Royally Endowed by Emma Chase – RAVE

First I fell for HRH Prince Nicholas, in Royally Screwed. If a Prince abdicating for love doesn’t make you swoon, I don’t know what will…

Then I fell even harder for his little brother – the rebel – Prince Henry, in Royally Matched. He quickly became the new King of my heart.

This time it was their Royal bodyguard and trusted friend, Logan St. James, that had me swooning… and he had me swooning HARD.

Royally Endowed

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The Story 

Book three of this fantastically addictive, sexy series, focuses on one of Prince Nicholas’ highest ranking bodyguards, Logan St. James, and Prince Nicholas’ future sister-in-law, Ellie Hammond.

The story takes place over several years, starting off with an eighteen year old Ellie; in her final year of High School, newly famous (thanks to her big sisters Royal fiancée), and trying to keep her families business afloat – having convinced her sister to let her take the reigns, while she visits her betrothed’s home country.

Ellie

Given the task of protecting Ellie while her sister is away, Logan and his team of burly men become important daily features in Ellie’s life – taking her to and from School, making sure her home is secure, her friends don’t get her in to trouble, and keeping her safe from Royal fanatics. With her sister gone, a mother that passed away, and a father who drinks himself into oblivion everyday, Logan is one of the only adults around to take care of her.

“Logan St. James. Bodyguard. Totally badass. Sexiest guy I have ever seen—and that includes books, movies and TV, foreign and domestic. He’s the perfect combo of boyishly could-go-to-my-school kind of handsome, mixed with dangerously hot and tantalizingly mysterious. If comic-book Superman, James Dean, Jason Bourne and some guy with the smoothest, most perfectly pitched, British-Scottish-esque, Wessconian-accented voice all melded together into one person, they would make Logan fucking St. James.” – Ellie

Logan

Ellie’s attraction to Logan is impossible for him to ignore, but Logan is a professional. He keeps things frustratingly platonic for the longest time! But the slow building romance was that much more delicious because of it.

“I’ll save her. Because that’s who I am. That’s what I do. Why I’m here – the only reason I’m here. And she belongs to me. Ellie is mine to have and to hold. To save and keep. Forever and always.” – Logan

My Thoughts

Ellie was an All-Star of a heroine! She was vivacious, intelligent, selfless, sweet and kind. She liked to have fun, but it didn’t come at the cost of her grades or her responsibilities. She was a straight-A student and her High School’s Valedictorian, which was impressive enough, but even more so when you consider this – she achieved those things while running on minimal sleep (due to waking up to bake pies at 4am every morning), and with very little adult supervision.

As for Logan, he was the perfect catch! Born into a family of criminals, he fought to be something more, and succeeded. While his father and brother wasted away in prison, he chose to serve in the Army, then moved on to working for the Royal family of Wessco. He was trustworthy, respectful, kind, tough and compassionate. He was also, obviously, sexy as f*ck. Possibly my favourite thing about him – he wasn’t a cliché manwhore. He was friendly with Ellie but he didn’t cross any lines until he was good and ready, and I really respected him for that.

Final Thoughts

As with the previous books in this series, this story was told in dual POV – which I loved. There was a good amount of drama, some shocks, a crazy stalker, and plenty of sexual chemistry.

While Henry is still the King of my heart among these men, Logan has now safely secured himself a little piece of it too.

This was a fantastic addition to an already stellar series.

Goodreads Rating: 4 Stars

*ARC provided in exchange for honest review*

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A Girl Like Me by Ginger Scott – RAVE

Back in March, I fell in love with the first book in this series – A Boy Like You. That book ended on a cliffhanger which made the wait for book two feel torturous! The wait was blessedly short however, and I am so happy to have finally learned the fate of these two memorable characters – Wes and Joss.

This series is a standout among the many and I am so ready to start my RAVE.

A Girl Like Me

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The Story

*Spoilers if you have not read book one*

Book two picks up right where book one finished. Josselyn is months into her recovery after the accident that lost her a limb, and her beloved boyfriend. Wes is gone, assumed dead. But a mysterious clue has been sent to Joss. One which leads her to believe Wes is still very much alive.

