Hunting Prince Dracula Book Review (Spoiler Free)

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“The world is neither kind nor is it cruel. It simply exists. We have the ability to view it however we choose.” 

Author: Kerri Maniscalco

Publisher: September 19th 2017 by Little, Brown & Company

Pages: 434

Rating: 5/5

HOLY CANNOLI! I think it’s safe to say that I loved the second book even more than the first! It’s honestly something that rarely happens with most series since some of them fall into the “Second Book Syndrome,” but I am so happy that this book did not! As with the previous book, I did not see that ending coming! JUST WOW! 🙂

Please note the summary/review below may have spoilers from the first book, Stalking Jack the Ripper

Summary (From GoodReads):

In this New York Times bestselling sequel to Kerri Maniscalco’s haunting #1 debut Stalking Jack the Ripper, bizarre murders are discovered in the castle of Prince Vlad the Impaler, otherwise known as Dracula. Could it be a copycat killer…or has the depraved prince been brought back to life?

Following the grief and horror of her discovery of Jack the Ripper’s true identity, Audrey Rose Wadsworth has no choice but to flee London and its memories. Together with the arrogant yet charming Thomas Cresswell, she journeys to the dark heart of Romania, home to one of Europe’s best schools of forensic medicine…and to another notorious killer, Vlad the Impaler, whose thirst for blood became legend.

But her life’s dream is soon tainted by blood-soaked discoveries in the halls of the school’s forbidding castle, and Audrey Rose is compelled to investigate the strangely familiar murders. What she finds brings all her terrifying fears to life once again.

Characters

Audrey Rose Wadsworth – I definitely liked Audrey a lot more in this book! Although she was a strong character in the first novel, I felt that her character was more relatable in the second. She is going though the aftermaths of her days in London and the Ripper murders and even with this period of grief, she still is a formidable force and has so much strength.

“Please do not make the mistake of telling me what’s best for me, as if you are the sole authority on the subject.” 

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Thomas Cresswell – Excuse me, but where can I find this man? Like I must know. Right now! I love how the author provided us more depths to his character. His flaws make him seem more human and also gives us more reason to adore him! Besides his charm and kindness, he also has level of maturity which is a quality I greatly admire. There were so many quotes from him in this book where I had to take a moment and be like . . . wow that was deep! But usually he is a devilish flirt LOL

“Try not to miss me too much Wadsworth. Though that might be an impossible task. I, for one, miss myself terribly when asleep.” 

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Final Thoughts

While Stalking Jack the Ripper takes place in Victorian Era London, Hunting Prince Dracula is set in Romania. Similar to the first book, the author does a phenomenal job creating the vast and gorgeous scenery of the Romanian landscape and it does feel that you are within the country. She is very skilled in capturing the exquisite details to make the setting very realistic and I loved venturing into these new lands and learning more about the culture.

Audrey’s character development  was done quite well in this book. Although it wasn’t anything too dynamic, we do see her struggle with the aftermath of the previous novel and fight to regain her strength to overcome her demons. Although she is filled with such turmoil, what makes her more interesting to read about is her endearing personality and her passion for what she does and wants to achieve. We also given more insight into Thomas’s background and I appreciated that we were able to see the different layers of his character.

The overall pacing of the novel was well done in my opinion. From the very beginning, it was very gripping and as a reader, you knew you were in for a wild ride! The writing was beautiful as well. It captured the Romanian scenery, the ambiance of the horrific murders, the tension between the students at the Academy and terrifying moments of the investigations. In addition, the quotes in this book are worth recognition! Let’s just take a moment to appreciate the artistry in this piece of literature:

“Monsters could wear the smiles of friends while secreting away the rotten soul of the Devil in the darkest crevices of themselves.” (pg. 287) 

“Monsters are only real as the stories that grant them life. And they only live for long as we tell those tales.” (pg. 132)

“No matter how much death and horror existed, there were still things of beauty to find.” (pg. 407)

JUST STUNNING.

Overall, I LOVED this sequel to Stalking Jack the Ripper and I would definitely recommend this series if you enjoy reading books with sassy characters, hilarious banter, gripping and mysterious plot and beautiful writing!

