Posted in Book Review

It Ends With Us by Colleen Hoover

Read Dates: October 2, 2022 – October 13, 2022
Publication Date: August 2, 2016
Source: Owned paperback

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Ok… Ok. So.

I struggled with this book. Mostly in the beginning half of it. I knew this book had to do with an abusive relationship but it was on my tbr list and a book club I recently joined was reading it, so I gave it a shot.

Good lord, I can already tell I’m going to have to proofread this 100 times and fix all my ranting. Hold onto your pants, here we go.

First of all, this book needs trigger warnings. Physical abuse and attempted rape are the two big ones here. You’ve been warned. I wasn’t.

Let me preface this by saying, I am a domestic abuse survivor. It’s not something I talk about a lot but I am and a lot of this book resonated with me in ways I wasn’t ready for. There were a lot of things, as it turns out, that I still wasn’t ready to face. Anyway…

I think the reason I struggled at first is because I saw all those red flags. All the ones I, unfortunately, lived with myself. Watching it and imagining how it looked to someone else as I went through it was incredibly disturbing for me, I think. To the point where I actually put the book down after the very first incident and had no intentions of picking it back up. I couldn’t stomach it.

However, in my time away from the book, I had two friends reach out and mention the book and how they were excited I was reading it and BOTH of them told me not to skip the author’s note at the end of the book. This intrigued me a little further and made me realize that this book may not have just been a work of fiction after all, but instead a retelling of a personal account. So, I soldiered on.

I am so glad I did. For the most part.

I was crying but I wasn’t crying because I felt sorry for the MC. I was crying because of the STRENGTH and the logic in the choices she made. I was crying because this book should be picked up and read by every woman on Earth, whether you’ve been a victim of domestic abuse, a witness to it, or never encountered it in your life at all. There were so many one-liners in this that had me literally weeping. So many things that I wish I would have heard or would have figured out myself back when they would have mattered most.

“How could she love him after what he did to her? How could she contemplate taking him back?”
It’s sad that those are the first thoughts that run through our minds when someone is abused. Shouldn’t there be more distaste in our mouths for the abusers than for those who continue to love the abusers?

Every situation is different, but I appreciated the glimpse the author gave into her real-life experience with characters who were based around real-life people. In my case, the abuser wasn’t so reasonable or understanding but it was wild to see how many similarities were still there even when the personalities were worlds apart.

Ultimately, in the first half of this book, I had decided on a 2-star rating and a big fat DNF but I powered through and I am glad I did because now I can confidently tell you that you should read this book. Everyone should. I recommend this to every single person. I appreciated Hoover’s book Ugly Love for the way it felt so real and raw but THIS BOOK is far more real and raw than Ugly Love was. Both are incredible books, but this one, this one holds more meaning. It tackles a real-life, truly ugly love story and holds within it the strength we all need to do what’s best for us.

Cycles exist because they are excruciating to break. It takes an astronomical amount of pain and courage to disrupt a familiar pattern. Sometimes it seems easier to just keep running in the same familiar circles, rather than face the fear of jumping and possibly not landing on your feet.

Is any of this making sense to you? Maybe. Maybe not. If you’ve been through it, I imagine you over there nodding your head in agreement with a full understanding of what I’m saying.

I didn’t really mean for this to get so personal but I felt this book on such a personal level that it was hard not to get personal in my review.

Our MC, Lily, struggled as most victims of domestic abuse do because of the true love she felt for this guy. She truly loved him and craved the good moments with him so much that she was willing to look past his transgressions until she wasn’t. Having watched her mother be abused by her father, she knew firsthand what she was going through, the treatment that she shouldn’t be allowing herself to go through. Ryle had a traumatizing childhood and had undergone therapy for the emotional trauma he still lives with but, unfortunately, it hasn’t helped his temperamental outbursts.