So along with her best friend Kyle, they set off to uncover the truth of exactly what happened to Wes all those months ago, and why, if he is alive, is he hiding?

josselyn

Josselyn is a fighter, in every aspect of the word. Since childhood, she’d had to deal with a mostly non-functioning alcoholic father. Then there was her selfish mother who ran off with another man, never to be heard from again.

But things were just starting to look up for her. Her childhood hero, Wes, was back, and still in the habit of saving her (even from herself). Her father had just started to clean up his act, while she herself had given up her vices that made her reckless. Then the accident happened…

I admire Josselyn’s ability to constantly get back up again and keep on fighting, when life shoots her down. She never gave up in this story – she didn’t give up on Wes, her rehab, her father, nothing. This is a heroine truly worthy of that title.

wess

Wes has been a mystery right from the beginning of this series. His tendency to be at the right place at the right time, his uncanny strength, his unnatural abilities… Was this a supernatural story? I didn’t know. But I couldn’t wait to find out!

There is one thing that was always clear from the beginning however, and that’s the fact that Wes loved Joss. That fact was strengthened more and more as this story wore on, and the complexities of their history were uncovered. This is a boy who was literally made for Joss, and I adored everything about him.

My Thoughts

Before I started on book two, I had my own ideas about how it would play out. I expected an EPIC reunion, filled with declarations of eternal love, hugs and endless kisses! Or… something along those lines. What I got was really nothing like that.

Not that I’m complaining! One of the things I loved the most about this series, was the unpredictable nature of the storytelling. It was also one of the many things that kept this story feeling unique.

I really dug the drama of this book. I loved how all the answers to the mysterious Wes were revealed. It was so satisfying finally learning about his abilities, and getting some answers to the many questions book one left me with. I liked the angst and I loved the lovin’.

Final Thoughts

I read a LOT of books. Some of them I read and forget about an hour later. Some I read and try to forget within an hour. Most I enjoy, but slowly forget about as more books enter my world and take their place. Then there are the select few that I fall head over heels in love with. They’re stories that I know will stay with me, which I will go back to and re-read time and time again, and fall even more in love with.

This was one of those series.

Goodreads Rating: 4.5 Stars

*ARC provided in exchange for honest review*

Children of Vice by J.J. McAvoy – RAVE

I love a good Mafia story, and they don’t get any better than the Ruthless People series by J.J. McAvoy. As far as I’m concerned, Liam the Mad Hatter and Bloody Mel are the King and Queen of all Irish and Italian Mafia stories in existence (that I have read).

So it should come as no surprise that once I found out a spin-off series featuring their children was coming, I went crazy with excitement! I think I literally jumped for joy.

And it lived up to my hype, people! Ethan proved to be just as brutal, bloody and ruthless as his parents. And his wife was pretty crazy too.

Children of Vice

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The Story

Ethan is now the Ceann Na Conairte of the Callahan family, and at twenty eight years old, he’s proven himself to be a powerful force. He’s intelligent, in control, emotionless and brutal – everything he was taught he needed to be. Having taken over his parents position as the head of both the Italian and Irish mob’s, he is feared and respected by all his people (or so he thought). But there is something important missing in his life – a wife. Someone to stand at his side, share his bed, and nurture his dark side, but he has the perfect person in mind to fill the role.

Ethan

Having spent the past seven years in jail, Ivy has earned herself the worthy title of a Psycho. There’s no person she won’t fight, she’s fierce, unafraid, and burning for revenge against the Callahans – the people she believes to be responsible for her father’s death. But with years still to serve of her twelve year sentence, payback is still a long way off, and life in general is pretty bleak. Until the day Evelyn Callahan turns up with an offer of marriage and freedom – things she cannot refuse, no matter how much she hates the Callahans.

