Begin Again by Mona Kasten

Begin Again: Allie and Kaden's Story by [Kasten, Mona]

About the book:

He makes the rules. She breaks them all. A new start. It’s the only thing keeping Allie Harper going, when she packs up her life and moves across the country to Woodshill, Oregon. She’s about to start college, desperate to leave the ghosts of her past behind her. Even if that means never talking to her parents again.

Now the hard part – finding an apartment before classes start. Just when it seems she’ll have to live out of her car, Allie visits one more place. It’s beautiful. With one exception: can she stand being roommates with campus bad boy Kaden White? Sure, Kaden is sexy with his tattoos and careless attitude, but he’s also an arrogant jerk. With nowhere else to go, Allie moves in.

The first thing Kaden does is make a set of rules. Either Allie obeys, or she’s out:

1. Don’t talk about your girl problems.
2. Keep your mouth shut if I bring someone home.
3. We will NEVER hook up.

Easy enough, thinks Allie. Who would want to get involved with a brute like Kaden? But the more she gets to know him, the more she sees beyond his gruff facade. He, too, is harboring some painful secrets. For Kaden and Allie, it gets harder and harder to ignore the sparks between them. And the lines between the rules start to blur.

My thoughts after reading it:

This book had me till the very end. Kaden is as moody as he comes and Allie with her insecurities and zest for life has him looking at life in a new way. I found their back and forth take on their feelings and relationship to be quite engaging, because though they loved each other, they had so many issues and unresolved emotions from their past to deal with.

Allie had just moved into a new place and had four years of college to look forward to and the author smoothly introduced other characters who would become good friends to see her through. I loved Dawn’s commitment and loyalty to their friendship. I also had the distinct feeling that she had some issues to deal with and given that this book is part of a trilogy I cannot wait to read Dawn’s story.

The pace is great, the introduction of nature and the outdoors in the form of Kaden and Allie’s hiking trips was a fresh outlook for me. I love the outdoors.

Of course, what’s college or young adult without some stuck-up personalities and Sawyer did make an appearance if not once, but twice!

On flow, I’d say that it was smooth because I read it in one sitting and that says a lot about how engrossed I was.

I am grateful to the publisher and NetGalley for providing me with a copy of the book in exchange for an honest review. I’d also love to send my love to the author, Mona, for writing such a great read! Danke schön!

How many coffee cups is it worth: ☕☕☕☕☕

Check it out –> here 

 

 

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Let’s talk: Little Fires Everywhere by Celeste Ng

There are books that pack a punch and unless you’re emotionally prepared for it, you find yourself at the end of the book unmoved if not slightly disconcerted that it was not all that.

Little Fires Everywhere by Celeste Ng

This book calls for much more than that, it also calls for your attention to detail because the author portrays miniature intricate details of the characters.

If you look at the whole picture and fail to dissect the little aspects of it, then you’d probably miss out on the little spark that burns brightly from the first page.

I really wanted to read this book because every #bookstagram blogger kept posting their reviews and with time the green colored cover of the book had me thinking of well manicured lawns that I had to walk on. I have had this kind of urge for two books; The Corrections and The Help, and I loved both.

The first chapter begins with the aftermath of the fire that Lizzy, the youngest Richardson and rebel of the family, is believed to have caused. The story then takes a different turn sharing insights into what led to the fire and in turn we are treated to a community, families and what feels like “saving face,” in Shaker Heights. Whereas, Bill and Elena come off as the perfect couple, successful and rich, there are various intricate aspects of their personalities that are brought to light by their engagement with Mia (as their help) and her daughter Pearl. Mia is an artist who has never stayed for long in one place and when she settles in Shaker Heights, her daughter Pearl, finally seems to love the place and is mesmerized by the Richardons. Pearl meets Lexie, Trip, Moody and with time Lizzy, the dynamite of the family.
It soon becomes clear to Mia that Elena, Mrs. Richardson, has created a perfect world around herself and in doing so, what seemed like extending a hand to her in the form of employing her to work in their house, was one way to contain her bubble. It is obvious from the beginning that though Elena is a stickler for rules, Mia is not and this creates an opportunity for Lizzy to express herself, question everything.

When two worlds collide, there’s bound to be some strain and this book has a lot of it, with secrets and bonds between the characters enhanced and sometimes shaken based on misunderstandings.

It would seem like a good title under literary fiction and women’s fiction, but then there’s no single genre that it’d fit and when a book goes beyond a boundary, it makes for an interesting read. It is definitely not Sci-Fi, Fantasy or Paranormal Romance but it sure did feel like an abstract painting filled with details that only a keen eye could discern.

