I read “The Belles” when it first came back way back when and somehow never got around to reading the sequel. I had my doubts going in. Firstly I couldn’t remember the plot of the first book and I was too lazy to try and track down my copy in my huge hoard of books. Secondly I wasn’t sure if I would still be able to connect with the characters after such a long wait. But I gave it a go and it was worth it. Instantly we are given a recap of what happened and why Camille, Edel and Remy are on the run. They are trying to locate Princess Charlotte, the real heir to the throne. They also come across a rebel group called “The Iron Ladies” (who really deserved a bigger role in this book). They are sort of just there. Throughout the book, the reader is reminded of significant events in the first one which makes reading this after a long wait easy. Even after all this time, the worldbuilding was amazing and the writing drew me in immediately.
When Diana Blade receives an invite from her sister-in-law to meet her brother after several years, she accepts it albeit reluctantly. But while she is trying to reconcile the man her brother is with the boy she knew growing up, she gets to know his best friend and brother-in-law, Caine MacGregor. Caine’s reputation precedes him- both personally and professionally. Diana has heard all about Caine and his conquests and has no desire to be another one of them. But when Caine decides to expand his practice, he picks Diana to be his partner. It isn’t long before the two have to start juggle their professional relationship with whatever is brewing between them romantically. I loved having another look at the MacGregor family. Daniel is hilarious as always with his constant demands of marriage and grandchildren. I don’t remember Caine that well from the first book but it was great seeing the family again and getting to know the characters of future books. If you’re looking for a quick and easy, I definitely recommend this book.
It took me a while to get into this novel but it was a nice sort of slow burn- sort of like West and Grace’s relationship. West is running away from his past traumas and his method of escape involves drugs, alcohol and fighting for money. Grace is trying to hide away from her past where she was involved in a fire that ruined her beauty. Her method of escape involves isolation, baseball caps and hoodies. When West signs up to work with Grace at her best friend’s food truck, no one expects anything to happen between them. The town’s hottie bad boy and the girl burned so badly she looks like toast? Highly unlikely. But the two strike up a friendship and the more time they spend together, the more they start to realize that they might not be that different after all. “Playing with Fire” was a book I looked forward to for a while but was reluctant to approach because it seemed too angsty. There is a whole lot of angst which is why I couldn’t binge read it the way I wanted to but I enjoyed reading this nonetheless. This is one of L.J Shen’s finest work and if you want to cry and feel good thereafter, this is the book for you.
“Finding Audrey” is the story of Audrey who is unable to leave her house or take off her sunglasses- even inside her own house. Something traumatic happened to her leaving Audrey scarred and unable to trust people. But then she meets Linus who decides to write Audrey little notes in order to help her get used to him. The two of them strike up a friendship and eventually with him at her side, Audrey is able to slowly face the world again. So I had a family member recommend this book to me because I don’t like leaving the house and I was annoyed with them so I never read this book at the time. Now that I have read it, I wish I had done so sooner (Story of my life). It is hard not to feel compassion for Audrey and while she never goes into the story of what happened to her, I was rooting for her throughout the book. Audrey makes me feel seen and reading this book calmed down my anxiety. 100 stars! (P.S feel free to send more recommendations like this my way)
So I bought this book for R10 at Readers Warehouse Black Friday sale like three years ago. I didn’t pick it up as I was still missing the remaining books. I got the remaining books last March and still didn’t start the series because I am a bad reader. In honor of how much things have changed (and also because my brain keeps thinking we are still in March, thanks Corona) I finally started reading and all I can say is WOW! Chloe’s first period comes with the startling side effects of her seeing dead people. When she has a very public mental breakdown, screaming at ghosts in her high school, she is moved to a group home with other “ill” students. However the more time that Chloe spends with her housemates, the more she starts to suspect that something sinister is going on. It certainly doesn’t help matters that even with her medication, ghosts are STILL trying to talk to her. I loved the idea of a group home with magically gifted teenagers. It isn’t something that I ever read before so I definitely enjoyed this book immensely. Kinda sad that it was just sitting there on my shelf for so long and I missed finding this series sooner but that’s the story of my life. If you like paranormal fantasy, definitely give this a try.