Have any of you read this series yet? What were your thoughts on it?

Until next time keep reading and I will see you all soon with another bookish post! (Hopefully, that would be soon since I am still recovering from the BTS performance and 2 wins on the Billboard Awards last night. DAYUUMMMM )

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Bring Me Their Hearts by Sara Wolf Cover Reveal

Hello everyone! I am so happy to be working with Entangled Teen Publishing to share with you all the cover reveal for Sara Wolf’s new book – Bring me Their HeartsThis is a new series which Publishers Weekly has listed as “one of the most anticipated YA’s of 2018!” And it is also been described as a fast-paced, gritty fantasy which is sure to thrill fans of Holly Black, Sabba Tahir, and Sarah J. Maas. How exciting!! 

Isn’t the cover gorgeous?

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About the book:

In a new series Publishers Weekly has listed this book as “one of the most anticipated YA’s of 2018”, we’re excited to share the cover for Bring Me Their Hearts! NYT bestselling author Sara Wolf delivers a fast-paced, gritty fantasy sure to thrill fans of Holly Black, Sabba Tahir, and Sarah J. Maas.

Summary:

Zera is a Heartless—the immortal, unaging soldier of a witch. Bound to the witch Nightsinger ever since she saved her from the bandits who murdered her family, Zera longs for freedom from the woods they hide in. With her heart in a jar under Nightsinger’s control, she serves the witch unquestioningly.

Until Nightsinger asks Zera for a prince’s heart in exchange for her own, with one addendum: if she’s discovered infiltrating the court, Nightsinger will destroy Zera’s heart rather than see her tortured by the witch-hating nobles.

Crown Prince Lucien d’Malvane hates the royal court as much as it loves him—every tutor too afraid to correct him and every girl jockeying for a place at his darkly handsome side. No one can challenge him—until the arrival of Lady Zera. She’s inelegant, smart-mouthed, carefree, and out for his blood. The prince’s honor has him quickly aiming for her throat.

So begins a game of cat and mouse between a girl with nothing to lose and a boy who has it all.

Winner takes the loser’s heart.

Literally.

 

You can check out more news about the book with the links below:

Entangled Publishing

Amazon

B&N

iTunes

Kobo

Goodreads

Release Date: June 5th, 2018

About Sara Wolf:

Sara Wolf is a twenty-something author who adores baking, screaming at her cats, and screaming at herself while she types hilarious things. When she was a kid, she was too busy eating dirt to write her first terrible book. Twenty years later, she picked up a keyboard and started mashing her fists on it and created the monster known as the Lovely Vicious series. She lives in San Diego with two cats, a crippling-yet-refreshing sense of self-doubt, and not enough fruit tarts ever.

Hope you all enjoyed the today’s post! I am super excited for this release and I hope you all will definitely check out Sara’s new book! It sounds awesome!

Until next time, keep reading and I will see you all soon with another bookish post!

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Sparked by Helena Echlin and Malena Watrous Blog Tour

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Authors: Helena Echlin and Malena Watrous Blog

Publication: October 3rd 2017 by Geek & Sundry

GoodReads

TOUR SCHEDULE

Hello everyone! I am pleased to announce that I am part of the Book Tour for Sparked by Helena Echlin and Malena Watrous. This book seems so intriguing and I can’t wait to pick it up! To celebrate the release of this book, I have partnered up with Chapter by Chapter to share a special note from one of the authors, Malena Watrous to her Readers! You can find the letter down below! 🙂

Summary (Goodreads):

Fifteen-year-old Laurel Goodwin wakes up to find her older sister Ivy missing from their Airstream trailer in the Oregon redwoods. A recurring nightmare convinces her that Ivy was abducted, but no one takes her dream seriously, including her mom. Laurel, a loner, has to learn to ask for help, and Jasper Blake, a mysterious new kid who shares her love of old books, quickly becomes her ally. Together they find their quiet town holds a deep secret and is the epicenter of a dark prophecy.

