The Royal Runaway by Lindsay Emory Review | Patronizing Heroes Need to S t o p

38532225The Royal Runaway
Author: Lindsay Emory
Release Date: October 9, 2018
Publisher: Gallery Books
Get it Here: Amazon | Barnes & Noble | Book Depository

Synopsis:

For fans of The Princess Diaries and The Royal We comes a fun and daring novel about a modern-day princess who teams up with a spy to find out what happened to the fiancé who left her at the altar—and who just might get her own fairytale in the process.Princess Theodora Isabella Victoria of Drieden of the Royal House Laurent is so over this princess thing.

After her fiancé jilted her on their wedding day, she’s finally back home after spending four months in exile—aka it’s back to press conferences, public appearances, and putting on a show for the Driedish nation as the perfect princess they expect her to be. But Thea’s sick of duty. After all, that’s what got her into this mess in the first place.

So when she sneaks out of the palace and meets a sexy Scot named Nick in a local bar, she relishes the chance to be a normal woman for a change. But just as she thinks she’s found her Prince Charming for the night, he reveals his intentions are less than honorable: he’s the brother of her former fiancé, a British spy, and he’s not above blackmail. As Thea reluctantly joins forces with Nick to find out what happened the day her fiancé disappeared, together they discover a secret that could destroy a centuries-old monarchy and change life as they know it.

Funny, fast-paced, and full of more twists and turns than the castle Thea lives in, The Royal Runaway is a fresh romantic comedy that will leave you cheering for the modern-day royal who chucks the rulebook aside to create her own happily-ever-after.

One-Way-Or-An-Author-Review

To give you a clue on how I felt about this book, The Royal Runaway ruined my post-Royal Wedding haze. Yes, the Royal Wedding that happened less than a week ago (per writing this review) for Prince Harry and Meghan Markle that I couldn’t escape from social media, and subsequently ended up enjoying. I really wanted to like this book – I really did. There’s a super cute cover, a tight and engaging premise, and in general just sounded like a fun ride. Instead, I get lackluster chemistry, lackluster character development, and a cardboard love interest. Around the 50% mark, I was looking at the time to see how fast I could finish it. The answer? Not fast enough.

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Beast: A Tale of Love and Revenge by Lisa Jensen Review | BATB Retelling I Couldn’t Get Into

31019831Beast: A Tale of Love and Revenge
Author: Lisa Jensen
Release Date: July 10, 2018
Publisher: Candlewick Press
Get it Here: Amazon | Barnes & Noble | Book Depository

Synopsis:

Filled with magic and fierce emotion, Lisa Jensen’s multilayered novel will make you question all you think you know about beauty, beastliness, and happily ever after.

They say Château Beaumont is cursed. But servant-girl Lucie can’t believe such foolishness about handsome Jean-Loup Christian Henri LeNoir, Chevalier de Beaumont, master of the estate. But when the chevalier’s cruelty is revealed, Lucie vows to see him suffer. A wisewoman grants her wish, with a spell that transforms Jean-Loup into monstrous-looking Beast, reflecting the monster he is inside. But Beast is nothing like the chevalier. Jean-Loup would never patiently tend his roses; Jean-Loup would never attempt poetry; Jean-Loup would never express remorse for the wrong done to Lucie. Gradually, Lucie realizes that Beast is an entirely different creature from the handsome chevalier, with a heart more human than Jean-Loup’s ever was. Lucie dares to hope that noble Beast has permanently replaced the cruel Jean-Loup — until an innocent beauty arrives at Beast’s château with the power to break the spell.

One-Way-Or-An-Author-Review

Well, this made for a rather peculiar retelling.

Before I begin the actual review, I do want to let readers know about certain important triggers that they should be notified of:

  • 12% into the book, a rape scene occurs where the heroine experiences it – and the consequences – first hand. It is mildly described.
  • 16% into the book, the heroine is devastated after the rape and tries to drown herself.

These are not light topics, and it was rather shocking to see it in the story, and so early. The revenge after the rape is what serves as Lucie’s driving motivation – and basic plotline – of the book. Soon enough, Lucie’s wish for revenge is granted when the handsome chevalier who attacked her gets transformed into a hideous beast, forcing all the servants to flee. Everyone leaves except Lucie, who gets turned into a candelabra so he can see his ugliness every day. Or something like that. It was a weird explanation for keeping her there.

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ARC Review: The Traitor’s Kiss by Erin Beaty (Traitor’s Trilogy #1)

31145102The Traitor’s Kiss
Author: Erin Beaty
Series: Traitor’s Trilogy #1
Release Date: May 9, 2017
Publisher: Imprint

Synopsis:
An obstinate girl who will not be married.
A soldier desperate to prove himself.
A kingdom on the brink of war.
With a sharp tongue and an unruly temper, Sage Fowler is not what they’d call a lady―which is perfectly fine with her. Deemed unfit for marriage, Sage is apprenticed to a matchmaker and tasked with wrangling other young ladies to be married off for political alliances. She spies on the girls―and on the soldiers escorting them.
As the girls’ military escort senses a political uprising, Sage is recruited by a handsome soldier to infiltrate the enemy ranks. The more she discovers as a spy, the less certain she becomes about whom to trust―and Sage becomes caught in a dangerous balancing act that will determine the fate of her kingdom.