Ivy

My Thoughts

Ethan was everything I dreamed he would be. He is the perfect blend of his parents and I have no doubt they would be proud of the leader he has become. He’s ruthless, fearless, scheming, and sexy as hell. He’s always ten steps ahead of everyone – a true Puppetmaster – and I loved being inside his mind. As his relationship with Ivy heated up,  my swooning could not be contained. Especially when a certain insight into their past was revealed. When his leadership was challenged, he dealt with it as only a Callahan can… and it was glorious as it all unfolded.

Ivy is a daughter-in-law worthy of Mel and Ethan’s eldest. She’s got just enough of the crazy gene to accept her husband, his darkside and the violence that comes with him. Where a normal person would run away screaming, she simply takes it all in without flinching, then calmly walks away. Ivy was unexpected. She isn’t Mel 2.0, she is very much her own person, with her very own brand of ruthlessness, and she was a perfect partner for Ethan.

The story touched base with all the other Callahans. The cousins are all still around – some work for Ethan, some don’t – but all are loyal. His siblings however are another story. Donatella’s story is going to be explosive! (maybe literally). Wyatt? Well, it’s complicated. It will be interesting to see what path he takes in the next novel.

This story had everything I expected; action, violence, madness, murder, passion, love, steam, and twists! And a pretty high body count. I loved every minute of it.

Final Thoughts

There was a certain moment that happened in this story, which at the time didn’t seem significant. But as a sat back, a day after finishing this story, and thought back on what had happened, I realized I had missed something huge. Something I’d been hoping for the entire novel and thought I’d been cheated of.

I should have known better.

But that is something I have always loved about the Ruthless series, the characters, and this authors writing. Long after I’ve finished, I still think about them, and as it all sinks in my appreciation for it grows and grows, and makes these characters unforgettable to me.

This book ended on a Cliffhanger, and I CANNOT wait for the next book – Donatella’s story. I expect that what ever she has planned is going to cause a major upset in the Callahan family, and then there’s the non-romance she has going with Toby. The drama is going to be so juicy, my mouth is already watering!

Release Date: May 17th 2017

Goodreads Rating: 4.5 Stars

*ARC provided in exchange for honest review*

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180 Seconds by Jessica Park – RAVE

Well, it’s been well over a year since I’ve posted on this site, but I am back with a BANG-er of a story! One well and truly worth raving about – the amazingly sweet, emotional, and inspiring new story by Jessica Park.

180 Seconds

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The Story

Allison has just started her Junior year at Andrews College. Just like the two years previous, she hopes to spend the next year flying under the radar and maintaining her introverted ways – something made easier to accomplish, since her new roomie has just dropped out. Allison spent the first sixteen years of her life in foster care, but life’s been much brighter for her in recent years, having been adopted by her wonderful, solo, gay father, Simon.

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Esben is also in his Junior year at Andrews College. He’s something of an Internet Celebrity, with followers numbering in the hundreds of thousands, due to his popular online blog and major social media presence. He posts videos, pictures and starts #trends. But he also posts about interesting people he meets, uses his site to raise awareness of issues, and to help people in need. Not that Allison’s ever heard of him.

180esben

The two share a Psychology class, but had spoken only once before the night that changed their lives, and launched Allison and Esben into viral video fame. The night they sat opposite each other in silence, and just stared… for 180 Seconds.

My Thoughts

This story – or more specifically, the 180 seconds – could have been cheesy, but it just wasn’t. It was so much more emotional and heartfelt than I ever could have imagined. Allison and Esben made a beautiful couple, and though their connection was instant, I am pleased to say this isn’t a story suffering from insta-love. Their chemistry was something I felt through the pages, and I had no problem believing in their spark and wishing for them to get together.

I really loved the storylines that were happening outside of Allison and Esben’s blooming romance. Esben’s need to help people or causes, whenever the opportunity arose, continuously made my heart swell. He was such a nice guy, despite the ghosts of his past. Allison had issues she was working her way through, including learning to love and have faith in her adopted Dad, and make new friends. Simon was great, and lucky for her, Esban came complete with a lovable younger sister and two close friends, who became close to Allison too.

