Review for Fairest (The Lunar Chronicles #3.5) by Marissa Meyer

Fairest by Marissa Meyer

TITLE: Fairest
SERIES: The Lunar Chronicles #3.5
AUTHOR: Marissa Meyer
NARRATOR: Rebecca Soler
PUBLICATION DATE: Jaunary 27, 2015 / January 27, 2015
PUBLISHER: Feiwel & Friends / Macmillan Audio
PAGES: 272 pages / 6 hours 36 minutes
FORMAT: Hardback / Audio
SOURCE: GoodReads First Reads Program / borrowed
RATING: 3 bows


We all know Queen Levana as the evil dictator who is trying to take over Earth, but here is her past. In this novel, we get to back things up and see the teen years that shaped Levana into the Queen we all love to hate. We get to see her overcome her sister’s taunts and rise to power. It’s an interesting journey, to say the least!

From the moment this book was announced, I knew I’d have to read it. I adore the Lunar Chronicles and it’s still quite a few months before Winter finally arrives, so I needed something to tide me over. I was also very apprehensive. I hate Levana. I want the bitch to die and die bloody. I want to watch as they torment her and kill her slowly. I want that, really I do. I was worried that we’d get redeeming charactaristics here, worried that I’d start to sympathize with her, maybe even feel sorry for her and I did not want that to happen. For all of those with the same fear, that will not happen. Yes, Levana has a sad childhood, being tormented by Channary, her elder sister, but that doesn’t really gain her sympathy because she is already well on her way to being a psychopath from page one of this. And her actions get increasingly disturbing as the novel continues. She is obsessed with her guard, Evret, and she takes that obsession to the extreme. She isn’t initially obsessed with ruling the kingdom, but it eventually shows up and once her mind latches onto that idea, nothing will deter her. The woman tries to murder her own niece, a goddamn toddler.

The rest of the cast is really insignificant. We get brief glimpses of Selene and just a few moments with Winter, the only two besides Levana that really play a role in the rest of the series. The only two I really care about. I felt bad for Evret because he is forced into a terrible situation and he has no way out. Levana will never let him leave and have his life with Winter. That is never a possibility, so he soldiers on with his life and tries to make due with what he has.

I think I was doomed to feel mediocre about this from the start. I am very (VERY) character driven and since I just want Levana to die, I wasn’t really invested in her life or what she did. There were a few tense moments with Evret or the moment when she “kills” Selene that I did want to keep going, but for the most part, this wasn’t something that held my attention. Again, this isn’t due to a lack of awesomeness on Meyer’s part, just a lack of interest on mine.

I originally won a copy of this gorgeous hardback from GoodReads and planned to read through it, but then I saw that Rebecca Soler was doing the audio edition and I’d have to listen to it. I’ve been listening to the prior books with my husband anyway, so why not enjoy this together as well? To really show how little of my interest this held, let me just put it this way. This audiobook is tiny, less than 7 hours and it took us 2 months to finish it because we just had no interest in getting through it.

It gets three stars because it isn’t bad. It had it’s interesting moments and I did like learning a bit more of Levana’s backstory, but I just didn’t care enough overall to love it like I have with the rest of the series.

Audio Notes:
Rebecca Soler is now my husband’s favorite narrator. She has done a wonderful job with this series in particular. My lack of enthusiasm here is not due to her performance. Though she doesn’t really get to stretch her vocal muscles as much as I’d like here because it’s mostly Levana’s narration and her voice is the only one needed, I still think she does an excellent job.

***Thank you to Goodreads and Feiwel & Friends for providing me with a hardcover copy of this in exchange for an honest review.***

3 bows
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Review for Hellhole by Gina Damico

Hellhole by Gina Damico

TITLE: Hellhole
AUTHOR: Gina Damico
NARRATOR: MacLeod Andrews
PUBLICATION DATE: January 6, 2015 / January 6, 2015
PUBLISHER: HMH Books For Young Readers / Audible Studios
PAGES: 352 pages / 9 hours
FORMAT: Audiobook
SOURCE: Review copy via Audible
RATING: 4 bows

Max Kilgore is a geeky goodie-two-shoes and he likes it that way. His idea of fun is trying to beat his previous crossword record and spending Friday nights with his mom mocking romantic comedies. That’s all going fine until he accidentally releases a devil (one of 666 apparently) and is forced into finding him shelter and bringing him food. He enlists Lore, a girl with a reputation as a satanist, to help rid him of his unwanted houseguest before things get really ugly. Can they rise to the task, or will they all burn will Burg (the devil) laughs about it?