It was almost hard for me to remember everything I learned firsthand. ALMOST. I wanted to feel sorry for him and I did a little but, this time, from the outside looking in, I knew what Lily needed to do. I knew what would happen if she didn’t. I wanted her to break free from the hurt and realize that she was worth so much more than the love she thought she deserved.

I actually hated Ryle from the first page he appeared on and never liked him throughout the entirety of this book. At all. Which is why I’m taking one star away, actually. While this book was able to capture the feeling of loving your abuser and was able to construe the feelings Lily and her mother both felt in the moment, it failed to show the manipulative charm of an abuser, in my opinion. He was a total ass from the first encounter and I never liked him at all. Not once. There weren’t small signs from the very beginning, there were giant NEON signs from the beginning, and while, yes, most of us who have been through it were, at some point, a terrible judge of character, but this one wasn’t that. It was completely obvious, or at least it should have been.

This book didn’t necessarily have a happy ending. It had an ending, I suppose, but it wasn’t an overly happy one and I really appreciated that about this book as well. Most of the time, these situations don’t end happily. Even when the abuser is someone who is willing to let you go, it doesn’t always just end in a way where you can go your own way comfortably. I appreciated that so much about this book. The ending wasn’t romanticized. It wasn’t a happy ending where everyone ended up being super happy. It was just an ending. That being said, I found a couple elements of the ending to be a little farfetched. Given everything we saw from the beginning to the end, I found the prologue a little hard to believe. That’s all I can really say without spoiling anything.

Also, one word. Allysa. The friendship between Lily and Allysa was so amazing and I love Allysa so much in this book.

One more thing I feel is worth mentioning: this is not a love triangle as it seems to be falsely advertised as one. This is a story told about a girl falling in love with a guy who looks back at her old journal and reads and remembers the story of the first guy she fell in love with. I would, in no way, consider this to be a book with a love triangle. *Steps down from soap box*

I’m excited for the next book if not a little skeptical if I’m being honest. I have a feeling I know a little of what is going to happen. Abusers are usually pretty predictable in a situation like he and Lily are in at the end of this book. I can only imagine what will happen next.

I will say, though, with Colleen Hoover at the helm, I can’t wait to see in which ways she rips my heart out, stitches it back together, and makes me feel all the things. I have a newfound respect for Hoover that I don’t think a single “bad” book of hers will take from me. This was a hard story to tackle and yet she did it so perfectly.

“In the future . . . if by some miracle you ever find yourself in the position to fall in love again . . . fall in love with me.”

Go read this book. All of you. This isn’t an “if you like xyz you’ll love this one.” No. Just go read it. Everyone should.

Posted in Book Review

Where the Crawdads Sing by Delia Owens

Dates Read: September 8, 2022 – September 14, 2022
Publication Date: August 14, 2018
Source: Owned paperback

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I’m going to start with a quote lifted DIRECTLY from this book that I feel describes this book perfectly. It’s literally all you need to know…

“Oh that’s a long boring story. Mostly I sold mussels, oysters, and smoked fish to Jumpin’.”

There you have it. That’s the book. Ok, well, that’s part one anyway.

Part one: Kya is abandoned by her entire family. Her father is abusive. She starts cooking grits and mussels and selling what she could/didn’t need to Jumpin’, the keeper of the marina where boaters come in for fuel and food.

Part two: A murder trial takes place in court and eventually… the verdict.

Ok, so there. THAT’S it. That’s the book.

“Please don’t talk to me about isolation. No one has to tell me how it changes a person. I have lived it. I am isolation.”

There are some little romance tidbits sprinkled in there but that’s basically it. I sat and read descriptions of the marsh and the landscape and the bugs that flew by. I read about bird feathers and sea shells. I read about the way the marsh grass moves.

Not really my thing.

I did appreciate the way the author stayed consistent with Kya and her personality. Someone who has been living alone and taking care of themselves since they were 6 years old would certainly shy away from the general public and act odd around other people. However, in other aspects of the story, there were inconsistencies that I was just supposed to accept and believe could happen in the short amount of time that they happened.