When rebel Pinky Kumar is accused of burning down the family barn at a holiday (by her mother no less), she decides that she has had enough of her mother looking down at her and her eccentric protest ways. She comes up with a plan to show everyone that even Pinky Kumar can find a “good boy”. Except Pinky Kumar doesn’t really know any good boys. So she calls in Samir Jha, a friend of a friend who is dull as can possibly be. Samir has planned every second of his life. When his law internship falls through, he agrees to Pinky’s plan in exchange for the opportunity to work for her lawyer mother. The two of them hate each other so pretending to be in a relationship might take a bit work. But they both get something out of it so it shouldn’t be that tough, right? But as Pinky and Samir start to spend more time together to make their fake relationship look authentic, they both start opening up to each other and sparks begin to fly. This reminded me alot of “When Dimple Met Rishi” but I enjoyed it nonetheless. The two characters are polar opposites but surprisingly they work. I strongly recommend this novel if you are looking for a light read.
“Love at First Fight” sets the scene for a romance between Pinky Kumar and Samir Jha. However I was just in it to see my favorites, Rishi, Dimple, Ashish and Sweetie. It is so cute how Ashish is STILL so smitten with Sweetie. “Love at First Fight” follows the group as they tackle an escape room for Valentine’s Day. Of course the couples are together, leaving Pinky and Samir on their own team. I actually cannot stand Samir. He seems like a totally dweeb. However I also hated Rishi at first read and he grew on me eventually so I am willing to give the other weird boy a chance. I thought the whole set-up of the couples were kinda predictable but I really liked seeing these characters again. Sweetie is sweet. Ashish is madly in love, Dimple is still raging against her mother’s anti feminist ways and Rishi is still superstitious and believing in Fate (Seriously, HOW are these two together?) This was a quick read that I devored. Personally I don’t think you need to read this before reading “10 Things I Hate About Pinky” but it’s a great chance to see the characters from the previous books.
I was a major Twihard back in the day so purchasing this book was a must for me. When I saw the size of the paperback (700 plus pages), I was a bit daunted by the size but convinced myself it was fine. It was Edward. I loved Edward. He was my first book boyfriend. The synopsis was a bit over the top but again, it’s my book bae, Edward. I opened the book and realized two things. One- This was a really heavy book. Two- Edward has ALOT of thoughts. Like I used to think I was an overthinker but Edward put me to shame. Incidentally reading this book calmed my anxiety (mostly), because with Edward doing so much overthinking, I didn’t have to. I have mixed feelings about this book. On one hand, WHY is it so big and WHY does Edward have so many thoughts? However it was pretty interesting to see inside his head and hear his side of the story. Several moments from the book series and movie series make much more sense after reading “Midnight Sun.” I definitely suggest you read this if you’re a “Twilight” fan. Just maybe a few pages at a time and maybe purchase the ebook instead? There were several times I had to stop reading simply because the act of holding the book up was too much for me. I’m not a fan of Edward’s thoughts or the size of this book. But by the last page, I was pretty disappointed that this was the last we would hear from him (although can you imagine how depressing “New Moon” would be from his perspective?) Against my better judgement, this book had me hooked.
Lady Aline has been in love with John McKenna since they were both kids. However she is a lady while he works in the stables. When their budding romance is discovered, Aline is forced to make McKenna leave by lying to him that she never loved him. Many years later, McKenna returns to the estate after having made his fortune in America. He is determined to extract revenge on Aline however it is clear that every after so much time, both their feelings have not dimmed at all. I’ve lost count of how many times I’ve read this book over and over again. I love starting the Wallflowers series from the very beginning and seeing Westcliff’s background. This time was no exception. I finished this book and instantly started on the next one in the series. I loved the pairing of Aline and McKenna especially seeing how they grow and evolve over time. This is a beautiful love story with a happily ever after that I enjoyed immensely.
Kate meets an old friend of her father and learns about her father’s shady past. Still reeling from this discovery, Kate is even more shocked when she is fired for suspected embezzlement. She has put her whole life into her career and now she is left out in the cold. Kate decides to join Margo and Laura at their store, “Pretenses.” But as her stress levels slowly rise with everything happening around her, so does her attraction to Byron, the Templeton’s new employee. Kate drove me crazy in this novel. While I loved her relationship with Byron it drove me crazy that she just accepted the embezzlement charges. From the get-go it was clear who was behind everything but Kate was busy with her life (no Kate, you worked hard for this career, dammit) and unable to see it. Besides that small but annoying itch, I enjoyed this book. I love seeing the Templetons together. I almost feel jealous of their beautiful home and luxurious lifestyle (Actually I probably do). The embezzlement plot is probably my least favorite part of this novel but I really did like seeing how Byron and Kate came together.