Friday, July 31, 2020

Bringing Down the Duke

England, 1879. Annabelle Archer, the brilliant but destitute daughter of a country vicar, has earned herself a place among the first cohort of female students at the renowned University of Oxford. In return for her scholarship, she must support the rising women's suffrage movement. Her charge: recruit men of influence to champion their cause. Her target: Sebastian Devereux, the cold and calculating Duke of Montgomery who steers Britain's politics at the Queen's command. Her challenge: not to give in to the powerful attraction she can't deny for the man who opposes everything she stands for.

Sebastian is appalled to find a suffragist squad has infiltrated his ducal home, but the real threat is his impossible feelings for green-eyed beauty Annabelle. He is looking for a wife of equal standing to secure the legacy he has worked so hard to rebuild, not an outspoken commoner who could never be his duchess. But he wouldn't be the greatest strategist of the Kingdom if he couldn't claim this alluring bluestocking without the promise of a ring...or could he?

Locked in a battle with rising passion and a will matching her own, Annabelle will learn just what it takes to topple a duke.... - excerpt from Goodreads

Bringing down the duke by Evie Dunmore was praised to be the future of historical romance but I did not feel especially fascinated by it. I have read many of books in this genre and the thing that sets it apart from others is the message behind the book. No doubt having an issue to highlight in a fiction is a good move but sometime I just want to immerse myself in a brainless, funny, swoon-worthy story. 

The classic hierarchy, social circles and ranks will always exist in genres like this because that's how that era was built on. Royalty or anyone close to it will always be on top of the social circle. So when our heroine appears to be a nobody and trying her best effort to recruit men to fight for women's right, she had to stumble upon someone who is the most powerful Duke in England. 

Both lead characters are interesting people with interesting past. A good amount of attraction exist because of opposite traits and personalities. Their status itself makes it a trope, someone low class falling in love with someone out of reach. I enjoyed the alternating perspectives from the characters as it focuses on different situations of the story. Sebastian the male lead had really good growth in the book as Annabelle manages to bring out the best in him. As for Annabelle, I would say that circumstances and life lessons truly shapes her, resulting in her actions. The way she acts at times are agreeable, at times you would feel a tad annoyed because there is much stubbornness. 

I would say the plot of this book is driven by events happening in the book, such as a peaceful demonstration, dinner parties and many more. Through these, our characters are tested in many ways even though this is just a romance book. The struggles of a lady in that era and also men who tries to support them are not acceptable in society. Side characters plays a strong part in supporting the leads, some being reasons of actions, some being the "villains" that changes their path.

Overall, this is just an okay book for me as it focuses more on the message the author is trying to share, feminism. I would not comment on this subject because everyone has their own opinions on how to go about this. I am not fascinated by it as many historical romances has always urge the same topic, we woman are not objects for men to parade around and we have strong opinions too. A woman with great personality makes a good wife and also brings out the best in men themselves. So if you're looking for something sweet and sweeps you of your feet, this is not the one for you. You want to read about women empowerment, this is up your alley.

Wednesday, July 29, 2020






Great partnerships, now sourced on the vine.
But Marcella Riggins needs no one. Flush from her brush from death, she's finally gained the control she's always sought - and will use her newfound power to bring the city of Merit to its knees. She'll do whatever it takes, collecting her own sidekicks, and leveraging the two most infamous EOs, Victor Vale and Eli Ever, against each other once more.

With Marcella's rise, new enmities create opportunity - and the stage of Merit will once again be set for a final, terrible reckoning. - excerpt from book.

Vengeful by V.E Schwab has been a long awaited sequel to Vicious. I first fell in love with her writing through the first book and has ever since followed her writing career which has yet to disappoint me. This year I started reading her novels again that has been sitting for long time on my shelves. She has always been an auto buy author for me and somehow I had not caught up with her books as I can't bear that bitter sweet feeling of finishing her novels. I am always on awe upon completion, wanting to go back to those emotion rollercoasters. 

