ARC Review: Under The Dusty Moon by Suzanne Sutherland


Under The Dusty Moon

Suzane Sutherland

Published January 23rd 2016 by Dundurn

YA >  Contemporary

272 pages

eARC for Review

 

 2 ★★

 

Purchase links: Amazon | Nook

 

BLURB FROM GOODREADS:

 

She’s with the band, whether she likes it or not.

Victoria Mahler is the sixteen-year-old only daughter of rocker Micky Wayne, whose band, Dusty Moon, took the world by storm when Micky was just a teenager. The band broke up under mysterious circumstances, but, after years spent off the road being a mom, Micky’s solo career is finally starting to take off.

When an offer to tour Japan falls into her mom’s lap, Vic is left to spend the summer under the care of her distant grandmother, and without her built-in best friend. Fortunately, a boy with a secret geek side and a group of feminist game-makers save the season, and Vic starts to see herself as her own person, out from under her mother’s shadow.

But when Micky finally comes home — with a poorly chosen boyfriend in tow — all bets are off. Will Vic be able to maintain her newfound sense of self amidst the building thunder of Micky’s second chance at stardom? And through it all, will Micky still really be her best friend?

 

REVIEW

Under The Dusty Moon was disappointing on epic proportions.  You see, when I first went into this book, what I expected was girl power, plenty of gaming goodness, a protagonist I would love and a parent-daughter relationship that would be eye-opening in its goodness.  What I got—at least after the 35% mark—was basically a disaster in print form.The book follows one summer in the life of Victoria Mahler, a sixteen year old BRAT.  She was the epitome of a kind of girl you would not want to grow up with because damn.  She’s selfish and basically a fool, but the one thing that stood out most about this girl was how jealous she was.  See, Victoria’s mother Micky Wayne was the yesteryear star of Dusty Moon, which was a huge deal.  And the book—and Victoria’s POV—was more than 90% whining about how Micky was so famous, and how she should move on and be a  real mom, and whatnot.  Victoria just wouldn’t move beyond the fact that her mom had a life before her, separate from her, and it was annoying af.  She kept being a brat to her mother, and the entire “best-friends” thing that she had with her fell flat on its face for the very same reason.Micky, Victoria’s mother, was another major reason the entire book failed.  Being a part of a band (that split up years ago, btw) apparently gave the woman free reign to leave Victoria on her own for the summer and go traipsing around the other side of the world. I understand about working mothers who have to travel a lot (I have one), but the entire thing felt like something that normal moms just wouldn’t do.  Her entire character arc felt very confusing, and I couldn’t tell up from down where this woman was concerned.

Under The Dusty Moon started off really well.  For almost the first half, I found myself enjoying the book, its characters, the entire she-bang.  With the benefit of hindsight, I realise that I almost looked over the annoying parts of the book simply because I was way too excited to enjoy the book completely.  But in all honesty, I did not see this book going the way it did.  I thought there would be one pivotal point where the story would pick up pace, and Victoria would become more aware of things besides herself, more mature, but unfortunately, that point never came.  Throw in a best friend who bought the whole gaming thing in for a grand total of 3.67 pages, and a love interest who was as boring as he was flimsy, I really don’t see the point of recommending this book to anyone.

Rhea[1]

 

ARC REVIEW: How to Lose a Bachelor by Anna Banks

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How to Lose a Bachelor

Anna Banks

November 9th 2015

Adult > Contemporary Romance

196 pages (Kindle edition)

eARC via Netgalley

 

2★★

 

BLURB FROM GOODREADS:

When Rochelle Ransom auditioned for the dating show Luring Love, she had big plans for winning the prize money to help her favorite charity–and if she won the hot bachelor’s heart, even better. But at the last minute she finds out the hot bachelor is her ex-boyfriend, Grant Drake. Desperate to keep her distance from him, she’ll do anything–and everything–to get voted off.

Years ago, Rochelle broke Grant’s heart, and he’s out for revenge. There’s no way he’ll vote her off.

After all, vengeance is a dish best served red-hot…and on live television.

When her hilarious antics to get kicked off the show escalate, Grant’s reminded why he fell in love with her the first time. Now he isn’t sure which might be more fun… Seeing how far Rochelle is willing to go to get away or how far he will to keep her forever.

