Illuminae by Amie Kaufman and Jay Kristoff

Another super late book review I’m finally posting. I don’t remember why I never posted this in the first place, but whatevs… It’s here now! 😊

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Original post from my IG @booksofthemuggleborn

•••

— BLURB —

This morning, Kady thought breaking up with Ezra was the hardest thing she’d have to do. This afternoon, her planet was invaded.

The year is 2575, and two rival megacorporations are at war over a planet that’s little more than a speck at the edge of the universe. Now with enemy fire raining down on them, Kady and Ezra—who are barely even talking to each other—are forced to evacuate with a hostile warship in hot pursuit.

But their problems are just getting started. A plague has broken out and is mutating with terrifying results; the fleet’s AI may actually be their enemy; and nobody in charge will say what’s really going on. As Kady hacks into a web of data to find the truth, it’s clear the only person who can help her is the ex-boyfriend she swore she’d never speak to again.

Told through a fascinating dossier of hacked documents—including emails, maps, files, IMs, medical reports, interviews, and more—Illuminae is the first book in a heart-stopping trilogy about lives interrupted, the price of truth, and the courage of everyday heroes.

••• 

— MY REVIEW —



⚠ WARNING: CONTAINS SPOILERS!



This was my second sci-fi book ever read (The first was The Martian, which I loved!) So I seriously hoping it would be similar to that book in the sense that the “science-y” stuff is going to be easy to follow, that there was a bit of humor to break up all the technical aspect and based off of the synopsis a bit of romance.

Well… this book didn’t fail. I loveeeeed it! 🙌 I’ve been saying to just about anyone who would listen that if all science fiction books were as amazing as The Martian and Illuminae are then I could be reading a lot more from the genre! 😉

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I think another thing that captured me with Illuminae is how quirky and different the book layout was. It wasn’t set out like your everyday typical book. Some of the pages were written to form images, some were written to make follow each line into a bigger picture. It’s hard to explain, all I can say is if you haven’t gotten a copy yet – do! Go to your local bookshop, look for it and just flip through it and you’ll see what I’m trying to say.

The book overall is set a journal/ records type format and put together into one big file, basically. So there’s emails between characters, logs recorded from certain days and interviews. It’s ridiculously jam-packed!

It’s very well created and it had me wanting to keep reading to find out what happened next. It was hard putting it down for the day.

I never saw full reviews on Illuminae prior to reading it so I wasn’t sure what people thought of it besides whether or not they liked it but I have to say halfway through the book I had a strong sense of Resident Evil-esque to the story line. Where the spaceship’s AI (aka AIDAN) is corrupted and pretty much turns evil and starts wanting to kill everyone on board but thinking he’s doing the right thing. Then you have half the crew and civilians on board infected with some kind of virus that’s also causing serious problems all over the ship. It’s one massive chaotic disaster that puts you on the edge of your seat.


“Am I not merciful?” — AIDAN


Reading about Kady and Ezra’s roller coaster relationship added a romantic touch to an otherwise sci-fi story line and it pretty revolves around them and wanting to keep each other safe. I loved reading their messages to one another. It’s probably the bits of the book I loved reading the most.

Besides the sci-fi aspect and the romance aspect – this book also provides us with comical relief in all the right places (usually involving Ezra because he’s a funny smartass). 😄

Downside to being introduced to super cool characters?

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That was me the further I read. As much as I loved reading Kady and Ezra’s exchange of funny but sweet banter-filled emails, I knew it wouldn’t have lasted forever and I was right. Why do authors love making us fall for characters just to take them away from us?

Spoiler Alert: Ezra died! 🙈

Yep… and just like Kady, you don’t find out til it’s too late. Unless you’re one of the clever readers who analysed every detail of this book and probably saw signs early on.

*Side Note: Jay and Amie actually said that if you really pay attention to the details in the book, it gives off little clues on who certain characters are that are still unknown to us or hints of upcoming events.

