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    LAST YEAR I WAS READING…(November 11, 2020)

    This meme was created by Reading Marie. It’s a great meme because it’s nice and easy to do.

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    BOOKS I DNFed OR PUT ON HOLD (Part 3)

    This is another round of books I dropped or mostly not in the mood for at the moment.

    Read Part 1 here and Part 2 here.


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    Sam would do anything to protect those he loves, even if it means stealing from a wealthy gentleman. But when he encounters Hartley, he soon finds himself wanting to steal more than just a painting from the lovely, lonely man—he wants to steal his heart.

    I couldn’t believe I’m saying this about a Cat Sebastian creation but I was bored. Sam is a sweetheart but I wasn’t connecting with Hartley. I just want to finish this so I could get to Will and Martin’s book. This is a struggle to finish so I’m putting it aside for now.


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    Sometimes it’s harder to teach a young dog new tricks.

    This story was cute. The world was fascinating. The characters lovable. Unfortunately it was bogged down by sudden info-dumps and too many asides. I think it was trying to cram as much world building as possible while trying to get on with the story. Still, it’s not a hopeless case. I’ll get back to this when I feel a sudden yen for adorable shifters and their supernatural friends.


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    The long-lost magic brings doom…

    As much as I love The Ellwoods, I got bored with the repetitive assurances and endearments Ailin and Sebastian were throwing around each other. I know they’re worried because the end is nigh and close calls came a little too close too many. I wish we could just get on with the story a little faster. I’ll see this through. Just not right now.


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    In a world where killers hunt under the cover of darkness, Remi must rely on the partner he’s not sure he can trust to help him drag a murderer and Remi’s life into the light.

    Can’t pinpoint exactly what’s wrong with it, maybe just lacking the oomph, but I’m not riveted. From what I had read so far, it might getting pretty dark so I’m hanging on to that thought. On hold for now.


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    Luckily for both of us, this copycat doesn’t know who he’s dealing with. Game’s on, fake Sandman. You think you can mess with me? 

    I love Jackson and Leland. I’m always up for more adventures for them. I’m not expecting the ridiculousness to tone down, this is what the author does best after all, but yeah, the jokes were getting old. I’ll go where the mood takes me on this one.


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    Lucas Daniels knows that witches and vampires are real.

    Not expecting to not be feeling this but I did. For which I am surprised because those big reveals were rocking Lucas’ world. Oh my fickle heart, let’s not abandon Lucas and Konstantin just yet.


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    Will Frost get a chance to step up and be the kind of man Seth can respect or will a madman end any chance for a happily ever after?

    I actually read book 1, Richochet, and forgot to write a review for it. It was okay though not the same calliber as other action-suspense romances like the Nothing Special series. This second book okay too but wasn’t holding my attention that much. I doubt I’ll be returning to this.


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    What happens when opposite sides of the track collide?

    A jock+musician romance that was, well, it was fine. The parts I read were mostly about them fooling around campus. I lost motivation for this after reading the blurb of book 2 where I learned they were separated at the end of book one. I have no patience for that sort of thing.


    What books have you DNFed lately? Are you a mood reader too? Not as bad as me I hope. Have a lovely weekend, everyone.

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    REVIEW: The Bodyguard Book 1 by X. Aratare

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    The Artifact: The Bodyguard Book 1 – X. Aratare

    Dane Gareis is a wealthy, reclusive young man with a traumatic past, but a spine of steel. When his father is killed in a mysterious plane crash, Dane carries on the family business and continues his passion for the very antiquity that got his father murdered — a golden sarcophagus belonging to an ancient cult known as the Ydrath.

    Soon, the Ydrath threaten him as well, and Dane seeks to hire a bodyguard he can trust. Someone who can protect him, and someone who will respect his boundaries. While he gets the first two, the third requirement falls apart when he hires Sean Harding.

    Sean Harding is an ex-detective with a sixth sense for danger. After his entire unit was murdered in a drug bust gone very wrong, he is a broken man who thinks only of revenge until he takes the job protecting the Gareis CEO.

    Sean’s attraction to the vulnerable Dane gives him new purpose, but his past is not escaped so easily, and his sixth sense tells him that there is more to the Ydrath than even Dane knows.


    This was 95% fluff, 5% everything else.

    By fluff, I both mean things that were designed to make people squee and unsubstantial fillers designed to make a book longer.