I loved this novel almost immediately. Max is such a goodie-goodie that I cannot fathom him doing anything wrong. And then he does something bad and his reaction is even better than I could have imagined. He’s also pretty sweet. Really, Max reminds me just a little of my husband. He has that nerdy exterior which hides an even nerdier interior and he’s so unbelievably sweet that you can’t help but root for him. I mean seriously, this boy is sacrificing every thing to try and keep his mom happy. The mom who is on a never ending waiting list for a heart transplant. The mom who will die if she doesn’t get one. Instead of trying to having a normal teenage social life, Max toils away his time at a local convenience store trying to make enough money to pay all the bills. Instead of spending Friday nights with his best friend, he buys a large pizza and rents an over the top cheesy rom-com, opting to stay in and spend this precious time with his mom. After releasing the devil, his reactions are beyond comical.

That’s what I was really looking forward to with this, the comedy. Gina Damico is famous for her dark humor and this doesn’t disappoint. With every new chapter awaited new jokes and situations that make me laugh out loud. With every outrageous request Burg made or action he took, I was rolling on the floor laugh, happy that I was listening to this on audio because it allow such actions to occur while I continued the novel. Just like Croak, this reminds me a great deal of Dead Like Me. The humor is right on that line.

Something else I loved about this was the lack of a love triangle. This has the perfect set up for that. Max’s best friend is a girl named Audi (I’m sorry if this is not the proper spelling, I listened to this on audio) and that leaves great opportunity for Max to pine over her while she happily spends time with her boyfriend. That did not happen. It’s made very clear from the beginning that they have never had a romantic inclination towards each other. They even kissed once and the results were not good. Instead, Aud is happy with her boyfriend and Max is happy for her. It was a very enjoyable arrangement for all involved, including me. Then, you know, you meet Lore, and it’s obvious she’ll be his love interest anyway. Her sarcasm is something I loved immediately. She’s smart and snarky and clearly hiding a tragic past.

The only character I was questionable on was Burg. One minute he was evil and the next he didn’t seem so bad. I was never quite sure how the relationship with him would end up. There were moments when I thought that maybe he wouldn’t be the bad guy. I won’t spoil whether or not he is. I’ll let you see that for yourself! It’s only real downfall is that the ending wasn’t as perfect as I wanted it to be. The ending is not the picture perfect moment I was wishing for. It does end happily for our main characters, but there are….casualties.

This novel is pretty straight-forward on what you’ll get. It is hilarious fluff about a boy who accidentally sets free a devil. Chaos and hilarity ensue and it’s great. If you are looking for a deeply moving book, this isn’t the one for you. If you are looking for something that makes you laugh so hard you cry, then look no further!

Audio Notes:
Macleod Andrews is a narrating god, I’m just saying. I enjoyed him when I listened to Pushing The Limits by Katie McGarry and I was interested in hearing him do something else. I was not disappointed. First off, boy has an epic name. MacLeod? Dude, I don’t know who your parents are, but they are awesome. Plus, he has a pretty great voice and amazing control over it. I’m always fascinated by people’s ability to change their voices because I cannot do that. My voice is my voice is my voice. I can’t make it sound any other way. But MacLeod can and I love him for it. You know what’s cooler than reading about a character startled shriek? Hearing a narrator’s startled shriek! I have nothing but good things to say about him. He has a great voice, perfect pace, and enough talent to make every character voice sound different. Seeing his name attached to any audiobook will have me dying to read it, even if it’s outside my normal reading comfort zone. He’s that good!

