Review: All That Glitters by Ines Bautista-Yao

All That Glitters
by Ines Bautista-Yao

When they have nothing better to do, college students Billie Santiago and Carlos Angeles enjoy imagining what their lives will be like five years into the future. It’s never serious—just a whole lot of teasing and poking fun at each other. Until blindingly handsome, PR professional Iñigo Antonio saunters into the university bookstore where Billie works. All of a sudden, she finds herself face to face with the physical manifestation of the very dream she tells Carlos about.

Captivated by Iñigo’s magnetic personality, Billie is lured into his dazzlingly glamorous world—much to Carlos’s frustration. But as Billie notices Iñigo might not be playing by the rules, Carlos begs her to stay away from him. When Billie doesn’t listen, she realizes too late that she is in over her head and it may take a miracle (or a boy who cares deeply about her) to help get her out of it.

Billie and Carlos loved imagining and thinking about their respective lives in the next five years. While one might not include the  other, one thing was for sure, theirs were gonna collide one way or another. When Billie supposedly met the man of her dreams, it was only a matter of time before Carlos broke down and re-think of his relationship with his best friend.

Billie and Carlos were friends who knew their boundaries until they realized what they have been missing all along. Thanks to Iñigo Montoya —- err, I mean, Iñigo Antonio for his blatant disregard of emotions, those hidden feelings finally surfaced. And possibly caused Carlos’ and Billie’s downfall.

Everytime I read a novel from Ines B. Yao, I always get pummeled in my heart because of the realities and authenticity of the characters that always hit me on the right spot. There’s that certain joy and glow whenever I get connected to her characters and I feel lonely when I have to let go of them after reading.

As always, Ines Yao’s writing is so beautiful and poetic. I loved that everything she writes is so well described and well imagined. All That Glitters has all the right feels and sparks that makes a reader swoon till the end. This book is both sweet and sad, it made my heart skip and quiver, and made my eyes shine bright like a diamond.

Review: No Perfect Fate by Jackie Weger

No Perfect Fate (Almost Perfect)
by Jackie Weger

Cleo Anderson’s people skills are hesitant and her life broken, yet she is determined to leave her past behind. Alone is good and she is finding her way. On a whim, she parks her Play-mor in a fish camp in the wilds of the Okefenokee Swamp, where gators yawn, bears slumber, and snakes slither. The camp pace is slow, the owner kind, and the people friendly. Cleo encounters Fletcher Freemont Maitland and his goddaughter, eleven year-old Katie.

Cleo didn’t know her life was about to unravel yet again, her heart would shatter, and that Fletcher Maitland would help her mend. But Cleo is about to find these things out the hard way. Both Fletcher and Katie will change her life and if Cleo does not learn to accept that life is bountiful and fate imperfect, she will lose both forever.

 

Cleo Anderson has had it bad, after an unexpected marriage disaster. She’s bound with her grandmother who thinks so little of her. When she goes on a trip in a fish swamp (have you heard about snake weathers? ugh!) she meets Fletcher Maitland under a canopy. Awkward meeting but long-lasting impression nonetheless.. And then she gets to know his goddaughter Katie.

Cleo and Fletcher are so fun to read, very dynamic characters and appealing too. I did cry a lot though because of Katie, that poor soul. How can a happy celebration of love happen in the midst of death, I had no idea.

One thing I am sure though, Jackie Weger is a master manipulator of feelings, and I meant in a good way. I love all her stories, especially this one because it tugged at my heartstrings. Would definitely read more of her books soon!

Review: Play (Stage Dive 2) by Kylie Scott

Play (Stage Dive #2)
by Kylie Scott

Mal Ericson, drummer for the world famous rock band Stage Dive, needs to clean up his image fast—at least for a little while. Having a good girl on his arm should do the job just fine. Mal doesn’t plan on this temporary fix becoming permanent, but he didn’t count on finding the one right girl.

Anne Rollins never thought she’d ever meet the rock god who plastered her teenage bedroom walls—especially not under these circumstances. Anne has money problems. Big ones. But being paid to play the pretend girlfriend to a wild life-of-the-party drummer couldn’t end well. No matter how hot he is. Or could it?

