Australian Reading Hour

Hiya! This post is a little different from my usual reviews and teasers but wanted to just stop by with a quick mention that it’s #AustralianReadingHour today! 😊

It’s an awesome annual campaign that encourages Aussies of all ages to take at least an hour of the day to read! How cool is that?! 

I caught onto it about two years ago. It was all due to Bookstagram and the great community there that I was made aware of it in the first place. Although I love reading daily, I enjoy participating and helping share awareness of this campaign! 

Any fellow Aussies who want to join in, please do! Post anything book related or like me, your current read and use the hashtag #AustralianReadingHour

And make sure to spend an hour READING! 📖📖📖 

This year with the pandemic and lockdowns currently in place, a new hashtag has been added to the campaign #AustraliaReadsAtHome to really get Aussies to use some of their time to read whilst at home. 

Hope everyone is staying safe and keeping healthy. Happy reading and as always, catch you guys in my next one! Xo

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I’m currently reading Fragile Longing by Cora Reilly! So far, so good! 😍

(Keep a lookout for my review coming soon!) 

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Original post from my IG @booksofthemuggleborn

 


What are you currently reading?


 

For Love And Honor by Jody Hedlund

Another old review I never posted. 🙈 But better late, than never!

This was one of the very first historical romances I ever read (before I even knew it was considered “historical romance” because at the time I was clueless about sub-genres). But anywho — I borrowed it at my local library on a whim. Glad I did too!

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— BLURB —

Lady Sabine is harboring a skin blemish, one, that if revealed, could cause her to be branded as a witch, put her life in danger, and damage her chances of making a good marriage. After all, what nobleman would want to marry a woman so flawed?

Sir Bennet is returning home to protect his family from an imminent attack by neighboring lords who seek repayment of debts. Without fortune or means to pay those debts, Sir Bennet realizes his only option is to make a marriage match with a wealthy noblewoman. As a man of honor, he loathes the idea of courting a woman for her money, but with time running out for his family’s safety, what other choice does he have?

As Lady Sabine and Sir Bennet are thrust together under dangerous circumstances, will they both be able to learn to trust each other enough to share their deepest secrets? Or will those secrets ultimately lead to their demise?

*** This is Book 3 in the An Uncertain Choice series (aka Noble Knights Series).

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— MY REVIEW —

As mentioned earlier, I borrowed this book from my local library on a whim liking how the blurb sounded. But I hadn’t realized at the time that this was part of a series… and the last book too (check the edit below)! What were the chances?!

(But note to self — Get onto Goodreads first and research before borrowing books!)

I’m usually not a fan of reading books out of order in a series, despite the fact that they can all be read as standalone. I’m obsessive compulsive that way, but I didn’t want it to go to waste before I had to return it so… I read it! 😄

Thank goodness each book in the series has different protagonists with completely separate story lines. The thing that connects each book is that the characters all know each other one way or another.

I feel like I’ve been reading YA fantasy fiction with so much detailed romance (that it should technically be in the NA category), so this was a nice, simple change of pace. This book was quoted as “clean” historical fiction and I absolutely agree. It has the cute, lovey-dovey, hallmark romance going for it that still makes you grin.

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Sabine is a spunky, strong-willed protagonist who has her moments of teenage rebelliousness. But you gotta love her for it. Her lighthearted banter between her grandmother and especially with Sir Bennet is what made this story all the more enjoyable. Yes, they were stuck in the middle of a dangerous battle with secrets up in the air but boy, I couldn’t help but swoon during the scenes where Sabine and Bennet were together and wondering how the other truly feels about.

There’s a little bit of magic and curses wrapped around Sabine that’s affected her ability to trust and open herself up to new people. Things are not what they seem.

An overall nice, steady developing romance with just a little bit of suspense and secrecy thrown in that’ll keep you engaged. There’s a simple little world-building here, enough to keep you picturing castles, pretty dresses, chivalry, and with it — seedy minions! 😜

RATING: ♥♥♥½

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This was an enjoyable read! 👍 If you have a few hours to kill and looking for a quick read, I highly recommend this one! Ooh and the rest of the series too!

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Side Note: After checking Goodreads, there’s apparently a fourth book; A Loyal Heart to be released sometime this year! I hope it does get released, I’m liking this series so far.

**EDIT: Since this is a super old review that I never got around to posting, my guess is the fourth book HAS been released. Although I can’t say for sure as I never did get around to finishing this series (and I hadn’t looked at on Goodreads since). 😅 But I still would recommend it though. It’s clean, adorably sweet, clean romance books. 


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Catch you guys in my next one. Happy reading! Xo

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Finding Cinderella by Colleen Hoover

This was a reaaaally old review (I’m talking years old) that for some unknown reason I never got around to posting. Even this pic from my Instagram is old. Haha. But after a little tweaking here and there, here it is! 😅

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Original post from my IG @booksofthemuggleborn

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— BLURB —

A chance encounter in the dark leads eighteen-year-old Daniel and the girl who stumbles across him to profess their love for each other. But this love comes with conditions: they agree it will only last one hour and it will only be make-believe.

