ARC review: Maybe Someone Like You by Stacy Wise

⭐ Goodreads ⭐ Amazon

Katie just wants to do something different. She recently finished law school and is searching for her first job while she waits to find out if she passed the bar. Her boyfriend just dumped her because he “wants to be single for summer,” whatever that means, and she’s just had it with the status quo. On her way to yoga with a friend, she passes a kickboxing gym and is immediately intrigued. The fact that the trainer she runs into is gorgeous and tattooed and not remotely her usual type doesn’t hurt, either. It turns out that Ryan and Katie get along perfectly, both in the gym and outside. But can two people from such different worlds make it work?

I really enjoyed Stacy Wise’s debut novel, Beyond the Stars, when I read it back in 2016. I was pretty excited to be offered a review copy of her new book (and even more excited when the weekend rolled around and I could dive in). Maybe Someone Like You was okay, but it’s not going to be one of my favorites of the year.

On paper, Katie and Ryan were great characters. Katie is a driven young attorney who wants to make a difference and isn’t willing to settle for a soul-killing job just because it comes with a large paycheck. Ryan is the perfect guy, one who will make sure you get home okay after having too many drinks and who loves hanging out with his niece. Together, they have a lot of chemistry. It’s just a shame that I never really felt anything for them.

This is definitely a slow burn romance. I can go for a slow burn when the final result is worth the wait, but I’m not sure that it was here. This is a very chaste romance — which is fine! — but after wading through 366 pages of manufactured misunderstandings and willful miscommunication, I was hoping to be rewarded with a little bit more than a kiss.

I did enjoy the job aspect of the book with Katie weighing the pros and cons of the large paycheck and security that come with a job she hates versus something less certain that she’s passionate about. I also really enjoyed Craig, Katie’s coworker and, eventually, her good friend.

Overall, this is an easy read, but it’s not earth-shattering. The plot moves along very slowly with a few asides that probably weren’t strictly necessary. If you like character-driven stories and getting inside your heroine’s head, you’ll probably enjoy this book. If you enjoy swoony heroes and lingering stares and the slowest of slow burns, you’ll really enjoy it.

Final rating: ★★★☆☆

I received a free copy of Maybe Someone Like You from the publisher in exchange for my honest review. Thank you!

Advertisements

ARC review: Sky in the Deep by Adrienne Young

⭐ Goodreads ⭐ Amazon ⭐

Eelyn, an Aska, has trained her whole life for her clan’s battle with their rivals, the Riki. She knows that they’re savage, ruthless fighters whose only goal is to see her and her people dead. So what happens when she sees her older brother Iri — the brother she saw die on the battlefield years ago — amongst the Riki?

Eelyn feels she has no choice but to follow Iri. She’s injured, captured, and taken to a Riki village far from home. Forced into life as a dýr, a fate worse than death for an Aska warrior, Eelyn must come to grips with the longing she feels to rejoin her clan and the growing loyalty she feels toward the people who took her in and helped her heal. In the midst of it all is Iri’s best friend, Fiske, a man who sees her as a threat but also does his best to protect her from the other Riki who struggle to accept the outsider who has infiltrated their community.

Wow! I’m honestly surprised by how much I enjoyed this book. I struggled a bit at the beginning to figure out what was going on, but it quickly became clear and then I was hooked. Eelyn is one of the strongest characters I’ve read about this year, a highly trained warrior who has no qualms about slitting a man’s throat or running a sword through someone’s heart. But Eelyn isn’t just a grizzled warrior. She’s also a teenage girl who misses her family. Who struggles to come to terms with the fact that the brother she thought was dead is living happily with the enemy. Who feels bound by the customs she grew up with but is maybe realizing that the differences between the Riki and the Aska are smaller than she thought. Eelyn’s reaction to essentially becoming a servant is as realistic as it could be. I was worried that we’d have a touch of Stockholm Syndrome, but the Riki who take her in seem, for the most part, to be genuinely kind and to honestly want to keep her safe.

And can we talk about Fiske for a second? He’s all powerful warrior one minute and then lovingly helping out his mom and protecting Eelyn the next. The slow burn as Fiske and Eelyn realized their feelings for each other just about murdered me, but I’ll die happy. It was such a sweet romance in such a violent book.