 

 

MINI REVIEW:

Meh. This was okay. Nothing groundbreaking yet it’s not that bad either–and that’s already considering how immature the characters are! Honestly, their childishness was the ultimate deal breaker for me. Ten years have passed since they last saw each other and they were acting like children more than they did all those years ago. Ugh, so annoying. I just thought it pretty immature all the heroine did on TV (!!!) considering that she’s a lawyer and has a professional reputation to uphold. It’s like she doesn’t even care that the way she acts might possibly taint her professional life. Hm. I’m not saying that just because she’s a lawyer. I still would’ve said that even though she’s a mere street vendor. I don’t know. I just felt like getting your ass drunk and passing out in front of everybody, wearing the frumpiest clothes just so she would get eliminated on the show (and that only had the same opposite, obviously) was not worth all the embarrassment she had to endure just for the sake of some petty revenge that was ten years in the making.

I couldn’t even concentrate on the romance because I was too busy being annoyed! Eh. Well, if you’re looking for a real inside look on how reality shows work–like The Bachelor– watch Lifetime’s UnREAL instead. That show is gold. Anyway, I’ve read better books than this. I’m out.

 

MARLAhbt

ARC REVIEW: The Secret Fire by C.J. Daugherty and Carina Rozenfeld



The Secret Fire
The Alchemist Chronicles #1
C.J Daugherty & Carina Rozenfeld
Published September 3rd 2015 by Bookouture
YA >  Fantasy
357 pages
eARC for Review
 
 2★
 
Purchase links: Amazon | Nook
 
 
 
BLURB FROM GOODREADS:
Sacha Winters can’t die. Until his eighteenth birthday he is invincible. On that day it all ends for Sacha – the result of a curse that has plagued his family for centuries.
His death will fulfil the curse – and unleash a wave of destruction. He has no idea how to stop it, only the cryptic notes left behind by his father, and a strange connection with a girl he has only just met to guide him.
Taylor Montclair is a quiet, studious girl focused on her dream of getting into Oxford University. She’s also the only one who can save Sacha. Only neither of them knows that yet. And Sacha lives hundreds of miles away, in Paris.
Taylor and Sacha have eight weeks to find each other. To unravel the secrets buried in their families’ past. And to discover the power that lies within them.
Sacha’s life, and the fate of the world depends on it. The clock starts NOW.

 

REVIEW

So, apparently, books can suck from page one right up until the last page, and I have become tolerant enough to read the entire book.

Who knew?

Don’t get me wrong; this book did have good parts. There was the cover, obviously. Ooooh and the font, goodness gracious the font of the cover is so fantastic. But that’s where the good parts end. For reals.

If you find a more perfect, sweeter, more beautiful girl than Taylor Montclair, I will cut my hair off for real. Taylor was a total wet dream—non-rebellious, perfect grades, caring for and always helping her good-for-nothing best friend, unable to break up with psycho boyfriend because she’s afraid it will hurt his psycho feelings.

In other words, she was unbearable and made me feel nauseous. I don’t quite know how long it will take authors in general to grasp that people, real people are never so perfect. They make mistakes, they fuck up majorly, they stumble and fall and that’s how they learn. All these trials and problems and screw ups is what makes them human. But if you’re going to give me a character like Taylor Montclair who is so ridiculously flawless, then it goes without saying that I’m not going to be able to empathize with her in any way. Hannah Montana said “Nobody’s Perfect,” you guys. Doesn’t get any more real than that.

And okay. You’re trying to show a teen that thinks only about excelling at her studies all the time? Fucking fine! You’re giving me a teen that is supposed to be so kind she’s won an award for it? Great! But excuse me because I didn’t see any of this. Taylor was very condescending in nature, always eager to show her best friend that she was better in every way.

And of course, this:

“He didn’t like studying. She wasn’t interested in sport. He had no career ambitions that she recognised—she didn’t consider rugby a valid career path.” – ARC, location 499 

Where in the fuck is the kind, caring girl that we’re supposed to see because all I see is a fucking idiot who is quick to judge and obviously ignorant of the world around her.