When their hour is up and the girl rushes off like Cinderella, Daniel tries to convince himself that what happened between them only seemed perfect because they were pretending it was perfect. Moments like that with girls like her don’t happen outside of fairytales.

One year and one bad relationship later, his disbelief in insta-love is stripped away the day he meets Six: a girl with a strange name and an even stranger personality. Daniel soon realizes the way he pretended to feel about Cinderella and the way he really feels about Six may not be so different after all. Especially when the two loves of his life end up being one in the same.

Unfortunately for Daniel, finding Cinderella doesn’t guarantee their happily ever after…it only further threatens it.

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— MY REVIEW —

Well apparently I shouldn’t have read this one before reading the rest of the books in the “Hopeless” series. This is how much of a CoHo newbie I am that I didn’t even know that she had book series. I seriously thought all her books were standalone contemporaries…

FindingCinderellaCoverI should’ve checked Goodreads first! Eeep. 😅😅

Anywho — I can’t do much about it now. I already read the book. Haha!

Books that are inspired from, or is a retelling of a fairy tale will always peak my interest. It’s mostly the reason why I decided to start with Finding Cinderella before any of her other books.

The main difference with the classic tale and this modern take is that the protagonist is not “Cinderella” but “Prince Charming” himself — aka Daniel. This is YA fiction and I’d say he’s a pretty typical teen.. with realistic mannerisms and attitude (he actually reminded me of a few guys I used to go to high school with). Picture the cool guy in class who loves to make jokes and who doesn’t seem to be phased by anything — yeah, that’s Daniel… at least on the surface. This is a great example of not to judge a book by its cover (no pun intended). Daniel, is actually a fairly nice, caring person. I loved his relationship with his family and their interactions together. The way they can joke about things with each other and take it lightheartedly, it surprisingly made me laugh out loud.

It’s an enjoyable easy-going read with a steady pace, and I thought the overall story was okay. This is a novella so I wasn’t expecting a deep, long storyline but it could’ve easily have reached that point near the end, unfortunately Daniel and Six’s story wrapped up a little too conveniently for my liking and with I guess you would call “a happily ever after” ending.

All in all, it’s not a bad book to start off with when it comes to Colleen Hoover, but then again… as many people have said all of CoHo’s book are pretty good. She’s not a best selling author for nothing! 😉 I’m looking forward to reading more of her books!

RATING: ♥♥♥½

**EDIT: I just checked Goodreads and this was the first thing that popped up before the synopsis —This novella is a companion novel to the Hopeless series, but can be read as a standalone.” 

— Wooo! I don’t feel too badly for reading this now before the other books! 🙌😜

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Finding Cinderella by Colleen Hoover is FREE to read!

🎁 Download your copy now!

Amazon US  |  Amazon UK  |  Amazon AU



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Catch you all next time. Happy reading, guys! Xo

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The Mistake by Elle Kennedy

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— BLURB —

He’s a player in more ways than one…

College junior John Logan can get any girl he wants. For this hockey star, life is a parade of parties and hook-ups, but behind his killer grins and easygoing charm, he hides growing despair about the dead-end road he’ll be forced to walk after graduation. A sexy encounter with freshman Grace Ivers is just the distraction he needs, but when a thoughtless mistake pushes her away, Logan plans to spend his final year proving to her that he’s worth a second chance.

Now he’s going to need to up his game…

After a less than stellar freshman year, Grace is back at Briar University, older, wiser, and so over the arrogant hockey player she nearly handed her V-card to. She’s not a charity case, and she’s not the quiet butterfly she was when they first hooked up. If Logan expects her to roll over and beg like all his other puck bunnies, he can think again. He wants her back? He’ll have to work for it. This time around, she’ll be the one in the driver’s seat…and she plans on driving him wild.

** Each book in the series can technically be read as standalones but I recommend you read them all, in order.

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OK. Without further ado.. Read on for my thoughts on this hotness of a read! 🙂

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— MY REVIEW —

Ahhh yes another fun and addictive read! I don’t know how I could’ve not known about Elle Kennedy until now. This is only book two in the Off-Campus series and it’s already become one of my fave contemporary romance series’. This is also my second book EVER by Elle and I’m already addicted enough to her style of writing that I’m already looking at her other books.

Now. This is Logan’s story. When I was reading The Deal (book 1) and Logan was introduced as Garrett’s best friend, I was immediately interested in what his deal was, so you can bet I was excited for this one 🙂

It didn’t disappoint. It had the same type of humor, banter and swoony romance as its predecessor.

The only reason why I didn’t give this one full ratings is because I found the issues that Logan was dealing with throughout the book was resolved too abruptly and within the last couple of chapters for that matter. In opinion the conclusion was rushed; considering he was going through these family problems the entire time with the same resolve – where he felt he had no choice in the matter and that was that. Then all of a sudden a convenient solution pops up and bam it’s all fixed.. and just in time for the story to wrap up between Logan and Grace, and his final year in college. Hm.

