever I actually need after a stressful week. I love this story by Jamie Howard because it is well-put, well-written and well-researched, too. My first book from Howard and I’m already sold! Would be reading the other Love Unplugged stories really soon!

 

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

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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!

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Review: PUNK 57 by Penelope Douglas

punk57

Punk 57
by Penelope Douglas

“We were perfect together. Until we met.”

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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.

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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.

 

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