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.

Children’s Book Review: LEARNING with Piaras O Cionnaoith

Let’s sit back and relax a bit and enjoy being a kid for once in our lifetime. I took some time out from reading fantasy and YA/NA books and focused on my kids’ learning needs. You see, aside from being a coffee addict and a bookworm, I am also first and foremost, a mother to my three handsome boys. The youngest just turned 5 and is starting school. I got hold of this wonderful kiddie books with illustrations by Piaras O Cionnaoith and I’d like to share with you my boy’s experience in this Learning series.

Learning My ABCs – ANIMALS

I got this book for my kid who’s currently in kindergarten whose world basically revolves around ABCs nowadays. I myself like this book because it’s very educational and helpful.

My youngest is enjoying every bit of the alphabet and was amazed to learn about the other animals he hadn’t heard about like the xenops. This sure put a smile to his face and had even used it as a trivia to his older brothers. Winner!

 

Learning My Drawing  (STEP-BY-STEP DRAWING TUTORIALS FOR CHILDREN)

I am actually loving this book! When I was a kid, I loved drawing and I dreamt of becoming either an architect or an artist and my mother encouraged me. I joined poster-making contests but I didn’t win ant because my drawing wasn’t good enough.

Now I see my youngest taking interest in drawing too. This book is just what we need for our weekly bonding moment. Love the numbered steps on how to draw animals and flowers. My favorites were the stegosaurus and pterodactyls. My child loves drawing the train and snail. This book is perfect!

Learning My Letters – (Basic Writing Skills A-Z)

This has been such a great help to me and my five year old son. Everyday, I train his hands in writing by spelling out his name on a piece of paper. But somehow, he always get bored easily when he repeatedly writes the same words over and over again. He’s already familiar with the alphabet but not so with various words.

When I got him Piaras O Cionnaoith’s Learning My Letters, I printed the pages and gave it to my son. His eyes brightened up and immediately started writing on the pages, outlining and writing the words that start with A, B, C to Z.. I love that he gets excited whenever he writes and understands what he is writing because there are images of the words on the book. The pictures truly help kids in identifying the words and they get an easier grasp of the words that they learn about. Thanks so much Piaras for this book!

Learning my Words (Picture book, Basic Word Learning Skills)

I’m pleased to say that my child learned reading at an earlier age than most kids. I was even pleased when I go this book, Learning My Words by Piaras O Cionnaoith because my youngest son continued to learn new words / vocabulary. Now when I ask him for words that start with a certain letter, he gives me words that he don’t usually encounter everyday.

For example, before, when I ask him to give me words that start with A, he always answered Apple. But now, with this book, he tells me Anchor or Astronaut. Same goes with other letters. Now he knows about Broccoli, capsules, microscope, platypus and so much more.

I also loved that the book contains explanatory notes for teacher/parents that can be used as guides for kids. This book is awesome!

ARC Review: Prom Queen by Katee Robert

Prom Queen
(Bad Boy Homecoming #3)
by Katee Robert

A high school reunion is about to get down and dirty and a whole lot more complicated in this new erotic romance from NYT Bestselling Author Katee Robert.

Jake Davis had it all in high school—a scholarship to his college of choice, a promising football career, and the gorgeous prom queen for a girlfriend. And then he lost it all when he was injured right after graduation. Ten years later, he’s mostly made his peace with that, and now runs a company that provides women with dates for special events. Imagine his surprise when he discovers that the ex who left him in the dust needs a fake boyfriend for their high school reunion…

Jessica Jackson used to be the mean girl to end all mean girls. But life didn’t turn out like she’d thought it would, and now she’s twenty-eight, single, and works as an insurance agent to A-listers instead of being the A-lister like she’d always dreamed. She can’t go back to her home town and admit just how thoroughly she’s failed, so she lets her friends set her up with a fake date for the reunion.

The second Jessica realizes that her fake date is Jake, she tries to call the whole thing off. The problem is the chemistry between them is even hotter now than it was when they were teenagers. Against her better judgment she lets herself get drawn into Jake’s arms again—and into his bed. But time doesn’t heal all wounds—sometimes, it actually makes them worse—and if Jessica and Jake can’t learn to forgive each other, their second chance might not last the weekend.

Karma is a bitch, that’s what this is all about. Jessica realized too late that everything she’d done in the past had come haunting her back. The mean girl slash cheerleader was finally going to face her victims in the upcoming high school reunion and Jessica was sure they’d throw eggs at her because of her attitude then. Just thinking about the reunion was sending shivers down her spine, not because of her ex-boyfriend hottie Jake Davis coming too, but because she didn’t have anyone to bring as a date to the dreaded get-together. Until her friends signed her up to an escort-type service for people who needed fake dates.

