Review for Distance Desires (Part I) by Cambria Hebert

Distant Desires - Part 1 by Cambria Hebert

TITLE: Distant Desires – Part I
AUTHOR: Cambria Hebert
PUBLISHER: Cambria Hebert Books LLC
PAGES: 61 pages
FORMAT: ebook
SOURCE: Purchased
RATING: 4 bows

Sophie Perez is just a normal woman, living a normal life, working a normal job. On the way home from work one night, her car breaks down, which is nothing otherworldly….until the flashing lights appear. She doesn’t believe in aliens, but it’s difficult to deny when she is taken aboard a space ship. It is unclear exactly what they want, but it is clear that she has no say in the matter. The only question is whether she’ll make it back to Earth or if she’ll stay their captive!

This is an odd little story. I knew it would be when I started it. Cambria made it abundantly clear this would be unlike anything else and she certainly delivered on that end. It’s an erotica novella about aliens and the dirty things they could do, if they put their minds to it. I’m still not entirely sure how to review erotic in general, much less something like this. It was enjoyable. It was a quick little read that left you reeling and begging for the next chapter.

The love triangle aspect irked me. You’ve got alien boy on one end (and we aren’t really sure if he’s actually interested in Sophie or if it’s just research stuff) and then the human friend. I’m always rooting for the friend option these days even though they never ever choose the friend. “There’s no spark” and all that jazz. It obviously irks me. ANYWAY. As I said, I’m not really sure what else to say. I don’t really wanna give a detailed account of the erotic bits and my feelings on those ‘cuz that’d just be awkward.

Basically, if you like erotic novels and you are looking for something a little out of the ordinary, this is for you. Though, be prepared, cuz dangerous cliffhangers await in your future!

4 bows
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Review for Drowned (Drowned #1) by Nichola Reilly

Drowned by Nichola Reilly

TITLE: Drowned
SERIES: Drowned #1
AUTHOR: Nichola Reilly (AKA Cyn Balog)
PUBLISHER: Harlequin Teen
PAGES: 304 pages
SOURCE: Via author
RATING: 4.5 bows

Coe has been shunned her entire life. She lives on a small island, probably the last bit of humanity left, where the ocean’s tides threaten to wash them away. Every day they have to climb up onto a platform until the tides go out with the 400 or so other members of her clan. She is shunned because she is weak and deformed. Missing one arm means she’ll never be very useful. She can’t fish or fight or scavenge in her condition. All she is good for is cleaning the craphouse. Joy! She has accepted her lot in life until the king falls ill and she is taken on as the princess’s new lady-in-waiting. From there on, she learns that life on the island is not all it seems and maybe the truth will set them all free. Or maybe it will lead to their inevitable doom…all one way to find out!

When the story starts, Coe is far from that brave badass YA heroine we’ve been seeing a plethora of. She’s smart, but weak and scared and….whatever the opposite of badass is. I don’t want to say pathetic, because she definitely wasn’t, but maybe a little defeated? She had this sad attitude because she knew once her sixteenth hard season (comparable to 16th birthday) was upon her, her rank would go from the safest part of the platform, the the outer edges where she’d surely meet her death quickly. And it was completely refreshing to read from such a perspective. Right now, I’ve read a ton of novels about the brave and special girl who knows how to sword-fight or use a bow or is just a special little snow-flake who manages to save the world. While Coe does have a tinsy bit of the snowflake syndrome, she isn’t like any other YA heroine I’ve read. She isn’t utterly unique, she just believes in love which is an antiquated thing to these people and her love for others is what sets her apart, even if it isn’t immediately apparent. And her confidence builds throughout the novel when she gets more sure of herself.

Then we have sweet, brave, amazing Tiam.
Glee swoons gif
He’s kind and caring and tries to help everyone and a totally annoying good guy and somehow I fell for him anyway. He’s that “I’m good at everything, but I’m not rubbing it in your face” type. You know, that one who you love, but secretly you want to punch in the face because he’s so damned skilled at everything? That’s him. At first, I didn’t love him, but the further into the story I got, the more I wanted to see…which brings me to my next point…

This book has a cliffhanger…involving my sweet Tiam. For all of you who don’t know (and weren’t clued in by the author bit of this review), Nichola Reilly is a pseudonym for Cyn Balog. I have been incredibly spoiled in the past because all the novels I’ve read by her were standalones, meaning no cliffhangers. I went into this with expectation that that standard would be upheld, but no such luck. If you haven’t already read my spiel, I hate cliffhangers…a lot. I have kinda let it go a bit
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because everyone is doing it (which isn’t the best excuse) and if I hated anything that ended ambiguously, I wouldn’t be able to read any YA series at all until all the books were out. Sorry Cyn, I still love you! And I love this book! I just wasn’t a fan of the particular moment you chose to end on. On one hand, it was hopeful, but Tiam…..I can’t say more without spoilers. ::sobs:: Also, love triangle alert. It’s not one of those Bella Swan, I love both of you so desperately how could I ever chose?!?! ones, but it is there. One hot guy, two very different girls, may the odds be ever in your favor.