To be honest, I didn’t mind Sacha so much. In fact, he was the only reason I continued to read the book, considering I was always looking forward to his chapters. They were well written—better than the Taylor chapters—and his POV was where all the action was.

Sacha Winters was a daredevil, but not out of choice. He could do whatever he liked—jump off buildings, get shot in the face, whatever—but he couldn’t be killed. It was a bizarre concept for sure, and it was one that kept me entertained. A teenage boy, running around in Paris doing all kinds of things that would lead to his death but being unable to die? Of course the entire catch is that he gets these “perks” only for eight weeks more. On his eighteenth birthday, Sacha will die.

But his dying has consequences beyond just his lack of existence. And the consequences are not the good kind. And so he has to find a way to stop himself from dying and that’s where Taylor comes in because she’s the only one who can save him.

Sacha’s POV was full of motorcycles and action and shooting and the cheeky Sacha himself. Again, even that turns to shit the moment that Taylor comes into his life—but at least he was more worried about dying than the girl who gives him a boner. Their interactions were cheesy and there is no “romance,” only teenage hormones.

The last 25% is when the story really picked up for me. And alas it was over too soon. The paranormal part of the book could have really worked wonders had it been supported with an interesting cast. However, the mystery and the allure of the surprisingly good premise may keep many readers hooked until the end, waiting for something substantial to happen. The characters apart from Taylor and Sacha are best kept mum about—they were paper-thin and fail to make me feel anything for them.

I’m not too sure about giving the sequel a try…although I will be looking out for it. The best parts of the book, like I mentioned earlier, came at the very end, and if Taylor gets more human (and we get rid of all the cliches) then maybe I’ll pick that one up. But as for this one? Definitely one book you can live without.

 

 

Rhea[1]

REVIEW: The Wrath and The Dawn by Renée Ahdieh

The Wrath and The Dawn
Renée Ahdieh
SERIES: The Wrath and The Dawn #1
 Published May 12th 2015 by G.P. Putnam’s Sons Books for Young Readers
YA >  Fantasy
416 pages 
 Purchased
 

2★★

 
 
Purchase links:
Amazon | Nook
 
 

BLURB FROM GOODREADS:

A sumptuous and epically told love story inspired by A Thousand and One Nights
Every dawn brings horror to a different family in a land ruled by a killer. Khalid, the eighteen-year-old Caliph of Khorasan, takes a new bride each night only to have her executed at sunrise. So it is a suspicious surprise when sixteen-year-old Shahrzad volunteers to marry Khalid. But she does so with a clever plan to stay alive and exact revenge on the Caliph for the murder of her best friend and countless other girls. Shazi’s wit and will, indeed, get her through to the dawn that no others have seen, but with a catch . . . she’s falling in love with the very boy who killed her dearest friend.
She discovers that the murderous boy-king is not all that he seems and neither are the deaths of so many girls. Shazi is determined to uncover the reason for the murders and to break the cycle once and for all.
 

REVIEW:

Note to the universe in general: Don’t hate me for not liking this book. Please. I beg you all.

Let’s get one thing clear: I didn’t hate this book. I didn’t love it, but I didn’t particularly hate it either. If we’re talking specifics, lets just say that from the 30% mark to the 70% mark I merely tolerated this book. It wasn’t bad or awful or unbearable or anything of the sort, not at all. It was merely…cold.

The Wrath and The Dawn begins with a nail-biting scene. It’s kind of a risky opening, considering that the reader goes into the story virtually blind and the prologue may give away a little too much right in the beginning, but the author made it work. Somehow.

And thereafter begins the story of Shahrzad, who volunteers to be Caliph Khalid’s bride—Khalid who marries and then kills each of his brides every dawn—in order to avenge the murder of her best friend Shiva at the hands of the boy-king. Little does she know that not everything is as it seems and Khalid is not everything he shows himself to be.