I didn’t expect to like this story, for one, I really don’t like bullies in high school and second, I am not much of a second-chance romance believer. Yeah, I’ve had such horrifying experiences about these instances in high school (I was bullied a little by a teacher’s daughter when I was in junior high, so that kind of sucked. And then I had a boyfriend before who cheated on me but I gave him second chance and just blew it all away because he went back to his cheating ways. So yes, those tropes really get under my skin, so forgive me if I was hesitant to read this.

But surprise, surprise! I had a great time with Prom Queen by Katee Robert. I loved that Jessica Andrews redeemed herself and saw the fault of her ways; that was really important to me. I loved that she also took a chance with love the second time around. At least she wasn’t cheated by her ex so their renewed relationship became sweet and lovely. The drama was okay, it was essential to the story; the characters were real and relatable. One could easily find herself in this characters and I myself couldn’t help but fall for them, especially with Jake.

Overall, this had been such a delightful read! I can’t wait to read more of Katee Robert’s books and the rest of the Bad Boy Homecoming series!

 

P.S. I received this book from the publisher through Netgalley in exchange for an honest review.

Freebie: SURVIVOR by Victoria Johns

FREEBIE ALERT!!  

Grab Survivor, book one in the Soul Mates series, for FREE

before the second book, DESERVED, comes out in August getBook.at/vjsurvivor  



When you’re a woman on the run the last thing you need is a complication.
A complication that can unravel and expose your secrets, one that can undo the new life you’re trying to build.
A complication in the form of an irresistible, tattooed guy, that brings out feelings and emotions that are as frightening as the things you’re running from.

When you’re a guy with a deadly job the last you thing you need is danger landing at your doorstep. Especially when that danger is a beautiful, sexy woman, begging to be protected, with a sack full of troubles hot on her heels.

He felt duty bound to protect her.
She felt obliged to resist.
Together they feel compelled to survive, but can they put it all on the line and expose themselves to have the one thing they want more than anything?
Each other.



Pre-order the next book, Deserved, now – myBook.to/DeservedVJ

 

Review: Falling For the Fake Fiance by Jennifer Blackwood

Falling for the Fake Fiance

(Snowpocalypse #2)
by Jennifer Blackwood

Jill Michaels prides herself on one thing: being independent. That is until her daughter gets into an elite school, and she needs money more than ever. It seems her fairy godmother—aka her deceased Grammy—has granted that wish in the form of one-fourth of her estate. The only catch? She must be married by her thirtieth birthday. In two months.

Aaron Collins is fresh out of the army and back in town to help his father’s failing business. When he runs into Jill at a hotel where she’s attending a single’s mixer, he makes sure she doesn’t make it past his room and into another guy’s arms. When he hears about her predicament, he has a plan: they’ll get married and keep it a secret. And maybe have a little sexy fun until he leave towns for his new job.

But letting go of the woman of his dreams may be harder than Aaron could have ever imagined.

This is oohhh la la.. Oh yeah, that’s what I said after reading this book and Jennifer Blackwell is just to be blamed. Although we’ve all heard about pretend lovers falling in love, might sound cliche and all that, but I still  went for this story and I loved it! I’d never settle for just one night with Aaron Collins if I were Jill Michaels. Ha!

Single mom Jill was still in mourning over the loss of her dear grandmother. But Grammy seemed to be still in control of Jill’s love life when she decided to bequeath 1/4 of her estate, provided that Jill get married before she reached her 30th birthday. I bet Grammy was rolling in her grave, laughing and dancing when her will was read. Her timing was impeccable, too, as Jill’s daughter successfully got listed to an elite school, and whether she liked it or not, she really had to find that perfect fiance before her inheritance got poof!

Fortunately, her old schoolmate slash next door neighbor Aaron Collins was back in town after his military services. When her friends Mia and Kate set her up with Mr. Hottie, it was just a matter of time before they left each other breathless with kisses. Dayum!

A secret wedding was supposedly the plan, but everything changed when the matters got out of hand. Fake fiances or not, this whirlwind romance got me and had me falling in love all over again.

I remember reading one of Jennifer Blackwell’s books a couple of years ago and admired her writing. Now, after devouring this latest book in less than a day, I can say I admire and adore her even more. Blackwell had me giggling and gawking and getting googly-eyed most of the time. And yes, sighing and covering my mouth and closing my eyes a few times, trying to suppress my grin when reading those steamy scenes. More than steamy actually – it was fiery!

Overall, Aaron and Jill had that explosive chemistry that I like in a story. I expect much more sexy stories from Miss Blackwell soon and I’m sure she won’t disappoint.