****Thank you to Esther Bochner at Audible for providing me with an audio copy in exchange for an honest review****

4 bows
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Review for Catch A Falling Heiress (An American Heiress In London #3) by Laura Lee Guhrke

Catch A Falling Heiress by Laura Lee Guhrke

TITLE: Catch A Falling Heiress
SERIES: An American Heiress In London #3
AUTHOR: Laura Lee Guhrke
PUBLICATION DATE: January 27, 2015
PAGES: 384 pages
SOURCE: Publisher via Edelweiss
RATING: 5 bows

Linnet Holland’s life has finally worked out the way she wanted. The man she has always fancied has finally taken notice. He takes her to the gardens to propose and that magical moment is interrupted by Jack Featherstone. The infernal man not only ruins the proposal and strikes her beloved, but he then has the audacity to kiss her right in front of her mother and as well as the biggest gossip in town. Her reputation is thoroughly ruined but she refuses to marry this man. She cannot marry a fortune hunter, she won’t and nothing her family can say will change her mind. Jack knows he messed up by kissing her. He knows that it was the wrong move. He also knows that her Frederick Van Hausen, her “beloved” is not the man she believes him to be. He is the villain in all stories and he refuses to let another women fall victim to him. Now, he’s determined to make it right. He will change Linnet’s opinion of him and make her agree to the marriage if it is the last thing he does. Can Linnet let go of her first impressions enough to realize that Jack might just be the right person for her or is she doomed to suffer the effects of a ruined reputation?

I both loved and hated Linnet. I love her and her strength and determination, but how she adamantly refuses Jack when the audience knows that Jack is actually a good guy was infuriating. I like Jack and I want her to like him. Her reasons are solid and you cannot fault her logic. She wants to marry someone American. She doesn’t want a English fortune hunter who will look down on her for the rest of her life and she has finally escaped that future only to be dragged back at the last possible second. She’s angry and frustrated and I wanted to hug her and give her her heart’s desire. But, at the same time, what she wants isn’t what’s best for her. What she wants would be incredibly bad and would not turn out as she imagines. And Jack’s refusal to explain himself just makes everything worse. Even when she finds herself liking him against her will, she jumps back to the “he just wants me for my money” argument and all is lost once again.

Speaking of Jack, I just love him. I think I have a thing for historical romance heroes in general because they all make me feel rather swoon-worthy, but Jack was perfect. He’s in a tough situation, as all romance heroes are. He has a high sense of honor and integrity and he’s fiercely loyal. Then there is the whole his a handsome gentleman and behaves as such. I also think part of my love for him stems from his loyalty to his friends. He’s that guy that you’d run to at 3 AM with a dead body and he’d come no questions asked with a tarp and tons of colorox to clean the mess (or the Regency equivalent of that). Watching him try to win Linnet over despite her determination to hate him just and me falling for him more. Guhrke really knows how to write a swoon-worthy male. I seriously can’t think of a single novel she’s written where I didn’t love the hero.

Speaking of Guhrke’s writing, she has me spoiled. Between her and Julia Quinn, I’m pretty much ruined for all other historical romances. I’m so used to their level of awesome that I just can’t tolerate any less. In fact, I’ve gotten where they are the only ones I read from this genre! I think I’m scared that I’ll come across another bad one or be disappointed by an author that normally does a great job. Laura, though, is a master of her craft and I’m always anxious to grab her latest book. She manages to give you exactly what you want when you want it. Or better yet, exactly what you didn’t realize you wanted when you wanted it. The whole house-party set up in this novel is perfect. It’s riveting, how Jack is going to make his case and get Linnet to fall for him. There is no if. This is romance, after all, and we know it’s going to happen, we just don’t know how. That’s the beauty of romance. You are guaranteed a happily ever after, so you don’t have to stress over that, just over how the hell these two are going to work out their problems. And it’s a magical thing to watch. If only real life was that awesome. Le Sigh.

Anyway, what is there really to say here? Laura Lee Guhrke never fails to impress me. You’d think that after so many books, it would become more difficult to write an original feeling story, but she awesome has a tale that feels brand new. It’s always written with heart and charm and wit. It always leaves me smiling. This is no exception to that rule. It’s funny and sweet and heart-warming and I thoroughly enjoyed it. I can’t wait for the next one!