But other than that I loved reading it! Logan was as swoony as ever. And Grace is another female protagonist I can add to my non-annoying-don’t-want-to-throat-punch list! Yaaaay! She’s now right alongside Hannah.

I tell ya.. if Elle keeps up with these awesome, smart, relatable, independent female characters who don’t go all out bimbo the second a sexy male comes along then I’ll have no choice but to keep up with all the happy-chappy words in my reviews for the rest of the books!

I love the pace. I say this about the first book too in this series. There’s not a single dull, boring part in these books. Besides the oh-so drool worthy romance, humor and banter between the characters – there’s actually a very well written plot that keeps you flipping those pages to see what happens next.

So… If you like the following then I suggest you give this one a try:

  • NA Contemporary
  • Sports Romance
  • Books set in school
  • Banter
  • Detailed (but tasteful) sex scenes
  • Awesome friendships

Please note, I am adding a possible trigger warning for this book. Alcohol abuse (alcoholism) and the effects of it is present. If this is a sensitive subject for you, I suggest skipping this one. 

RATING: ♥♥♥♥/5

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Read my reviews for the books in the Off-Campus series!

Image result for off campus series elle kennedy

(How amazing do these paperback editions look? I may actually love them more than the sexy abs version)
Book One: The Deal by Elle Kennedy
Book Three: The Score by Elle Kennedy
Book Four: The Goal by Elle Kennedy

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Happy reading, guys! Catch you in my next one! Xo

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The Deal by Elle Kennedy

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•••

— BLURB —

She’s about to make a deal with the college bad boy…

Hannah Wells has finally found someone who turns her on. But while she might be confident in every other area of her life, she’s carting around a full set of baggage when it comes to sex and seduction. If she wants to get her crush’s attention, she’ll have to step out of her comfort zone and make him take notice… even if it means tutoring the annoying, childish, cocky captain of the hockey team in exchange for a pretend date.

…and it’s going to be oh so good.

All Garrett Graham has ever wanted is to play professional hockey after graduation, but his plummeting GPA is threatening everything he’s worked so hard for. If helping a sarcastic brunette make another guy jealous will help him secure his position on the team, he’s all for it. But when one unexpected kiss leads to the wildest sex of both their lives, it doesn’t take long for Garrett to realize that pretend isn’t going to cut it. Now he just has to convince Hannah that the man she wants looks a lot like him.

** Each book in the series can technically be read as standalones but I recommend you read them all, in order.

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Original post from my IG @booksofthemuggleborn

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— MY REVIEW —

Couldn’t fault it! Enjoyed every second of this book. If I didn’t need sleep I would’ve read it in one night. I can’t believe I didn’t read it sooner when I’d had it on my kindle for months.

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A New Adult, contemporary sports romance and it checked all the boxes for me.

– The characters. Well written, developed and most importantly mature thinking adults. For characters who are 20/ 21 years old, there was no annoying, immature mentality when it came down to the nitty gritty.. which was soooo refreshing to see from a NA novel.

– The serious matters. The leads; Hannah and Garrett both have very serious traumatic pasts. There’s dealings of rape, and physical, mental and verbal abuse. Reading this scenes (although heartbreaking) wasn’t too graphically detailed that tend to put some readers off. I also love the fact that both Hannah and Garrett (especially Hannah for me) were strong characters. They didn’t want their pasts to dictate their futures or ruin what dreams they may have for their lives.

– The humor. Big part of why I flew through this book. There was just the right amount of humor in just the right places throughout the story to break tension and to keep it from getting too serious and deep in the issues the characters were dealing with.

– The romance. On point. Garrett may have been a guy who liked to hook up, have fun and was not at all interested in a serious relationship but he was no jerk either (at least not intentionally) towards the women. He’s your stereotypical jock persona on the outside but who’s really sweetheart once you get to know him.. Which Hannah did. The connection between these two even before they became friends was siiiizzling! I love a good banter. LOL.

– The friendships. There were quite a few different friendships going on here but all were amazing. They added more to the story rather than take anything away from the main characters. It’s rare for me to actually love ALL the characters (there’s usually at least one friend who I find craps and ruins things) but amazingly not a single one here!

And finally – the sports to romance ratio. This is a sports romance (specifically college ice hockey). I haven’t read a lot of sports romance but the majority of the ones I’ve read I found the sporting aspect were little to non-existent.. (a few mentions here and there but no real details), and whilst this was not overly heavy on the sports part either, it did have plenty to make you see that Garrett and his friends (who are also his team mates) are very much into hockey.

Like I said earlier – all boxes checked and I couldn’t fault it 🙂 In fact I enjoyed this one so much that I’d downloaded the other 3 books in this series and plan to read them back to back asap!