I received a free advance copy of Sky in the Deep from the publisher (via NetGalley) in exchange for my honest review. Sky in the Deep releases on April 24, 2018.

Final rating: ★★★★☆

 

Cover reveal: Arrogant Devil by R.S. Grey

Are you ready for ARROGANT DEVIL? We are so excited to reveal the cover of this next release from R.S. Grey! Check it out below!

About ARROGANT DEVIL (available May 10th)

Everyone in Cedar Creek, Texas, knows Jack McNight is an arrogant devil. Physically, I get it: he’s tan and fit, with coal-black hair that’s clearly been scorched by hellfire. Oh, and his personality? It burns just as hot.

When I show up on the doorstep of Blue Stone Ranch, I’m run-down and rockin’ my last pair of underwear. I’m hoping for a savior, but instead, I find him.

My opinion of Jack is marred by a dismal first impression, but his opinion of me is tainted even before I arrive. He’s heard I’m a spoiled princess there to take advantage of his goodwill. To him, I’m more trouble than I’m worth.

Our button-pushing banter should get under my skin. His arrogance should be a major turn-off. Problem is, devils are known to offer their own form of temptation.

Every one of his steely glares sends a shiver down my spine.

Every steamy encounter leaves me reeling.

Sure, it could be the Texas heat messing with my head, but there’s no way I’ll survive the summer without silencing him with a kiss and wrestling him out of those Wranglers.

Who knows…going to bed with the devil might just be the salvation I’ve been looking for all along.

Add ARROGANT DEVIL to your Goodreads list here!

ARROGANT DEVIL releases May 10th – you’ll be able to preorder your copy for .99c starting May 7th!

Keep an eye on R.S. Grey’s Facebook page for the link!

About R.S. Grey

R.S. Grey is the USA Today bestselling author of thirteen novels, including THE FOXE & THE HOUND. She lives in Texas with her husband and two dogs, and can be found reading, binge-watching reality TV, or practicing yoga! Visit her at rsgrey.com

Website | Twitter | Facebook | R.S. Grey’s Little Reds Facebook Group | Newsletter | Instagram

Top Ten Tuesday: Ten series I’ve been meaning to start

Happy Top Ten Tuesday! Today is a freebie week, so I thought I’d go with ten series I’ve been meaning to start. I feel like I’m always meaning to do something bookish, whether it’s starting a new book or looking into an author or writing a bunch of reviews (though I have been better about that recently). At some point, when I’m caught up on everything else in my life, I’d love to give these ten series a shot.

✨ Percy Jackson and the Olympians by Rick Riordan. I’ve been meaning to start this series for years. Last time I was hanging out with my boyfriend’s much younger cousins, one of them was talking about how much he loves this series and honestly, hearing this eleven-year-old kid talk about how great the books are just made me want to read it even more.
✨ The Wrath and the Dawn by Renee Ahdieh. Twitter’s always all abuzz about this series! It’s got mixed reviews from my friends and following on Goodreads, but for better or worse, people are always talking about it.
✨  The Raven Cycle by Maggie Stiefvater. This is probably heresy or something, but I think I’m the only book blogger alive who’s never read a Maggie Stiefvater book? Everybody is always raving about how awesome her books are, and yet I’ve never taken the time to read them.
✨ The Illuminae Files by Amie Kaufman and Jay Kristoff. Even though each book is a 600+ page monstrosity.
✨  Three Dark Crowns by Kendare Blake. This is another series with mixed reviews, but it also sounds amazing, so…
✨ The Archived by Victoria Schwab. Even though the next book is like 50 years away.  (This is the only reason I haven’t read it yet.)
✨  The Wolves of Mercy Falls by Maggie Stiefvater. See above.  I feel so bad. This has been on my TBR since 2012.
✨  The Stormlight Archive by Brandon Sanderson. I have literally all of the books on my living room bookshelf (boyfriend is a big fan) but the sheer size of them always scares me away!
✨  The Thousandth Floor by Katharine McGee. This is another one that, good or bad, everybody is always talking about.
✨  Replica by Lauren Oliver. I used to love Lauren Oliver’s books, but I haven’t read any in years. I have her Replica series on my library wishlist, so eventually, I’ll get there.

What series have you been meaning to start? Which one do you think I should dive into first?