Perhaps the most important secondary character of them all, was Steffi. The sisterhood she and Allison shared was both enviable and heartbreaking. She added life, mischief, trust, drama and the truest love to Allison’s life. I absolutely adored these BFF’s.

180 seconds

Final Thoughts

This is actually the first book I have read by this author, but it will certainly not be the last. There was so much to love about this story, including the variety of drama it offered and the depth of feeling it brought out in me.

I was entertained by this book from start to finish. It made me swoon, laugh, cry, and fall madly in love with the characters. I didn’t want it to end.

Release Date: April 25th 2017

Goodreads Rating: 4.5 Stars

*ARC provided in exchange for honest review*

Everything I Left Unsaid by Molly O’Keefe – RAVE

“You okay?”

YES! Molly O’Keefe came up out of the blue and bowled me over with this one! (Molly, where have you been all my life?) And that CLIFFHANGER…Holy shit, what a horribly amazing way to end! I’m frickin desperate for book number two. Let the RAVE begin…

Everything I Left Unsaid

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The Story

Annie is a woman on the run. Desperate to stay hidden from the abusive life she left behind, she finds herself settling hundreds of miles away from home, with a new look, name, and persona, and living in a rundown trailer park in the middle of nowhere. On her first night in her new RV home, she answers a phone she hears ringing, and that’s the night she connects with Dylan – The man who slowly unleashes all her wildest desires, and makes her feel safe, for the first time in her life.

EVERYTHING FINAL

Dylan is a mystery man who has stayed hidden up on his mountain since the accident that changed him years earlier. He has no family, no lovers, only his work to keep him occupied. But after hearing the sweet new voice on the end of his phone, he’s interested in something other than his job for the first time in a long time. Though he won’t ever meet her, he can’t help but dream. Helping her come undone is thrilling, sexy and exciting; and something they both become addicted to.

My Thoughts

Everything about this story excited me! The writing was wonderful, and had me hooked from the first page. The story had hints of danger at every turn. Just when Annie starts settling in, a new threat pops up. It was hard to tell who was good and who was bad. Annie not only has to worry about her crazy ex finding her, but there was also the bitchy stripper, the wife-beater, and the quiet old man next door she’d been warned to stay away from.

Annie was a walking contradiction; brave but scared, stubborn but submissive, a shy voyeur. She was a heroine I adored, because despite her hardships, she had a good heart. Her sexual awakening was entertaining and hot (of course). I felt protective of her, and desperate for her to be free.

Dylan was a hard nut to crack, but that didn’t make me love him any less. I particularly liked the added mystery his background brought to the story – his MC affiliation, his connection to Annie’s neighbour and his accident. The man was irresistible, and I was feelin’ him, right from the very first phonecall.

The relationship that grew between Annie and Dylan was slow growing, tentative and full of hurdles, which worked for me. Their chemistry was palpable. Dylan’s challenges he laid down for Annie, were some of my favourite things to read! The thought that they may never meet didn’t even bother me, because the story was sizzling without it. I’m usually impatient for that final hurdle (the sex), but in this case, I was into all the foreplay. In saying that, the moment they finally laid their eyes on each other… yeah, I liked that too.

Of course things weren’t easy for them, and they made a real mess of things for each other! But the angst and drama just made for better reading.

This book gave me everything I could ask for in a story and that CLIFFHANGER left me ravenous for book number two. Seriously, one of the cliffy-est cliffhangers I’ve read. Lucky for me I have the next book to read, but if you don’t, be prepared for the wait to see what happens! (It’ll be worth it)

I recommend this book, and I recommend it HARD. 

Release Date: October 13th 2015

Goodreads Rating: 4.5 Stars

*ARC provided by Netgalley in exchange for honest review*

Irresistibly Yours by Lauren Layne – RAVE

The third time’s the charm for me and Lauren Layne, as this was my third read by this author, and it was easily my favourite. Irresistibly Yours truly was irresistible, and is definitely RAVE worthy. I couldn’t put this baby down! (Nor did I want to). The story felt custom made for my liking – sports based romance, friends to lovers storyline, and a couple I absolutely adored. Love, Love, Love.