So, it’s safe to say I would recommend this to all fans of contemporary romance, who don’t mind a smidge of sports in it. Even if this book is technically NA it can absolutely be read and enjoyed by those not in the NA age group ;-p (Hey. I’m not, and I did!)

I should mention before I end this review that be aware there is a serious trigger related issue (sexual abuse) in this book. Not at all graphic. In my opinion, Elle wrote it in a way were it sheds light, gives more awareness, and gives the courage to openly speak about it. But nevertheless, I wanted to give a warning. 

This book was beautifully written and well balanced. Character development and story building was on point. I loved every minute of reading it.

RATING: ♥♥♥♥♥/5

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Read my reviews for the books in the Off-Campus series!

Image result for off campus series elle kennedy

(How amazing do these paperback editions look? I may actually love them more than the sexy abs version)
Book Two: The Mistake by Elle Kennedy
Book Three: The Score by Elle Kennedy
Book Four: The Goal by Elle Kennedy

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Happy reading, guys! Catch you in my next one! Xo

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Twisted Emotions by Cora Reilly

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•••

— BLURB —

Nino Falcone is genius and monster. As the right hand man and brother of the Capo of the Camorra, his lack of feelings is a blessing, not a curse – until his brother asks him to marry for the sake of the Camorra.

Kiara Vitiello, cousin of the Capo of the New York Famiglia, is chosen to marry Nino Falcone to prevent war with the Camorra, but what she hears about Las Vegas makes her veins pulse with terror. After her father betrayed his Capo and paid with his life, her family thinks marriage is her only chance to bring honor to her name; but only Kiara knows she’s a faulty prize given in return for peace.

A man incapable of emotions and a woman scarred by the past – an arranged marriage with the potential to unite, or destroy…

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— MY REVIEW —

 

Now. Onto my honest and spoiler free review (at least until it’s officially released on Jan 8, then I’ll spill my guts out.. spoilers and all! 😉

Twisted Emotions is the second book in the Camorra Chronicles and centers around the second oldest Falcone brother; Nino. In the first book, he was described as somewhat cold, calculating and the unfeeling one, and honestly his lack of emotion was what had me curious to read his book (more so than the oh-so hot Remo). I just needed to know what made him tick!

I don’t know how Cora manages to get us to fall in love with each one of her mafia men by the time their story is up next.. and what’s more is she always has THE perfect heroine for these powerful, possessive (but protective), swoony bad boys!

Nino was so much more than what I had originally imagined in my mind. Definitely different from the rest – One of a kind, especially in the Mafia world.

Kiarra.. *phew* what a brutal life she’s had already and she’s still such a young woman. All I can say without adding spoilers is.. We couldn’t have asked for a better man than Nino to be by her side! And vice-versa!

I couldn’t read through Twisted Emotions fast enough. I loved seeing bits of him revealed little by little and still being in awe that he is a Falcone!

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With all of Cora’s books, you’ll always see some OMG scenes, a few twists here and there.. and definite “I knew it!!” moments — this was no different. You get to see more of the Falcones as a “family” (dysfunctional be damned!) .. a band of brothers and less of the Mafia side, which don’t get me wrong I loved, but also left me wanting more of the action and violence … I think that’s what was missing and a good chunk of the reason why I couldn’t give this one full ratings. It felt tamer than her other books.

But if you love more romance and less of the bloodiness, killings, Mafia side then I say this one is perfect for you. If you like a balance of both like me, then you’ll still enjoy this one (I promise) but probably not as much as Twisted Loyalties.

Beautifully told. The story flowed easily and it didn’t drag on whatsoever. No skimming through pages, that’s for sure! Plenty of (good and bad) scenes that made my heart stop. I won’t lie.. a few teary moments too. But lots of laughter. I didn’t think I would snort unexpectedly, but I did. I so did! Geez. The dynamics of these brothers.. I swear.. LOL!

I don’t know how I’m going to survive the wait for Twisted Pride! No joke. This is me:

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This book gave little delicious teasers for Remo’s upcoming story and there’s so much anticipation in the air! Cora, this spin-off series is an effing hit!

RATING: ♥♥♥♥/5

Thank you to Cora Reilly for the opportunity to read an advanced copy!

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📚 Read my reviews for the series!

(In reading order)

Book One: Twisted Loyalties by Cora Reilly

Book Three: Twisted Pride by Cora Reilly

Book Four: Twisted Emotions by Cora Reilly

Book Five: Twisted Bonds by Cora Reilly

Book Six: Twisted Hearts by Cora Reilly


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Hope you enjoyed my review! Happy reading, and as always, catch you in my next one! Xo

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Twisted Loyalties by Cora Reilly

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— BLURB —

Fabiano was raised to follow in his father’s footsteps as Consigliere of the Chicago Outfit – until the man abandons him. Left to fend for himself, Fabiano is forced to fight for a place in the mafia world. As a ruthless street fighter, he quickly earns his place as the new Enforcer of the Las Vegas Camorra – a man to fear.