There is so much to say about this book but since I write spoiler free reviews, I'll keep it as simple as I can. Starting off with the characters, there are multiple point of views for anyone who is significant in the plot line. You'll get your favourite from the first book, as well as some new main and supportive characters. I was blown away on how epic each characters' power came to be, never the same, never a dull moment. The uniqueness and assortments of powers feels infinite when it comes to the author's imagination, it definitely reminded me of the TV series "Heroes". This does not feel like a copy cat at all if you're thinking of X-men, superheroes of any sorts, a refreshing take on anti-hero. Dark and twisted thoughts that turned into actions is what you'll find in the characters, but if you sympathise with them, you might understand why.

Saturday, July 11, 2020

Undercover Bromance

Braden Mack thinks reading romance novels makes him an expert in love, but he’ll soon discover that real life is better than fiction. 

Liv Papandreas has a dream job as a sous chef at Nashville’s hottest restaurant. Too bad the celebrity chef owner is less than charming behind kitchen doors. After she catches him harassing a young hostess, she confronts him and gets fired. Liv vows revenge, but she’ll need assistance to take on the powerful chef.

Unfortunately, that means turning to Braden Mack. When Liv’s blackballed from the restaurant scene, the charismatic nightclub entrepreneur offers to help expose her ex-boss, but she is suspicious of his motives. He’ll need to call in reinforcements: the Bromance Book Club.

Inspired by the romantic suspense novel they’re reading, the book club assists Liv in setting up a sting operation to take down the chef. But they’re just as eager to help Mack figure out the way to Liv’s heart... even though she’s determined to squelch the sparks between them before she gets burned. - excerpt from Goodreads.

Undercover Bromance by Lyssa Kay Adams is the second book in the bromance book club series. Although it's not the continuing story for Gavin and Thea, it's people that have appeared previously. Braden and Liv definitely make a fun combo to read about. Their clashing personalities brings out maybe the worse or probably the best of their current self. In terms of dynamics, these two have more banter and more sass and it's adorable to read about it. Rom-com is at its best, the author has capture my heart as a new favourite. 

The cliches and tropes of a rom-com is definitely present but that's what I want and I loved it. It's not something that happens in real life but it isn't a fairy tale as well. What I meant is that Braden is written like every girl's dream come true yet he is still single. From his yearnings and obviously a secret about his past, you get to the present day Braden, explaining why is he single. Even Liv herself have a little something to hide from the readers. I love it when characters have a mysterious past which slowly unfolds, definitely a good hook me in element. Liv is the type of character that might get on your nerves through her reactions of every situation thrown at her, there will be times of "Why are you doing this??".

Saturday, June 27, 2020

Americal Royals

What if America had a royal family?

When America won the Revolutionary War, its people offered General George Washington a crown. Two and a half centuries later, the House of Washington still sits on the throne.

As Princess Beatrice gets closer to becoming America's first queen regnant, the duty she has embraced her entire life suddenly feels stifling.

Nobody cares about the spare except when she's breaking the rules, so Princess Samantha doesn't care much about anything, either . . . except the one boy who is distinctly off-limits to her.

And then there's Samantha's twin, Prince Jefferson. If he'd been born a generation earlier, he would have stood first in line for the throne, but the new laws of succession make him third. Most of America adores their devastatingly handsome prince . . . but two very different girls are vying to capture his heart. - excerpt from Goodreads.

American Royals by Katharine McGee is definitely the first of its kind for me with an alternate reality of having a royal family in America. I am totally not equipped with American history so the only thing I know is that it has a president that voted by the people. Where I am from, we have the same system as Britain, we have the royal family and we have a prime minister. So it was quite refreshing to read about this system in America, an interesting setting for sure. Without getting into details of politics as I am not good in it at all, this book is about people and the life circumstances that made them who they are and what they will become.

It's definitely a story full of drama as you have 4 different perspectives of four different ladies with different statuses. All of their lives are intertwined because of their relationships with one another in a different way. I love how these ladies show so much character even with alternating chapters for all of them. Having several point of views in one same venue is an enjoyment as you get the thoughts and reactions of different girls.

Saturday, May 30, 2020

Regretting You

Morgan Grant and her sixteen-year-old daughter, Clara, would like nothing more than to be nothing alike.