This is the first book in a new series, which is a spin-off of the authors Sex, Love & Stiletto series – Books I have yet to read, but am eager to get my hands on. But let’s get back to this little beauty…

Irresistibly Yours

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The Story

Freelance sports writer Cole Sharpe is up for an Editor position at Oxford; a magazine he’s been working with for years. With his history, his reputation, and due to the fact his best friends all work at Oxford, he figures he’s a shoe-in for the job. He didn’t count on having competition, and he definitely didn’t expect it to come in the form of an irritatingly likable woman named Penelope Pope.

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Through their shared love of sports, Penelope and Cole develop a strictly platonic friendship. But soon enough they decide to change things up a bit; they are colleagues during the week and sex buddies on the weekend. But there are rules of course. One in particular; NO falling in love.

Penelope

My Thoughts

I laughed my way through this story. There was very little angst, and the story was engaging without it. There was drama, but none of it was ridiculous, or eye-roll inducing. I couldn’t fault the writing, and the switching of POV’s flowed seamlessly.

Penelope was one of the most lovable characters I’ve read about in a long while. She was so sweet, genuine, and best of all – she wasn’t a cliché big breasted beauty. She was a woman in a man’s world, but she wasn’t butch. She was a sports loving girl who would rather watch a game of Baseball than go shopping. She had a bit of baggage, but her troubles were relatable. You could never accuse her of being a drama queen. She was awesome.

Cole was brilliant, and being inside his head as he fought the easy charms of Penelope had me sighing in delight. He was charming, thoughtful, and he wasn’t ruled by his dick. It was refreshing to read about a man who had been friend-zoned, and reading about his conflicted feelings for Penelope I found amusing. I was rooting for him!

The secondary characters were all great. The guys were so fun, and their interactions (and meddling) with Penelope and Cole gave me some of my favourite moments in the book. I have every intention of reading about the ladies of Stiletto, and their respective men ASAP. And when can I get my hands on Lincoln’s story?! I can’t wait.

Final Thoughts

If you’re a fan of this author or these themes, I would happily recommend this title. I can’t wait to get started on the authors Sex, Love & Stiletto series, and I am eagerly anticipating the next book in this series – A disgraced former football star who is secretly in love with his ex-wife’s sister? That has my name written all over it! Bring. It. On.

Release Date: October 6th 2015

Goodreads Rating: 4.25 Stars

Throne of Glass by Sarah J. Maas – RAVE

Over the past month or so, I’ve been really struggling to find something new and exciting to read. I’ve been bored out of my brain with the lack of original books and screen entertainment on hand. Not helping matters was the fact that my favourite TV show – Game of Thrones – finished for the year, which left a big, gaping, hole in my life that I needed to fill ASAP. So, in need of more GOT style goodness, I turned to the Fantasy genre… and found this little beauty!

The Throne of Glass series began with book one, Throne of Glass, released in 2012. Currently there are three books out in the series, with book number four of six to be released this September. A series of prequels were released earlier this year, also (which I have yet to read).

Here is my RAVE on the first three books I have devoured thus far.

Throne of Glass: Book One

Throne

The Story

After serving out a year of hard labor in the salt mines of Endovier for her crimes, 18-year-old assassin Celaena Sardothien is dragged before the Crown Prince. Prince Dorian offers her her freedom on one condition: she must act as his champion in a competition to find a new royal assassin.

Her opponents are men-thieves and assassins and warriors from across the empire, each sponsored by a member of the king’s council. If she beats her opponents in a series of eliminations, she’ll serve the kingdom for three years and then be granted her freedom. Celaena finds her training sessions with the captain of the guard, Westfall, challenging and exhilirating. But she’s bored stiff by court life. Things get a little more interesting when the prince starts to show interest in her… but it’s the gruff Captain Westfall who seems to understand her best.

Then one of the other contestants turns up dead… quickly followed by another. Can Celaena figure out who the killer is before she becomes a victim? As the young assassin investigates, her search leads her to discover a greater destiny than she could possibly have imagined.