Leona wants to build a decent life for herself, away from her drug-addicted mother. But soon she catches the attention of a dangerous man – Fabiano Scuderi. Staying out of trouble and living a normal life are near impossible with a man like him.
Leona knows she needs to avoid Fabiano, but men like him aren’t easy to shake off. They always get what they want.

Fabiano cares about only one thing: the Camorra.
But his attraction to Leona soon puts his unwavering loyalty to the test. Is Leona worth risking everything he’s fought for, and ultimately his life?

Author’s note: Spin-Off-Series to my Born in Blood Series set in Las Vegas. You don’t have to read the Born in Blood series to understand the book.

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— MY REVIEW —

I LOVED IT! I am so freaking ecstatic that Cora has returned to writing more Mafia romances… and even better decided to write a spin off series off of the ‘Born in Blood’ series 😊 A spinoff that lives up to the original series!

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I didn’t think I would picture Fabiano any other way than as the teenage boy he was from the Born in Blood series.. but boy oh boy that quickly changed just from reading the first two chapters of this book.

I’m curious to see how Fabiano will deal with the Outfit (New York) and the Camorra (Las Vegas) war knowing he’ll be fighting against his sisters side.

Leona was THE perfect partner for Fabiano. They complimented and balanced each other so well. I felt for her.. having such troublesome parents like she did. Every time Fabi was frustrated with her parents and wanted to crack some skulls.. I was like yup! I hear ya. I hear ya, man!

She had a good, strong head on her shoulders. I liked that she was actually a practical thinker with common sense and survival instincts. (You’d be surprised by how many heroines I’ve encountered in Mafia stories where they’re supposedly independent and strong but the minute a guy comes along, they become complete doormats! Ugh). Leona is very much a likable character and honestly has become one of my faves female characters from this series.

Aaaaaaand… I can’t wait to read the rest of the series. I’m already very curious and eager to read Nino and Remo’s stories and seeing the ladies that would totally spin their worlds around! *evil laugh* Bahaha! 😁

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There wasn’t a single part of the book that I didn’t enjoy reading. It flowed so well, the plot was engaging (there was always something going on) and the characters’ mysteriousness had me desperate to know what was going on in their little Camorrista heads! 😅

This has now become one of my faves from Cora! I only wish it was longer. 😜 If you’re into dark mafia romances, then I highly recommend you read this one (and check out the entire Born in Blood series!)

RATING: ♥♥♥♥½

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📚 Read my reviews for the series!

(In reading order)

Book Two: Twisted Emotions by Cora Reilly

Book Three: Twisted Pride by Cora Reilly

Book Four: Twisted Bonds by Cora Reilly

Book Five: Twisted Hearts by Cora Reilly


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Happy reading, guys. Catch you in my next one! Xo

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Disney Treasures February Box

The theme was “Ever After Castle”.

Before I get on with the details I have to point out that I got my box through eBay. By the time I discovered this box it was already sold out. Annnnnd I wasn’t (and still not) subscribed to this Disney sub box at all!

I should also point out that I probably got this box at double (maybe even triple) the original cost. It was a pretty hot item! Everyone and their mother wanted this box! And you’ll see why that is when you see my pics below! 😉

Now, if I’m not mistaken, most… or all of the items in the box are Disney exclusives so they’re not available for sale anywhere else (unless you find them on eBay, like I did).

Ok! Let’s get down to it ↓↓

Starting with the crème de la crème! Why this box is sold out and had people who missed out either crying buckets or scrambling around looking for other people who were selling theirs. I know I would’ve been devastated if I couldn’t get my hands on this one.

Ariel and Eric Funko Pop Vinyl (2 pack)

I’m still hoping they release them separately, or something similar to the public in the future because I know there a tons of Disney fans who’ve been anxiously waiting for Disney Princes’ to be made into funko pops. I’m always petitioning! Hehe 😛

Donald and Daisy Duck pin 

This is one of those fancy-schmancy enamel pins. Haha. I’m sorry I don’t collect a lot of pins, I don’t know what else to describe. But this one is great quality and the… whatcha-ma-call-it — the cover/lid thingy for the pin is shaped like Mickey’s head, which I thought was a nice touch.

Lumiere patch 

This is a pretty standard iron-on patch. Nothing much else to say. It’s nice.

Lady and the Tramp keyring set

This was uber cute! The packing was also on point (good work, Funko!) My sister called dibs when we saw it and I’m happy to give it to her — she likes her keyrings lol.

Minnie Mouse figure

She’s adorable and was nicely painted. It’s no surprise to collectors that Funko are known to have paint issues with their funkos, dorbz and figurines but this one was *thumbs up*!

P.S. Minnie came in a tin container.

•••

OK. Let’s wrap this review/ unboxing up!

This is my first (and probably last) Disney Treasures box so those who are subscribed will be eye-rolling at this.. buuuuuut I love their packaging box! Lol.