****Thank you to Avon for providing me with an eARC via Edelweiss in exchange for an honest review****

5 bows
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Review for Geek Girl (Geek Girl #1) by Holly Smale

Geek Girl by Holly Smale

TITLE: Geek Girl
SERIES: Geek Girl #1
AUTHOR: Holly Smale
PUBLICATION DATE: January 27, 2015
PUBLISHER: Harper Teen
PAGES: 336 pages
SOURCE: Publisher via Edelweiss
RATING: 5 bows

Harriet Manners is the textbook definition of a a geek. She’s actually okay with that. She likes her intelligence and doesn’t understand everyone else’s fascination with clothes and makeup and superficial pursuits. Then she accidentally gets discovered as the next big model and things spiral from there. Does she have what it takes to shed her geeky exterior and become a worldwide sensation or will her never quieting mind prevent her from letting go enough to allow it to happen?

I loved Harriet from page one. She’s smart and funny and completely unpopular in the best way. Climbing the social ladder isn’t really on her to do list. She is a little sick of being picked on, but she doesn’t necessarily want to be the highest rung on the ladder. She just wants to be allowed to geek out. So when she get’s discovered as a model, she decides that maybe it’s time to try something new. Try on the pretty clothes and the makeup and actually talking to Nick, the male model she’ll be posing with. Things go from awkward to normal and back again over and over and over and it was thoroughly entertaining. I love Harriet with the makeup and wannabe girliness and without it. Her inner snark had me rolling in laughter from page one and I couldn’t help wanting more. I love that she likes who she is, but I also love that she is brave enough to try something new. Stepping out of her normal role and into something scary and new is far from easy, but she tries. She gives it her all even though she doesn’t really know what she’s doing. It just made me love her more.

I could speak to the other characters, but really, she’s the main one. The rest all play their roles, filling in where they are needed and making connections with her at the appropriate moments. Nick shows up every so often to provide just enough confusing swoon-worthy stares to move her obsession along just a bit more. Her dad and Step-Mom provide parenting like moments. I gotta say that I loved her Step-Mom quite a bit by the end. She’s not perfect and she’s not Harriet’s bio-mom, but she loves her and is more attentive than Harriet and Dad realize. In the beginning, I was irked by her bossing Harriet around, but she really does have the best of intentions and that scene, in her office at the end, well, let’s just say we should all be so lucky.

What really won me over with this novel was it’s laugh out loud comedy. I know LOL is a term people throw around constantly, but rarely does a book make me snort or laugh or giggle out loud. Smiling or internal chortling happens constantly, but few are good enough to make me really laugh out loud. And this was one of them. It is full of humorous dialogue and outrageous shenanigans and enough awkward situations to have you laughing and hiding your face simultaneously. I also loved the ending and the message that carries. I won’t spoil anything, but I will say that it is the perfect message for teenagers and more books need to go in that direction.

I know many people have compared it to Louise Rennison’s Confessions of Georgia Nicolson series and I whole heartedly agree with that comparison. This is right on that Georgia level and that is a huge compliment. This is laugh out loud funny with enough heart to make it feel real. I recommend it to every reader out there. Old, young, boy, girl, chick-flick fan, or nerd lover, this will be loved by all!

****Thank you to Harper Teen for providing me with an eARC via Edelweiss in exchange for an honest review****

5 bows
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Blog Tour – Perfect Couple (Superlatives #2) by Jennifer Echols (& Giveaway)

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Perfect Couple by Jennifer Echols
TITLE: Perfect Couple
SERIES: Superlatives #2
AUTHOR: Jennifer Echols
PUBLICATION DATE: January 13, 2015
PUBLISHER: Simon Pulse
PAGES: 336 pages
SOURCE: Publisher via Edelweiss
RATING: 4 bows
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In this second book in The Superlatives trilogy from Endless Summer author Jennifer Echols, Harper and Brody think they’re an unlikely match, but the senior class says they belong together.