OMG!!!

Hot damn! This was so good, I couldn’t put this book down! Mal and his crazy antics would be the death of me. And I don’t blame him if I’d die laughing with him right now. Seriously.

Kylie Scott continues to rock my world with her awesome Stage Dive stories. I thought David Ferris was already a cool dude in the first book, Lick. Until I got a glimpse of one of his bandmates, Malcolm Ericson. Oh man, this guy stood out and stood loud and proud. A certified hottie, I must add.

In this second book, PLAY, Mal is an enigma. Seriously, this talented drummer is so good with his hands, and mouth. He is the life of the party and when he speaks, everyone listens. And gets mesmerized.

No wonder Anne Rollins can’t stop gazing at him with her crazy eyes. This poor gal has been cheated by her roommate who took off without paying her debts to her. Badly needing help with her housing predicament, she soon agrees to Mal’s offer and the two lovers are inseparable ever since.

Life with Mal Ericson is full of fun and excitement and laughter. I wish I was in Anne’s shoes, spending the night with him and shouting expletives and what not just to piss off the other couple next door with his crazy antics. Oh god, Anne and Mal’s pretend bed moments were really hilarious! They even broke the bed by just screaming! How much more if they give in to their carnal needs. Seriously, this book is everything!

I dunno how to proceed with my review without revealing the rest of the story, so I gotta stop now. So far, Mal Ericson is my book boyfriend of the month, and I intend to enjoy each and everyday with him. Gosh, Kylie Scott, you are making a fool of me, but I like it! Yay!

 

OMG… I didn’t know that the book, PLAY was published exactly 3 years ago. Is this just a coincidence, or what? I really didn’t know about this, but let just say, Happy Birthday PLAY and MAL Ericson! 

Review: Non-Heir (Black Mage prequel) by Rachel E. Carter

Non-Heir (The Black Mage 0.5)
by Rachel E. Carter

Prince. Prodigy. Mage. Perfect for fans of Throne of Glass, Falling Kingdoms, and Tamora Pierce.

Novella follows Prince Darren as a child through adolescence and his first run-in with Ryiah at the Academy of Magic. Readers discover the dark backstory between the two princes and their father, as well as the ensuing events that shaped Darren into the Academy’s most prodigal mage.

I have always wondered why Prince Darren had been kind of cruel and intimidating at first with Ryiah and Ella during the First Year. I thought prince and princesses were well-bred and good mannered, given that they were set to rule kingdoms and become role models for the youth. Clearly, I was mistaken, because Darren was the kind of prince that defied all odds and resist the norms.

He was never liked by his father, Kind Lucius, he was not treated fairly well by people inside and outside the kingdom, and his own brother Prince Blayne disregarded him. All because he was a non-heir. He was always expected to follow the rules, but when he couldn’t take it anymore, he found ways to antagonize the King and aggravate him. Only, his methods mostly backfired at him.

I loved it when Darren met Eve, the knight master’s daughter. An equal adversary in combat and weaponry, Eve had soften Darren’s heart of stone and had changed the non-heir’s perspective about lowborns. Together they trained and became good friends, until Prince Blayne and the Princess of Langli were put in the picture.

Non-Heir is the prequel novella of the Black Mage series and it is really good. I loved that Rachel Carter had expounded more on Darren’s attributes and impossibly lovable character. Yes, this boy has had it real hard growing up, breaking bones and surrounded by wolves and being tortured by his own family. I couldn’t help but weep a tear for him. And Eve, my goodness, I feel so lost and hurt for her, for what was to become of her when she finally becomes an Apprentice (in the upcoming books).

Rachel E. Carter slowly made her way to the Bestselling Authors list during the release of her Black Mage series and I can’t help but feel proud of her. She’s come a long way and she continues to make it big while keeping her feet on the ground. I am now set to read the last book in the series and I am sure that this is going to be epic.

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: Pucked by Rachel Walter

Pucked
By: Rachel Walter

Does life get in the way of love or does love get in the way of life?