    I normally enjoyed the author’s brand of fluff. When deployed properly, it could work to spectacular results. Witness: The Vampire’s Club. But here, it overwhelmed the story, leaving little room for an interesting backstory to work its magic.

    Book 1 took pains to establish the connection between Dane and Sean but I felt it was too forced. I think the two would have come together more naturally had the book been a longer novel instead of three installments. Giving more page time to the Ydrath and the mysterious ongoings would have made this a stronger start to the serial.

    I don’t know yet where this is heading. I’m not sure if there’s enough hook to make me go for the next installment. But this is X. Aratare we’re talking about here so maybe, just maybe I’ll keep at it.

    P.S.

    X. Aratare books here.

    Rating:
    2.5 Stars – far from hate but not quite a like

    Soundtrack: Will You Touch Me?
    Artist: Yoko Ono
    Album: Fly

  • book,  Uncategorized

    REVIEW: The Vampire’s Club 5 by X. Aratare

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    The Vampire’s Club 5 – X. Aratare

    Lucas Daniels senses secrets all around him.

    Lucas left home for good and believes he is safe at Club Dyavol. His whole world is now Konstantin’s world. But though he trusts Konstantin completely, the more time he spends in the club, the more questions he has about those that call it home.

    Count Konstantin “the Wolf” Volk believes that now that Lucas is under his full protection at the club that Lucas is safe. Except he could not be more wrong. By being completely within Konstantin’s world, Lucas becomes the focus of every friend and foe Konstantin has.


    Secrets reveal themselves!!! That Konstantin is a vampire was the least of it. That’s all I’m saying because overflow of emotions shown below:

    * 。✰ ✧♡✧。♡〜٩(⋈◍>◡<◍)۶〜♡。✧♡✧ ✰ 。*

    This is a serial where each installment covers a day and/or night. So if you think about it, it’s very, very insta because Lucas and Konstantin has only interacted with each other for 5 days. But the way each book was written, it felt like an extended timeframe.

    The pace is fast but so many things happened. There was even a millennia long feud thrown in the mix. Vampire lovin’ aside, the history and the rich world-building in addition to all well-written characters made the books so addicting. Sure, we’re all here for Lucas and his Wolf, but the author also did a good job engaging me with the rest of the characters, whether friend or foe.

    Like I said before, I am seriously having a hard time writing The Vampire’s Club reviews because I only end up gushing (and repeating myself). This is a very very gushable series. Once again, I recommend waiting for all the books to be released before delving into this because the cliffhangers will drive you nuts.

    P.S.

    The serial should be read in order. TVC books here
    X. Aratare books here

    Rating:
    5 Stars – absolutely perfect

    Soundtrack: I’m Only Human Sometimes
    Artist: William Control
    Album: Noir

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    BOOKS I DNFed OR PUT ON HOLD (Part 2)

    I rarely post reviews of books lower than 3-stars because usually I can’t be arsed to finish them. Also, I’m such a mood reader that sometimes, no matter how good a book is I still couldn’t finish it if I’m not feeling right.

    So here are more books I lost motivation for or not feeling right now…


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    Broken by Colette Davison

    Rule #1: Keep running.

    I loved the prequel, Unbreakable, and I was expecting more of that fluffy, humorous feel. Broken is angstier which is fine but I wasn’t feeling the chemistry even though I’m midway through already. I liked the Heaven and Hell boys so I would probably get back to this when the mood strikes.


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    Bitter Legacy – Dal Maclean

    Detective Sergeant James Henderson of London’s Metropolitan Police Murder Investigation Team is no ordinary police officer.

    I really felt bad about DNFing this. This was beautifully written, I love the British book feels, the mystery was engaging but gad why does it have to have CHEATING? And not just once but multiple times. I could deal with poly but a blatant disregard for a partner’s feelings who was obviously not okay with an open relationship? I’m definitely walking away.


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    The Bodyguard by X. Aratare

    Sean’s attraction to the vulnerable Dane gives him new purpose, but his past is not escaped so easily, and his sixth sense tells him that there is more to the Ydrath than even Dane knows.

    Written in typical X. Aratare style which I loved but unfortunately wasn’t working that well here. It’s so romance-centric that it felt more like nothing was happening, just two guys sending UST vibes to each other. Normally, I would be all over that sort of thing but I was just bored this time. I will get back to this someday because the backbones of the series is interesting enough for me.