Laurel soon learns that her worst enemies, mean girls Peyton Andersen and Mei Rosen, are developing powers that she needs to find and save Ivy. With time running out, Laurel realizes that power doesn’t always take the form that you expect. And once she learns to look beyond her snap judgments, she develops an unexpected gift of her own. 

AUTHOR POST by Malena Watrous:

Dear Reader,

When we wrote this book, we had a very clear idea of who you were. You were a thirteen-year-old girl who stayed up all night with a flashlight in order to find out the twist in the latest novel by Lois Duncan. A fifteen-year-old devouring everything by Stephen King. When you got your hands on Carrie, on a camping trip with your best friend, you needed her to read it at the same time as you, and so you ripped the paperback apart, chapter by chapter, so that you could read it simultaneously, shrieking and staying up all night until you’d both come to the satisfying ending.

 

How do I know this?

 

Because we wrote this book for the girl we used to be.

 

When I was fifteen, the same age as our main character Laurel, I dreamed of having the power to move things with my eyes. It was so real that when I woke up I felt that if I just tried hard enough, flexing my eyes like muscles, I might be able to move something very small—a postage stamp or paperclip. Never happened, of course. 

 

I also dreamed of being a writer and that dream did come true. I published my first novel. It was a novel for adults and I was proud of it but it wasn’t the kind of book I’d dreamed of writing as a kid. No magic. Just real people living real and difficult lives. There’s nothing wrong with that kind of book. But at some point, I realized that I wanted to have fun writing again, and maybe frighten myself just a little too. I wanted to write a book like Carrie or Matilda, with good and evil, big powers and an exciting showdown. 

 

Lucky for me, I met Helena, a friend who shared my love of writing, and wanted to write this kind of story too. She grew up in London, England and I grew up in Oregon, but as teenagers, strangers three thousand miles apart, we read all the same books. Even as adults, our bookshelves held all the same favorite titles. We both had a feeling we’d enjoy writing with each other. After all, when we were little, we used to “play pretend” with friends. Why not try doing that on paper? We wrote this story for each other, sharing scenes like secret treats, and we wrote this book for our former selves. One of the last things we wrote was the book’s dedication, and just like with so much of the story, we were in perfect agreement about what to say:

 

This book is for anyone who has heard the self-doubting voice that says: you can’t write, you’re not good enough. Silence your inner critic and find the spark inside you, waiting to ignite.

 

That was us.

 

That’s you, dear reader. 

 

Thank you for sharing our story.

 

Now go tell your own. 

 

Warmly,

Malena

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Hope you all enjoyed this post!

It was such a pleasure for me to take part in this blog tour for this amazing book! This has been receiving such great reviews from so many readers. I hope you all will support these great writers and read this book as well!

Until next time, keep reading and I will see you all with another bookish post! 🙂

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Violet Grenade Book Tour w/ Author Interview

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Genre: Dark

Author: Victoria Scott

Publication: May 16th 2017 by Entangled Teen

Pages: 300

Rating: 4/5

GoodReads

Hello everyone! I am so happy to announce that I am hosting a stop for the Violet Grenade Book Tour by Victoria Scott! Hoorayyy!!! Thank you to Entangled Teen and Chapter by Chapter for this amazing opportunity! I was able to receive an e-ARC through NetGalley in exchange for an honest review.

Stay tuned for the Author Interview at the end of the post for an in depth look into the book, Victoria’s writing habits and what we can look forward from her in the future!

Summary

Domino is a homeless girl who lives with her best friend, Dizzy, who unfortunately ends up captured and thrown into jail through a series of events. With no money to bail him out, Domino is forced to turn to the aid of Madam Karina who offers her a place to stay and a position in her Home for Girls. It isn’t long before Domino learns the dark secrets which lay within this Home as well as the ones Madam Karina holds herself. Within time, Domino tries to escape her clutches but she holds a special and dangerous secret as well: A voice in her head named Wilson.

Characters

Domino – Strong and Independent; I truly enjoyed reading about Domino. I loved that she was portrayed as a strong woman who knew how to take care of herself but still had a few insecurities as well: one of them being Wilson since she believes herself to be a monster for having him invade her mind. Her insecurities helped with making her character more relatable.