As yearbook photographer, Harper is responsible for those candid moments that make high school memorable. But her own life is anything but picture perfect. Her parents’ bitter divorce left her wondering what a loving relationship looks like. And ever since the senior class voted her and star quarterback Brody ‘Perfect Couple That Never Was’, her friends have been pushing her to ask Brody out.

Brody doesn’t lack female admirers, but Harper can’t see herself with him. He’s confused about the match too. Yet they find themselves drawn together; first by curiosity about why the class paired them, then by an undeniable bond.

The trouble is, though they’re attracted to each other, they have a hard time getting along or even communicating well. If they’re the perfect couple, this shouldn’t be so difficult! Soon it becomes clear their class was wrong, and they throw in the towel. But they feel so changed from making the effort, they can’t forget each other. What if this match made in hell is the perfect couple after all?


I combed through the first third of the book before I found the excerpt I wanted to share with you. I hope you all enjoy it and decide to pick up a copy of this awesome book!

“I’ll catch up with y’all,” I said “Back to the towels for me. I’m having contact problems.” Amid the chorus of “Oh, no!” and “Poor baby!” and “Do you need help?” I explained what had happened. “If I can wipe my eyes and run fresh water over my hands, I think I’ll be okay.”

I sloshed toward shore. But as I reached dry sand, I was anything but okay. My left eye stung. My right eye was worse. When I opened it, all I could see was blur. The beach was as bright as another planet with no atmosphere to filter the sun. I could hardly see my way back to the island of umbrellas and towels I’d come from. When I finally made it, I tripped over several boys and landed on the dog, who didn’t budge.

“Move, dog,” I said rudely. She got up, sticking her sandy dog butt in my face as I opened my cooler for a thermos of water.

Kennedy was telling the other guys about the indie film we’d seen at the Tampa Theater downtown last weekend. They were laughing uncontrollably. Kennedy was brilliant and had great comedic delivery. He would be perfect someday as the vastly intelligent, super dry commentator on a political comedy show. His shtick was as much as what he left out as what he said. At the moment, he was strategically omitting that we’d had an argument in his car on the way to the movie and that he still hadn’t been speaking to me by the time he dropped me off at home afterwards.

“Right, Harper?” I heard him ask. He wanted me to verify some funny point in the movie – something he hadn’t discussed with me one on one, because we’d hardly talked since then.

This was his way of making up. After our fights, he ignored me until he just decided not to anymore, signaled by him by asking me a question and me responding, and then it was like nothing had happened between us. This time, instead of answering, I poured freezing water over my hand and wiped at my eye. Now it felt like I’d gotten sand in my eyeball. I tried to shift the offending particle into the corner where my tears would flush it out. That was a mistake. The stinging was intense.

I tried to open my eye. I couldn’t. My upper eyelid was wedged shut with my contact. Was it possible that my contact had drifted that far back? Could it float even further and get stuck on my optic nerve? Where was my eleventh-grade anatomy knowledge when I needed it?

“Guys,” I called. Kennedy kept up his blasé movie commentary while I went blind in one eye. Tears streaming down my cheek, I said more loudly, “Guys, do any of you wear contacts? I need help. I think my contact has shifted into the back of my eye socket.”

“Harper,” Kennedy said, “only you.”

I took in a deep breath to calm myself, but I was on the verge of panic. These boys were not going to help me. Kennedy would make fun of me while this piece of flexible plastic sliced its way into my brain and gave me a lobotomy. The girls would help me, but they were too far away to hear me yell over the surf, and I couldn’t open one eye, and now I couldn’t see out of the good eye because of the tears. I felt like screaming.

Strong hands framed my face. One thumb pulled at my lower eyelid. I was surprised Kennedy had relented and come to my rescue. “ I wear contacts, and I know all about this, unfortunately. Let me help.”

But it wasn’t Kennedy’s voice. It was Brody.


Jennifer Echols
Jennifer Echols was born in Atlanta and grew up in a small town on a beautiful lake in Alabama—a setting that has inspired many of her books. She has written nine romantic novels for young adults, including the comedy MAJOR CRUSH, which won the National Readers’ Choice Award, and the drama GOING TOO FAR, which was a finalist in the RITA, the National Readers’ Choice Award, and the Book Buyer’s Best, and was nominated by the American Library Association as a Best Book for Young Adults. Simon & Schuster will debut her adult romance novels in 2013, with many more teen novels scheduled for the next few years. She lives in Birmingham with her husband and her son.