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Seriously, this book was one big fuuuuuuuck-with-your-mind type of story. It was so hard to put it down because I just didn’t know which direction the story is going.  I don’t know about other people who’ve read this but I didn’t see any of the plot twists happening. Not even a smidge! Maybe I need to reread it again and keep a lookout for those hints I mentioned earlier lol.

RATING: ♥♥♥♥½

Another highly recommended book. If you’re like me who usually only ever reads fantasy fiction, give this one a go. Trust me you won’t regret it and I guarantee you’ll love it enough to want to read Gemina (second book in the Illuminae series)!


•••

Happy reading, friends! Hope you’re all doing well. Catch you in my next one! Xo

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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).

•••

— 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

•••


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. 


•••

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

•••

— 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.

•••

— 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! 🙌😜

•••



Finding Cinderella by Colleen Hoover is FREE to read!

🎁 Download your copy now!

Amazon US  |  Amazon UK  |  Amazon AU



•••

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

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Convict by A. Zavarelli

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•••

— BLURB —

From the shadows, I’ve tracked her every move.

I was just supposed to watch her. But now, I can’t stop.

She’s my obsession. My addiction. My poison.

Watching her isn’t enough.

The savage in me won’t be satisfied until I take her and make her mine.

One taste and I’m hooked. Too bad for her… I’m never letting her go.

**

Stalked. Hunted. Captured.

He took me from my life and locked me away in his compound.

The ex-con. The big bad biker. Inked, bearded, and inhumanely sized.
And yet, every time he looks at me, I melt.

This broken beast hides demons behind those brutal eyes. I hate him… and I crave him.

His touch, his words, his lips.

When my enemies come for me, he vows to protect me as long as I do what he says. I’ll be secure in this prison he created for me.

But who will protect me from him?

•••

— MY REVIEW —

BIRDIE AND ACE’S BOOK WAS EVERYTHING I WANTED AND HOPED FOR COME TRUE!!

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I don’t know if it’s because I was still reeling from reading Confess a couple days earlier resulting in an unexpected emotional breakdown.. but I started Convict with my eyes already burning and ready to shed more tears.

As much I loved reading Gypsy and Lucian’s story, I knew almost immediately that when Birdie and Ace were introduced in Confess and had their first encounter that getting my hands on their story would have me acting like a total savage!

Exhibit A:

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So, before I dive into my review I just want to first say a big thank you to Ashleigh Zavarelli and to the ladies @ happilyeverinstatours for the amazing opportunity at being one of the earlier readers to snag a copy of Convict! Xo

**This is a spoiler free review so please read on!**

Okay. Let’s start off with my thoughts on the characters. Starting with the man of the moment – Ace. I was already quite drawn to him when I found out he was a bikie part of an MC. I love my MC romances with alpha bikers and women who completely give them a run for their money. When I first read that he was all built, bearded, leathered-up and inked I was like “ding, ding, ding.. we have a winner, folks!” 😜

And Birdie.. oh bless her. When I think of Birdie the first thing that always pops into my head is that that girl needs a big ol’ bear hug, stat! Even with her tantrums and facades towards other people, deep down she’s caring, vulnerable, and girly.. but who’s in obvious need of a strong, steady support system.

Similar to Confess with secrets and mysteries surrounding the protagonists’ lives, Convict was just as much a storyline that needed to be unravelled due to Birdie and Ace having pasts that they both can’t seem to escape from.

What I enjoyed about Convict (and Confess alike) is that the story’s written so that the further you read on you start to get an idea of what their pasts were like, and what each lead character had gone through. It makes you have assumptions yet it keeps you intrigued to see how it all unfolds and whether or not you were right in thinking about certain things in a particular way. It’s beautifully executed, nicely paced, and in my opinion a little more gripping than Confess. Ashleigh does a brilliant job of not revealing too much away too early on.