One-Way-Or-An-Author-Review

Thank you MacMillan for the review copy!

The Traitor’s Kiss was overall extremely disappointing and discouraging. My journey from learning of this book to finishing it has been a tumultuous one, but one that nevertheless left me wishing I hadn’t wasted time in it from the first place.

This book was first brought to my attention in being a Mulan retelling, which made me extremely excited. Mulan is one of my favorite Disney princesses – or, er, generals – and also celebrates my own culture. Although it uses minor elements in terms of plot and character description similar to ones in Mulan, The Traitor’s Kiss had no other resemblance. The biggest thing that made me pause was it being advertised as a Mulan retelling… then learning the characters’ white names. Now it’s marketed as “Jane Austen meets espionage,” which is much more fitting since it’s a very-much white fantasy where POC are described as having “darker” skins – making white skin the norm and maintaining an ambiguous air about what the “darker” characters look like in general. Seriously, it’s like the author’s vocabulary in describing characters was terribly limited. Continue reading

ARC Review: Fate of Flames by Sarah Raughley

Fate of Flames
Author: Sarah Raughley
Series: Effigies #1
Release Date: November 22, 2016
Publisher: Simon Pulse
Get it Here: Amazon | Barnes & Noble | Book Depository

Synopsis:

Four girls with the power to control the elements and save the world from a terrible evil must come together in the first epic novel in a brand-new series.When Phantoms—massive beasts made from nightmares and darkness—suddenly appeared and began terrorizing the world, four girls, the Effigies, each gained a unique power to control one of the classical elements: earth, air, fire, and water. Since then, four girls across the world have continually fought against the Phantoms, fulfilling their cosmic duty. And when one Effigy dies, another girl gains her power as a replacement.But now, with technologies in place to protect the world’s major cities from Phantom attacks, the Effigies have stopped defending humanity and, instead, have become international celebrities, with their heroic feats ranked, televised, and talked about in online fandoms.

Until the day that New York City’s protection against the Phantoms fails, a man seems to be able to control them by sheer force of will, and Maia, a high school student, unexpectedly becomes the Fire Effigy.

Now Maia has been thrown into battle with three girls who want nothing to do with one another. But with the first human villain that the girls have ever faced, and an army of Phantoms preparing for attack, there isn’t much time for the Effigies to learn how to work together.

Can the girls take control of their destinies before the world is destroyed forever?

One-Way-Or-An-Author-Review

Imagine an ordinary girl, placed in an extraordinary situation…

Sounds like the perfect event for character growth, new revelations, and exploration of friendships, right? Not so true with this book.

In Fate of Flames, I felt like the author tried to make this book too “cool.” We have a pretty rad premise of girls with elemental powers called Effigies going around saving the world from evil entities called Phantoms. I’ve heard many things referenced to this book, including Sailor Moon. Sailor Moon these girls were not. The combination of a whiny and complacent character who felt like cardboard, a cliche and boring plot, and a lack of world-building made this an extremely frustrating read for me. By page 200, I was pretty much rage-reading the book.

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Mini-Reviews: Many Disappointing NA’s

Sometimes I get so angry at New Adult books that I return them, even if it’s $3 on the Kindle. Be ready for some ranting in this post as I explore some books of this genre that many people may have enjoyed, but I, unfortunately, could not. This is just an amalgam of books that I’ve reviewed/commented on for Goodreads, but haven’t put on the blog until now. Enjoy!

17706171This Love
Author: Nazarea Andrews
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Synopsis:

She wants a summer job and a ride to a wedding.

He wants an assistant and a distraction from the mess his life had become.

They didn’t know they needed each other.

Avery Emili needs two grand. Two grand and a plane ticket–her sister is counting on her to get to Jamaica for her wedding. But the semester is over, and tutoring college freshman and high school students has dried up until the fall.

Atticus Grimes needs help–the messy split with his wife left the twenty-eight year old professor scrambling to keep things together as the semester winds down. Now he’s got a research grant he has to actually do research for and all he wants to do is drown himself in a tall bottle of bourbon.

When Avery sees his ad for an assistant, all she’s thinking is a summer job. But as they spend time together, in the office and out, both of them begin to realize something is there. Something that can’t happen–he’s a professor and she’s a student. And both of them have histories, pasts that won’t let go. Can two broken people pulled apart by expectations find a way to be whole?

One-Way-Or-An-Author-Review

DNF @ 25%

Forget forbidden love between teacher and student – this dude still hasn’t even gotten his DIVORCE PAPERS signed. (Correct me if I’m wrong, but technically he’s still married.) WTF. That is a BIG NO-NO since he’s flirting and all with the main girl Avery.

The switch between POV’s are also very annoying. It switches about 4 times in one chapter after a couple of pages and felt abrupt and disjointed.

Finally, the pacing felt so weird. It didn’t feel like Insta-love or attraction yet the dude still pulled moves on her. It was spontaneous and got me going “huh?!?” Even if I could continue with a STILL F*CKING MARRIED love interest, my total apathy with the characters sealed the deal.