Book review: Dating You/Hating You by Christina Lauren

⭐ Goodreads ⭐ Amazon ⭐

Evie and Carter are talent agents at rival agencies who meet via mutual friends and fall hard. It’s hard to have a relationship in their line of work, but they’re committed to making it work — until their agencies unexpectedly merge and they’re vying for the same position. In the cutthroat land of Hollywood, can Evie and Carter put aside the competition, or will their connection fizzle out before it’s even given a real chance?

Roomies was one of my favorites of 2017, so I was really excited to find that my library had some Christina Lauren! I’ll admit that I was skeptical of Dating You/Hating You when I first read the summary. Let’s be honest. It sounds like a knock-off of The Hating Game, which was one of the best of the best that I read in 2017. The authors swear that the book is totally different, and… I guess they’re right? It’s no Hating Game, that’s for sure.

Continue reading

Book review: Fantastic Beasts & Where to Find Them by Newt Scamander

⭐ Goodreads ⭐ Amazon ⭐

A quick note before I begin: This isn’t the screenplay! That’s a totally separate book that has about a million holds on it at my library, but eventually, I’ll read it. This is the textbook from the Harry Potter universe.

Another quick note before I begin: I haven’t seen the movie! I know! What kind of Harry Potter fan am I?!

Anyway, two notes aside, Fantastic Beasts is a quick, entertaining encyclopedia of all the magical creatures in the Harry Potter universe. I enjoyed all the side notes and being part of this world even for a little while longer.

I listened to this on audio and Eddie Redmayne did an excellent job. The studio also did an excellent job, making this right up there with the best audiobooks I’ve ever listened to. There are sound effects, voice effects, and little musical interludes, ensuring that the book (which is essentially just a catalog of magical species) never gets boring. I can’t comment on the physical book but the audiobook is definitely worth your time.

Final rating: ★★★★☆

#readtherainbow: red

Versatile Blogger Award: Take 2

I was so happy to find out that I’d been tagged again for the Versatile Blogger Award! This time I was tagged by Emily at Emily’s Escapist Books and Reading. (Thank you!)

The rules:

  • If you are nominated, you’ve been awarded the Versatile Blogger Award
  • Thank the person who gave you this award
  • Include a link to their blog
  • Select 15 blogs/bloggers that you’ve recently discovered or follow regularly
  • Nominate those 15 bloggers for the Versatile Blogger Award
  • Finally, tell the person who nominated you 7 things about yourself

Seven more things about me: 

  1. I love to listen to music from my childhood when I’m driving. I usually do Sirius XM 90s on 9, Pop2K (2000s pop), PopRocks (90s and 2000s pop/rock), or Lithium (90s alternative and grunge). You can catch me at a stoplight belting out some Third Eye Blind or Spin Doctors.
  2. This is probably super predictable, but I love to give books to little kids. I’ve given my friend’s son books for every birthday and Christmas since he was born and I just think it’s a great way to cultivate a love of reading.
  3. I have an obsession with office supplies. I love pens and sticky notes and highlighters and paper clips. God help you if you steal my special pens from my desk at work.
  4. My favorite vacation I’ve ever gone on was Costa Rica in 2016. It was the most relaxing trip and every person I saw there was so happy. The food was amazing. The beaches were beautiful. The weather was perfect. I would move to Costa Rica in a heartbeat.
  5. I will eat just about anything. I used to be super picky and then one day I just wasn’t. I love to try new foods, either in a restaurant or cooking them myself. The one thing I can’t bring myself to eat is raw fish because I’m convinced I’ll get food poisoning.
  6. I work in a hospital but I’m a huge germaphobe. It doesn’t make a lot of sense, I know! I hate public transit (someone near me is always sick), I try not to use public restrooms (who knows what’s happened there), and I generally try to avoid anybody who shows a single sign of sickness (a bit difficult in a hospital). Luckily I don’t have a lot of direct patient contact.
  7. I can’t dance and have literally no rhythm to speak of. In an ill-fated decision borne of trying to keep my then-best friend happy, I joined the seventh-grade dance team. It was just as disastrous as you might expect. At one point, there was video evidence of my trauma, but I think it’s all been destroyed at this point.

I’m tagging:

Anybody who’s interested! I just did this a couple weeks ago so I don’t want to do another big list of tags, but if it sounds like fun to you, consider yourself tagged!