I’m still giving this book a three-star rating solely for the one paragraph at the end of the book that made me chuckle. Not because I was surprised. Just because of the way things were revealed in the end.

I guess when I see that a book has gone into Reese’s Book Club, I should just skip it. I’m currently 2 for 2!

That’s really all I’ve got you guys.

I also feel compelled to tell you that I just had déjà vu. That was weird.

Until next time!

Posted in Book Review

The Last Thing He Told Me by Laura Dave

Dates Read: July 21, 2022 – July 27, 2022
Publication Date: May 4, 2021
Source: Owned hardback

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Alright… this book… was not a thriller. This was a tame mystery. A boring mystery even. A man just tells his wife to protect his daughter, her stepdaughter, and leaves a large sum of money and then disappears? Cool. I’m bored.

The rate at which we found out new information in this book was just painfully slow. This book was just reading about a day in the life with a hint of action and intrigue sprinkled sparingly. I found myself skimming paragraphs. I felt like I didn’t need all the information I was being given. At first, I was reading everything thinking there were hidden meanings in the words but I soon realized there weren’t hidden meanings at all and I was wasting my time.

Did I enjoy parts of this book? Sure. But as a whole… not my thing.

I think that’s the thing, this wasn’t my thing. It’s not the book’s fault. It’s the way the book was marketed. The way it was described did not match what it actually was. I love a good thriller but this was not that. Not even close.

The story follows Hannah and her step-daughter Bailey as they try to find common ground as well as information on where their husband/father could have disappeared to and why. What was his involvement in the scandal at his job? The two of them have to work together and learn to like each other as they pick up clues and follow trails to find the truth.

The truth was… underwhelming.

This book was underwhelming.

I was underwhelmed.

I don’t know what else to say.

If you like slow-burn mysteries, yes, this is for you. But if you’re looking for twists and turns and action and moments that wow you, skip it. This is not the one. As I always say, though, just read it for yourself if you feel so inclined. You might like it. It did, after all, win the Goodreads Choice Award for the “Mystery & Thriller” category in 2021. *shrugs*

Posted in Book Review

Ugly Love by Colleen Hoover

Dates Read: July 19, 2022 – July 21, 2022
Publication Date: August 5, 2014
Source: Owned paperback

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WOW. What a pleasant surprise!

This isn’t my typical genre but I really LOVED this book. This one was being read by someone who has the same sort of book palette that I do, so I jumped when she said it was a really good one. She wasn’t lying.

Let’s get into it!

This book is told from the perspective of Tate in the present day and Miles from six years ago. Tate is busy with her career working long hours and doesn’t have time for love. She meets her brother’s next-door neighbor, Miles, who has no interest in settling down or committing… like… ever. But, as these things go, Tate develops feelings for Miles after they start having “casual encounters”. Miles supposedly doesn’t feel the same… but he definitely does. There are signs.  In the chapters told from Miles’ perspective from six years ago, we learn about his tragic past and the reasons for his wanting to stay far away from love and anything to do with it.

His eyes focus on mine for several seconds. “Don’t ask about my past,” he says firmly. “And never expect a future.”

This book was like watching one of those comforting romance movies that you always end up going back to on those rainy nights when it’s storming and you’re not tired and you’re feeling in your feels and you just want to sit and watch a super cute romance movie that you know the ending to because you’ve seen in 1,001 times but you just want to watch it over and over. It’s that book that you think about long after it’s over. It sticks with you because it’s so RAW and EMOTIONAL and full of REAL LIFE emotions and REAL LIFE tragedies.

I know this doesn’t really mean much coming from me anymore since I’ve become a big ‘ol sap after having a child but… this book made me cry real tears. Sad tears, hopeful tears, happy tears… all the tears.

He faces forward and starts his car. “You were right,” he says. He puts the car in reverse and prepares to pull out of the parking lot. “It’s a good thing we weren’t friends first. Would have made this a lot harder.”