FYI — I’m a packaging collector. If I find it cute, I keep it! 😀

There are 5 items in this box. I don’t know if this is the norm.. or if it depends on the theme but I thought this box could’ve used another item. As much as I looooooove love love love Ariel and Eric (and the ONLY reason why I wanted this box), but when I did unbox  — “This is it..?!?” came to mind – especially for the price and international shipping.

I won’t say “never” to getting another Disney box, especially if they plan on releasing more Disney Princes’ exclusively. But I wish it was a little more affordable.

But all in all — Still love the box! Loved all the items!

RATING: ♥♥♥♥.5/5

Box and shipping costs took half a rating off for me. Like I said I wish it was more affordable. But meh. I know anything shipping from the US to any other country is always expensive (especially if you live on the other side of world like I do).

Anywho — Happy reading. Happy bookish shopping! Catch you in my next one! ♥

Infinity by Jus Accardo

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— BLURB —

Nobody said being the daughter of an army general was easy. But when her dad sends a teenage subordinate to babysit her while he’s away… That’s taking it a step too far.

Cade, as beautiful as he is deadly, watches Kori with more than just interest. He looks at her like he knows her very soul. And when he saves her from a seemingly random attack, well, that’s when things get weird.

Turns out, Kori’s dad isn’t just an army general—he’s the head of a secret government project that has invented a way to travel between parallel dimensions. Dimensions where there are infinite Koris, infinite Cades…and apparently, on every other Earth, they’re madly in love.

Falling for a soldier is the last thing on Kori’s mind. Especially when she finds herself in a deadly crossfire, and someone from another Earth is hell-bent on revenge…

•••

— MY REVIEW —

This was surprising an enjoyable read. I borrowed from my local library after having read the blurb and I’m really glad I did because now I can’t wait to read the rest of the books in the series! 🙂

My thoughts on the characters:

Let’s start with Kori. She was a treat! No sarcasm here — I mean that in a good way! I’ve ready so many books with female leads who are tough, who have attitude, but who almost always irritates me at some point with their cockiness because they know how to fight and can take care of themselves. I mean… it’s cool that they’re independent ass-kicking chicks but what gets me is when they’re smug about it. Kori isn’t like that. She’s a realistic character. She’s an army brat (her dad is a General) and although she’s not interested in ever joining the military, her dad made sure she can at least defend herself in case of emergency —

Quite early on in the story there’s a part where Kori gets chased, dragged into an alley and attacked by Dylan (the antagonist in the story). At the time she didn’t know who he was and although she was scared out of her mind of this random guy trying to kill her, she knew that if she didn’t try to escape she’d be done for. Reading this part, reading her desperation to survive by kicking, scratching, trying to call out for help, anything really — it’s part of the book that just seemed so real to me… (I mean it’s the type of crime you hear and see on the news more and more these days, am I right?) There was no magical powers or epic weapons to help her out; it was gritty, intense and had me really imagining the scene. This was the scene that had me rooting for Kori. It was from this point on that I knew that Infinity was something I would enjoy reading.

Cade seems like a nice enough guy for the most part, I guess. To be honest when he wasn’t thinking about wanting to stop Dylan, he was pining for Kori (both of them).. but other than that I didn’t get much of a personality out of the guy. Maybe because they’re in a time sensitive mission I dunno… but it would’ve been nice to see more of what makes him tick. He always seemed like he was in soldier-mode. Kind of… umm… what’s the word?? Reserved..? *shrugs* 😅

And when he did show emotion, it was usually snippets of an angry temper! Talk about going from 0 to 100 in a split second.

Here’s the two personality traits Cade displayed:

Trait Number One ↓

  

and then there’s Trait Number Two ↓

😂😂😂

It’s obvious from the beginning that he’s not the antagonist in this story and his actions throughout have meaning behind it. I couldn’t help but sympathize but I also couldn’t help think that the few occasions where he did go ballistic, Kori never thought to back away. There were occasions where she felt intimidated and realized that Cade was more similar to Dylan than originally thought but still kept confronting him. I don’t know.. if that was me, I would’ve kept my mouth shut, walked out of the room calmly and given him some time to cool off. Like sheesh girl, you don’t poke an angry bear no matter what!

But… whenever he and Kori found themselves awkwardly alone I couldn’t help but grin. They would start talking about his relationship with ‘his’ Kori and eventually start secretly think about kissing each other — I know it’s weird and confusing but it’s young love. Still cute! 😁

Ahhh! Okay, Noah next! He’s probably my fave character from the bunch! The stocky-built guy who stayed tight-lipped for most of the book (unless something really ticked him off) and who was ALWAYS eating! Bonus!! Love him! He was an onion all throughout, with each layer something new was revealed about him.