Morgan is determined to prevent her daughter from making the same mistakes she did. By getting pregnant and married way too young, Morgan put her own dreams on hold. Clara doesn’t want to follow in her mother’s footsteps. Her predictable mother doesn’t have a spontaneous bone in her body.

With warring personalities and conflicting goals, Morgan and Clara find it increasingly difficult to coexist. The only person who can bring peace to the household is Chris—Morgan’s husband, Clara’s father, and the family anchor. But that peace is shattered when Chris is involved in a tragic and questionable accident. The heartbreaking and long-lasting consequences will reach far beyond just Morgan and Clara.

While struggling to rebuild everything that crashed around them, Morgan finds comfort in the last person she expects to, and Clara turns to the one boy she’s been forbidden to see. With each passing day, new secrets, resentment, and misunderstandings make mother and daughter fall further apart. So far apart, it might be impossible for them to ever fall back together.
 - excerpt from Goodreads.

Regretting You by Colleen Hoover is yet another heart-wrenching story, you will find it hard to hold back your tears.  I always have high expectations for this author and again she has not disappointed me. I often thought what else can she write about, what new story this time? Oh my I was so so surprised with this one, it definitely became the new number one for me. The setting of the book is always simple, nothing dramatic at first. Then slowly all those difficult life choices will ease in and then before you know it, the book ended because it is such a great page turner.

With two character's point of view, the author nailed the perspectives of both of them. When one chapter ends for one, the next begins for another. This alternating method is what keeps you gripped into the story because of the wanting to know what happens to them next. Without a doubt, Morgan is the one who shines in the plots because you can help but sympathise with her, to feel her pain and also at the same time to cheer her on. Although some points you would be yelling at her or shaking your head for the decisions she makes, but you'll come to understand why. You would not have expected her reaction to everything that came crashing down on her and yet certain choices are pretty obvious.

Saturday, April 18, 2020

The Bromance Book Club

The first rule of book club: You don't talk about book club.

Nashville Legends second baseman Gavin Scott's marriage is in major league trouble. He’s recently discovered a humiliating secret: his wife Thea has always faked the Big O. When he loses his cool at the revelation, it’s the final straw on their already strained relationship. Thea asks for a divorce, and Gavin realizes he’s let his pride and fear get the better of him.

Welcome to the Bromance Book Club.

Distraught and desperate, Gavin finds help from an unlikely source: a secret romance book club made up of Nashville's top alpha men. With the help of their current read, a steamy Regency titled Courting the Countess, the guys coach Gavin on saving his marriage. But it'll take a lot more than flowery words and grand gestures for this hapless Romeo to find his inner hero and win back the trust of his wife. - excerpt from Goodreads

The Bromance Book Club by Lyssa Kay Adams is a witty book addressing real problems of a marriage/relationship. With a sudden change of direction towards the negative side, Gavin is lost for words and doesn't know what to do. Lucky for him, his best buddy has the solution - a book club! I was hooked instantly and could not put down the book because this book has good characters and great plot lines.  The author's writing is simple yet emotions are conveyed strongly. 

I love the point of views of Gavin and Thea throughout the chapters, problems of a marriage definitely stem from something and with their thoughts and reaction you would realise there's truth in it in any relationship. Although I'm quite partial to Gavin because I couldn't agree more that it is frustrating when you don't know what's the problem and how to fix it. At some point I thought Thea was selfish, there's just slight character growth in her compared to Gavin. The interactions drives the story forward and I love it every time the book club gathers. The side characters definitely catches my attention and I hope that I would learn more about their backstories.

Saturday, April 11, 2020

The Bride Test

Khai Diep has no feelings. Well, he feels irritation when people move his things or contentment when ledgers balance down to the penny, but not big, important emotions—like grief. And love. He thinks he’s defective. His family knows better—that his autism means he just processes emotions differently. When he steadfastly avoids relationships, his mother takes matters into her own hands and returns to Vietnam to find him the perfect bride.

As a mixed-race girl living in the slums of Ho Chi Minh City, Esme Tran has always felt out of place. When the opportunity arises to come to America and meet a potential husband, she can’t turn it down, thinking this could be the break her family needs. Seducing Khai, however, doesn’t go as planned. Esme’s lessons in love seem to be working…but only on herself. She’s hopelessly smitten with a man who’s convinced he can never return her affection.

