Review: Wild Child by Molly O’Keefe. Beautifully written deep romance.

Title: Wild Child
Author: Molly O’Keefe
My rating: 4 of 5 Stars

SUMMARY

Monica Appleby is a woman with a reputation. Once she was America’s teenage “Wild Child,” with her own reality TV show. Now she’s a successful author coming home to Bishop, Arkansas, to pen the juicy follow-up to her tell-all autobiography. Problem is, the hottest man in town wants her gone. Mayor Jackson Davies is trying to convince a cookie giant to move its headquarters to his crumbling community, and Monica’s presence is just too . . . unwholesome for business. But the desire in his eyes sends a very different message: Stay, at least for a while.

Jackson needs this cookie deal to go through. His town is dying and this may be its last shot. Monica is a distraction proving too sweet, too inviting—and completely beyond his control. With every kiss he can taste her loneliness, her regrets, and her longing. Soon their uncontrollable attraction is causing all kinds of drama. But when two lost hearts take a surprise detour onto the bumpy road of unexpected love, it can only lead someplace wonderful.

MY THOUGHTS

I read a lot of Romance. Recently I find it hard to fell in love with a book in this genre. Call it romance burn-out. Same tropes, same characters, same stories… But I longed for a love story that would make me feel deeply again. I want to say thank you to Molly O’Keefe for this book.

Wild Child is one of the best romance books out there. Molly took the same old trope, but wrote a beautiful unique and meaningful story. Now I have an urge to revisit my old ratings and change them, I gave away 4 and 5 Stars so freely.

I loved Molly’s writing style. The most fitting word to describe it is delicious. Yes, delicious words… I read this book slowly, savoring every sentence.

The author wrote complex multidimensional characters and I was fully invested in their stories.

And of course the romance. Deep, touching, at times sad and hurting, Monica and Jackson’s relationship was such a delight to follow.

My only complaint is Shelby Monroe’s story. This sub-plot was thrown onto the reader so abruptly and from nowhere, that I had difficulties with it. But it was a minor thing that didn’t lessen my overall enjoyment of the book.

Beautifully written deep story with great characterization. Highly recommended to all lovers of romance.

Audiobook review: The Winner’s Curse (The Winner’s Trilogy #1) by Marie Rutkoski

Title: The Winner’s Curse (The Winner’s Trilogy #1)
Author: Marie Rutkoski
Narrator: Justine Eyre
Story rating: 3 of 5 Stars
Audio rating: 3 of 5 Stars
Overall rating: 3 of 5 Stars

SUMMARY

Winning what you want may cost you everything you love…

As a general’s daughter in a vast empire that revels in war and enslaves those it conquers, seventeen-year-old Kestrel has two choices: she can join the military or get married. But Kestrel has other intentions.

One day, she is startled to find a kindred spirit in a young slave up for auction. Arin’s eyes seem to defy everything and everyone. Following her instinct, Kestrel buys him—with unexpected consequences. It’s not long before she has to hide her growing love for Arin.

But he, too, has a secret, and Kestrel quickly learns that the price she paid for a fellow human is much higher than she ever could have imagined.

Set in a richly imagined new world, The Winner’s Curse by Marie Rutkoski is a story of deadly games where everything is at stake, and the gamble is whether you will keep your head or lose your heart.

MY THOUGHTS

I can see now why there were negative reviews on The Winner’s Curse. This book is focused on the romance between Kestrel and Arin; everything else is in the background. But for a story this heavy on the romance, I never was sold on their star-crossed love. There wasn’t any chemistry and real connection between them. They both were cold and distant. I personally don’t mind books, which are heavy on romance and light on fantasy, I even prefer this kind of books if the romance is well-done. Sadly in this case the romance didn’t work for me.

It’s a shame really, because Marie Rutkoski’s characterization is amazing. Her characters are multidimensional and ambiguous. And I usually love character-driven stories. She created interesting complex world. I especially love that this world is unique and different from ours, but at the same time it is similar in so many aspects. We don’t see fantastic creatures or supernatural abilities here. We see the Herrani and the Valorians with their painful past and present. We see real people who are forced to make difficult choices. This book is filled with politic, but I never was a fan of political intrigues.

In truth I don’t know who would love this book. The romance was weak and it won’t satisfy romance lovers, and there wasn’t enough political intrigues and world-building to impress those readers, who love fantasy.