Contact Links: Website | Facebook | Twitter


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When Harper and Brody are voted Perfect Couple That Never Was they are both shocked. The two couldn’t be more different. Harper is the photography nerd and Brody is the star quarterback. But since that day, she finds herself noticing him more and more. Since that day, her friends have been pushing her to ask him out. Even though she has a boyfriend, she finds herself thinking about Brody more and more. She finds herself wondering if maybe the school knows what they are talking about and she should give this budding attraction wtih Brody a chance.

Harper is that geeky girl who is hiding a rocking body. She’s smart and hard-working, with a desperate drive to get the best photographs. She dresses pretty conservatively for a high school girl and she swears it’s because she likes it that way. But is it really? The further into this we get, the more we see her question those decisions. I both loved and hated this. I loved that she wanted to experiment. I loved that she was brave enough to try something new. I loved that the new looks work well. What I didn’t love was how it was all inspired by Brody. I’m very big on the be yourself schtick. Changing solely to impress a guy is something I feel like very girl does and something that we shouldn’t. We should all put our best face forward, but there is a difference between that and drastically altering your wardrobe to get a guy. What happens when you get tired of wearing those tight tops and mini-skirts? What happens when you just want to roam around comfortably in jeans and a tee, but he expects full-on glamor all the time? That isn’t what happens here, but it bugged me that her change was Brody inspired. She ends up liking it for herself, but it could have easily went a different direction.

Brody was a character I wanted to love immediately, but he took time to grow on me. He’s cocky and hot and completely sure of himself. He has a bit of that player vibe going on that I tend to find slimy rather than sexy. He has enough charm to keep me from being completely weary of him, but he also has a sorta girlfriend when he starts fooling around with Harper, when gives me the skeezy vibe. Beyond that, though, he was pretty loveable. It was clear that he was sincere under all the bravado.

What I really enjoyed about this, about all Echols work really, is the relationships. It’s not just about boy meets girl, it’s about friends and family and self. It’s goes deeper than just a flirty YA contemporary romance. Both characters are realistically flawed and relatable. I didn’t always agree with their actions, but they always felt authentic and true to life. That’s not to say that some of their actions weren’t downright stupid because they were. That whole “make Brody jealous” bit sent me into a mini-rage because we all know that was not the right move. How is that the right thing for the moment? Those moments always anger me in books. You know, the ones where the character finds out something they don’t like and instead of thinking things through, they do something rash and stupid. I’m not a fan of stupid. I actively try to avoid stupid.

What I didn’t like was they was this skirted around the cheating issue. Harper is dating Kennedy. No matter how much of a jerk Kennedy is, they are still in a relationship. Nothing should happen with Brody until after that has ended. Brody is sorta dating Grace, but that’s a bit more vague. Either way, lust doesn’t excuse a lack of common curtsey. I hate how some novels portray cheating as acceptable because it’s “true love” and the characters “couldn’t help themselves.” I’d just like to call bullshit on that particular concept. Be man (or woman) enough to admit want and go after it, but don’t deceive people to get it. I’m a bit more forgiving here because they are teenagers and hormones do run high at that age. Plus, you know, teenagers aren’t as much of an adult as they’d like to believe. Also, shit happens.

I think I may have liked this a bit more than Biggest Flirt. Even though I am still a bigger Will fangirl than I will ever be for Brody. Will is that nice, boy next door type and I love seeing those. That’s beyond the point. This is a perfect contemporary YA written with Echols trademark style and wit. It’s addictive and I tore threw it needing to know if Harper and Brody finally worked out their shit. If you like Echols previous work or contemporary romances, then you’ll love this!