Shahrzad (Shazi) was a force to be reckoned with. With her wit and her sheer charm and her give-it-like-it-is attitude, she manages to leave Khalid with no choice but to keep her alive. But her every breath comes with a price…a price that the King must pay. I loved that Shazi was strong and level-headed and more interesting to me than Khalid ever could be. But in all honesty, apart from these facts, I really didn’t care about her much. She was…cold. There comes that word again. But it’s true. Shazi (like every other character in the book) lacked emotion. Sure her character was smart and self-dependant but to read her inner monologue was fucking agonising. It felt like all her emotions—hate, anger, confusion, infatuation, love, everything—ran on one straight line. She felt like a piece of cardboard and for a book that promises to be pretty much the book of the year, it was both amusing and disheartening to see that the MC itself lacked depth and was abundant in lousiness.

Khalid was a character I was really looking forward to, having read all the quotes of the book beforehand and anticipating a sullen, broody, swoony man. Instead, what I got was a boy who was angry at everyone and everything and then Shazi changed his mind by just being herself and wow I’ve read this in a million books before. In the aspect of Shazi managing to bring Khalid out of his “shell,” it’s the clichéd stuff, you guys. Speaking of shells, HOLY SHIT RHEA HE KILLS THE GIRLS OF THE KINGDOM EVERY MORNING AND THAT IS DIFFERENT FROM BEING A SOCIAL PARIAH GEEZUS FUCK WOMAN. I wasn’t sure exactly what it was about Shazi that drew him to her—I certainly could see that she was smart, but really, Khalid was suspicious of her right until he fell in love with her. And then of course, it didn’t matter at all that she had come to kill him.

Again, the romance was just…sad. And I’m not talking star-crossed sad. I’m talking Oh-dear-Lord-they’re-so-fake-please-God-stop-this sad. A lot of readers, however, have loved the Khalid-Shazi love story and while it wasn’t for me all all, I can understand the appeal. Because there’s this:

 

“Love is—a shade of what I feel.” 

 

And this:

 

I love you, a thousand times over. And I will never apologize for it.

 

And my personal favourite:

 

“What are you doing to me, you plague of a girl?” he whispered.

“If I’m a plague, then you should keep your distance, unless you plan on being destroyed.” The weapons still in her grasp, she shoved against his chest.

“No.” His hands dropped to her waist. “Destroy me.” 

 

OMFG RHEA SO WHAT WENT WRONG?

Honestly? Everything. Like I mentioned before, I read many quotes of the book before I started to read the book, and they were so, so swoony. But when they actually became a part of the book, when I was in the moment with Khalid and Shazi and their unfortunate little love, the same swoony quotes came out sounding bland and meaningless and forced and all wrong. While I am really don’t mind third-person POV, it seemed to me like even that worked against this book. It made me feel detached from not only the characters themselves, but from the narrative and the setting and just everything about the setting.

As for the writing? Renée Ahdieh’s writing reminded me a lot of Lauren Oliver’s writing, in which it was over-discriptive about irrelevant things and had analogies and similies that flew right above my head. Maybe I’m not the right type of reader for her writing (is that a thing?) but I’m still debating about the merits of reading the next book of the series. Apparently, the series is a duology and I suppose I could take my chances on reading just one more book. And if I’m being completely honest, the sneak peek into The Rose and The Dagger did entice me a bit. But as for The Wrath and The Dawn? Complete, epic fail.

 

 

 

Rhea[1]

REVIEWS: An Ember in the Ashes, City of Fae, The Truth About Us a.k.a nope, wth?!, yawnfest

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An Ember in the Ashes
Sabaa Tahir
Published April 28th 2015 by Razorbill
YA > Fantasy | Romance
400pages (paperback)
purchased

 

2 ★★

 

BLURB FROM GOODREADS:

 

If seventeen-year-old Skylar Evans were a typical Creek View girl, her future would involve a double-wide trailer, a baby on her hip, and the graveyard shift at Taco Bell. But after graduation, the only thing standing between straightedge Skylar and art school are three minimum-wage months of summer. Skylar can taste the freedom—that is, until her mother loses her job and everything starts coming apart. Torn between her dreams and the people she loves, Skylar realizes everything she’s ever worked for is on the line.
Nineteen-year-old Josh Mitchell had a different ticket out of Creek View: the Marines. But after his leg is blown off in Afghanistan, he returns home, a shell of the cocksure boy he used to be. What brings Skylar and Josh together is working at the Paradise—a quirky motel off California’s dusty Highway 99. Despite their differences, their shared isolation turns into an unexpected friendship and soon, something deeper.