Cain – Quiet and Mysterious; Cain was also a character who was well thought out since he does come from a past which haunts him but despite everything, he is still gentle and protective over Domino which was sweet to see progress throughout the story.

Madam Karina – Mysterious yet vicious antagonist who manages to charismatically gain control over the minds of the girls in her Home. I also enjoyed that the author gave her character a backstory along with the other characters. It helped make the story more realistic.

Wilson – “The voice within Domino.” When we first introduced to Wilson, I had to admit I was quite shocked since I never read a story in which we were introduced to a character within the mind of a protagonist. I loved reading about him and the relationship he had with Domino. Despite being the dark and violent voice within Domino, he only had one sole purpose which was trying to protect her.

My Final Thoughts: 

This was a fabulous read and I was very impressed of how fresh the concept of the story was to include a character within the mind of another main character. We usually do not see much psychological thrillers within YA literature so it was quite refreshing to read something different from typical YA genres. This book was a mix of a lot of themes: Psychological, Unusual, Horrifying, and Heartbreaking that you cannot help but be glued to the pages since the plot moves rapidly. There was not one moment where I felt the story slowed down or lagged. The high stakes and the secrets within these characters was what kept me reading. This is definitely not a light read since there are dark themes present within this novel as well as some intense and emotional scenes. Overall, the characters were so well developed and the plot was so fast paced that this was just an awesome book to read! I would definitely recommend this if you enjoy reading psychological thrillers and darker YA genres.

 

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About the Author (From GoodReads): 

Victoria Scott is the acclaimed author of eight novels for young adults including FIRE & FLOOD, THE COLLECTOR, HEAR THE WOLVES, and VIOLET GRENADE. She is published by Scholastic and Entangled Teen, and is represented by Sara Crowe. Victoria’s novels are sold in fourteen countries, and she loves receiving reader emails from at home, and across the world.

Website | Twitter | Facebook | Instragram | Goodreads

 

Author Interview: 

1. The concept of having a character with a second personality is quite unique. How did you come with the idea?

I just kept picturing this small teenage girl who looks in every way like the perfect victim, but you don’t realize she’s packing ammunition in her head. The character, Domino, never left my mind. So I had to write her.

2. In terms of writing and world building, what advice do you have for future writers who wish to craft and develop a fantasy yet believable new world? How do you approach this when you are writing your books?

I think the realness comes from the details. It comes from watching people around you and noticing what quirks make them human, and relatable. I think comes from the characters even more than the world itself.

3. Have you ever faced writers block? How do you typically try to overcome it?

I treat writer’s block like others treat having an unmotivated day. I put on my Big Girl pants and write anyway. Because this is my job, and I can’t stay in bed just because I feel like it no more than anyone else at any other job (though sometimes I wish I could).

4. Do you have a favorite place to write? Any special playlists you like to listen to?

I have a favourite coffee shop, and a favourite drink there (Pink Drink for the win!). I usually listen to Spotify while writing, but the scene dictates the playlist.

5. Do you have any book or series that you would never get tired of reading multiple times?

Harry Potter for days! Always and forever.

6. What can we expect from you in the future? Are there any other genres you would like to explore?

I’m drafting a new young adult book right now that’s a stand-alone. Someday I may try an adult novel. I love reading adult thrillers!

 

Thank you all for stopping by!

Until next time, keep reading and I will see you soon! 🙂

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COVER REVEAL: #YOLO BY K.M. PYNE

Hello everyone! I hope you all are having a great day! I am so happy to be part of Chapter by Chapter Cover Reveal Event for #Yolo by K.M Pyne, Book #2 in the Ruby Knight Chronicles! So without further ado, here is the anticipated cover:

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Summary:

#YOLO by K.M. Pyne

Publication Date:  May 8, 2017

Once again Ruby Knight finds herself dragged into her Mam’s World. This time someone at her school is out for revenge!

Ruby, along with her friends, have to work out who is murdering students … Why they are murdering them? … What do they ultimately want?

At the same time relationships are made and some are broken, but will Ruby find the killer in time?