He has a unusual relationship with Kori. In his world, he was Kori’s older brother and they had a pretty close relationship…but in this dimension, Noah was never born and therefore Kori never had a brother. After what happened to his sister in his world, he tries to keep his distance from this Kori, but at the same time she’s trying to figure him out. So it’s sort of a push and pull dynamic. I love the gradual growth of their relationship and how deeply he really does care for Kori (for all the Koris).

He is THE sweetest guy! He really is. When everything gets revealed about why he acts the way he does and the ending… where Kori kind of sacrifices herself and says goodbye to him and he’s left speechless and his expression is one of wishing they could have more time together. Ugh! The feeeeeels!

Now. After having read this one, I wanted to know more about the series so I checked Goodreads and discovered the second book revolves around Noah and his life. Eeeeep! I can’t wait to read it! 😁

Aaaaaaand… then there’s Dylan. *Sigh* He’s a hot mess. A broody one at that!

He’s driven to CRAZY by a tragic accident. It was hard to completely hate the dude.. but it was also hard not to think of him as a nutjob what with all the stuff he did to get revenge and to try and get the love of his life back. I read that the third and upcoming book in the series centers around Dylan. I’m really curious to read more about his past before all the running around and murder sprees occurred. The way Cade and Noah talked about him and how they grew up together, he seemed like a genuinely caring guy who was full of love.

If you’ve watched The Vampire Diaries, Dylan reminds me of Damon. The guy who hides his pain by acting out, getting revenge and going on killing sprees. But deep down he’s a tortured soul.

I’m eager to see how this all ends for Dylan. The way Infinity concluded, it seemed like there was still some spark of good in him left but I can’t imagine the ending going any other way besides finally turning himself in.. or dying tragically (I think it maybe the latter).

Either way, Dylan gave this story the drive that kept it interesting and unpredictable. You can thank Dylan for the rollercoaster ride. If he makes it out of this alive, I strongly suggest he goes to therapy and anger management classes! Hell.. send him to a one of those friggin retreats! What can I say? I’m a sucker for villains, anti-heroes and morally gray characters! 😜

My thoughts on the storyline:

This was a relatively short book (about 300+ pages). It goes straight into explaining multiple worlds, multiple versions of people and why Kori is in danger fairly quickly but it doesn’t feel rushed. The story wasn’t lacking and didn’t drag on. Kori, Cade and Noah were in a time pressured mission and you can really feel that throughout the book. There was just enough backstory of Cade, Noah, Dylan and their version of Kori to give you an idea of how they’re all connected to one another. I thought it had the right amount of sci-fi, suspense and romance to keep you intrigued.

I recommend trying this one if you’re tipping your toes into the YA sci-fi genre and not completely ready for the full-on science fiction mumbo-jumbo-techie-jargon. I know I’m not, and this was written so well that you can follow Kori’s personal story as well as the without any confusion. This is my first Jus Accardo book but I’m looking forward to reading more of her books in the near future.

Ooh, annnnd if you’re like me.. romance is always a bonus (no matter what genre) and this one was.. yes.. complicated (what with the multiple Earths and multiple Koris and Cades) but still a nice young love story *cue the swooning!* 😄

RATING: ♥♥♥♥/5


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Happy reading guys! Wishing you all a great month and catch you in my next one! Xo

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The Hating Game by Sally Thorne

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— BLURB —

A hilarious and sexy workplace comedy all about that thin, fine line between hate and love.

Nemesis (n.)

1) An opponent or rival whom a person cannot best or overcome.

2) A person’s undoing

3) Joshua Templeman

Lucy Hutton has always been certain that the nice girl can get the corner office. She’s charming and accommodating and prides herself on being loved by everyone at Bexley & Gamin. Everyone except for coldly efficient, impeccably attired, physically intimidating Joshua Templeman. And the feeling is mutual. Trapped in a shared office together forty (ok, fifty or sixty) hours a week, they’ve become entrenched in an addictive, ridiculous never-ending game of one-upmanship. There’s the Staring Game. The Mirror Game. The HR Game. Lucy can’t let Joshua beat her at anything-especially when a huge new promotion goes up for the taking. If Lucy wins this game, she’ll be Joshua’s boss. If she loses, she’ll resign. So why is she suddenly having steamy dreams about Joshua, and dressing for work like she’s got a hot date?

After a perfectly innocent elevator ride ends with an earth shattering kiss, Lucy starts to wonder whether she’s got Joshua Templeman all wrong. Maybe Lucy Hutton doesn’t hate Joshua Templeman. And maybe, he doesn’t hate her either. Or maybe this is just another game.

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— MY REVIEW —

I’ve divided my review into different parts — My impressions on Lucy, Joshua and my overall thoughts on the storyline.

So here we go!

LUCY HUTTON: Ahhhh Lucy. Well… She’s definitely a quirky, one of a kind character. Loved her from the get go just for the fact that she’s sass in a teeny tiny body. It was like “Yesss! Another fictional shorty!” 😀 I instantly connect with characters who are short because whenever it’s mentioned or whenever jokes are made, I instantly relate. Lol! Whenever Lucy mentions her height, or her short legs, or having to wear heels just to get a bit of height had me nodding like a bobblehead in agreement! I know #shortpeopleproblems all too well haha.