I fell in love with this couple and found myself desperate to read another chapter, one after another so I could come to the end and learn of their fate.

I really do love a good romance book that hangs in my head for days, even weeks, after I’ve finished it. This was it. Highly recommend. Seriously, go get it. I’m not a typical romance novel reader (unless it’s paranormal) and I absolutely loved it. I can’t imagine how much someone who DOES love romance novels would enjoy it. Do yourself a favor and don’t skip this one.

It’s the beautiful moments like these that make up for the ugly love.

Posted in Book Review

Death by Laura Thalassa

Dates Read: June 20, 2022 – July 16, 2022
Publication Date: November 9, 2021
Source: Owned paperback

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Oof. Ok. So this one took me a hot minute to read.

I feel like the book didn’t really “start” until part two. I don’t know, man. The first half was just about our heroine, Lazarus, running from Death, even though she immediately wants to jump his bones.

So, Lazarus. Lazarus is an orphaned girl who had a loving and happy family until Death came through her town and killed them all. She, alone, survived. Lazarus, it seems, cannot die. Well, I mean, she can but she always comes back to life. Death’s power is no exception to this. So, when she confronts him on the road coming from a city where he thought he had just killed everyone, Death is intrigued. Naturally.

“You have an exceptional heart, Lazarus,” he finally says. “You shouldn’t apologize for it.”

I think that’s the thing that gets me about this one. The two of them have a thing for each other immediately. It’s revealed from the very beginning that Death knows she is his “kismet” or “fate set before him by God”. But she just thinks he’s really pretty and is attracted to him. Hardly a “feeling of fate” from her.

He doesn’t move any closer to me, but it feels like there’s no distance between us and no air to breathe in. It doesn’t help that he still hasn’t found his shirt, and his glowing tattoos are making him look particularly unearthly.

Regardless, she runs because Death means to keep her. She does not wish to be kept.

That’s part one of the book. Right there. See? Not very riveting, huh?

Before I can answer, Death’s expression turns serious, his eyes intense. “Nothing in this world could part me from you for long.”

Part two is where it starts to get “good”.

So not only is the fate of her heart set on this guy and what he chooses to ultimately do but so is the fate of his brothers and their now wives and children. If he ends the world, he ends them too.

Now his expression is downright wicked. “You and I are immortal. Even if it takes centuries, even if you and I are the last creatures in existence, I vow to you this: I will get you to love me – mind, body, and heart.

I’ll tell ya one thing, I think of all the books, this one has the most “adventure” in it. This book isn’t just us following one couple and their story. This book is us following Death who is chasing Lazarus who is running from Death who is also planning to hunt Famine and finish what they started in Famine’s book. There’s a whole lot going on and a whole lot of little tidbits throughout.

I have to say, though, I did enjoy reading this one. I enjoyed them all and I’ve really enjoyed this series. If you’re not too queasy and enjoy a good raw, unfiltered, gory paranormal romance, this series might be for you.

I really thought this one was going to go a different direction but it kept me on the edge of my seat right up to the very end. I mean, I knew what was ultimately going to happen, at least I felt like I did, but still. The author wrote four unique books that followed the same basic idea but went in four different directions and that is something I can really appreciate.

And I must say, that ending was quite beautiful.

Posted in Book Review

Famine by Laura Thalassa

Dates Read: June 17, 2022 – June 20, 2022
Publication Date: October 1, 2020
Source: Owned paperback

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Ahhh. We’re back to the Horsemen of the Apocalypse and I am SO HAPPY TO BE HERE. Especially with Famine. Is he my favorite? Yes. Yes, he is. Pestilence was my favorite up to now. Now Famine takes the cake.

Famine is the most brutal of all his brothers I would say. All of them are “duty-bound” and are willing to commit some atrocities to see their purpose carried out but Famine… Famine really goes above and beyond. He claims a home for his own and has the owners brutally killed and thrown in a giant hole in their own backyard for heaven’s sake. Famine does make mention of being “the least human of all his brothers.” He says he can “feel everything”. THAT is one consistency I really appreciate about this book.