With Esme’s time in the United States dwindling, Khai is forced to understand he’s been wrong all along. And there’s more than one way to love. - excerpt from Goodreads

The Bride Test by Helen Hoang continues right after her debut novel, although it's not really a series but the characters are mentioned in the first book.  Here we have Khai and a new addition Esme which builds a very different dynamic. All autistic people are different so expect Khai to differ from Stella very much. Of course certain characteristics are the same else they would not be catogorised as autistic but because of different family backgrounds Khai's understanding of feelings and emotions are special and often noted as an emotionless person. How Khai view himself and other see him is not the same and often misunderstandings stems from it.

With a new leading female, Esme's life and background is something to take note in this book as it's the key story of what the author is trying to show her audience. Inspired by her mother's story, the author created Esme that is somewhat simple at first but learns to adapt and grow with opportunity. I love how Esme is strong yet because of her background she feels inferior in many ways. The impressiveness of this books is how all the characters interact with each other, the reactions to situations that arises when a stranger is just thrown into your life. You get a bit of laughter, sometimes a bit of heartwarming moments through the interactions of family members.  One thing that was not to my satisfaction is I wanted more of the side characters to be involved such as Khai's brother and of course his cousin as well but mostly we get more of Esme interacting with others than Khai.

The plot itself is unexpected given there is a timeline to Esme's stay in the states. Throughout the story, you'll probably try to anticipate if anything will happen between the two and often you will be a little bit surprise and a little bit disappointed as well. I would say the plots are smooth with little flaws but everything feels a bit rush because of the deadline. I would have loved a bit more expand into Khai's and Esme's relationship as some timeline is just rushed over with a mentioned of a week later and what not.

Overall, this is one entertaining book with a good backstory. The alternating POVs from the male and female characters is always refreshing as you get both sides of a story. I love Esme's personality and it certainly compliments Khai. As for Khai, sometimes I don't remember he is autistic and just felt that he is like every other male in the planet. I would not compare both books as characters and plots are different but the excitement I had for the first book is not at the same level. I can easily take a break from this book where else the other one was a strong page turner. I believe this is because the flair and the attraction is not as strong but it is just my own opinion. The last book will be about Khai's brother and this is one book that I am excited as I have been curious of him since the first book.


Saturday, March 21, 2020

Meet Cute

Kailyn Flowers was always calm and controlled - until she ended up sprawled all over Daxton Hughes, the former actor she totally crushed on as a teenager. In seconds, she became a mortifying fangirl and oddly enough, he didn't run away. Instead, their meet cute led to something she never expected: a friendship. Of course, she never expected him to betray her, either.

Eight years later, Dax needs Kailyn's help. Years of anger towards him haven't exactly left Kailyn inclined to oblige, but she also isn't heartless enough to turn him down. She vows to be friendly, but soon their 'friendly' meetings turn into flirty dinner dates, and Kailyn can feel their chemistry is as explosive as ever. But how can she possibly let down her guard again to a guy who has heartbreak written all over him?
  - excerpt from Goodreads.

Meet Cute by Helena Hunting is the type of story that can easily turn into a k-drama or a rom-com movie. It's funny, cute and definitely pulls a little at your heart strings. The first thing that caught my attention to purchase this book is without a doubt the cover design but few pages in, it's their personalities that attracted me. The characters starts of being vague without any backstory at first and it slowly unfolds for you to discover who they are. They have really strong personalities yet still have room to grow.  The chemistry between the lead male and female has a lot of tension, push and pull that is very entertaining to read about. The side characters itself gives a good push for them and you can tell that they influence them greatly. I love the banter between Kailyn and Daxton, it is often hilarious and you cannot stop rooting for something to happen between them. It's the type of tension where you'll go please kiss each other already!!! Every interaction between them is the highlight of the book, the parts that keeps turning the pages. When they are on their own thoughts, it can often be graphic and funny.

Related Posts Plugin for WordPress, Blogger...