I have to say, I probably made a mistake with trying to read the “Throne of Glass” series before starting this series by Sarah J. Maas, as I am finding this book to be vastly better despite all the spoilers I’ve already encountered. The spoilers are my fault; this series is insanely popular and I wanted until NOW to start it. So with all the beautiful fan art of the characters floating around, let’s just say I knew certain elements very intimately of this series long before I cracked the spine on “A Court of Thorns and Roses”. But you know what? I think those spoilers actually helped me enjoy this book more. No, really! This first book is supposed to be a Beauty and the Beast retelling, but I found it to be much closer to East of the Sun, West of the Moon. So, if you are like me and haven’t started this book yet, hopefully that gives you a pretty good idea of what you’re getting into. The world is split between the humans and the fae by a literal wall that really only seems decent at keeping the humans out, so of course tensions rise when Feyre accidentally kills a fae when she was simply trying to feed her family. In the fae realm, Feyre learns what really happened during the bloody conflict between their peoples, and also learns to not hate the fae, and they in turn (at least some) learn not to hate humans.
This is my first Colleen Hoover book, and with all the hype surrounding this author, I will admit I was expecting a lot. I wanted to read “Verity” mostly because it’s a romantic thriller and I wanted to read something that was meant to be a bit unsettling. And the premise of “Verity” is definitely that! This book very much has “Gone Girl” and “Jane Eyre” vibes where you have a relatively unknown author coming in to finish a very successful author’s series. Verity cannot finish her series being confined to a near vegetative state in her home, so never one to let a good series go to waste, her publishers bring in Lowen to finish out the series. Lowen is a thriller writer herself, so that’s kind of the justification for her being qualified to take over Verity’s work, who writes her books from the villains POV. As Lowen tries to figure out how to write this series, she stumbles across Verity’s autobiography and uncovers not just the depth of this family’s tragedy, but how deranged this successful author is, all while falling in love with Verity’s husband. There are definitely some creepy elements but ultimately, the longer I sat with this book and thought about it, the more I disliked both the story and the way it was written.
“A Dark Infection” is the sequel to “A Dark Inheritance” in which ten years have passed since Tina was taken by the vampire, Kalmar. Slowly, she is being turned into a vampire herself, as the properties in her blood allow for her to accept the virus that is being introduced to her bloodstream through Kalmar. And, just like its predecessor, this book does not shy away from the fact that much of Tina’s current situation was, and is, not one of her choosing. So few with her blood type remain that she is coveted by vampires in order to ensure the survival of their species, but, and more importantly, she is vital to Kalmar. While Tina still struggles with the idea that perhaps her feelings for her vampire abductor, even ten years later, are not real and just a form of Stockholm Syndrome (which is valid), Kalmar has bonded to her, and wishes to remain that way. Despite stronger forces wishing to claim him as their own, and giving Tina away to another vampire in the process, Kalmar wants no other. While the vampire world of danger and intrigue continue to sweep Tina up in its wake, the world Tina was forced to leave behind also comes back to haunt her, weaving into a new mystery that threatens to destroy both of the worlds Tina inhabits. Except Tina, once again, doesn’t seem to be given a choice about which world she gets to save.
Yes, hello, I’d like Talia Hibbert to write all fictional men from now on, that is all. Thank you. Honestly that could be my entire review for “Take a Hint, Dani Brown”, but I promise to go into more depth. The Brown Sisters books do not have to be read in order, each a delicious little standalone, and Dani’s book was no different. I did start with “Get a Life, Chloe Brown” as my first introduction into this author and the Brown sisters, and I fell HARD for these fierce women, and the author’s fun writing style that still packs a punch when it comes to mental health and recovering from past trauma. We focus on Danika Brown in this book, a dedicated PhD student who has sworn off all romance in favor of friends with benefits and focusing solely on her research. Then, after an emergency drill gone wrong, decides to enter into a fake relationship with the big, sensitive, ex-rugby player turned security guard, Zafir, in order to use the publicity from that failed drill to help his charity, in which he teaches young boys healthy ways to deal with their emotions (I’m already swooning for Zafir at this point). Of course, Dani doesn’t want anything from Zafir other than sexual release, but romance novel addict Zafir struggles the whole time with not falling head over heels for Dani. This book was lovely in all ways, but after reading Chloe’s story, my expectations were set very high for Danika…
“The History of Us” follows Andrea and Dustin in a dual POV tale as a shared betrayal brings these ex high school sweethearts back together. Andrea and Dustin first met when Andrea’s father represented Dustin and his siblings after a tragic event took their parents from them at a young age, and once the two met, the rest, as they say, is history. Thrust back together over a decade later, the two must examine how and why they broke up so suddenly in their senior year, and get past their own misgivings and hurts toward the other in order to track down a thief who took advantage of both Dustin’s family, and Andrea by stealing her father’s—suffering from Alzheimer’s disease—prized coin collection. As far as second chance romances go, which can be tricky depending on why the couple broke up to begin with, this one really hits the sweet spot.
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