She’s so relatable when it comes to relationships too (both with her parents and with guys). I feel like if there was one fictional character that is my spirit animal, it’s Lucy! It’s like I was reading about my life whenever Luce talked about work, her colleagues and that one particular person you dread having to deal with. The one that makes your working day a drainer. Uuck!

Off topic here, but I did work with a colleague once who was the biggest arse. But reading about Luce and Josh’s daily “hating game” reminded me of that time. Except in my situation there was definitely no love lost. Lol. 😅

Question: Who has an annoying colleague you can’t help but think hilariously mean thoughts about — like wishing they would trip over or have something embarrassing happen to them because they’re straight up rude, or smug, or just plain douchey towards you? Anybody??

Anyways, for those who’ve read the book — then you’ll know why I included smurfs into my photo (hehe). But seriously, who doesn’t love a character who has some nerdiness in them!? Although I couldn’t completely agree with her fashion choices, Lucy does have such a hilarious personality, with the most random of thoughts – some of which I still can’t believe she had the guts to say out loud… to Josh no less! There were moments of me blurting “Ahhh! shut up! shut up!” followed by a facepalm! LOL. 🙈

My favourite Lucy Hutton quote:


“Maybe he’ll murder me down there. I’ll end up dead in a Dumpster. The investigators will see my fishnets and heavy eye makeup and assume I’m a hooker. They’ll follow all the wrong leads. Meanwhile, Joshua will be calmly bleaching all my DNA off his shoes and making himself a sandwich.”


and here’s another delightful little comment…


“I want to know what’s going on in your brain. I want to juice your head like a lemon.”


Hehehe.

Lucy is a nice change from female leads I usually read about who ooze cocky confidence and ass-kicking abilities (not that I don’t love them too. If you’ve seen most of my book reviews, those characters are usually leads in some of my most fave of books!)

JOSHUA TEMPLEMAN: And what can I say about Josh? Except when a male colleague is described the way he was (by Lucy) in this book, you can’t reaaally believe that she ‘hates’ having daily banter sessions with the guy. He’s total eye-candy!

Josh may sound jerk-y and rude but I just found his comments and his observations about Luce down right hilarious! His remarks about her height.. her all too niceness towards people.. her choices in attire — I tell ya, all bloody entertaining to read! 😁😁

Maybe I’ve watched wayyyy too many romcoms in my lifetime but his serious, unemotional, mean ‘persona’ – I wasn’t buying it! Uh-uh no way! You just know he’s 100% the sweet, thoughtful, caring guy deep down… (who obviously has personal issues and that’s why he has that facade) but still.

My favourite Joshua Templeman quote:


“I love you, Lucy Hutton. So much, you have no idea. Please be my best friend.”


and then there’s also this:


“When I’m your boss, I’m implementing a corporate support uniform policy. No more of your weird little retro costumes. I’ve already got it circled in the Corporate Wear catalog. A gray shift dress.” He pauses for effect. “Polyester. It’s supposed to be knee length, so it should reach your ankles.” 


See what I mean?! How can you not laugh? As a fellow shorty-mcshorty pants, if someone said that to me ok yes, I would’ve rolled my eyes but then I would’ve cracked up two seconds later because I would’ve been picturing it!

And finally..

PLOT: What is it about contemporary reads that you can pretty much figure out in the first chapter whether you’re gonna like the book or not?! Why can’t it be that easy with fantasy fiction?

This was an enjoyable read. No doubt. Love the characters. Love the dynamics. Love the slow development between the two and getting to know about their lives. But if I had to nitpick I did predict the ending. I guessed it 2/3 of the way through how it would end for Lucy and Josh, and yup… I hit the nail on the head! I did feel a little “meh” about it. But then again it’s not rocket science.. There were obvious signs as to how this was all gonna go down anyways. So no biggie (remember, just nitpicking).

If you guys scrolled right through my review and onto my overall rating, then you guys can pretty much guess that I loved the plot of this one. Contemporary, office romance and best bit… the protagonists’ totally hate each other at the beginning which only means… they really secretly love each other! 😜

I love reading books with love/hate relationships and this is one of the best I’ve read so far. You can’t help but laugh out loud when reading this book and the cringy-ness of some of the things that comes out of Lucy. There were several moments when I wanted to hide behind a pillow for her. Like I said it’s an enjoyable read for anyone who loves romcoms, chick-lit and all round light-hearted good fun.

Sometimes a very well written standalone read can be just as gripping as reading a book series. This will definitely become one of my fave holiday rereads or traveling companion.

RATING: ♥♥♥♥½

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Love Office Romance Books?

📘 Read my review for The Carrero Effect!

The Carrero Effect by L.T. Marshall


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Hope you enjoyed my review! Happy reading. Catch you in my next one! Xo

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