 

 

 

BUY:

Review: Meet Me at Willoughby Close by Kate Hewitt

Meet Me at Willoughby Close
(Willoughby Close #2)
by Kate Hewitt

Ellie Matthews has come to Wychwood-on-Lea to find a new start for her and her daughter Abby. But, life there doesn’t start out as idyllic as she had hoped. While Ellie loves her cute cottage in Willoughby Close, the Yummy Mummies at the primary school seem intent on giving her the cold shoulder, Abby has trouble fitting in, and her boss, Oliver Venables, is both surprisingly sexy and irritatingly inscrutable.

But miracles can happen in the most unexpected places, and in small, yet wonderful ways. Slowly, Ellie and Abby find themselves making friends and experiencing the everyday magic of Willoughby Close. When Oliver’s nephew, Tobias, befriends Abby, the four of them start to feel like family… and Ellie begins to see the kindness and warmth beneath Oliver’s chilly exterior, which awakens both her longing and fear.

Ellie knows all about disappointment, and the pain of trying too hard for nothing, while Oliver has his own hurts and secrets to deal with. When the past comes rollicking back to remind both of them of their weaknesses and failings, will they be able to overcome their fears and find their own happy ending?

I found the characters really endearing and sweet. Oliver Venables was kind of old fashioned, almost fortyish gentleman who’d come undone when he met his personal assistant, Ellie Matthews. Theirs was a slow-burn romance, so slow that you might get annoyed at Oliver for not being too upfront for his feelings and at Ellie for always over-analyzing things between them.

Abby, Ellie’s daughter, and Tobias, Oliver’s nephew, served as a glue to their bond. I liked how the kids were involved in a relationship between two consenting old-school adults. Oliver was a dear, a darling, always prompt and proper, yet can be quite tenacious when he wanted to. And Ellie, a little too formal for my liking, eventually turned into the fierce and brave girl I wanted her to be.

Their different social upbringing and educational status brought some hindrance to their relationship, but nothing was impossible when the heart is involved.

I love a good read in the afternoon when heavy rains beat down my roof and my kids cuddle up to me in our bedroom. Felt like I was at Willoughby Close myself with Marmite and the Matthews and Venables. This had been quite a feel-good romance that I’d read again soon!

P.S.

I received this book from the publisher through Netgalley in exchange for an honest review. All opinions are my own.

Review: Sweet Home Cowboy by Marin Thomas

Sweet Home Cowboy

(Love at the Chocolate Shop #9)
by Marin Thomas

When Marietta newcomer Elena Puente is coerced into attending a speed dating event at the popular Copper Mountain Chocolate Shop, she’s blindsided by a serious attraction to local cowboy, Wesley Banks.

Still recovering from a broken engagement, the first-grade teacher from Las Vegas isn’t looking for romance. She’s in Montana to get to know the great-grandfather she never knew existed until she found some hidden family letters. Judge Kingsley is a grouchy recluse and he’s far from welcoming, but Elena is determined to stay in town long enough to give his neglected estate on Bramble Lane a facelift.

Elena’s resolve to avoid romance is tested when she discovers Wesley is the caretaker of her grandfather’s rural property. Soon, she and the cowboy are attending more speed dating events at the chocolate shop and she’s seeking his advice on how to deal with his ornery boss. Local gossips wager the old Judge will run Elena out of town before anything serious develops between her and Wesley. But Wesley’s a determined man, too, and he’s betting Elena belongs in Marietta forever…with him.

I loved this sweet story between a woman searching for her long-lost grandfather and the man who had spent half his life caring for a crabby, short-tempered judge in the town of Marietta. A speed-dating event brought them together, a box of chocolates sweetened the connection and a grumpy old man sealed the deal. If this didn’t sound romantically exciting, I don’t know how I would call it.

Elena Puente is a first grade school teacher and had had lots of experiences with kids. She’s the kind of girl who would give it to you straight, no sugar coating, no holds barred. She says what’s on her mind, she doesn’t show weakness nor fear, even to the cranky old judge. She isn’t easily swayed by her grandfather’s cantankerous behavior and she makes sure her voice is heard and taken into consideration.

Wesley Banks joins a speed dating event at Copper Mountain Chocolate shop, hoping to find The One. What he gets is a lady who doesn’t want kids and isn’t set to start a family in Marietta. Talk about love in opposite ends.

I’ve grown to love Marietta more and more, even though I know this is just a fictional location in the beautiful state of Montana. But every story I read featuring this place makes me want to reside there and be with the town people. Judge Kingsley is such an interesting character, he could be hot one minute and then so cold the next. His elusiveness made him an engrossing personality. Elena was someone you’d love to be bestfriends with, she is so freaking amazing! And Wesley – he’s the one for keeps.

Once again, the Love at the Chocolate Shop series delivered a sweet delicious story and I can’t wait to get served again.