****Thank you to Simon Pulse for providing me with an eARC via Edelweiss in exchange for an honest review****

4 bows
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Review for The Secrets Of Sir Richard Kenworthy (Smythe-Smith Quartet #4) by Julia Quinn

The Secrets Of Sir Richard Kenworthy by Julia Quinn

TITLE: The Secrets Of Sir Richard Kenworthy
SERIES: Smythe-Smith Quartet #4
AUTHOR: Julia Quinn
PUBLICATION DATE: January 27, 2015
PAGES: 384 pages
SOURCE: Publisher via Edelweiss
RATING: 5 bows

Sir Richard Kenworthy must find a wife and he must do so quickly. This fact limits his options severely. Anyone who agrees to be wed within only a week or two of acquaintance is probably not going to be what he originally wanted in a wife, but there is nothing to be done about it. He needs a bride. Then he comes across Iris Smythe-Smith at her families musical and thinks maybe she’ll fit the bill rather nicely. She’s intelligent and values family and not difficult to look at or hold a conversation with. Iris has always been overlooked. Her pale coloring and quiet nature makes it easy to blend in with the background. What most people don’t realize is that behind that quiet facade lies a quick wit and more intellect than the average society male can imagine a female to have. So when Sir Richard Kenworthy starts flirting with her and acting as a man falling in love, she wonders how true it is. Then a compromising position forces her hand and she can’t help but wonder if he is hiding something. Is Sir Richard Kenworthy keeping secrets from his new bride or is Iris being paranoid? You’ll have to read to find out!

I must say that “overjoyed” does not even begin to describe my feelings for when I got approved for this. I think I went a bit happiness crazy.
Toothless excited gif
Julia Quinn is one of my all time favorite authors. I love all of her work. I think if you read my The Sum Of All Kisses review, you know that I more than a little fangirl-y over her work. Hell, my username on many a website is JuliaQuinnFan07! If I had to limit myself to only reading books by one author for the rest of my life, it would be her. That’s how much of a fangirl I am. Her work never disappoints me. So, as you can imagine, when I got approved for this, I went a little crazy. I was literally bouncing for joy because I knew it would be awesome….and I wasn’t wrong. Enough fangirling though, let’s get on with the review!

Iris was a character I immediately loved. She’s smart, she’s sassy, she’s perfectly sarcastic. Basically, she’s everything you could want in a historical romance heroine. She’s accepted her lot in life. She knows she’ll never be the belle of the ball, but she’s content with that. She actually likes being a wallflower because it gives her a chance to observe the people around her. This is one of her favorite past-times, just watching people. Seeing them interact with each other is utterly fascinating to her. Her quiet wit and biting sarcasm had me smirking the entire novel and is what really won Richard over.

Speaking of Richard, I liked him pretty quickly. He’s so entirely devoted to his family that it’s hard not to love him. He may go about solving it the wrong way, but he is determined to help his family, whether they want it or not. I can both understand him and hate him at the same time. By the time his secret was revealed, I knew what it was, but I didn’t catch on until just moments before. Up until that point, he was charming and sweet and it was difficult not to fall for him even though you knew he was hiding something big. After the doozy, it was still hard not to fall for him. You couldn’t argue with his logic. It made perfect sense and it was heart-breaking to watch. All he wants to do is help and to him, this crazy option, is the only option. He sees no other path. What he wants, what he expects Iris to do, is insane. And yet, he goes about it in such a way that you just want to hug him.

This story has quite a bit more mystery than I’m used to in historical romance. JQ keeps us on the end of our seats trying to figure out what Richard is hiding. We know that it’s bad because he is sure that Iris will never forgive him for it. I’ll admit that I had many theories floating around my head and the one that ended up being right was not the one I was expecting. But the closer you get to finding out, the more I didn’t want to know. I wanted Richard and Iris to live happily ever after. That needed to happen and I began to believe Richard’s side, that Iris would never forgive him. It was a heart-breaking ride, one that does end happily, for all those who will wonder. JQ wouldn’t do any less than a happily ever after.

This is exactly what I look for in a historical romance novel. Julia Quinn is the standard I hold all others in the genre up to and this novel is a prime example of why. She does it all flawlessly. She gives us the perfect story, the one that has just the right amount of conflict to keep it moving and still manages to pull together a believable happily ever after. We always get lovable characters and enough wit and repartee to keep up snorting with laughter (even while reading in public). You get it all and you don’t have to compromise on anything. This novel is perfection and any historical romance fan (or just romance fan in general) will love it as much as I did!