As I said earlier Ace is a biker, and although he’s part of an MC that play somewhat of a role in this story, it’s not your conventional club where you see them fending for their turf against other clubs or anything of that sort. Although they’re not in the foreground whenever one of Ace’s brothers is around you do see that strong brotherhood and that MC life mentality within Ace. If you like reading romance books that have MCs in it like I do – then you may like this one a little more! 😉

Whilst it didn’t have the big shock factor for me like I had experienced with Confess… Birdie and Ace are such likeable characters (FYI I definitely ended up liking Birdie a lot more than Gypsy) with intriguing, complicated lives that I found that unexpected scenes or plot twists weren’t needed to keep me hooked. In fact I ended up finishing this one a lot faster lol. What can I say? I just couldn’t put it down!

Exhibit B:

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And although I had a little issue with the big age gap between Lucian and Gypsy in Confess, funnily enough the age difference didn’t bother me with Birdie and Ace. Maybe because their one wasn’t as bad, or maybe because Ace wasn’t as old as Lucian.. Who knows? But their relationship felt like it developed more organically and in the end.. just inevitable. They fit so well together even with all the road bumps they were forced to go through and the complexity of their situation.

They’ll make you swoon…

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They’ll make you hold your breath…

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They’ll make you gasp…

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They’ll make you melt…

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I’ve never read a dark romance as suspenseful and apprehensive as this series had been.. and I honestly don’t know what I’m going to do now whilst I wait for Ashleigh’s next book. Birdie and Ace are officially up there along with my other fave couples Mack and Lachlan (Crow), Sasha and Ronan (Reaper), and Scarlet and Rory (Saint) from Zavarelli’s other books.

Another irresistible book from A. Zavarelli that’s a surefire hit! And definitely NOT to be missed! Ashleigh has the Midas touch when it comes to creating characters who are raw, gritty and broken but who persevere nonetheless. Read it and you’ll know what I mean!

RATING: ♥♥♥♥½

Thank you to A. Zavarelli for the opportunity to read an advanced copy! 💜

•••


— Convict by A. Zavarelli —

Sin City Salvation (Book Two)

SaveTheDateRelease Date: July 22!

Birdie and Ace are first introduced in Confess and although it’s not necessary to read it prior to Convict – I still highly recommend that you do. It’ll provide you with a fuller understanding of the world they live in, the situations they’re at, and how they came to be together in Convict.

Please Note: This book is graphic and contains dark themes and touches on serious and very sensitive subjects such as: child abuse, rape, violence, traumas and death. It also contains steamy scenes. Readers of age only!


Read my review for the first book in the series!

📓 Confess by A. Zavarelli


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Thank you for stopping by and reading my review! Hope you enjoyed it. Catch you in my next one! Xo

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Confess by A. Zavarelli

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•••

— BLURB —

Lucian

A life free from sin.

For seventeen years, I have lived and breathed those words. But there is no balm to the war inside my soul.

Until her.

The mysterious beauty too lethal to taste. She’s a thief, a con, the essence of everything I loathe. Still, she lures me in with her lying eyes.

In the dark of night, she came to confess her sins, and in the light of morning, I plotted to steal her away.

She will be my ruination. My damnation. My biggest regret.

So help me, God.

**
Gypsy

A word of advice? Don’t show me your vulnerabilities because I will find a way to exploit them. I learned the hard way to take what I want from life with no regrets.

Until him.

He’s one of the most hated men in America. A soulless criminal attorney. A recluse. And as of five minutes ago, my new husband.

He wants to keep my secrets and collect my tears, but he should know that a wild animal can’t be domesticated.

I don’t know how to love men. I only know how to leave them.

With everything I want.

•••

— MY REVIEW —

Before I start my review, I just have to say Ashleigh was one of the first authors I discovered when I started reading ebooks. Her Boston Underworld series is one of my all time faves and has basically cemented her as one of my auto-buy authors!

I’ve had Confess on my TBR for quite a while now and the only reason why I haven’t read it until now is because of two main reasons:

1) It was part of a series. I HATE waiting for sequels! So I try and wait until closer to release day of the next book – IF I can help it.

and,

2) I had read some reviews, and it pretty much coincided with my thoughts on waiting for the sequel. The amount of reviews I’d read that mentioned ‘hangovers’, ‘all the feels’, and ‘wanting the next book like right now’ had me saying, “Nope. I’m gonna wait it out.”