I would have waited till next year or even December to read this book had I not gotten it courtesy of Netgalley and I do find myself wondering how dramatic it would have been, had Linda lost the custody case in the first place, where would that have left Elena’s effort for calling in favors?

Drop Dead Gorgeous by Juliet Lyons

I read this book before going to bed and there’s something quirky and interesting about the relationship between Mila and Vincent.

Drop Dead Gorgeous by Juliet Lyons352 pages/Romance/Paranormal/Vampires

Before I start babbling, let me break it down: there’s a site like Tinder, it’s called V-date and here you can go on a date with a vampire. Mila does this after breaking up with her boyfriend and her first date turns out to be a serial killer. He takes her out to an alley to kill her but before he does so, detectives show up and save her- one of them happens to be the hot-blonde, Vincent. So, now you get where I’m going with this right?

“Why are you out here?”
“It’s your bedroom, Miss Hart. It wouldn’t be right for me to enter.”
“Exactly what year did you say you were born in?”
“I didn’t. But it was the eighteenth century.”
“Ah. You’re worried about my reputation.”
“Old habits die hard.”

Yeah, I’m not big on vampire romance. I am more into shifters, faeries and warlords but I couldn’t stop reading this book because whereas Vincent is calm and ever the gentleman, Mila stumbles upon her words and she has this adorable babbling nature. It escalates their attraction and at some point, it gets Vincent to embrace a bit of pop culture.
I also loved Vincent’s partners in the force, who knew that Scotland Yard Inspectors could tease and banter as much?
This book serves some major heat and inasmuch as it was an awesome story, the ending did not quite go as I’d hoped yeah I’m not the writer, I know but I do wish that the plot would not have included the desire to meet halfway between with one trying to be human the other wanting immortality…it’s been done so many times, and the introduction of a witch showed promise, but sadly it just did not save the ending from being a cliche.

What I’d love to read is Cat and Ronin’s story, she’s tough as nails and he’s a persistent ancient and I’m just sizzling knowing those two could be an ultimate read.

It was a pleasure having received an arc from NetGalley in exchange for an honest outlook and review on the book.

Reviewed first on: Goodreads

Get a copy: Amazon

Malachi and I by J.J. McAvoy

I always love a mystical romance, especially when it involves reincarnation.

Malachi and I by J.J. McAvoy400 pages, Contemporary Mystical Romance

About the bookWhat if I told you the greatest love stories ever told—Cleopatra and Mark Antony, Salim and Anarkali, Romeo and Juliet and so many more—are far greater tragedies than anyone has ever realized? What if I told you that you haven’t been reading a new story… just a new chapter in one epic saga? If I told you…all of those lovers…were actually the same two souls seeking their happily ever after over and over again, would you believe me? 
Would you believe them? 
Born again, 
Love again, 
Part again, 
Was their curse. 
In this modern era, will they find eternal love or will they be doomed to repeat the cycle forever? 

This book took me on a historical journey allowing me to relive some of the most famous tales of love, like Romeo and Juliet, and it includes also an Igbo tale of Obinna and Adaeze’s love.

The story opens with Esther, her grandfather Alfred, and their publishing house talking about the release of Malachi Lord’s next book and the team talking about the pre-release preparations. Malachi is the author who is aloof and loves his own space for fear that he might meet the live of his life, falling live again and watch her die as the case has been for four hundred years. He relives every time he’s lost her and that’s until Alfred asks him to take in Esther, his granddaughter who happens to be Malachi’s super fan, until he’s sought treatment.

What starts out as an invasion of space for Malachi soon turns out to be the one thing he was afraid of. You’ll have to read the book to get what Malachi fears
I loved this book and the chemistry between Malachi and Esther. It’s the first book I’ve read as written by McAvoy and one thing is clear for me, I’d love to read more of her books. Receiving an advanced readers copy of this book from NetGalley has been a wonderful trip into history and I’d read it a thousand times over.

Coffee verdict: 2615261526152615

Reviewed first on: Goodreads

Get a copy on Amazon today, you won’t regret it! –> here

The French Duchess by Rue Allyn

Though it is set for release today, reading this book was a charming if not an interesting way to pass my afternoon when I first got it.