So, our heroine in this story is Ana. Ana is a worker at a brothel called the Painted Angel. Ana was displaced as a child when her entire family was killed. She was taken in by the madam of the Painted Angel and started working to make money to live. Until Famine comes and takes her with him.

You see, the two of them have history. She first met Famine years before while she was on the way home with groceries for her abusive aunt. She saw Famine in the street, nearly dead from being beaten by villagers. She nursed him back to health and sent him on his way. Once he recognizes this girl, who is now in a woman’s body, he keeps her and refuses to let her out of his sight or become hurt.

And so begins the next seriously messed up love story in the series.

“That’s the difference between me and my brothers,” he continues. “We are all meant to ravage the world but we have our distinctions: War is the most human, Pestilence perhaps next. But even Thanatos – Death – is intimately connected to life.
“I am the one least truly alive. I have more in common with wildfires and clouds and mountains than I do anything else. So to be something that lives and breathes is a stifling, unpleasant experience. I am … trapped in this flesh.”

I really did enjoy these two. I don’t know why but I think they’re my favorite with Pestilence and Sara coming in at a very close second.

I glance over at the horseman, frowning. I’d do all of it again for this man, because wicked or not, violent or not Famine might be the only being who has ever truly seen me and cared for me. And . . . I might be the only person who has ever really seen and cared for him.

Once again, I wasn’t sure how the author was going to give us something fresh being that this is the third book in a series about these horsemen who all have this duty-bound, driven-to-destroy attitude. However, she delivered. Once again. Once again there was a different couple with different mindsets and experiences who ended up with a not-so-happy happy ending.

Famine crouches next to Rocha and laughs. “You’re not going to die Heitor. You haven’t begged enough yet. But you will. And even then I’ll make you linger. Because, believe it or not, you are not the worst thing to walk this earth.” The Reaper leans in close. “I am.”

Technically the first two books end on a “cliffhanger” as well but this one REALLY did. The first two books ended with a happy ending where the couple could live out their lives together with no issues. This book’s ending pretty much depends on the way the next book, Death, plays out. I was excited to read Death already because, I mean, c’mon… that cover. Now I’m even more so excited because I get to see how Famine’s story plays out AND I get to meet a new hunk of a horseman.

Let’s see if Death can top him. (I doubt it.)

“Because around you,” he says, “I feel the oddest urge to use my power to create rather than destroy.”

Just going to jump right into the next one so stay tuned!

Posted in Book Review

A Court of Frost and Starlight by Sarah J Maas

Dates Read: April 30, 2022 – May 12, 2022
Date Published: May 1, 2018
Source: Owned hardback

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I thought I wanted this. I really did. More Feyre and Rhys? Yes, please! Not even going to lie. I was bored. I just read a book where everyone is buying gifts for each other and preparing for the solstice. That’s all it was. Nothing else has changed. Not Nesta, not Lucien and Elain, not Rhys and Feyre. Nothing. Nothing has changed. It’s just a book about a giant family, who is kind of broken, getting ready for solstice. That’s it. That’s the story.

I suppose a good bit of it was also about the HEALTHY way Feyre was able to heal at the Night Court as opposed to how she wasn’t able to heal in the Spring Court after the happenings Under the Mountain.

I suppose this book was a way of showing us that Feyre had finally found complete happiness. In every aspect of her life, she has healed and become happy. She found the people who support her in a positive way. People who TRULY love her.

I must admit, I was hoping for some developments with Nesta or Elain but I see now that I am going to have to read a few more books if I want that kind of update on their lives. It’s only fitting that Nesta gets a GIANT novel. I just don’t know how invested I am in her character. Am I invested enough to read another 500 pages about her and her character development? I think I might rather read about Elain. Eh. Maybe. Let’s be honest, that story is likely going to break my heart. There’s no way it can’t.