Annnnnd boy did I. But you know what? I think it was well worth it! Because what I’m about to say in this review will show you why. So, hope you enjoy! 😊

⚠ WARNING WARNING WARNING ⚠

Read at own risk!

Caution_Spoilers

Let’s start with my first thoughts. Hmm. For the most part the thing that I was thinking for the majority of the book was…. wait for it….

Confusion!

But in a good way (trust me!) Reading Confess had me lost in the story. I was always questioning what was going to happen next and it resulted in me having great difficulty in wanting to stop for food.. or sleep.. or heck even take a bathroom break.

First impressions of Lucian:

Old.. well older. Kind of a jerk. Acts very fatherly (which is both confusing and disturbing at the time, considering things will develop romantically with Gypsy later). Lol… oh gosh. And WTF with all the health food?!

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First impressions of Gypsy:

Overly-confident (she’s a con artist, so that’s no surprise). Defiant. A bit bratty. A bit snooty (but she’s also young so…) And hilarious. Her reactions to some of the things Lucian says and does but can’t do anything about had me chucklin’… bad!

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What I also noticed whilst reading this one, is it’s not at all like Ashleigh’s books in the Boston Underworld, or even her two short novellas; Defying the Boss and Unwrapping Mr. King (both of which I loved). For me, it felt like at times like a completely different author had written it — and that’s saying something about Ashleigh’s talent as a writer. I’ll admit I haven’t read all of her books yet but with the ones I had.. I can tell you there’s definitely a variety in her books. You won’t be thinking her storylines or her characters are all too similar that it ends up feeling repetitive. Uh-uh.

In this case, I found Gypsy and Lucian to be such secretive individuals almost upto the end of the book that I was getting to the point where I started feeling frustration. But before I could even grumble at what I’m reading.. a little piece of what they’re hiding gets revealed. Just enough to keep me wanting more, and wanting to get to the bottom of everything. LOL.

Ahhh. Well played, Zavarelli. Well played!

Side Note: But before I move on. I have to mention this little tidbit…

When it comes to reading dark romances, or romance books in general – there’s one thing I’m not a fan of and if I can help it.. will never read. And if the story starts showing signs that it may lead in that direction, then 99% of the time I will DNF it.

I don’t read books that include BDSM. No offense to those who are fans of books that have them. It’s just my own preference. It doesn’t tickle my fancy and I usually just avoid them altogether. 

Why am I mentioning this, you say?

Well.. it’s because BDSM is present in Confess. Now. I did say earlier that I do usually DNF a book if that pops up but the reason why I didn’t with this one is for two reasons (haha yes, again with the reasons).

Firstly: Because of Gypsy. She made me continue reading due to her thoughts on the topic and with her feelings for Lucian, and just knowing that she just wasn’t the type.

Were there BDSM scenes? Yes. But for someone like me who’s not a fan, in this case it was fairly mild and tolerable and it felt like a blip when you look at the overall storyline.

Secondly: Because of Ashleigh. After reading Ghost and Thief from the Boston Underworld series I could already get a sense that the scenes from Confess would be on a similar kind of level, where it pushes the limits but doesn’t go over. If that makes any sense at all.. *nervous laughter* But I have so much trust in Ashleigh.

I also have a teeny tiny thing about large age gaps between a couple. With Lucian being forty and Gypsy being twenty-three. That’s a seventeen year difference. I admit it took awhile for me to get comfortable with their blossoming relationship. In the end I just thought of them like Edward and Vivian from Pretty Woman. Hehe. (It was either that, or not think about their ages at all – which was a bit hard considering a reminder was always around the corner).

*exhales*

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Let’s get onto the bit that had me completely and utterly undone. And THE biggest reason as to why I think the wait to read Confess just before Convict is released was worth it.