The French Duchess by Rue Allyn
The book’s leads are Richard and Mari who find themselves crossing the sea, traveling to and from England and France to stop an assassination attempt on Napoleon.
What begins as mistrust on Richard’s part soon turns out to be a negative perception and the more time he spends with Mari, the more he realizes just how harsh the English society has been on her following the death of her husband, who was Richard’s friend.
It’s a historical romance and therefore it was no surprise that Mari would play the role of damsel in distress and Richard would be the knight in shining armor who would fall hopelessly in love with her. What I did come to appreciate was that Mari, though, she found herself in desperate situations, she did everything she could to try and get out of them by her own will. She was not as witty and cautious as Richard, especially in handling sensitive matters but her promptness at jumping into action made this quite the thrill.
I am in a romance mood this week, taking in as much as I can on love, passion and lust before diving into other genres and this was a great way to end my romance streak 🙂

I did receive an advance uncorrected readers copy in exchange for my honest views and let’s just say that it was a great read,however if you expect a serving of something steamy between Richard and Mari, I’d say you ought to hold your horses on that one. Nonetheless you’ll enjoy their company as they set out on the mission.

Reviewed first on: Goodreads

Mountain peaks and friendship in The Eight Mountains by Paolo Cognetti

The Eight Mountains by Paolo Cognetti

224 pages, Release date: March 20th 2018, by Atria Books

A beautiful narration of a bond of friendship and understanding that forms in the mountains between two young boys Bruno and Pietro.

The story is narrated to us from Pietro’s point of view and through him, the author weaves a tale about family, loss, love and wanderlust in generations that came before him. Pietro’s Father loves hiking and climbing mountains and it is his company during these excursions that later on inspires Pietro to travel the world in search of mountain peaks, community stories and glaciers. At one point when they were making their way to Grana, his father turned to him and asked him“In your opinion, can the past happen again?
His inability to provide the right answers or later on, to fully immerse himself in climbing these mountain peaks leads to a falling out with his father. At thirty one, he finds himself going back into the mountain in search of the man he loved but also didn’t get along with and this is where Pietro comes into the awareness of life, loss, love, aspirations and the question posted to him by his father back then comes back to him and for a moment he believes “…in certain lives, there are mountains to which we may never return.

I loved how the story unfolded for the writing is very beautiful and simple making this an enjoyable read. The characters are also as dynamic and some though constant like Bruno’s Uncle, you get the feeling that they seem resigned to the life they lead and cannot fault them for that.
I also felt that the introduction of Lara, Pietro’s ex and then Bruno’s wife- was symbolic in that she tried to change the “mountain man” that was Bruno, into a business man and when that failed, she left him carrying along with her their daughter Anita. I however do not know if this was one of the many tragedies that haunted Bruno; the first one being the question that “what would he have become if his parents would have let him proceed to Milan for further studies?”
I was challenged by Pietro and Bruno’s friendship because thirty years is quite the time to be friends.

I’d recommend this book to avid readers of well woven tales that involve a bit of mysticism, wanderlust and if you have read Paulo Coelho’s books and traveled with him on those life changing journeys, then this book is right in your path.
Thank you NetGalley and the Publisher.

Reviewed first on: Goodreads

Author’s site: https://paolocognetti.blogspot.com/

 

Good Girls Don’t Put Out by Bolaji Eyo

Good Girls Don’t Put Out by [Eyo, Bolaji]

Literature & Fiction/ New Adult/ Romance

About the book: “What makes you think I need the money?” I asked.
“Girls always need that little bit extra. I don’t want you to lack for anything when I’m around to give it to you,” said Emeka. That was just what I needed – an invitation to ask for anything without having to give up something for it. I smiled. Law student Jade has every intention of holding on to her virginity until her wedding day and lucky for her, Wale, her boyfriend, is understanding. Jade is content with the allowance she receives from her parents, but when she meets Emeka, he seems willing to give her whatever luxury she desires with no strings attached. 
Until the day Emeka blocks Jade’s number and wants nothing more to do with her. What lengths will Jade go to maintain the lifestyle she’s grown accustomed to? This journey takes us through the decisions Jade makes, one of which might cost her her life.

I found this to be quite an interesting read, as narrated from the viewpoint of Jade. She’s the youngest daughter in a loving family and struggles with the challenges of social perception, lifestyle and trying to fit in- in both high school and college.

What starts out as a friendship, an understanding between her and Tobi, opens her up to a world of what Jade terms being a “prosy” (a prostitute) and soon enough she’s caught up in trying to sustain a lifestyle she never thought would be her’s in the beginning.

It’s also a story about friendship and the consequences of choosing friends.
I loved it and received a copy from NetGalley in exchange for a fair and honest review.

Get a copy: Amazon