Anyway, this was still a book with some of my favorite characters and by one of my newfound favorite writers, so it gets a 3-star(cat) rating.

As I said in my notes, “Cute, but kinda boring.”

✌💛

Posted in Book Review

A Court of Wings and Ruin by Sarah J Maas

Read Dates: April 19, 2022 – April 29, 2022
Publication Date: May 2, 2017
Source: Owned hardback

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Oh. My. STARS. This series just gets better and better. What even? Do you people know how much precious sleep I have lost over this series?!

Ok, so, if you haven’t read the second book in the series, stop right there. Turn it on around and get on outta here because there’s a very large thing that I’m gonna HAVE to mention that happened at the end of book two and it is a WHOPPER of a spoiler.

With that being said, let’s get right into it.

First of all, I am still secretly hoping for a little redemption for Tamlin. I definitely saw the control freak in him and in the way he treated Feyre but he was also willing to listen and became understanding once he was done boiling over about whatever the situation was. And to be fair, Feyre just does whatever she wants and can be a lot sometimes so, yea. I’m in no way defending Tamlin’s little meltdowns but… ya know. Given the circumstances and everything that has happened, I get it and I’m still hoping we get to see more from him down the road.

Tamlin stood there. Staring down at me. Those green eyes swimming with some emotion I couldn’t place.
“Be happy, Feyre,” he said quietly.

I did have a small problem with the beginning of this. Herein lie the spoilers (just skip this paragraph if you don’t want to see spoilers and you’ll be golden)… The few chapters of Feyre “infiltrating” the Spring Court and pretending to be in love with Tamlin seemed INCREDIBLY farfetched. It was not sold to me. Even if I hadn’t known from reading Feyre’s perspective, I still feel I would have been able to see right through that façade. It was awful. Tamlin is seriously as dumb as a box of rocks or maybe just that insanely blinded by love if he couldn’t see right through that nonsense.

This is one of the very few series I’ve read where I have enjoyed ALL of the main and supporting characters. Cassian, Azriel, Amren, and Mor hold a special place in my heart and I really enjoyed the relationships they all share and the banter throughout.

Nesta. Wow. What a character. And what a character development from book one to now. That scene towards the end in the midst of war and certain death… geez. That scene really got me.

Elain even became a bit enjoyable. It was so interesting to see how she and Nesta melded into the Prythian world, albeit a bit tragic, but still very much enjoyable to read.

I really feel for Lucien. He has really grown on me to the point that I really do wish some sort of happiness for him. He’s been given the short end of the stick in most aspects of his life and he deserves happiness, damn it!

No one, however, compares to Rhys. NO ONE. Did we already agree to add him to my list of book boyfriends? If not, let the record show that he is nearing the top. (I should really make an actual list for the day I get called out to reveal the order and contents of said list…)

I see all of you, Rhys. And there is not one part of that I do not love with everything I am.
You bow to no one,
was all he replied.”

Also! Something I HAVE to bring up… can we talk about the library creature!? Like, can all libraries have a library creature? That whole thing was so exciting to me. I don’t really know why. I pictured like a really giant, oversized “dog” from Despicable Me. You know the one I mean, right? Here, I’ll just show you.

Ooo and another thing! How about that little twist at the end!? The captain?! If you’ve read it, you know the one I meant. I was literally weeping. WEEPING. Not just crying… WEEPING.

Last honorable mention here… Feyre’s independence. Ok, so, yes I wanted Rhys to hear her call and come to her aid but how amazing was Feyre finding her own way out of situations and saving HERSELF? Fighting her own fights and WINNING. What a refreshing heroine.

He swiped away the tears sliding down my face. “I believe everything happened, exactly the way it had to . . . so I could find you.” He kissed another tear away.