 

REVIEW:

 

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If ever there’ll be a sequel, I don’t think I’ll read it.

I did not hate the book. But I didn’t overly loved it either. I’ve always been the odd one out and I’m not even sorry.

There’s only two reasons why I read this book. 1) because of the hype, 2) because I feel like I haven’t read much from this genre. Other than that, I wouldn’t even give this another glance.

Sabaa’s writing was indeed phenomenal, I love how even though I was not enjoying the story that much, she still kept me reading. Her worlds and characters reminds me of Brandon Sanderson (w/c is the only high fantasy author that works for me) and because of that, it gave me reason to just keep on reading. This book is creative and touches every possible thought provoking theme you can think of. There were messages hidden along Sabaa’s plots and dialogues that made me admire her as an author. I really want my book meaningful and thought provoking even its fantasy (maybe especially because its fantasy)

But I just noticed that my problems of the book was outnumbering the good ones. Most are just personal, but some are the way it was written/executed.

The romance aspect was such a soap opera. It’s like a love triangle gone awry. And it might seem petty but, again, I’m not sorry. I’m a huge romance reader so I notice this things. And it also affects my reading a lot. There were two leads and each of them have their own love interest… and then by the near end, something just happened between them that I honestly believed isn’t necessary at all.

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It was better left alone but for some reason, the author still did the whole thing. I was sad about this. And confused. And also frustrated.

Another one is how I feel disconnected towards these two main leads. And how they frustrate me and just… makes me want to put the book down. They actually bore me. Yes, I WAS BORED. The female main character was whiny, You might tell me, ‘HEY SHE DID GROW!’ Well, here’s what I’m going to say.. ‘REALLY? DID SHE REALLY? LAIA DIDN’T HAVE A CHOICE. HER ‘CHARACTER GROWTH’ was not something she instilled in herself. And honestly, I didn’t feel genuineness from her, Now, Elias… just plainly bored me, I.. actually forgot his name, Its like, I don’t care. AT ALL.

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Another thing: It’s like a rape fest. I’m irritated and annoyed. I don’t know why does this thing keep coming up every. freaking. time. There was no actual rape that was graphically written. But it was mentioned, like, every chapter. I totally get it. I AM AWARE ABOUT THE RAPES. I find it annoying that ‘rape’ was kept plastering in my face. I know that the book was supposed to be ‘dark and edgy’ and all that. But is repeating the word rape million times the way to go?

And lastly, it was boring and it DOESN’T MAKE SENSE AT ALL. At least to me, Oh goodness it was dragging. Like, DRAGGING. I’m surprised I didn’t DNF. I was really curios about the hype that is surrounding this book, And it makes me sad that I don’t see it.

Where is it? WHERE

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I’m not even gonna put here if I recommend this or not because I know you’ll still read it anyway. And yes, please do so. This book isn’t bad but its not THE BEST either. I believe that it will work on certain readers. If you LOVED it, that’s awesome, But if not, like me, then that’s cool. Giving this book a low rating isn’t a sin against to anybody.

 

 

 

11
City of Fae
Pippa DaCosta
Published May 7th 2015 by Bloomsbury Spark
NA > Fantasy | Paranormal
336pages (ebook)
 arc via publisher

 

2 ★★

 

BLURB FROM GOODREADS:

 

From the moment Alina touches London’s hottest fae superstar, breaking one of the laws founded to protect all of her kind, her fate – and the fae – close in.
Below ground, the fae High Queen plots to claim the city as her own and places her pawns, ready for the battle to come. A battle she cannot lose, but for one small problem – Alina. There are four ancient keepers powerful enough to keep the queen in her prison. Three are dead. One remains … And to fight back, Alina risks sacrificing everything she has come to love.
This New Adult urban fantasy is packed with action and suspense and will have you yearning for more forbidden fae romance.

 

REVIEW:

 

Oh my god this book.

I was expecting awesome things from this novel. I mean, with that cover!? Of course expectation of awesomeness wouldn’t be avoided, That’s why I’m so sad. Because what I read was so far from awesome. Let me remind you what my face looked like while reading it.