Or will someone else have to perish at the hands of a killer?

GoodReads

OTHER BOOKS IN THE SERIES

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Summary:

When Ruby Knight’s best friend, Catriona Taylor disappears Ruby knows something isn’t right.

Time is ticking and the race is on to find Catriona. Has she run away? Is she really on a holiday with her parents? Has something more sinister happened to her?

These are the questions facing Ruby. Can she find Catriona? Can she ask her detective Mam for help? Or will she leave it too late?

Follow Ruby on her journey to find her best friend!

Goodreads:  

KMPyne

KM Pyne lives in Dublin, Ireland and this is her first YA book. There are sequels which are already written and some paranormal YA’s in the future. She is married, has two children and works full time. Writing is a hobby, but it takes over more and more of her life. Characters and stories come into her mind all the time and she has to stop and write them down so that she can build on them at a later date.

Website | Twitter | Facebook | Instagram | SnapchatGoodreads

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Until next time, keep reading and I will see you guys soon! 🙂

~Ash

Fangirl Book Review (Spoiler Free)

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“I’m the kind of girl who fantasizes about being trapped in a library overnight.”

Author: Rainbow Rowell

Published September 10th 2013 by St. Martin’s Press

Pages: 445

GoodReads

Rating: 4/5

I think I might have found my new favorite contemporary book! : )

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From the very first few pages, I was automatically grasped by the story since it was so reminiscent of my early college days. The characters also made the story so enticing and I yearned to learn more about them as the novel progressed. I truly saw myself in Cath, our main character, because I too was highly introverted and I also had a fear of being placed into a social gathering since at that time in my life, I was going through some social anxiety due to my past experiences. But like Cath, when you do meet people who are willing to understand and respect your personality, that is when the walls that you built start crumbling down and you realize that the world may not be as scary as it seems.

Summary:

Cath’s world practically revolves around Simon Snow and her endless pages of fan-fiction and when she was young, she was able to share this love with her twin sister, Wren. Now that the two girls are beginning a new life at college, Wren is ready to let go of the fandom while Cath cannot help but hold on to it. Despite being so close when they were young, Wren decides not to be roommates, leaving her sister all alone. Cath is now surrounded by a brash roommate and her charming boyfriend, a skeptical professor, and a classmate who also shares her love for writing. While being suddenly thrown into this new environment, Cath is forced to learn how to live her own life without having to rely on her sister. With the addition of complex relationships, class struggles and worrying for her Dad, the path towards succeeding in college and life may not seem as easy as it seems.

 

Characters:

Cath – Fanfic writer; Social Anxiety; Cares for Dad/Sister – Cath was someone I could easily connect with since I pretty much shared her experiences when I was in college. The fact that she tends to avoid social situations leads to her snarky and sometimes sarcastic comments which had me amused at certain points. Despite that, she does have a soft side since she was very much attached to her father and would always check up on him since he would be home alone.

Levi – Very Sociable; Next Door Boy personality – Levi is male character who looks and feels so realistic to a normal person. I liked the fact that Rainbow Rowell did not have to make him be this typical YA bad boy who is oozing with sex appeal. He is pretty much the average, sweet guy who every girl would want to meet and have a relationship with. That is not to say he is completely perfect since he does have his own flaws. However, I admire the fact that he is willing to accept and take responsibility for any mistakes he has done.

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Wren – Bold; Outgoing – Wren’s lifestyle is college was the complete opposite of Cath and through her we got to see a complete different side to the life on campus. Although she is not the main character, Rainbow Rowell did do a great job in developing her story arc to highlight some important issues we face in college.

Reagan – Blunt; Straightforward – The dynamic between Cath and Reagan was so much fun to read about. I loved the friendship that grows between them and how Reagan was able to bring Cath out of her shell and help her adjust to college life.