This book DID ME IN. In some of the best ways possible. I’m going to miss the Feyre and Rhys saga but I’m excited to learn where the other characters go from here. Have I started Nesta’s book yet? No. I’m waiting a while because I have this feeling that the book is going to absolutely exasperate me. I’m hoping I can get in a mental state where I don’t just want to read more of Rhys and Feyre on every page and I can welcome a new couple with loving arms and an open mind. Until then, I’ll be hopping around and reading some titles a little out of my comfort zone.

Until next time!

Posted in Book Review

A Court of Mist and Fury by Sarah J Maas

Read Dates: April 16, 2022 – April 18, 2022
Date Published: May 3, 2016
Source: Owned paperback

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Alright, soooo things got heavy, huh? That’s assuming you’ve already read this book and aren’t here to see if this book is worth the read. (It is.)

Tamlin and Feyre are both having nightmares about what happened Under the Mountain. Feyre made a great sacrifice to save Tamlin and now they are both safe but neither one of them is having a good time. They’re falling apart and they have a wedding coming up very soon.

Maybe it’d be a mercy to be ended —
A broad hand gripped my face — gently enough not to hurt, but hard enough to make me look at him. “Don’t you ever think that,” Rhysand hissed, his eyes livid. “Not for one damned moment.

I have to admit, even though I was all about Feyre and Tamlin in book one, I found myself dreading the wedding. Much as Feyre was in this book actually. Lucky for me, Rhys crashed the wedding and sought to cash in on the deal that was made between him and Feyre in book one. Ca CHING.

This book is really just about Feyre meeting and learning about Rhys and all the people in his life. It also happens to be about her finding HERSELF and discovering parts of her that some people meant to keep locked away so that she would remain dependent, mortal, and helpless.

And THAT, my dear friends, is where things get interesting.

I don’t think anyone counted on just how powerful Feyre is. They put a dragon in a birdcage and walked away as if nothing would happen. But BOY DID SOMETHING HAPPEN.

I just have to say, at this point, I am 100% team Rhys.
Taken from my notes whilst reading this book: “Respectfully, Tamlin can go f**k himself. Minus the respectfully.”

So, ok, yes… there’s a bit of a love triangle. But also, not really. The way it’s handled not only by the author but also by the characters is SO GOOD. It makes me love Rhys even more. Towards the end of the book I was literally in tears. Just sobbing into my book over the things that were being said and revealed and UGHHH I just FELT all the things. (Page 517-528… omg just… the feels.)

… “And yet I found myself deciding that if you took his hand I would find a way to live with it. It would be your choice.”
I sipped from my wine. “And if he had grabbed me?”
There was nothing but uncompromising will in his eyes. “Then I would have torn apart the world to get you back.”

Also, without spoiling too much, I really am still rooting for Tamlin not being a bad guy. He goes into some things with some people but I’m still over here rooting! Just not for him and Feyre. That era has ended.

Love — love was a balm as much as it was a poison.

This series just continues to be amazing and I’m here for it. I spent all night into the wee house of the morning of EASTER reading this book and I was quite literally a zombie while I was hiding eggs. I will continue to make terrible sleep choices until this entire series has been consumed. Bet.

Posted in Book Review

Ruthless by Gena Showalter

Read Dates: April 2, 2022 – April 8, 2022
Expected Publication Date: July 26, 2022 (hardback & paperback) August 9, 2022 (kindle/ebook)
Source: ARC via Naomi Lane/Gena Showalter for honest review

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From Goodreads:
Forbidden. Powerful. Ruthless. 

Micah the Unwilling, fae King of the Forgotten, can tame even the most violent of beasts. Forged on the battlefield, this iron-willed warrior considers his soldiers his family, and he will stop at nothing to reclaim their dispossessed land. Gearing for war with a sadistic enemy, he is disciplined and focused—until a feral beauty he encountered long ago wanders into his camp. 

Viori de Aoibheall wields a terrifying ability to sing monsters to life. Having spent her childhood in a forest, raising herself and her frightening creations—the only friends she’s ever known—she’s ill prepared for the scarred royal and his fearsome brutality. Not to mention the ferocity of their connection and the carnality of his touch. But the real problem? Her brother is Micah’s greatest foe. And though the sensual king makes her burn, she must stop him, whatever the cost.