My thoughts about the audiobook:

Justine Eyre is a new to me narrator. In truth I wasn’t impressed by her performance. She has a quality to her voice that just lulled me to sleep. I still listened to the audiobook because it was the only way I could read at that time. I recommend you to listen to an audio sample before purchasing the audiobook.

However, all my friends urge me to continue with this series despite my issues. They say the story gets better. Well, I definitely hope it does.

Review: Dirty Little Secret by Jennifer Echols. Their passion for music was contagious

Title: Dirty Little Secret
Author: Jennifer Echols
My rating: 4 of 5 Stars

SUMMARY

Bailey wasn’t always a wild child and the black sheep of her family. She used to play fiddle and tour the music circuit with her sister, Julie, who sang and played guitar. That ended when country music execs swooped in and signed Julie to a solo deal. Never mind that Julie and Bailey were a duet, or that Bailey was their songwriter. The music scouts wanted only Julie, and their parents were content to sit by and let her fulfill her dreams while Bailey’s were hushed away. Read More

How Sam Claflin ruined 3 movie adaptations for me

Don’t get me wrong. I like Sam Claflin. I really do. He is a talented actor, and he has a great smile. Actually my post is not about Sam Claflin, it’s about downsides of reading a lot of books. I should probably name this post Difficult Life of a Reader.

I’m one of those readers who watch a book-to-movie adaptation only after reading a book. Well, except this time. I never was a big movie fan. If I have to choose between spending evening with a book or watching a movie, I guess I would take book over movie. But I do love movies and I used to watch a lot of new releases. Used to, because it looks like the more I read the less number of movies I can enjoy.
You are asking yourself what Sam Claflin has to do with this all. He just happened to play main characters in book to movie adaptations of my favorite books. Read More

Nonreview: Before Jamaica Lane by Samantha Young. Where I incoherently blabber.

Title: Before Jamaica Lane (On Dublin Street #3)
Author: Samantha Young
My rating: 5 of 5 Stars

SUMMARY

Despite her outgoing demeanor, Olivia is painfully insecure around the opposite sex—usually, she can’t get up the nerve to approach guys she’s interested in. But moving to Edinburgh has given her a new start, and, after she develops a crush on a sexy postgrad, she decides it’s time to push past her fears and go after what she wants.

Nate Sawyer is a gorgeous player who never commits, but to his close friends, he’s as loyal as they come. So when Olivia turns to him with her relationship woes, he offers to instruct her in the art of flirting and to help her become more sexually confident. Read More

Review: Flat-Out Love by Jessica Park. I wasn’t prepared for that ending.

Title: Flat-Out Love (Flat-Out Love #1)
Author: Jessica Park
My rating: 3 of 5 Stars

SUMMARY

Flat-Out Love is a warm and witty novel of family love and dysfunction, deep heartache and raw vulnerability, with a bit of mystery and one whopping, knock-you-to-your-knees romance.

It’s not what you know—or when you see—that matters. It’s about a journey. Read More

Review: The Fifteenth Minute by Sarina Bowen. Breaking NA stereotypes

Title: The Fifteenth Minute (The Ivy Years #5)
Author: Sarina Bowen
My rating: 3.5 of 5 Stars

SUMMARY

Freshman Lianne Challice is known to millions of fans as Princess Vindi. But sometimes a silver screen sorceress just wants to hang up her wand, tell her manager to shove it, and become a normal college student. Too bad that’s harder than it looks. Read More

Review: Down London Road by Samantha Young

Title: Down London Road (On Dublin Street #2)
Author: Samantha Young
My rating: 3 of 5 Stars

SUMMARY

Johanna Walker is used to taking charge. But she’s about to meet someone who will make her lose control… Read More

Review: Such a Rush by Jennifer Echols. Chemistry off the charts

Title: Such a Rush
Author: Jennifer Echols
My rating: 5 of 5 Stars

MY THOUGHTS

It looks like Jennifer Echols’ YA romantic dramas work best for me. I loved her Love Story; her Going Too Far is one of my all-time favorites; and Such a Rush was no exception. So good. Read More

Review: Suffer Love by Ashley Herring Blake. That time when you relate to heroine’s parents.

Title: Suffer Love
Author: Ashley Herring Blake
My rating: 4 of 5 Stars

SUMMARY

“Just let it go.”

That’s what everyone keeps telling Hadley St. Clair after she learns that her father cheated on her mother. But Hadley doesn’t want to let it go. She wants to be angry and she wants everyone in her life—her dad most of all—to leave her alone. Read More