Riley Silk, captain of the Warriors Ice Hockey team at Dalesburg High, doesn’t think life can be lived if love is present. If there’s two things in life he knows to be true, it’s that love causes pain and hockey is his ticket to a better life. He’s worked hard to maintain his Frozen Silk reputation in order to stay focused on his duties and goals.

Audrey Jacobs, the Warriors’ number one fan, believes life can’t be lived without love. She can find love and beauty in the muddiest of situations. Her best friend, Riley, is under a lot of stress at home, so she does her best to brighten his mood whenever she can.

When lines cross and blur, they struggle to keep control of the simplicity their friendship once held. With Audrey’s outlook on life usually surrounded by light, the growing darkness of her doubts and insecurities threaten to deflect her toward the wrong path.

Can she find her true self before her world burns around her? When truths become lies, can Riley find the strength to fight his way through his own personal darkness that clings to his mind and soul? Can he win this face-off that life has dropped in his zone, or will fate take him out of the game completely?

Who keeps the puck?


thoughts-divider

This has been heart-breaking, mind-blowing, tear-inducing, soul-searching, chest-pounding story, where winter meets spring, creating a spectacular autumn that two bruised hearts call home.

Aubrey Jacob is fire, spring, a blooming dandelion in the mud. Yes, mud.. Because Aubrey girl loves mud and muddin’, and that’s something that make her unique.

Riley Silk is ice, winter, a frost that intensifies the ice surrounding his heart. Because Riley has been through a lot in the homefront, to him, love is cruel and cold and chilled.

Together, they are autumn. Together, they are fire and ice controlled. Together, they are unbreakable.

I loved everything about this book – the tears, the fights, the anxiety attacks, the milkshakes, the mud, the ice, and most specially – the one armed, one legged booty shaking dance.

I love Pucked!

coffeeratingdivider4cups

Review: The Extraordinary Life of Lara Craft (not Croft)

 

The Extraordinary Life of Lara Craft

(Lara Craft Saga #1)
by Lola Salt

From bestselling authors Becky Wicks (Before He Was Famous, Before He Was Gone) and Sarah Alderson (Hunting Lila, Fated, Come Back to Me) comes a new romance with a difference…

 

After losing her job and her boyfriend on the same day, Lara’s beginning to wonder if her life can possibly get any worse. Then along comes Jamie, a childhood friend, offering her a job delivering mysterious packages to random destinations around the world. Suddenly, things are looking up.

Lara packs her bags and sets off on an epic adventure, meeting billionaire Arabic Princes in Dubai, rugged cowboys in Australia, a sparkling wannabe vampire in LA, a love guru with sex on the brain in Bali and Angelina Jolie’s bodyguards in a hostage situation that can only be resolved with some very special eggs. But though trouble always seems to find Lara, it seems love is rather more elusive.

Pack your bags. The adventure’s about to begin!

I swear this had been one of those stories that really had me rolling on the floor, laughing out loud! Lara Craft, not Croft, is hilarious and witty, traits that I would want to have one day. Ha!

The Extraordinary Life of Lara Craft tells about Lara, who serves as a messenger of sorts for high-profiled people while gallivanting around the world. Before she became involved with a Hugh Jackman look-alike and Angelina Jolie’s bodyguards, Lara worked at Cirque du Feteesh-Folie doing behind-the-scene/backstage duties. The day she got the boot from her job was also the day she got dumped by her ex-boyfriend slash circus aerial artist. Things weren’t looking up for her, so when a former acquaintance, Jamie recommended her to a concierge company, she took the job eventhough she had no idea what she was going to do. In the end, she proved to be qualified for the job and had come and gone to places I would want to visit someday. Australia, Dubai, Bali, etc. And of course, Cupid seemed to follow her everywhere she went, because she always received proposals and love proclamations around the globe.

The book is star-studded! I think this is the only novel where all the stars in Hollywood are present, not that I’m complaining. I guess the only thing that pissed me off was the swearing guy named Alf, seriously, what’s wrong with him? Ugh. But swearing men aside, I believe this book from bestselling authors Becky Wicks and Sarah Alderson got an edge, a gem of a novel and a truly exciting read! Seriously, if you want to have some fun while trotting the globe, reading this book is the way to do it, Lara Craft style.