Immortal Enemies

Book 1: Heartless
Book 2: Ruthless

Do no harm to the innocent. Protect what’s yours. Always do what’s right. Never be without a backup plan.”

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First of all, if you haven’t read Heartless, you should go do that.

I must say, Kaysar (from Heartless), wasn’t really my cup of tea. But Micah? Holy moly. Micah is definitely my cup of tea.

I have read many Gena Showalter books and I’ve met many couples I absolutely adore. This one is now in my top three. Easily.

It looks like it took me 7 days to read this book if you consult my Goodreads account but, nay. I read this in two nights. The night of April 2nd and the night of April 8th. It was INCREDIBLY hard for me to put it down that first night. I was immediately entranced by this story and its characters.

Viori and all her wiles and mischief had me from the start. I was intrigued by the life she lived. Running in the wilds being protected by monsters. The fierce protectiveness they had for her and she had for them. Not to mention when she lets out her RAGE. Her past haunts her and she wants nothing more than to make up for it. She’s just not sure if she can. What she’s done is unforgivable in her mind. I was drawn in by her loneliness but also her resilience. Any foe she befell… fell. All except one….
Micah has had a rough upbringing. He was left in a basket in the middle of the woods as a baby and found by a chimera, like himself, who ended up dying to protect Micah. A young Micah stumbled upon a young Viori sleeping in the forest, but he was unaware of her monster protectors. He carries the scars of the attacks those beasts doled out to protect their fiery, beloved Viori when Micah dared to get too close to her as she slept. Now he’s stumbled upon Viori again, years later. He’s the King of his village. Micah the Unwilling. Micah: the one whose chimera makes people want to literally rip their faces off. He has never been wanted. He’s never felt loved. But he’s continued to protect his people from the monsters that dared attack his village and he’s always kept their best interests at heart. His people come first. He’s relentless and willing (despite his nickname) to do whatever it takes to extinguish any threat to his people.

My heart literally just breaks for Micah. He deserves so much better than the life he was dealt. He deserves better than the reluctance he gets from his people. Ugh. I have such a soft spot for him. I think he’s just become my favorite male lead Gena has ever written. I loved him so much. He’s brutal but he’s kind. He’s relentless but he’s loyal. He is willing to protect any innocent. Vanquish any evil. He’s just… ughh.. I just love him, ok? Leave us be.

If you’ve read Heartless, you know the connection between Viori and Kaysar and the event that we all held our breath for that never came at the end of Heartless like we hoped it would. This book was even better than anything I could have ever hoped for. I laughed. I cried. I got unreasonably angry. Sometimes even unreasonably frustrated. I loved this book so much. I fell in love with these characters and I really fell in love with Micah. I’m going to have to rearrange my book boyfriend list.

Pride said, You mustn’t be the one to initiate contact. He must. But more and more she suspected pride was a buffoon. She wanted what she wanted – him – and she wanted it now.”

There were so many elements to this book that kept me on my toes. Viori’s abilities. Micah’s political issues with a particular neighboring kingdom. Side characters that I couldn’t bring myself to fully trust. I so enjoyed this book! (Did I mention that Micah and I are dating?)

Fight for what’s right, no matter the cost, or you’ll be forced to live with the wrong.”

If you love a good paranormal romance with monsters and wild abilities and heart-wrenching romance, this is it. I was feeling all the feels right there with the couple. My husband walked in while I was sitting here balling like a baby at one point in the book. (Don’t worry, he’s used to it.)

Ugh. Gena. Does it. Again.

Alright, Gena, who’s next? Jareth?? It’s Jareth, isn’t it? Can it please be Jareth?

BRB while I go figure out where exactly in my top 3 this couple has landed. I believe they might have topped the charts. 💛✌