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    A serial killer stalks the streets of Flint, Ohio. The victims are always found in pairs, one human and one vampire.

    This one was a plain bore. The characters were flat, the dialogues were blah. Even the great Michael Ferraiuolo couldn’t save it.


    (Part 1 here)

    How do you feel about DNFing a book? Are you a mood reader too?

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    MY TOP 10 READS OF 2019

    1. Game Changers: Heated Rivalry – Rachel Reid

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    The ultimate enemies-to-lovers, sports rivalry book. Changed the way I felt about sports romance.

    Review here.

    2. Green Creek: Heartsong – T.J. Klune

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    “I see you.

    Review here.

    3. Leo Loves Aries – Anyta Sunday

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    Slow-burn at its finest. The zing nearly killed me.

    Review here.

    4. Mnevermind Trilogy – Jordan Castillo Price

    Gritty realism. Rollercoaster feels. One of JCP’s best works.

    Review here.

    5. The Vampire’s Club Books 3 & 4 – X. Aratare

    Vampire romance of my dreams.

    Review here.

    6. Left Hand of Calvus – L.A. Witt/Ann Gallagher

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    I said it before, I’ll say it again. INTENSE.

    Review here.

    7. Song of the Navigator – Astrid Amara

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    To say this is a gutwrenching, highly emotional sci-fi love story is an understatement.

    Review here.

    8. Falling Sky – L.A. Witt

    Gritty, unforgettable, cyberpunk romance between a human and a vampire.

    Review here.

    9. Flesh and Bone: Bleed – Joel Abernathy

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    Another shifter romance that tore my heart to pieces.

    Review here.

    10. Soulbound: All Souls Near and Nigh – Hailey Turner

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    Epic! Because this series doesn’t do low-key.

    Review here.

  • book,  Uncategorized

    REVIEW: The Vampire’s Club 4 by X. Aratare

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    Lucas Daniels is in danger!

    Not from his mysterious new job, but from someone in his own house: his stepfather. Just when he thought Garrett’s intentions were all in his head, his stepfather’s actions send him running to Dyavol and Konstantin for protection.

    Count Konstantin “the Wolf” Volk will do anything to protect Lucas, and not only because Lucas’ blood may be curing him. When he finds Lucas under threat from every corner, he’ll do things he never thought possible in order to keep the young man safe. Cutting deals with ancient dangerous vampires, testing the bounds of his curse, even opening up the heart of his vampire Sanctuary itself to a mere mortal. Nothing is off limits.

    But while Konstantin is focused on keeping Lucas safe, could the real person in danger be Konstantin himself?


    For me, the hardest books to review are the rare 5-star books. There is the very real temptation to simply fill the page with incoherent squees and emojis bursting with heart eyes and stars and exclamation marks. So excuse me just a sec.

    The Wolf is claimed!!!!!! ♡☆*:.。.o(≧▽≦)o.。.:*☆♡ !!!!!!!

    And holy mother that elevator scene!!! (❤ω❤) !!!!!!!

    “Anything? Everything?” ヽ(>∀<☆)ノ。o○♡ !!!!!!!

    Now that’s out of the way…

    Book 4 of The Vampire’s Club finally has the evil stepfather making his move on Lucas (TW: sexual harrassment). The Volk family, the awesome Lizzie and the paranoid (and vocal) Xavier in particular, rallied to Lucas’ aid. They attempted their powers of seduction on Lucas’ mother to make her see the truth regarding the incident. However, they were met with the strongest mental barrier they have ever encountered. The evil stepfather has a mental wall as well…

    I could understand the spell on Lucas’ mom but the evil stepfather too? Hmm…

    On a happier note, we are getting a LOT of Lucas and Konstantin! Hence the explosion of emotions above. The plot thickens some more as two arch-enemies meet face to face. I am on tenterhooks!

    What exactly is Gaia’s plans for the vampires? Are witches and vampires truly enemies? Is Lucas the Trojan Horse the Nomad suspects he is? Will Lucas realize what Konstantin really is? Will Konstantin ever tell him?

    TELL HIM DAMMIT!!! Make him your fledgling!!!

    The Vampire’s Club continues to work it magic. I am completely enthralled. Let it seduce you too.

    P.S.

    The serial should be read in order. TVC books here
    X. Aratare books here

    Rating:
    5 Stars – absolutely perfect

    Soundtrack: Blood
    Artist: Hozier
    Album