****Thank you to Avon for providing me with an eARC via Edelweiss in exchange for an honest review****

5 bows
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Review for Mrs Kiss & Tell (Veronica Mars #2) by Rob Thomas & Jennifer Graham

Mr Kiss & Tell by Rob Thomas & Jennifer Graham

TITLE: Mr Kiss & Tell
SERIES: Veronica Mars #2
AUTHOR: Rob Thomas & Jennifer Graham
PUBLICATION DATE: January 20, 2015
PAGES: 288 pages
SOURCE: Publisher via NetGalley
RATING: 5 bows

Veronica’s back with another difficult case. The Neptune Grand has always been a touch on the shady side. Though it is an upscale hotel, it’s obvious illicit deeds go down there. When a woman who is brutally raped and beaten claims that the Grand was the last place she could remember being, the hotel knows that this could turn out disastrous. Veronica is hired to prove or disprove the story. But something isn’t adding up. The victim had severe head injuries and can’t remember all the details, the other witnesses won’t talk, and it’s clear someone, somewhere, is hiding something. Can Veronica figure out the mystery? Or is the perp going to continue to go free?

Okay, I think I got most of the fangirl gushing out of my system in my last VMars review and hopefully this one will be a bit more coherent. Veronica is the same character she’s always been. She’s smart, resourceful, resilient, and snarky as hell. Veronica’s snark is what initially drew me to her in the show and her character has stayed true to that. It’s not all positives for VMars though, because she has some negative qualities as well. We get to see the best of her here and she’s dogged in figuring this thing out. It’s not long before she disproves the victim’s initial statement, but she can tell there is more to this. This girl was raped and beaten nearly to death and someone needs to pay for that crime.

Logan is actually home (for most of this, anyway) and I couldn’t be happier about his presence in the story. He’s relationship with Veronica is proof that just because something is right doesn’t mean it’s easy. Life with her is always going to be a give and take. She has a tendency to hide her feelings when she knows they aren’t what he wants to hear. She would rather bury it and enjoy their time together. He understands her fears and worries, but there are just some things that he must do. Regardless, his appearance makes things better. I’m a big Logan fan (as if you didn’t get that from my last review) and I’m always happy when he’s in the picture.

The rest of the family all make an appearance. Once again, I feel like we don’t get quite as much Wallace as we should. He was a big part of the crime solving team in the show and I miss his help. I was also a bit disappointed in Weevil. I won’t say more than that, but it wasn’t cool man. I can see his reasoning, but still not cool. As for everyone else important, we get just the right amount. I must admit I’m a sucker for Cliff McCormack and I love seeing him. Him and Keith have their own side project going on, suing the Balboa County Sheriff’s department for damages to Eli Navaro during their criminal investigation after planting evidence on him. That added to the race for Sheriff election with a brand new candidate and things get just a bit heated. We all wanna see Dan Lamb out of office, regardless of what that takes.

This novel has that big mystery feel. The plot has so many twists and turns that it’s impossible to know who the bad guy is from the very beginning. There is no way you can tell how this will turn out. One thing I loved about reading this one as opposed to listening to the audiobook as I did with book one, is that I could hear each character in my head. Don’t get me wrong, Kristen Bell does an amazing job narrating the first one and there is no one better for the task, but there is a slight difference between hearing her do it, mimicking everyone else’s voices and actually hearing the proper voice in your head. I don’t know if that makes sense to anyone other than my fellow marshmallows, but trust me, it was awesome.

What you really need to know is that: it’s Veronica Mars! You need no other incentive to pick this novel up and read away. Beyond that, it is a well written story with a nail-biting plot. I think it’s written in a way that it could be read as a stand-alone. Previous knowledge of this world is not required, but I think it enhances the experience. Now, Rob, Jennifer, are we gonna get another? ‘Cuz, you know, I really want one!

****Thank you to Vintage for providing me with an eARC via NetGalley in exchange for an honest review****

5 bows
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