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Think about this, the book tells us that FAE’S lives with the human now, And yet, throughout the novel, only 2-3 fae’s among humans were introduced. Most of them have 2-3 lines only. WHAT IS UP WITH THAT.

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Next, FAE’S ARE WITH THE HUMANS, RIGHT? So when our heroine found out that there was a FAE WORLD, she was so shocked! Shocked! Because hello!!?!?? Why would she expect that there’s such a place like that even if Fae’s are already living in their world.

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Next, our supposed-to-be-smart heroine can’t stop moistening her lips!! Anastasia Steele syndrome??? Most likely.

Next, humans can’t ever touch the FAES because once they do, Fae will steal something from them. Their essence or their soul, honestly at this point, I’m not paying much attention anymore (and this was mentioned in the start) But of course!!! Our heroine and love interest can’t resist each other. They are ‘fighting’ it. Suuuuuure.

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The romance in this book reminds me so much of FSoG, I KID YOU NOT. MC is a journalist. And also an idiot. And let me tell you, that’s not a good combination.

Lastly: LOVE QUADRUPLE. Is this a thing now!? I get that you want drama, but two people can achieve that you know.

The idea/concept of this book was really kind of fresh. But the execution, the way the story was constructed. This strongly needs a lot more work. From the start, you’ll feel that there’s something wrong about this already. And the world building? Honestly, where!?!??! And the characters. MC is so dumb, she makes me want to hurt someone. Love interest is so arrogant, he makes Christian Grey looks like an angel.

And yep, this is still my face while writing this.

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PMW
The Truth About Us
Janet Gurtler
Published April 7th 2015 by Sourcebooks Fire
YA > Contemporary | Romance
320pages (ebook)
arc via publisher

 

DNF

 

 

BLURB FROM GOODREADS:

 

A powerful and gripping contemporary YA from the author of I’m Not Her that’s “Just right for fans of Sarah Dessen and Jodi Picoult.”-Booklist
The truth is that Jess knows she screwed up.
She’s made mistakes, betrayed her best friend, and now she’s paying for it. Her dad is making her spend the whole summer volunteering at the local soup kitchen.
The truth is she wishes she was the care-free party-girl everyone thinks she is.
She pretends it’s all fine. That her “perfect” family is fine. But it’s not. And no one notices the lie…until she meets Flynn. He’s the only one who really sees her. The only one who listens.
The truth is that Jess is falling apart – and no one seems to care.
But Flynn is the definition of “the wrong side of the tracks.” When Jess’s parents look at him they only see the differences-not how much they need each other. They don’t get that the person who shouldn’t fit in your world… might just be the one to make you feel like you belong.

 

Review:

 

Jess is the rich girl who is acting out. Flynn is from the wrong side of the tracks. And I’m the reader who doesn’t care at all.

unimpressed-dog-meme-07

I kinda understand Jess. I mean I get it, you have money, you feel like nobody loves you, dysfunctional family– you really tend to act out. An her self realizations and her desire to grow was admiring. I like that about her. She knows she’s messed up and she decided to needs to change.

Now Flynn on the other hand. Oh the hurty feelings!!! Flynn is so complicated, sometimes I wonder if he has the problem of the whole earth in his shoulders.

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So tired of guys who doesn’t know what he wants. He pulls her then pushes back.

WHAT DUDE?!! WHAT DO YOU REALLY WANT!!!!

Look, I KNOW. He has issues.Please don’t assume that life is is easy on me and I’m making fun of Flynn, we all have issues. And I get Flynn. But the way Flynn is coping is so not helping him. Jess of course doesn’t get all this because she’s more into her romance dilemna. I MEAN HELLO, PRIORITIES!!!! And there’s also this thing that Flynn did towards the that is so unbelievable!!!! I can’t believe Jess forgave him so fast. It must be ~**true love**~

Janet Gurtler does have a very beautiful way of writing. But as pleasant as that was, my annoyance just keeps popping and my supposed to be swoony feeling didn’t show. I still recommend this book. I just think it’s not for everybody. I had some issues but there’s a chance you might enjoy it more.

Paula