My Thoughts

I could not put this book down. There are so many twists, and mysteries and intrigue, and Celaena is a character you can really get behind. She is brave – a warrior – but she also has a brain. She has her faults, she isn’t truly fearless, and she gets in to more trouble than she should! But that made her all the more likable for me.

Prince Dorian and Chaol were fantastic characters also, and the three of them formed a trio of friends that you can sense will experience a lot together as the series progresses.

This book has monsters, magic, an evil king, brutal killers, a charming Prince, a gruff guard, a kick-ass assassin and some heart-stopping moments that all equal awesome entertainment. What more could you want?! I immediately moved on to book two.

Crown of Midnight: Book Two

Throne 2

The Story

From the throne of glass rules a king with a fist of iron and a soul as black as pitch. Assassin Celaena Sardothien won a brutal contest to become his Champion. Yet Celaena is far from loyal to the crown. She hides her secret vigilantly; she knows that the man she serves is bent on evil.

Keeping up the deadly charade becomes increasingly difficult when Celaena realizes she is not the only one seeking justice. As she tries to untangle the mysteries buried deep within the glass castle, her closest relationships suffer. It seems no one is above questioning her allegiances—not the Crown Prince Dorian; not Chaol, the Captain of the Guard; not even her best friend, Nehemia, a foreign princess with a rebel heart.

Then one terrible night, the secrets they have all been keeping lead to an unspeakable tragedy. As Celaena’s world shatters, she will be forced to give up the very thing most precious to her and decide once and for all where her true loyalties lie… and whom she is ultimately willing to fight for.

My Thoughts

This second book in the series, was even more thrilling that the first. There is just SO MUCH to Celeana and as the story progresses, it is clear she is destined for big things.

Celeana’s inner bad-ass assassin side really came out to play in this book, and she wasn’t playing nice. When things went bad for her, the rage inside her unleashed, and it was a sight to behold! Call me sick, but I loved reading about the brutal things Celeana did to avenge her friends, and prove to people she is not to be messed with.

There was more magic in this story. More secrets are revealed. It is becoming clear that Celeana must embrace her true self, so she can stop the mad King from destroying their world.

My heart broke a little in this book, and goddammit I even cried. But I would have it no other way. The big reveal at the end of this book, (even though I saw it coming), meant that I had to immediately pick up the next book.

Heir of Fire: Book Three

Throne 3

The Story

Celaena Sardothien has survived deadly contests and shattering heartbreak—but at an unspeakable cost. Now she must travel to a new land to confront her darkest truth…a truth about her heritage that could change her life—and her future—forever.

Meanwhile, brutal and monstrous forces are gathering on the horizon, intent on enslaving her world. To defeat them, Celaena must find the strength to not only fight her inner demons but to battle the evil that is about to be unleashed.

My Thoughts

While I didn’t love this book as entirely as I did the first two, it was an important addition to the series and had it’s moments of epicness.

Celaena is half a world away from her former love and her friend, and she has found herself in yet another situation where she is under another person’s rule. But Rowan, her latest master, is a fantastic new character, and reading about her struggles with him was as entertaining as it was frustrating.

There is another new character, Aedion, Celaena’s long lost cousin, that has added more excitement to the story. But things are bleak for the stories other central characters – Prince Dorian and Chaol. But there is little I can say about that, without spoilers.

Celaena continues to evolve, and grow as a warrior and a leader, and my level of anticipation for the next book in the series is HIGH.

Final Thoughts

Read. This. Series.

The series is violent, but nothing too OTT. It will entice rage at times, and have you holding your breath at others. And it is seriously addictive reading. It’s YA, so there are no graphic sex scenes, and though there is a love story in there, it is not the main focus of the books. Guys and girls alike can get a kick out of this one. And if like me, you want more Game of Thrones, but can’t bring yourself to read a book of that size right now, you’ll appreciate the length of these novels. Not too big, not too small, and a breeze to read.

I recommend this series. And I recommend it hard.

Goodreads Rating: 4 Stars