*sigh*

You know what I hate that authors we love do so well?

They kill off characters. Beloved characters, mind you. And we’re left in mourning along with the the rest who are left behind to keep living in that world.

I. HAVE. NOT. UGLY CRIED. IN. SO. FUCKING. LONG!!

That is.. until Confess! I kid you not. The tears would not stop. It was a damn floodgate! I could barely keep reading my eyes were so blurry and watery and puffy. Head ups! Don’t read this book in public unless you want to look like an emotional, crazy mess! B’cos I can guarantee people will be moving away from you on your train commute to work. LOL!

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Gypsy gutted me. Lucian crushed me. Ugh.. Ashleigh you’ve killed me with this one! I’m dead. I died. I’m dead. I seriously did not see it coming. It was unexpected, heartbreaking and left me feeling like things were forever going to be unresolved.

This is one spoiler I won’t be spilling for you folks. You’re just gonna have to read it for yourself and experience that ugly cry! I will tell you that there’s no doubt that this book had plot twists and lots of secrets!

But the way it all ended, it had me reaaaally wanting the next book. As much as I enjoyed Confess, I’m excited for the next story.

I should warn you folks who haven’t read it but interested in doing so that this book contains trigger warnings – mental abuse, sexual abuse, violence and suicide are present.

Overall, this was a very well executed story. It keeps you on edge and in suspense, and gives little bits at a time just enough to ensure these characters are always piquing your interest (and that’s including the side characters like Birdie, Ace, Luna and Cristian), and the mysteries surrounding them. I can completely relate with my fellow readers in wanting the next book asap! But all I can say is thank goodness I won’t have to wait long for it! 😛

Read it! Read it, read it read it. But don’t forget the tissues!

RATING: ♥♥♥♥/5

•••


Coming Soon! Book Two!

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CONVICT (Book 2 in the Sin City Salvation series) is coming out July 22! This story centers around Birdie and Ace.

Although the book can be read as a standalone, I highly recommend you read Confess first as Birdie and Ace are first introduced in that book. There’s still time before release! Hurry! Go, grab, read! 😉


•••

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

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Inspired by Jessica Florence

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Original post from my IG @booksofthemuggleborn

•••

• BLURB •

Call it pure desperation, or maybe we’d agree it was the lack of sleep that had me signing six weeks of my life away to be bossed around by a life coach. Either way, I was trying to get my life together, and Logan Woodland was going to help.

I thought he’d make me eat healthier, drink more water, and do yoga. What I wasn’t expecting, was to be forced to see myself as I was and how far I’d fallen.

But then his program worked.

He’d shown me a life filled with passion and desire. A life where I was stronger and could be the woman I’d never known existed inside me.

I did have a six-week life-changing experience, but now, I wanted more than I’d signed on for.

Him.

•••

• MY REVIEW •

I found it to be a slower paced read up until about the halfway mark, which by then things started progressing faster and I could finally get into the groove of Mia and Logan’s relationship. So if you can handle a slower pace for half a book, then you’re right for this one. Think of it as a rollercoaster ride – you start off slowly rolling higher and higher to reach the top and once it starts dipping back down over the other side you know it’s going to be one hell of a fast-paced ride. Inspired was just that!

I admit I didn’t get an immediate connection with Mia and Logan. I didn’t see a spark between them so it was a little difficult to believe in the beginning when they both had similar thoughts on how attractive the other was. I just couldn’t believe it.. at first.

Like I said the first half of the story is slow and it concentrated a lot on Mia wanting to improve with her life and Logan coaching her through changes. The romance didn’t kick in until later and despite it being a contemporary romance (and not gonna lie a big reason why I was eager to read this) – to me this was more so a story to inspire. After having finished it the first thing that came to mind was that it was uplifting. Inspired was such an uplifting read.

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I found that Mia’s self-discovery and journey to emotional and mental healing, and the things that Logan taught her throughout the book is what I connected with the most. As someone who’s been going through depressive states throughout my adult life, the things mentioned and said really resonated with me, and will most likely stay with me from this day forth.