The rest of the cast was diverse. You have Fern who I absolutely adore. She so young and resilient and happy. Even when bad things happen, she bounces back to that smile pretty quickly, definitely quicker than I’d be able to. Then there is Star, the princess, who I liked? Hated? I’m not sure? This character’s personality jumps around so much, I wasn’t sure what to make of her and our leading lady feels about the same way. Everyone else is pretty much as asshat. Finn and the rest of the crazy villagers are just that, crazy. After the king dies, they seriously lose their shit and I wanted to smack all of them. How can you do this? What the hell is wrong with you? How is this going to solve anything?

One thing I was really blown away by here was the world. This is an incredibly unique world unlike anything I’ve ever read about before. These people have lost the ability to love or even care about their fellow man. They seem to be an entirely selfish group and they don’t care how others perceive them…not that there are others. They have lost the ability to read. Let me say that again, these people can’t read. Coe is the only person on the island who knows how, a secret she guards closely. I can’t imagine not being able to read. I get that in the scheme of things and in their life style it was a superfluous skill, especially when their books would all float away, but I’m just floored by that. I don’t think I could tolerate this world without the option to escape into fiction constantly!

This novel is near perfect, only failing short at the end with that cliffhanger (I know, I’m beating that point to death). The only thing that could have made it better is a bit more from the journal. Coe has a journal that several of her ancestors wrote in and I was very interested in learning more about them. I would love an epilogue or a novella or something along those lines that is just a story (or several stories) from that journal. It has everything I have come to expect from Cyn, regardless of the name she writes under, with great characters and a wholly enrapturing story. All I can really say is this: Can I have the next one? Please?

****Thank you to Nichola Reill for providing me with an ARC in exchange for an honest review****

4 bowshalf bow
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Review for Vivian Divine Is Dead by Lauren Sabel

Vivian Divine Is Dead by Lauren Sabel

TITLE: Vivian Divine Is Dead
AUTHOR: Lauren Sabel
PUBLISHER: Katherine Tegen Books
PAGES: 388 pages
SOURCE: Publisher via Edelweiss / Freebie shelf at Malaprops
RATING: 2 bows

Vivian Divine is a teen acting star who has received a very serious death threat. Now, she’s on the run in Mexico with only her wits to keep her alive until she meets Nick, a guy who is the polar opposite of Hollywood boys. He’s kind and genuine and seems to be determined to help Vivian. But with the baddies closing in are these two enough to take on the big bad and live to tell the tale? Or will Vivian get murdered as predicted?

Vivian has been depressed since her mother was murdered six months ago. She is just going through the motions, acting and spending time with her Hollywood Hotshot boyfriend, until he cheats on her with her best friend. This pushes her deeper into depression and when the death threat surfaces, she doesn’t need much of push to run off to a Mexican safe house. Things don’t go according to plan, when her money gets stolen within the first bus ride and that stupid Mexican boy Nick mocking her. And soon she feels the bad guy hot on her trail and makes a break for it by running off into the woods with Nick. I had a bit of a love/hate relationship with her because you have to sympathize with what she’s lost, but she is so damn naive I wanted to slap her.

I had the same type of Love/hate thing going with Nick. On one hand, he’s sweet and charming, but it’s clear he’s hiding something. He’s not being 100% honest and it irked me through the entire book…until you get close to the end where it’s painfully obvious what his secret is. I can’t be the only one who predicted that. I also can’t be the only one who predicted the Mary thing. That was a big problem I had with this novel, it’s very predictable. I saw every twist coming, every single one.

The writing was great and fast paced and interesting, but the basic story line was muddled. And fully of instalove! Nick and Vivian spend just a few days together and though there is attraction, I didn’t feel like there was enough for them to claim “love” before the scant 280 pages were up. I can buy into falling in love in a few days if they are an intense few days. In The Taking by Kimberly Derting, the main two characters only have a few days to fall in love, but it was an intense few days and while Vivian’s time with Nick was meant to feel intense, it falls short. Every time she thinks something about loving him, I was rolling my eyes. I found her antics a bit over the top. But, assuming the author did want me to believe her love was real, then she is in for a nasty surprise. Things with Nick don’t end well. Things with Nick end rather badly. Don’t go into this with the expectation that they will ride off into the sunset because they won’t. And, as if you really need reminding at this point, I hate bad endings. So you can imagine my reaction…and if you can’t

All you really need to know is that I found this disappointing. I wanted to love it. I love the cover and it’s got a great premise, with a prissy actress having to rough it in Mexico, but it just fell flat. The story was funny and charming, but it didn’t have the heart to back it up, if that makes sense. It’s like a hot guy with no personality whatsoever. It builds up to an epically predictable climax and then it just ends. There is no falling action or time to recover from the climax, it’s just over. I feel like that’s happening a lot in the novels I’ve read recently. ACTION and then it’s over. Maybe you’ll see more here than I did, but I didn’t love it like I thought I would.

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

2 bows
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