Overall:

I’m sure many NA readers will enjoy this and let these things slide, so I’d totally recommend this one if you’re okay with the stuff I listed above. If, like me, they make you feel uncomfortable and would deter your enjoyment in reading, definitely skip it.


11505797Beautiful Disaster
Author: Jamie McGuire
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Synopsis:

She wants a summer job and a ride to a wedding.

He wants an assistant and a distraction from the mess his life had become.

They didn’t know they needed each other.

Avery Emili needs two grand. Two grand and a plane ticket–her sister is counting on her to get to Jamaica for her wedding. But the semester is over, and tutoring college freshman and high school students has dried up until the fall.

Atticus Grimes needs help–the messy split with his wife left the twenty-eight year old professor scrambling to keep things together as the semester winds down. Now he’s got a research grant he has to actually do research for and all he wants to do is drown himself in a tall bottle of bourbon.

When Avery sees his ad for an assistant, all she’s thinking is a summer job. But as they spend time together, in the office and out, both of them begin to realize something is there. Something that can’t happen–he’s a professor and she’s a student. And both of them have histories, pasts that won’t let go. Can two broken people pulled apart by expectations find a way to be whole?

One-Way-Or-An-Author-Review

DNF @ 53% and I skimmed the ending

I’ve waited a quarter of the book for Travis to see a psychiatrist or for at least SOMEONE to comment on his mental health. After skimming the ending, it seems that almost all the characters have some issue that never really fixes throughout the book.

Overall:

This book: disaster? Yes. Beautiful? Not one bit.


17788401Ugly Love
Author: Colleen Hoover
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Synopsis:

When Tate Collins meets airline pilot Miles Archer, she knows it isn’t love at first sight. They wouldn’t even go so far as to consider themselves friends. The only thing Tate and Miles have in common is an undeniable mutual attraction. Once their desires are out in the open, they realize they have the perfect set-up. He doesn’t want love, she doesn’t have time for love, so that just leaves the sex. Their arrangement could be surprisingly seamless, as long as Tate can stick to the only two rules Miles has for her.

Never ask about the past.
Don’t expect a future.

They think they can handle it, but realize almost immediately they can’t handle it at all.

Hearts get infiltrated.
Promises get broken.
Rules get shattered.
Love gets ugly.

One-Way-Or-An-Author-ReviewI had a major barf-fest when reading this book.

So ya meet a guy.

You guys have some level of attraction, so ya get in a “friends with benefit” deal. And the guy straight up front goes like “Yeah don’t expect anything from me.”

Whaddya do? Ignore it, because you have feeelings for him. And you turn to liquid with him, because he affects you THAT much. And then proceed to do what HE wants, regardless of your feelings.

I’M CRYING LMAO I SEARCHED UP “LIQUID” AND TATE TURNS INTO LIQUID 13 TIMES IN THE BOOK BECAUSE OF THIS DOUCHE. Thirteen times of:

“No Miles. I follow. That’s how it is with us. You’re solid, I’m liquid. You part the waters, I’m your wake.”

If you want some weakass and insipid female character in your books, then go ahead and take this one. Tate is weak-willed and honestly embarrasses me as a female main character of a book so widely liked. If I had a friend like that… wait, I can’t continue because I’d NEVER have a friend like her. Her life is fucking dominated by Miles, and how hot he is, and how he ignores her, and how he can’t love her (yet she still loves him). She stands up against him ONCE in the book. And even then, they have sex afterwards! No son, that’s not how the game is played.

Alright and then we get to Miles, who’s a fucking drama queen. You want your love interests to be hot, broody, silent, melodramatic messes? You got one right here. In the book, each chapter is juxtaposed with a chapter from Mile’s past six years ago. When he’s in love with ANOTHER woman. Yeah I don’t care about having old flings and shit, but you juxtapose a whole-hearted sex scene with this guy by a chapter where he’s casually fucking the main character, and YOU tell me why this is a turn off. Plus he’s such a ninny, and doesn’t learn from past mistakes.

There’s this one chapter where he’s telling past woman how he wants “rules” for their relationship. Said rules get broken. In the present, there’s this one chapter where he’s telling present woman how he wants “rules” for their relationship. Said rules get broken. Is this deja vu or just me?

I do appreciate what the lesson the author’s trying to reach. It’s the beautiful parts of love that makes up for the ugly parts, yada yada yada.

The lesson doesn’t stick with me because I could connect to the characters… oh, maybe -15%. Probably less. Mostly when I was reading about their antics I just:

The only person I liked in the book is Cap, an old guy who works at their apartment complex who gives them advice. And tells them how stupid they are. (Which I have to agree with!)

I’m trying to think, but I’m not sure why people like this one so much. Oh wait, because of all the sex going on maybe. Yeah, there’s even sex going on when the male character thinks it’s his flame from six years ago that he’s fucking, instead of the acutal girl he’s with. What a turn on.

NOTE: All gifs above are accurate representations of my face when reading this book.

One-Way-Or-An-Author-1star