Here are some of my fave quotes from the book that I found profound, powerful and made me truly think about my own life.


“People really didn’t need another human to make themselves happy. Happiness came from within.”


“The simple act of continuing when you feel like giving up is the bravest thing anyone can do.”


“But forgiveness can’t be rushed. It comes when you realize that you don’t need that pain anymore. You’ll forgive (him), and it’ll be like you shed a dead part of yourself off. Wounds don’t heal until you stop touching them. Same goes for mental wounds.”


Now let’s talk about Mia and Logan’s second chance at love.

Boy oh boy, I was waiting for something to finally happen and when it did it felt like an unexpected punch in the face. LOL. They went from being strictly professional, to starting to get comfortable around each other.. then BAM! 0 to 100 hot and heavy! 😄

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I think I actually burst out in a snort-laugh at how shocked I was that after their first kiss (which I thought was totally inappropriate btw.. considering he was suppose to be her life coach) how quickly it escalated to them getting each other off.

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Don’t get me wrong – is was HOT kiss scene and it was at that moment where I was finally sinking into the story… I didn’t think their relationship would jump to that so quickly, but I suppose with nothing happening in the first half of the book, it had to happen sometime, huh? I immediately thought it was insta-lust/ insta-lust but as I kept reading, I enjoyed how their relationship progressed. Yes, it developed in a short amount of time but I (fiiiinally) felt that spark between them as the story went on.

Their relationship felt realistic and relatable and just so down to earth. I thought the events (both good and bad) that occured and the situations that resulted from them, and how they were eventually resolved felt convincing and organic. I think that’s why I didn’t come away from reading Inspired thinking “aww what a great second chance romance” (even though it was!) — I mostly came away thinking “what an encouraging love story”.

If I could say a couple of things I wasn’t feeling as much, it would have to be Mia’s “sometimes” weirdness. I cringed at some of the things she said – thank goodness it was only to herself but I had serious second-hand embarrassment for the girl. Logan had cheesy moments too but by then I was rolling my eyes. But hey, all in good fun. At least Mia knew she was weird. Hehe. I’m just glad it didn’t last more than a few chapters.

I would’ve liked more character development and more details into each protagonists’ back stories besides what was mentioned in conversation. I think it would’ve set the atmosphere a little better by seeing detailed events of their past so you can see the reasoning on how they got to be the way they are in the present.

I do however love the supporting characters. Mia’s family and friend Jay. And ughhh… Logan having Tate, Callum and awesome mama bear Tink. Their involvement made this book all the more enjoyable. The little jokes and teasing. The love and support. I loved it all! Bromance at its best! (Am I crazy in kinda wanting Tate and Callum to have their own love stories too?)

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Before I wrap up this mish-mashed review. I have to mention the one moment in this book that totally and utterly took me by surprise that I’m thankful I wasn’t eating or drinking anything at the time or I would’ve 100% choked..

The scene where Mia and Logan were doing yoga with the instructor. That moment with Mia and her… umm… embarrassing mishap… oh gosh! Had me in tears!

JenniferLawrence_Embarrassed

Read the book to find out what it was. It’s a total unexpected crack up! And I can tell ya… I can relate! 😜

I’m currently in one of my darker days where it feels like grey clouds are constantly over my head, so reading Inspired couldn’t have come at a better time for me. I recommend this to anyone who’s had or having days like this where you don’t feel like getting out of bed. This book is a great reminder we are not alone and will hopefully lift up your spirits.. at least for a little while.  Jessica, thank you for sharing this story and for using some of your own experiences as inspiration for it.

RATING: ⭐⭐⭐½

Thank you to Jessica Florence for the opportunity to read an advanced copy! 💜

🔔 Interested in reading Inspired? Grab your copy here: Amazon  |  Apple Books  |  Kobo  |  Barnes & Noble


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

Image result for the deal 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.

Heidi_Perfection

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 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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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…

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— 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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