My Thoughts: 

If you have been following my blog, it is no secret that I typically do not reach for contemporary books since I generally prefer sci-fi/fantasy novels since they are the ones which provide an escape for me. Nevertheless, I still enjoyed reading this novel since there were so many moments which I found to be truly relatable. Some examples, existed within the college lifestyle such as the initial fear of being in a new place, having to make new friends, living with a roommate, stressing about classes/exams, etc. I love the fact that Cath would hide a bunch of protein bars in her room to avoid going to the dining hall which is kind of what I did but the only difference was that I basically lived off of ramen 🙂

The only issue I had with this novel which prevented me from giving it a perfect 5/5 was that I felt the ending did not seem as complete or resolved as I would have liked it to be. This could be because there was not much of a direct goal which had to be accomplished by the end of the story or that Rainbow Rowell did not want to drag the book out to make it longer than it needs to be. I did appreciate that we saw some growth in Cath since she is able to speak up for herself and does not shut everyone out like she initially had done from the start of the novel. The romance was beautifully developed and both Cath and Levi just seemed right for each other.  ship.gif

Overall, if you are looking for a fun and light contemporary read, you should definitely pick up Fangirl! 🙂

Fun Fact: I was living on campus for my first year of college and during the final exams of my first semester, I actually overslept and woke about approximately 15 minutes before the start of the exam 😦 The main issue was the lecture hall where we the exam was scheduled was on a separate campus and I has to take the bus to get there. This was probably the day (and may be the only day) where I broke the record for the fastest time I have ever gotten out of bed and gotten ready to go out.

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P.S – I surprisingly did make it there and managed to finish the exam on time hehe

Did any of you guys read Fangirl? What were your thoughts on it?

~Ash~

Swinging At Love – Book Review (Spoiler Free)

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Author: Kendra C. Highley

Publisher: Entangled Teen

Release Date: March 13th 2017

Pages: 191

Rating: 3/5

GoodReads

Thank you so much to Entangled Publishing for providing me an e-ARC of this book on NetGalley in exchange for an honest review! 

Summary:

Alyssa and her family are facing a potential shutdown of their batting cage while Tristan has completely lost his swing for the game. A lot of things are on the line for him: being the potential captain of his team next year and that his entire team is counting on him to help them win the upcoming championship. When things seem to worsen, he decides to step away from his teammates for awhile and practice in a small center, known as Swing Away and this is where he meets Alyssa. Impressed at her technical expertise at the game and her softball skills, the two of them manage to grow close right away. What seems to be a very simple relationship grows to become even more complicated as time progresses.

Characters:

  1. Alyssa – Responsible, Independent, Bold; I was impressed with Alyssa’s character from the first chapter. She is so knowledgeable yet she never gets too arrogant about her skills and her sense of responsibility towards her familial issues was something to applaud at her age.
  2. Tristan – Charming, Passionate for Baseball, Swoon-worthy; Tristan was definitely a sweet character who had me squealing at some scenes 🙂 He does have his issues which he needs to solve but I did wish there was more depth to his character – a little more depth and development and I would have loved him even more 🙂
  3. Dylan – Hilarious; Dylan was the comic relief in this book for sure, there were scenes where he had me giggling at his ridiculous dialogue.
  4. Lauren – A bit spoiled but a good friend to Alyssa. She does have her flaws which she manages to realize at the end and eventually grows from it.

My Thoughts:

If you are looking for a cute contemporary read, then this will be perfect for you. Although this is the second book of the series, you do not have to read the first one in order to read this book since they are more of companion novels than actual sequels. Some of the previous characters include Faith, the dancer, and Kyle, the Senior Captain of the Baseball team, do play a part in this novel and we see how their relationship progresses after the first book. To be honest, after reading a few of Kyle’s scenes in this book, I actually want to read the first novel just to see more of his laid back and sometimes cocky personality.

The only few issues/critiques I had with this novel is that I wished the writing could have been a bit more intricate and in terms of plot, I felt that a few of the issues were resolved too quickly and almost easily. It could be because this was a very short novel but if the trials and character complications were given more depth, I feel that it would added more heart and emotion into the story. Overall, this book was a cute and romantic contemporary read and I would recommend it if you are looking for an easy read to get out of a reading slump since I pretty much raced through this book in a few hours. I think I might even pick up the first book of the series! 🙂

Until next time, keep reading and I will be back with another post soon!

~Ash~